DJI Osmo Motion Digicam Palms-on Review – Will it kill the GoPro ?

“DJI’s first GoPro challenger reveals the drone maker is aware of how one can play tough.”

Professionals

  • Nice digital picture stabilization
  • Screw-on filters
  • Entrance LCD
  • Giant, 16:9 rear LCD
  • 4K/60, 1080p/240

Cons

  • Stabilization, lens correction softens video
  • Cell app wants work

DJI’s rumored Osmo Motion is lastly right here, and whereas it doesn’t look radically totally different from different motion cameras, it does carry a pair genuinely progressive options to what’s in any other case a really imitative design. The entrance LCD display screen enables you to examine framing even when the primary, rear display screen is obscured, a standard scenario when mounting the camera to a motorcycle body, automobile, or only a selfie stick. The replaceable lens cowl enables you to simply swap in polarizing or impartial density filters. HDR video provides 3 stops of dynamic vary.

However at its core, the Osmo Motion is an easy motion camera — and GoPro lookalike. To the untrained eye, the drab grey exterior may simply be mistaken for a Hero7. The consumer interface is constructed round a touchscreen and gesture instructions which might be a close to facsimile of GoPro’s. Naturally, it additionally makes use of the usual GoPro mount, making it suitable with a variety of equipment.

DJI didn’t got down to reinvent the wheel. They borrowed what could possibly be borrowed and innovated the place there was room for enchancment. The result’s a camera that doesn’t stand out from the pack, however brings critical worth to the desk for simply $349 — $50 lower than the GoPro Hero7 Black.

Have you ever used a GoPro? This can really feel acquainted

The Osmo Motion is a palm-sized rectangular field that’s waterproof right down to 36 ft with out a case. A round lens housing protrudes from one nook on the entrance, subsequent to which lives a 1.4-inch LCD display screen with a 1:1 facet ratio. The again of the camera is dominated by a big, 2.25-inch touchscreen with a 16:9 ratio. That principal display screen is wider than what you get with a GoPro (and appears significantly higher due to it), whereas the camera itself is just negligibly wider (and ever so barely shorter) than the GoPro Hero7 collection.

It’s the entrance display screen that basically units the Osmo Motion other than different motion cameras. The nonstandard facet ratio is a bit bizarre however permits you to preview your shot both in letterboxed trend (with “black bars” on the highest and backside) or in full display screen mode with the perimeters of the video body cropped off. The display screen high quality isn’t something particular — you’ll wish to use the rear display screen at any time when doable — but it surely’s sufficient to be sure to’ve bought the framing you need.

The contact interface (which works solely on the rear display screen) additionally works very effectively, and right here DJI has accomplished a superb job of imitating what GoPro is finest at. The consumer interface will instantly really feel acquainted to anybody who has used a GoPro Hero5 or newer. Swipe proper to entry the library, right down to entry the management heart, left to entry settings and publicity choices, and as much as reveal decision and body price settings. The contact inputs all really feel responsive, although the icons weren’t at all times intuitive. There’s a studying curve, but it surely’s not too steep.

RockSteady magically takes the shakiest camera movement and turns it into buttery clean footage.

You’ll discover three {hardware} buttons on the system. Up high is the ability and document buttons, and on the facet is the Fast Change button. The primary two are self-explanatory, however Fast Change has two totally different features. Press it to carry up a menu of taking pictures modes together with Video, HDR Video, Time Lapse, and Photograph, or maintain it to activate the entrance display screen.

You may also activate the entrance display screen by double tapping with two fingers on the rear display screen, however seeing because the entrance display screen is there for conditions the place the rear display screen is inaccessible, you’ll in all probability use the Fast Change button for that extra typically.

The camera can be managed remotely by the DJI Mimo app. We examined the app in beta and, at the very least for now, it’s one space the place DJI falls behind GoPro. Mimo lacks refinements in how settings are displayed and navigated, and a few info icons are too small. Within the camera, digital picture stabilization is referred to by the RockSteady title; however within the app, it’s merely labeled EIS. That is complicated for novice customers who could not perceive the terminology. Oddly, there’s no approach to preview the footage proper facet up in case you’re holding your cellphone in portrait orientation — the video preview is locked to panorama.

DJI Osmo Action ReviewDaven Mathies/Digital Developments

On the plus facet, the app was responsive, with minimal lag within the dwell view feed.

The screw-on lens filters are a pleasant addition. The default clear filter will be eliminated by hand and changed with an ND filter in a matter of seconds. It is a far much less labor-intensive strategy than GoPro’s finicky bayonet-mount lens cowl on the Hero5 and newer cameras.

DJI offered us with 4 totally different impartial density (ND) filters for this review, providing 2, 3, 4, and 5 stops of sunshine discount. It knowledgeable us that polarizing and underwater filters may even be out there, and that the screw mount itself will not be proprietary. Third-party producers should not have any hassle churning out suitable filters, and plenty of could exist already. It’s, nonetheless, a distinct filter mount than any used on different DJI merchandise. Filters on your Mavic drone or Osmo gimbal camera gained’t be suitable.

Video specs and high quality

The Osmo Motion can document 4K video at as much as 60 frames per second, which is par for the course nowadays. Full HD video is on the market as much as 240 fps for 8x gradual movement, and the camera may even shoot HDR (excessive dynamic vary) video at 4K/30. A very powerful function, nonetheless, is the RockSteady digital picture stabilization (which, because it occurs, will not be suitable with HDR mode).

The Osmo Motion is a superb first try, combining tried-and-true motion cam design and performance.

Like GoPro’s HyperSmooth, RockSteady takes the shakiest camera movement and turns it into buttery clean footage. In our restricted time with the camera to date, we weren’t capable of decide if RockSteady is actually nearly as good as HyperSmooth, but it surely offered gimbal-like stabilization for handheld photographs and maintained a superbly flat horizon when panning.

The small sensors in motion cameras are vulnerable to blowing out highlights and crushing shadows, however taking pictures within the elective D-Cinelike colour profile, we discovered the Osmo Motion captured a good quantity of dynamic vary. D-Cinelike appears flat popping out of the camera and requires some colour correction to look “regular” once more, so it’s not really helpful for rookies, however in case you’re seeking to get essentially the most out of your footage, you must flip it on and depart it on.

The lens produces an insane quantity of distortion, to place it mildly, which might happily be corrected in-camera by turning on Dewarp — we suggest doing this. Dewarp does crop the footage, however the lens is so huge to start with that it shouldn’t matter.

Pattern footage taken on the DJI Osmo Motion.

RockSteady stabilization additionally causes a crop; with it and Dewarp energetic, the body is dramatically “zoomed in” in comparison with the uncorrected, non-stabilized view. Once more, turning these options on might be price it — however that cropping comes with a second price past the lack of angle of view. It makes the footage softer. That “4K” decision isn’t actually 4K anymore. Seen at 100%, particulars are blurry, whereas heavy compression causes the shadows to dam up.

To be truthful, these are the identical challenges each motion camera faces, and when footage is performed again on a cellphone or different small display screen, you gained’t discover the dearth of element. Simply don’t anticipate a flawless picture in case you view your antics on a 65-inch 4K tv.

GoPro Killer?

The $349 Osmo Motion is a superb first try for DJI, combining tried-and-true motion cam design and performance with just a few progressive options which might be helpful. Is it an enormous step ahead over the GoPro Hero7 Black? For most individuals, unlikely. Picture high quality stays merely acceptable, and stabilization efficiency is actually superb, however seemingly not any higher than what we’ve already seen with HyperSmooth.

GoPro maintains a slight edge within the UI division, and a way more noticeable edge with its cell app. GoPro has put quite a lot of effort into its Plus membership program, which gives clients with added advantages like limitless cloud storage and reductions on equipment.

The place the Osmo Motion stands out is with its wide-aspect rear monitor — which appears surprisingly higher than the Hero7’s — and its easy-to-use screw-on filters. The entrance display screen, whereas not one thing everybody will want typically, additionally helps differentiate this from the group of in any other case comparable motion cameras. Total, this can be a very succesful motion camera. We solely want the Mimo app was higher.

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