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dji osmo – review



















Thanks to the rise of small action cameras, camera stabilizers (aka gimbals) are becoming more portable than ever. Amazon has plenty of these coming from random Chinese brands, but most are either poorly designed, or only a partial solution to your problem. For instance, they often lack a handset mount for those who need a live screen. There are also gimbals that use smartphones as the camera, but I’ve yet to come across one with raving reviews; the current options

dji osmo – review

appear to be more of a nuisance due to their awkward calibration and erratic stabilization. So unless you’ve tried one and are certain that it works well with your phone, your best bet is to go with a dedicated camera gimbal.

DJI’s latest creation, the Osmo, features a 4K camera module similar to the one on the company’s flagship drone, the Inspire 1and it can house your smartphone as a viewfinder on the side. But it isn’t just about the hardware, because like the company’s drones, the Osmo also has a full-featured companion app for greater versatility. Let’s see if this fancy package is worthy of its $649 price.

Gallery: DJI Osmo review | 16 Photos

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dji osmo – review
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  • Fantastic stabilization
  • Good video quality in general
  • Comfortable grip
  • Full-featured app
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  • Battery life could be longer
  • Videos getnoisy easily
  • Can’t transfer 4K videos to phone
  • Microphones aren’tvery sensitive

DJI Osmo - Review

Summary DJI Osmo – Review

This may be DJI’s first attempt at making a hand-held gimbal, but it’s already by far one of the best, if not the best, solutions in the current market. Great stabilization, intuitive software and comfortable grip make this a fun, complete package.


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dji osmo – review

The Osmo consists of four parts: a Zenmuse X3 three-axis gimbal with a camera, an ergonomic handle with all the controlbuttons, a 10.8Wh battery and a phone clamp. In total this weighs about 538 grams (1.19 pounds) according to my
scale, which is still quite manageable when you add a smartphone to it, but you can
get this down to 422 grams (0.93 pound) if you remove the phone holder. The package
also includes a lens cap plus a wrist strap for safety measures, as well as a cute
little carrying case that may fool your friends into thinking you have a tiny ukulele

For those who are already flying an Inspire 1, its Zenmuse X3 module needs no
introduction. This fan-cooled gimbal-camera is powered by Sony’s 1/2.3-inch 12
megapixel sensor that can record videos of up to 4K resolution — 4,096 x 2,160 at
24fps or 3,840 x 2,160 at 30fps/24fps, to be exact — with a maximum video bitrate of
60 Mbps. If you want a smoother video, you can go up to 60fps at either 1080p or 720p,
or even do slow motion with 120fps at 1080p. As with the drone version, you get a 20mm
f/2.8 lens with a 94-degree field of view. The gimbal is also where you insert your
microSD card, which needs to be of at least Class 10 or UHS-1. Obviously, the faster
the write speed, the better. In my case, DJI supplied a 16GB Panasonic microSDHC
<ahref=””>UHS Speed Class 3 card with our review unit, and it’s worked well for me so far.

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DJI Osmo – Review

While the default gimbal-camera module on the Osmo and the
Inspire 1 share the same name, there’s a catch: You can’t use Osmo’s module on the
drone; it only works the other way around. According to DJI, the main difference
between the two is that the one on the Osmo has a mechanical structure that’s
optimized for hand-held use, including the way it flattens for storage, the
orientation of its tilt motor and other small changes inside the camera and gimbal.

Much like the Inspire 1, the Osmo is also compatible with the higher-end Zenmuse X5 and X5R gimbals for some Micro Four Thirds action, but you will need to buy an adapter for them.

The detachable, metallic phone holder hangs onto the left side
of the handle via a screw thread mount. It clamps onto your smartphone by way of two
corners on one side and the middle of the other side. All three contact points, as
well as the parts touching the back of the phone, are padded with soft plastic, so
there’s no need to worry about the clamp scratching your phone. The biggest device I
managed to slide in there was the 6-inch Oppo R7 Plus_Amazon,
which comes in at 158mm tall and 82mm wide, so the equally tall, but narrower iPhone
6s Plus will fit just fine, although it may be a struggle if it’s in a thick case.

DJI Osmo - Review dji osmo - review DJI Osmo &#8211; Review DJI Osmo phone holder
DJI Osmo – Review

While we’re here, I should add that DJI also offers a range of accessories for the Osmo, including an extension rod, tripod and straight extension arm — as well as universal, bike and vehicle mounts. Most of these can be installed on the Osmo in the same way as the phone holder.

This leaves us with the handle, which houses a stereo microphone, a 3.5mm audio jack
for a lavalier mic, a screw mount at the top for the gimbal, a battery that goes in
from the bottom and several buttons plus a couple of LED indicators dotted around the
thumb and index finger areas. Thanks to the soft grip and thoughtful curvature, the
Osmo is easily one of the most, if not the most, comfortable hand-held gimbals to
hold. When placed in hand, your thumb can easily reach the slider for power, a flat
joystick for maneuvering the camera, a capture button for still photos and a video
recording toggle.

On the other side, there’s a trigger button that provides three functions: Hold down
to lock the camera’s orientation, double-tap to re-center the gimbal and triple-tap to
swing the camera back for a selfie. Yes, you may as well call this the
world’s most expensive selfie stick. If needed, the gimbal does allow minor
adjustments by hand; just avoid twisting too hard and thus accidentally locking the
gimbal. Don’t worry, this is all explained in the app’s tutorial, which gives us a
nice segue to the next section of this review.

Software DJI Osmo – Review

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DJI Osmo – Review

When you’re feeling adventurous, the Osmo functions just fine without the DJI Go app
on iOS and Android, but that does require some guesswork and you’ll also miss out on a
lot of features. Most importantly, this is where you set your photo aspect ratio,
video resolution and video frame rate. You can also use the app to adjust your
gimbal’s parameters and re-calibrate it when necessary. To link up, simply turn on the
Osmo, connect your phone to the gimbal’s WiFi hotspot and then launch the app.

Once you’ve entered the camera view, you can toggle between the still-camera and the
video-recording interfaces. These come with common quick settings like white balance,
ISO and exposure compensation. You can also tap on the screen to set an exposure
reference point, or hold down and move your finger around to control the gimbal.
Additionally, there are mode-specific features like slow-motion toggle (1080p at
120fps) in the video interface, and various shooting modes in the still-camera
interface: single, multiple, interval, panorama (360 degrees or just 180) and time
lapse. But regardless of which interface you’re in, you can still initiate whichever
capture mode you desire using the buttons on the Osmo.

DJI Osmo – Review

As before, DJI Go lets you browse, transfer and even edit content captured with the
Osmo. That said, the file-transfer function currently only supports JPEG images and
videos of up to 1080p resolution, meaning you’ll have to grab your 2.7K and 4K footage
plus RAW images directly from the microSD card. Hopefully a future update will resolve
this inconvenience. Going back to the editing feature: With photos, you get tools for
cropping, rotation, contrast, brightness, saturation and adding filters. As for video,
you can put together a simple movie using multiple six-second clips, and then beautify
it with the same set of filters along with some music templates. Once I got the hang
of it, I actually quite enjoyed this video tool. It’s fun, intuitive and great for
killing time . You can then share your creation to your social networks via DJI’s
Skypixel platform.


Given DJI’s expertise in camera stabilization, it’s no surprise I got some great
footage with the Osmo. I found it was most effective when I held the gimbal totally
still; it was almost as if I had placed the device on a tripod. And thanks to the
super-high resolution, a largely motionless video would trick you into thinking it’s a
still photo, until you spot the subtle moving parts. Nothing new here, of course, but
coming from a hand-held device, this is pretty amazing.

The gimbal also did a good job when I walked around with it. Not even some rocky
beaches could embarrass DJI’s latest creation. Having said that, you can still see
some light wobbling caused by my footsteps in some of the clips, so users are advised
to not fully rely on the Osmo for stabilization and walk as gently as possible. In
terms of response speed, the gimbal managed to keep up with my small, energetic toy
poodle when he ran around me, which you can see in my sample video reel.

DJI Osmo – Review

Since it’s a wide-angle lens, some softening near the frame’s edges is inevitable, but
luckily, that’s not too apparent. Video quality in general is top-notch in well-lit
environments, especially outside during the day. Once I went indoors, the clips became
a bit noisy and got a little worse at night, but color accuracy was consistent, as you
can see in my nighttime harbor footage. It’s the same story with the Oslo’s still
camera performance, but at least you can tweak the shots later if you shoot in RAW

DJI Osmo – Review


There are two other areas where I see room for improvement. First of all, the audio in my video clips is very quiet, and there’s no way to adjust the microphones’ sensitivity in the app, so hopefully DJI can do something about this. Good thing there’s an option to plug in an external microphone. Secondly, I found the 60-minute battery life to be a tad short. I’d ask for a denser power pack, but the last thing DJI would want to do is to make the battery heavier, so users like me would be better off procuring an extra one for $35.

The competition

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DJI Osmo – Review

To be honest, there’s not much of a competition in the market right now. Pretty much
all other hand-held gimbals are just hardware solutions for your smartphone or GoPro
camera, and few come with an ergonomic grip, like the $300 Big Balance Husky HY3M
pictured left. Those with a straight grip are slightly cheaper, but reliability could
still be hit and miss. By comparison, the DJI Osmo is far more advanced, with its own
app and various handy features. Also, its camera is upgradeable to suit the needs of
professional users.

While the Osmo’s $649 price tag may look less appealing at first, it’s actually quite
reasonable for folks who are starting from scratch. For instance, if you go for the
HY3M and need a dedicated wide-angle camera, you’ll still need to spend a bit more
money — somewhere around $200 for a basic GoPro with WiFi (the Hero+), or from $300
for one with a built-in display (Hero+ LCD or Hero4 Silver) because this gimbal
doesn’t have a mount to hold your smartphone as a viewfinder. Alternatively, you
probably just want to use your smartphone’s camera, but from my experience, the HY3M’s
stabilization only works well with smaller smartphones — ideally those with a screen
size of less than five inches, which is becoming a rarity in the Android world.

DJI Osmo – Review

Ultimately, then, it depends on what you already have in hand or what you want to
achieve. It’s also worth pointing out that if you own an Inspire 1, you can simply
purchase the $269 Osmo handle kit (battery, charger and phone holder included) and
use it with the drone’s camera. That’s not a bad way to make the most out of your $2,899 drone purchase.


Wrap-up DJI Osmo – Review

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DJI Osmo – Review

It’s safe to say that DJI isn’t just a drone expert, but also a hand-held gimbal
maestro. This company took its time to do its homework and address several pain
points, while most others simply rushed to market with unpolished products that left
us longing for more. Simply put, the Osmo offers a complete package that’s both
powerful and intuitive. Is it perfect? Not quite: We’d like to see cleaner footage
taken in the dark, improved still image quality, better microphones and a slightly
longer battery life. Even so, DJI’s rivals already have a lot of catching up
to do.

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DJI Osmo – Review

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