DJI OSMO Action Review: 17 Things To Know!

Hey folks, Ray at here
today I’ve got 17 things you need to know about the new OSMO Action. Now of course this is not DJI’s first camera on the market though it is finally the first
action camera. The closest that got to that was last December when they
released the OSMO Pocket which was a tiny little camera but it was a
waterproof and it wasn’t a very wide angle lens and it wasn’t really good for
action. But this is here now and I’ve been using it for a few weeks so I’ve
got a pretty good idea of what works well…and what needs some love still. Now
of course this is definitely not a marketing video in any way, shape, or form.
It’s not sponsored or any of that jazz this is just me testing out the cameras
last two weeks I’m gonna tell you the good, the bad, and a little bit of the
ugly as well. Now there’s more information than I could possibly fit in this
one video, so I’ve also got a full text photo, and more video, in-depth review you
can hit in the description down below there. It’s like six or eight thousand
words and before we get to the 17 official items I’ll give you one little
freebie the price here on this is $349 bucks about 50 bucks cheaper than the GoPro Hero 7 Black, and it’s available starting
today. With that let’s dive into #1, which is the new dual screen displays. And this is
probably the feature you’re probably gonna see and hear the most about the
new OSMO Action, and honestly for good reason. So the way it works is on the
back there is a two and a quarter inch so 2.25 inch display full-color
touchscreen 750 units of brightness it’s super super bright. And on the front
there is a 1.4 inch screen that is non touch but you can go ahead and use that
for framing. To switch between the two you simply double tap on the back using
two fingers and that swaps it to the front screen or you can long hold the
quick shot button on the side for about a second and a half, to two seconds and that switches the front screen as well. Now my experience is this has actually been more
useful than I expected it to be. Of course with action cameras when you hold
them out like this they’ve got such wide angle lenses, that it’s kind of hard to
screw up, but what this gets you is a little bit better framing. So if I’m
holding out like this I can go ahead and sure there’s not a bunch of extra space
above my head, where things are more centered. Now there are two modes for the
way the front screen displays. The first mode is that it zooms the image in,
basically just to the center so it fills the entire screen. And the second mode is
that it has bars on the top and bottom so that you get the exact same view that
you’re recording. number 2 on the list is what DJI calls
RockSteady which is simply their stabilization it’s very similar to
GoPros hyper smooth except called RockSteady now what’s interesting here
is this is not the companies the first use of this
technology just the first time they’ve kind of branded and told you about it. In
fact the exact same technology used here you saw way back in the DJI spark at
drone about two years ago. They simply poured it into here remove the
half of the gimbal that you had in a spark and now it’s in an action cam and
in my testing it’s done really darn well I’ve been mountain biking road biking
running I mean all sorts of stuff and as you can see on the screen here side by
side with the GoPro Hero seven black it holds its own like across all these
scenarios no problems at all I’ll go ahead up in the corner as well
and link the whole video of just sample footage it’s just sample footage across
the board of all sorts of things including a bunch of things with
RockSteady enabled. On the Osmo action it’s definitely quite a bit narrower
than the GoPro Hero seven black but it becomes even more pronounced when you go
on to the super view mode on the hero seven black at 1080p in which case it’s
just substantially wider. Next on the list is what did DJI calls D warp which
basically means it’s no longer fisheye but there is still a fisheye option
which is actually the default and by FISH high just means that’s super wide
some people call it fisheye some people there’s different names for it. Ah, it’s what
you’re familiar with on a GoPro action camera. Of course GoPro has something
called linear mode, but the problem with GoPro’s linear mode is the tops out at
2.7 K 60 so you can’t do 4k in linear mode. Osmo action, you can you can do 4k
at 60 frames per second in their “D warp” mode. Which means that you don’t have any sort
of warping on the image itself. Speaking of easy options, if you’re finding this
video useful go ahead and whack that like button down at the bottom there, it
really helps the channel and the video quite a bit. Moving on to the next item
which is waterproofing. This unit here is waterproof to 36 feet without any
additional case the DJI does sell an additional dive case if you’re happening to
go down deeper than that. Next we got the user interface, in a lot of ways it’s
pretty darn similar to GoPro’s but there are some differences. Starting off with the
similarities though you’ve got like the gallery can go in there and look through
different images and whatnot that you’ve already taken or different videos that
you’ve already taken. You can swipe from the right to get to the settings menu.
You can go ahead and swipe up to get to resolutions and you can go ahead and
press in the bottom left hand corner of the ability to change modes on the
display itself as opposed to using the quick shot mode off. My only problem with
the user interface is that the resolution screen has dark blue text on
black background which depending on where you are in the shadows and whatnot,
like here in the woods, it can be really difficult to see. When you compare that to for
example the GoPro Hero 7 black and big bold white text that you can see
from far far away, so that’s a little bit of like a nuanced polished thing that
I’m hoping DJI fixes over time. Number six on the list is the buttons, there are
three buttons on this camera. (1)There is a record, start, and stop button which also
takes photos. (2)there is a display power on/off button, takes about a second and a
half or so to power on the camera and be ready to go, and then (3)there’s a quick
shot button which changes different quick shot modes. So it’s kind of a way
to basically change modes from video to photo and and whatnot. There’s
actually some customization you can do in that as well that we’ll get to in
just a moment. But first we need to talk about sound. The camera has two
microphones on it one is on the top right next to the display button, and the
second is on the right hand side just on the right hand side. That is different
than the GoPro which has three microphones. The reason you want more
microphones is for noise reduction. The more microphones they have the more they
can cancel out that wind noise. Still in my testing it’s not too bad. I put it
side-by-side of the GoPro Hero seven black. For example here is the Osmo
action, … and then here is the GoPro Hero seven black. Now both of those sounded
pretty similar, but there are also times where both of them just sucked. It
just seems really it seems to depend on like the wind angle and the speed and
all that kind of stuff. So it’s generally good for most scenarios but there are
still some holes in both companies offerings. So for that you may want a
microphone, which gets us to number eight on the list. This camera does not have a
3.5 millimeter port, just like GoPro doesn’t have a 3.5 millimeter port on it. Instead
they have a USBC adapter. Now in the case of GoPro’s, that’s the size of like a Twinkie
versus this thing here is a whole heck of a lot smaller very similar to that of
the Osmo pocket, that came out earlier this year, the adapter came out earlier
this year. Unfortunately those adapters are not interchangeable. For one
you can’t use a GoPro adapter on this and you can’t even use the DJI Osmo
pocket adapter on this either. So that’s something I’m definitely looking forward
to test once they go ahead and release that. Next we got battery life
there are two claims made here, number one is at 4k 30 with RockSteady enabled
(so stabilization enabled) you’ll get 91 minutes, and then at 1080p 30 (with
RockSteady disabled) you’ll get 1 hour 56 minutes. In my testing both of
those seem about right, and the good news here is you can remove the battery and
swap out for additional batteries, or buy additional batteries.
What’s actually kind of interesting is the battery door is attached to the
battery itself. So like when you remove the battery door, you remove a chunk
of the case. Which there’s nothing wrong with that it’s just something you didn’t
really expect the first time you open it up that the side of the case comes with
it, and is like glued onto the battery. Number ten on the list, is that this camera
supports HDR, or it can produce HDR content. Which is something we saw a DJI
announce last year along with a maverick 2 series, and we’re seeing it
here as well. Now the only downside is that if you’re expecting to use that
from an action standpoint, it’s not gonna happen. Yes you can technically do it, but
the stabilization is not supported in action mode. Now, you may say “oh I’m pretty
steady”… no no you’re not. Nope. So here’s me riding on the road, I’m
on smooth pavement just holding it out in front of me, and it looks horrendous.
Now compare that to a few seconds later where I turn on stabilization in
regular non-HDR mode and it looks beautiful. Now of course if you want to
use HDR in a static setting, like the camera is on something, no problems at all
it looks really really good. In fact, it looks even better at night than the
regular mode does, it just, really things pop there at night in that scenario. But
from like any sort of movement at all, and it’s a complete lost cause. Now
moving on to something that is pretty cool which is quick shot modes. This
allows you to go ahead and move between different modes like we talked about
earlier. Video to HDR, or to photo whatever you have there. But more importantly you
can customize those, so you can for example remove the HDR as one of your
quick shot modes because maybe you think it’s useless. And you can go ahead
instead and add a custom mode. So like some DSLR cameras you can create these
new custom modes that have custom settings on them, for example exposure,
and white balance, and all this kind of stuff. So you can very quickly (as the name implies)
switch to that mode. Since we’re on the modes train let’s talk about photo modes.
The camera has most of the things that you would expect. For example you can
take a single shot, you can take a time-shot, you can take a time-lapse photo
shot, or time-lapse video as well. You can take an auto-exposure bracketed shot,
so basically to combine those in to get more dynamic range, and then there is
burst mode. Now before we talk about burst mode let’s talk about the good.
Which is the other modes, they all have different ways that you can customize
the settings. So you can play with exposure and white balance, and in
particular for both video and photo you can go ahead and set the white
balance to any value you want. So unlike on the GoPro, where you have
like these kind of four preset defined options. In this case I can go in
any increment of 100, all of the way up and down a scale, it’s pretty darn cool. But
we got to talk about burst mode! In this camera here, burst mode is limited to a
whopping seven shots. That’s it. There’s an option of three, five, or seven.
Compared that to the GoPro which has 30 shots a second, or you can do those 30
shots over a couple seconds. There’s lots of different options and configurations
there. Seven?! That’s like burst distracted, it’s like
you were halfway through the burst in really op nevermind
no no more burst folks that’s that’s it speaking of fast-moving things you’ve
got the slow-mo modes these modes are offered 120 frames per second or 240
frames per second but they’re only offered in 1080p or 720p so compare that
to the GoPro Hero set in black which can do 2.7 K at 120 frames per second
there’s no option here on that so that is a bit of a bummer then hopefully it’s
something that again DJI could probably go ahead and crease
and tweak in firmware updates down the road also in future firmware updates is
hyperlapse it is something that will not be available at launch here but it is
going to be available down the road as a firmware update I’ve been playing with
it in beta for the last couple weeks and it’s pretty cool kind of like a typical
time-lapse except it’s really really smooth GoPro calls it time warp but
again everyone else just simply calls a hyper lapse there’s no time frame for
winnings an activist will be released but it seems pretty close to being done
so hopefully it’s it’s pretty soon next DJI has ND filters available for the
camera itself all you do is simply untwist the front lens right there it
takes just a second or two and you go ahead and put the new ND filter on top
of it the reason you use ND filter is just to get kind of better lighting
control or contrast or clarity depending on your particular situation
and we got two more items left on this video and both of them are pretty
important first up a is a DJI MIMO app and unfortunately this is one of those
things that’s not so awesome the app is what you use to go ahead and download
footage from your camera to your phone it’s also it used to control the camera
there is no live streaming in the app so you can’t livestream out to the internet
that you can do a live preview of what your camera sees so you can go in the
frame using your phone and whatnot the problem though is some of the
connectivity bits of some of the download bits so for example there are
certain footage types that you can’t download to your when they download they
have to be converted to 1080p before they got in your phone so you’re losing
some of that goodness that you’ve shot and when you try to download these this
kanpei is that from a connectivity standpoint there’s Wi-Fi just like GoPro
but there’s no Bluetooth so you probably didn’t realize this but what happens on
a GoPro camera is that it goes ahead and uses bluetooth to jumpstart Wi-Fi so as
long as you have that camera on at some point in the last eight hours it’ll use
a Bluetooth start the Wi-Fi the apps connect all is great it’s pretty much
seamless to you but with this camera here I have to go ahead and physically
ensure it’s on the display is on most importantly and that it’s within range
so that becomes a challenge if I’ve got to set up somewhere far away it goes
into time-out mode and now I can’t get back to the it’s just it’s clunky so
we’ll go ahead and wrap up with the mounts now this uses GoPro compatible
mounts which means that it works with well any GoPro mount out there so GoPro
has use one style amounts throughout their entire history so if you have
accessories for your GoPro camera it’ll work with this just fine in fact the
case size on this is almost identical to the hero 7 black which is the same as a
hero 6 which is the same as 0-5 like from a with standpoint and a height
standpoint so it’s gonna fit in all the same places that you may have had
previously okay there you go a complete look at the Osmo action now you may be
wondering is this a GoPro killer and the answer is no not yet but it’s definitely
something that to go push to be super concerned about this will without
question take some sales away from GoPro Hero 7 this year but a more ensuring
what it might do down the road still there are a lot of things I really
really like about this number one the dual screen display that’s awesome I’m
loving it from a framing standpoint number two is the fact that in 4k 60 I
can do kind of those D warp to non-fish high shots whereas in GoPro unlimited to
2.7 K and then also the new quick shot modes the fact that I can go ahead and
add custom Mo’s into that that’s super cool those are some awesome things on
the downside though is really everything to do with the app for me the app adjust
it feels so unpolished compared to GoPros which is funny because most
people don’t think a GoPros app is all that awesome but when you go from that
to this it’s definitely a drop the same is true of the connectivity bits as well
I really like the fact that I can just have my camera stuff in my bag or have
it far away and I can easily go ahead and start it and and do what I want with
it which I can’t seem to do with this still this is an amazing first attempt
at things and it’s really gonna be interesting to see where the company can
go from here again if you found this interesting wipe that like button at the
bottom or hit the little subscribe button there for
more sports technology goodness down the road have a good one

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