DJI’s rumored Osmo Action is lastly right here, and whereas it doesn’t look radically totally different from different motion cameras, it does carry a pair genuinely modern options to what’s in any other case a really imitative design. The entrance LCD display enables you to test framing even when the primary, rear display is obscured, a typical scenario when mounting the digital camera to a motorbike 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.
But at its core, the Osmo Action is a simple motion digital camera — and GoPro lookalike. To the untrained eye, the drab grey exterior might 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 appropriate with a variety of equipment.
DJI didn’t got down to reinvent the wheel. They borrowed what may very well be borrowed and innovated the place there was room for enchancment. The result’s a digital camera that doesn’t stand out from the pack, however brings severe worth to the desk for simply $349 — $50 lower than the GoPro Hero7 Black.
Have you used a GoPro? This will really feel acquainted
The Osmo Action is a palm-sized rectangular field that’s waterproof right down to 36 toes with no case. A round lens housing protrudes from one nook on the entrance, subsequent to which lives a 1.4-inch LCD display with a 1:1 facet ratio. The again of the digital camera is dominated by a big, 2.25-inch touchscreen with a 16:9 ratio. That primary display is wider than what you get with a GoPro (and appears significantly higher due to it), whereas the digital camera itself is simply negligibly wider (and ever so barely shorter) than the GoPro Hero7 sequence.

It’s the entrance display that basically units the Osmo Action aside from different motion cameras. The nonstandard facet ratio is a bit bizarre however means that you can preview your shot both in letterboxed vogue (with “black bars” on the highest and backside) or in full display mode with the edges of the video body cropped off. The display high quality isn’t something particular — you’ll wish to use the rear display each time potential — but it surely’s sufficient to ensure you’ve acquired the framing you need.
The contact interface (which works solely on the rear display) additionally works very effectively, and right here DJI has carried out a great job of imitating what GoPro is greatest 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 middle, left to entry settings and publicity choices, and as much as reveal decision and body charge 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 digital camera movement and turns it into buttery easy footage.

You’ll discover three buttons on the gadget. Up prime is the ability and report buttons, and on the aspect is the Quick Switch button. The first two are self-explanatory, however Quick Switch has two totally different features. Press it to carry up a menu of capturing modes together with Video, HDR Video, Time Lapse, and Photo, or maintain it to activate the entrance display.
You may also activate the entrance display by double tapping with two fingers on the rear display, however seeing because the entrance display is there for conditions the place the rear display is inaccessible, you’ll in all probability use the Quick Switch button for that extra typically.
The digital camera can be managed remotely via the DJI Mimo app. We examined the app in beta and, a minimum of 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 data icons are too small. In the digital camera, digital picture stabilization is referred to by the RockSteady identify; however within the app, it’s merely labeled EIS. This is complicated for novice customers who could not perceive the terminology. Oddly, there’s no approach to preview the footage proper aspect up for those who’re holding your cellphone in portrait orientation — the video preview is locked to panorama.
Daven Mathies/Digital TrendsOn the plus aspect, the app was responsive, with minimal lag within the stay view feed.
The screw-on lens filters are a pleasant addition. The default clear filter may be eliminated by hand and changed with an ND filter in a matter of seconds. This is a far much less labor-intensive strategy than GoPro’s finicky bayonet-mount lens cowl on the Hero5 and newer cameras.
DJI supplied us with 4 totally different impartial density (ND) filters for this evaluate, providing 2, 3, 4, and 5 stops of sunshine discount. It knowledgeable us that polarizing and underwater filters will even be out there, and that the screw mount itself will not be proprietary. Third-party producers shouldn’t have any hassle churning out appropriate filters, and lots of could exist already. It is, nevertheless, a unique filter mount than any used on different DJI merchandise. Filters in your Mavic drone or Osmo gimbal digital camera received’t be appropriate.
Video specs and high quality
The Osmo Action can report 4K video at as much as 60 frames per second, which is par for the course today. Full HD video is out there as much as 240 fps for 8x sluggish movement, and the digital camera may even shoot HDR (excessive dynamic vary) video at 4K/30. The most essential function, nevertheless, is the RockSteady digital picture stabilization (which, because it occurs, will not be appropriate with HDR mode).
The Osmo Action is a superb first try, combining tried-and-true motion cam design and performance.

Like GoPro’s HyperSmooth, RockSteady takes the shakiest digital camera movement and turns it into buttery easy footage. In our restricted time with the digital camera up to now, we weren’t in a position to decide if RockSteady is really pretty much as good as HyperSmooth, but it surely supplied gimbal-like stabilization for handheld pictures and maintained a superbly flat horizon when panning.
The small sensors in motion cameras are susceptible to blowing out highlights and crushing shadows, however capturing within the elective D-Cinelike colour profile, we discovered the Osmo Action captured an honest quantity of dynamic vary. D-Cinelike appears to be like flat popping out of the digital camera and requires some colour correction to look “normal” once more, so it’s not really helpful for inexperienced persons, however for those who’re seeking to get probably the most out of your footage, it is best to flip it on and depart it on.
The lens produces an insane quantity of distortion, to place it mildly, which may fortuitously be corrected in-camera by turning on Dewarp — we suggest doing this. Dewarp does crop the footage, however the lens is so vast to start with that it shouldn’t matter.
Sample footage taken on the DJI Osmo Action.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. Again, turning these options on might be value 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. Viewed at 100%, particulars are blurry, whereas heavy compression causes the shadows to dam up.
To be honest, these are the identical challenges each motion digital camera faces, and when footage is performed again on a cellphone or different small display, you received’t discover the shortage of element. Just don’t count on a flawless picture for those who view your antics on a 65-inch 4K tv.
GoPro Killer?
The $349 Osmo Action is a superb first try for DJI, combining tried-and-true motion cam design and performance with a number of modern options which might be helpful. Is it an enormous step ahead over the GoPro Hero7 Black? For most individuals, unlikely. Image high quality stays merely acceptable, and stabilization efficiency is actually excellent, 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 lots of effort into its Plus membership program, which supplies prospects with added advantages like limitless cloud storage and reductions on equipment.
Where the Osmo Action stands out is with its wide-aspect rear monitor — which appears to be like surprisingly higher than the Hero7’s — and its easy-to-use screw-on filters. The entrance display, whereas not one thing everybody will want typically, additionally helps differentiate this from the group of in any other case related motion cameras. Overall, this can be a very succesful motion digital camera. We solely want the Mimo app was higher.

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