DJI OSMO POCKET REVIEW
Having mastered the skies with aerial videography, DJI are now looking to really put a stamp on the ground with their Osmo Pocket. In our full review we take a look at just how well this 4K 60FPS all in one camera and gimbal performs.
Read on for our full hands on DJI Osmo Pocket review.
Osmo Pocket Review
With a late pre-Christmas release, DJI have recently launched their latest product in an attempt to take on a market that they have so far only dabbled in. To say they have only dabbled may be somewhat disparaging, especially given the success of the Osmo Mobile 2 that was launched earlier in 2018 – however, what the Chinese flagship drone company do really well is listen to consumer feedback – and hence the Osmo Pocket was born… a lightweight, pocket sized gimbal with an attached 4K camera that is not reliant on your smartphone.
The promise of 4K at 60FPS was one that got us hot under the collar, especially given that we haven’t yet seen that level of video on DJI’s Mavic series – so we were pretty excited to put the Osmo Pocket through its paces. With only one other serious competitor in the GoPro Hero 7 (which has its own built in stabilization) there is not much to compare the Osmo Pocket to (other than its larger smartphone hogging predecessors) and with a mid range price tag it will be interesting to see what consumer take up is like – but with a growing amateur vlogger market as well as some hardcore selfie lovers we expect the Osmo Pocket to be a hit. Find out what we thought in the rest of our detailed DJI Osmo Pocket review below.
Out of the Box
Despite its name we were still surprised when we saw the Osmo Pocket for the first time. It really is pocket sized and it really is light weighing in at just 116g – that’s going to be considerably lighter than most smartphones. Compare that to the Osmo Mobile 2 which weighs in at 201g plus the weight of the phone you attach and you will start to appreciate just how much more comfortable it will be to use the Osmo Pocket than its predecessor.
The Osmo Pocket measures up at 12.19cm in length by 2.86cm by 3.69cm – that includes the gimbal mounted camera! In the box you will find a cover for the Pocket, Lightning and USB Type C smartphone adapters and a power cable in addition to the main unit. The Osmo Pocket has a non-slip handle that is really comfortable to use and apparently has non-sweat properties. It is designed to be used one handed which is another huge plus in our eyes.
The Osmo Pocket will essentially bring real quality to your video and still photography. Featuring a 1/2.3 inch sensor capable of taking 12MP stills and 4K video at up to 60FPS – doing so whilst attached to a 3 axis gimbal that provides super smooth video – meaning that you will soon be shooting studio quality footage from a device held in the palm of your hand. Cinema studio quality might be a stretch, but compared to anything else on the market at an accessible price this is as good as it gets in terms of raw specs.
The 3 axis mechanical gimbal provides super smooth footage thanks to motorised support for tilting, panning and roll. You can run, bounce, wave your hands around, attach it to a bike or even an animal and the footage will remain super smooth. There is a range of shot types that you can access which we will cover in the next section.
The handheld device includes a touch screen display that allows you to preview what you are shooting. This may be a little small for the tastes of some but it is of course required to be designed in such a way as to keep the device so small. If you need a bigger screen to compose your shot then you can attach your smartphone via the included adapter (Lightning or USB-C) and this also brings with it a host of other options thanks to the brand new Mimo app.
The Mimo app is designed with simplicity in mind and feels very much like a piece of DJI software (which is a good thing). Whilst being simple to use, it is pretty powerful software that complements the Osmo Pocket perfectly. You can edit your existing videos and share them directly from your phone as well as setting up live shots to the exact specification you desire. If you want to trim, add templates, add filters or even music then you can do all of this from within the Mimo app which is intuitively easy to use.
For professionals or advanced users who want to take their photographs and videos back to the editing suite without any degradation videos can exported in D-Cinelike format and your photographs as RAW files.
The Osmo Pocket also records audio with the microphone being located near to the camera lens. We found the quality of audio to be on a par with what you might find on a smartphone so professional vloggers might want to invest in the 3.5mm attachment so they can attach an external mic.
Camera & Video Quality
For most people considering buying the Osmo Pocket this will be the area that matters the most. Whilst it is great having a beautiful looking device that fits in your pocket neatly, it is also of little use if the camera and gimbal does not live up to expectation. If the Osmo Pocket was designed and manufactured by any company other than DJI then you might have grounds to question whether this device could live up to the bold claims that it has – but being a naturally skeptical bunch here at Round Gadget we still felt it best to go in with lower expectations.
We should never have questioned the ability of DJI to deliver – and deliver they have!
The first thing to point out when it comes to the camera is that just because it is capable of 4K at 60FPS doesn’t mean you have to shoot at that level the entire time. Depending on what you intend to use your video and photography for will determine the resolution and frame rate within which you shoot but at 4K 60FPS the results are breathtaking. Images were vivid, crystal clear and the ability of the gimbal to produce super smooth results is frighteningly brilliant. Not only that, but for vloggers who might be walking and talking for an hour at a time, the Osmo Pocket is actually pretty easy to hold without it feeling too heavy.
When it comes to the camera there are multiple modes you can use. ActiveTrack is the mode that you will probably use the most and this allows you to select a person or object to track and then the rotating camera will do the rest. With an 80 degree field of view, the camera manages to easily track your intended subject and keeps them central to the shot. If you activate selfie mode then FaceTrack automatically activates so you can be sure you are always in shot – allowing you to focus on what you are saying rather than worrying about whether your shot is well composed.
You can also create stunning slow motion video at up to 120FPS in HD and this can be done easily at the touch of a button.
FPV mode is a new mode that is designed to compete with the Hero 7 as it turns the Osmo Pocket in to the perfect action camera. FPV mode ensures that the camera tracks your movements out to the front – again, all in super smooth video. Imagine you are on a rollercoaster and you are constantly taking turns from one side to another – the gimbal and camera will account for this giving a true first person view of what you are experiencing without making the viewer feel nauseous.
Motionlapse is another feature that has carried over from the Osmo Mobile 2 and is one that works incredibly well on the Osmo Pocket. You can capture hours of footage and turn it in to seconds for some truly stunning results and again is super easy to execute.
When it comes to photography the Osmo Pocket does not disappoint either. There is plenty of customization when it comes to setting up your shot and if you want to create some long exposure night time shots it can handle that pretty comfortably too. The ability to edit in RAW will be a big pull for professionals but for those looking to take stunning shots with little editing required then the Osmo Pocket is perfect for that too.
Battery life is pretty impressive for such a small unit. With just over 2 hours of continuous use the Osmo Pocket should be ample for most users however the battery is internal and can not be changed so you will be limited if you were looking for a whole day of shooting. A full re-charge takes around an hour so in theory recharging whilst on the move with a powerbank or car charger is perfectly possible.
The Osmo Pocket from DJI will suit most people but despite its small size it is probably unlikely that you will carry it everywhere with you all of the time. That being said, it is much more portable than the Osmo Mobile 2 and we do prefer it overall to the GoPro Hero 7. When it comes to transporting it you should be aware that DJI recommend you do so in the case that is included. This does add some bulk to the overall size but is not a big price to pay for the protection it offers. This means that transporting it in a bag is your best option and as it is a hard case you can be rest assured that your device is safe.
The Osmo Pocket will be an attractive option for many casual video users and photographers and provides another option for professionals who could operate the Osmo Pocket at the same time as another camera. The price tag of around $349/£329 might be off-putting for some, but for those who don’t already have a quality camera on their smartphone or who simply want a great portable all in one solution, we think the Pocket offers exceptional value.
One area that we have not yet explored and one that brings even more versatility to the Pocket is that DJI has lined up a raft of accessories that you can purchase separately. Among the most interesting of these are the extension rod (which is essentially a selfie stick), waterproof case (providing you with 60m of underwater depth) and a 3.5mm adapter to allow you to attach an external microphone for improved sound quality. The quick release base is also of interest to allow you to use your Osmo Pocket hands free without the need for a tripod.
The DJI Osmo Pocket is a welcome addition to the handheld gimbal mounted camera market and looks set to provide casual and professional photographers and videographers a great option to produce stunning content whilst on the move. It is both affordable and easy to use and is pretty much the market leader on launch.
Camera and gimbal quality are exceptional
Extremely easy to use
No need to use smartphone
Mimo app is excellent
Microphone could be better
Can’t change the battery