DJI Osmo Mobile 2 review

The DJI Osmo Mobile 2 is the popular drone company’s most refined gimbal for smartphone cameras yet, so much so that it could take camera stabilizers, which up until now have been a niche accessory, mainstream.

Design

Osmo Mobile 2 is a big upgrade in design. It’s made of high-strength nylon, which is lighter than the plastic and magnesium base of the previous gimbal. DJI has also modified the handle to be more ergonomic in your hand, making it more comfortable for long recording sessions.

On the bottom is a standard 1/4-inch thread for easily popping this thing on a camera tripod or other compatible accessory. DJI also sells a base, a tripod and an extension rod to give you more versatility, to name a few peripherals. You can basically accessorize your Osmo stabilizer almost as much as you can a GoPro Hero 6.

Use Snapchat? Not anymore? Okay, how about Instagram Stories? Well, then you’re in luck. DJI has built the Osmo Mobile 2 with the ‘Stories’ generation in mind, as you can keep the phone locked to portrait-orientation mode through the gimbal holder. However, this has to be done physically, by turning a knob on the back (and you’re supposed to take off your smartphone each time). Sadly, there’s no on-the-fly button to change between the two orientation modes. Everything else about the DJI Osmo Cell phone 2 is simpler thanks to the fact that there are fewer needless controls – some buttons double-up on functions, like the power switch and the mode-switching button. There are a dedicated record key and a thumb pad for smooth pans, and you’ll find a new physical zoom switch on the side of the gimbal wand for zeroing in on tighter shots.

Perhaps the most welcome refinement to the Osmo Mobile 2’s design is its new spring-loaded clamp, which enables you to easily swap out phones of all sizes without having to fiddle with screws every time. You don’t have to worry about your cell phone shaking loose, either – this clamp will hold on for dear life. It worked with all of the current phones we tested with it: the iPhone X, iPhone 8, Google Pixel 2 and Samsung Galaxy Note 8.

Admittedly, we’d have liked some room on the gimbal to point a mic – the Osmo Mobile 2’s design doesn’t really allow for the placement of a cold-shoe mount, which would have been a welcome addition for budding filmmakers and vloggers seeking both video stabilization and clean audio when outdoors.

Video samples

Using the iPhone X we were able to achieve smoother-than-normal video while hurriedly walking outside and around the CES 2018 tech show in Las Vegas – not trying to do anything particularly flashy. With more practice and pacing, you can get even better results.

At the bottom, you’ll find a video in which we practised some speed walking through a hallway to see how well the gimbal held up – pretty well as it turns out, especially when you consider that we were almost running in this instance.

You may notice micro-shakes even in the best conditions, and that’s dependent on your smartphone. Sometimes the gimbal and the phone’s optical image stabilization (OIS) battle each other (the phone camera’s onboard OIS detects movement and tries to compensate). Turning off OIS is one solution, but sadly that’s not an option on some phones, like the iPhone.

Verdict

The DJI Osmo Mobile 2 is better than the original in every way – price, weight, smart stabilization controls, battery life and adapting to the Stories portrait-mode generation. It’s so much of an improvement, and such a drop in price, that it’s a rare case where we’d recommend upgrading even if you have the original model.

Check DJI Osmo Mobile 2 Price and Bundles 

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