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DJI Osmo Pocket Review

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DJI is best known for its camera drones, but it also has the Osmo range of handheld gimbal stabilizers for land-based videography and photography with smartphones and cameras of all sizes. The DJI Osmo Pocket does something different, as it doesn’t use your existing digital camera, it has its own action camera built-in.

The Osmo Pocket combines a three-axis mechanical gimbal, with a 12MP camera built around a 1/2.3-inch sensor and a small touchscreen. That’s all contained within a unit that measures 121.9 x 28.6 x 36.9mm and weighs 116g. It fits nicely in the palm of your hand and is perfect for slipping into your pocket.

The camera has a focal length equivalent to 26mm, a field of view of 80 degrees and an f/2.0 aperture. It can shoot 4K (3,840 x 2,160) footage at 60fps and 100Mbps, Full HD footage can be recorded at up to 120p for slow-motion playback.

Although the Osmo Pocket can be used as a standalone device, DJI supplies both Lightning and USB-C connectors in the box. These enable an iPhone or Android smartphone to be connected directly and the camera and gimbal controlled via the free DJI Mimo app.

It also means you get a larger view of the scene you’re shooting. We found the connection to an iPhone 7 secure enough for all one-handed shooting, but some larger phones may require support from a second hand.

It doesn’t take long to find your way around the Pocket’s controls whether you’re using it via the smartphone app or its own touchscreen. There’s also a collection of helpful modes such as 180 or 3×3 Panorama, Timelapse, Motionlapse, Auto video and Slow Motion video.

DJI’s ActiveTrack is also on hand and it’s very useful for ensuring your subject is in the centre of the frame. If you’re using a phone you drag a box over your subject to select it; if you’re shooting with just the Pocket, simply tap on the subject on the screen. We mainly used the following settings, but First-Person View (FPV) is useful when you want the camera to move with you, smoothing out shake and wobble.

The results are impressive, enabling you to capture smooth, high-quality video and sharp images.

Specifications

  • 25.7mm (equiv) F2 lens (80 degrees FOV)
  • 1/2.3″ CMOS sensor
  • 12MP resolution
  • 4K Ultra HD video: 3840 x 2160 24/25/30/48/50/60p,
  • FHD: 1920×1080 24/25/30/48/50/60/120p
  • ISO 100-3200
  • Built-in gimbal
  • Weight: 116g / 4oz
  • Dimensions: 121.9 x 36.9 x 28.6 mm
  • MicroSD slot up to 256GB
  • LiPo 875 mAH 6.738 Wh battery, 140 mins operating time when shooting 1080p/30 fps video
  • 48 KHz AAC audio output

Video

The biggest draw of the Osmo Pocket is its ability to shoot stabilized 4K video footage at 30 or 60 fps. It can also shoot slow-motion 1080p at 120 fps. It’s similar to the quality of the footage that you will get from one of DJI’s drones and the most recent smartphones.

The camera has an ISO range of 100-3200 and a lens with an aperture of F2, and for best results, you are going to want to use the Osmo Pocket in sunny conditions. The camera stabilization of the Osmo Pocket is really its most impressive feature. It’s easier to use than larger stabilizers and seems to be just as reliable, likely because the stabilization tech inside was initially created for keeping the cameras attached to drones stable. The moment you turn the Osmo Pocket on the digital camera rotates into place to begin tracking whatever might be in front of it. As you move the gimbal moves with you to create impressively smooth footage.

Although the pre-amps inside the Osmo Wallet aren’t the best, the camera did do a decent job picking up sound. You will notice that the clips from a very loud live show have an audio high quality similar to what you might get when recording with a smartphone.

Images

If you are looking to shoot stills with the Osmo Pocket you should expect files that look similar to what you will get from your smartphone. Files top out at 12MP and the camera performs best when shooting in bright conditions. The 1/2.3″ CMOS sensor and the F2 lens are very much like those found on standard smartphones and you can expect the images to look about the same.

Unfortunately, the Osmo Pocket seems to have trouble keeping up with fast-moving subjects when capturing stills. I noticed a lot of unintentional image blur while using it. One thing worth noting is the ease with which you can swap between photo and video modes on that touchscreen – which isn’t always a good thing. On more than one occasion I found that I’d unintentionally switched the Osmo Pocket into photo mode when I meant to be in video mode.

Verdict

The DJI Osmo Pocket puts video stabilization in the palm of your hand, with a small camera that smooths out your footage thanks to a 3-axis gimbal. It’s pocketable, like the name suggests, and doesn’t hog your smartphone, just like the larger DJI Osmo Mobile 2. The fluid 4K resolution is ideal for anyone who uploads to YouTube, yet hates the idea of being shackled to professional-sized camera stabilization equipment. It’s not as durable as a GoPro and its microphone isn’t the best, but our testing proved that it’s the real ‘hero’ of smooth video and video transfer speeds.

Check DJI Osmo Pocket Price and Bundles 

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