Review of DJI OSMO: A blessing for bringing handheld stabilized camera technology to amateurs
This Chinese company is known for its camera-equipped aerial drones but gradually DJI has come to be known for its camera stabilization technology. One of its most popular offerings is the DJI Osmo – a handheld stabilized camera – which is now being used by a lot of independent filmmakers, vloggers and ad film producers.
This ingenuous camera device comes as a blessing for those who don’t have a huge budget but without compromising on the quality of the video footage. At the price point of around Rs 60000, the DJI Osmo cannot be termed cheap.
However, when we take into consideration all the possibilities with the Osmo, there isn’t another comparable similar device in the market. With no competition, at the moment, the unrivaled Osmo is the more affordable technology when it comes to shooting stable hand-held camera videos. The Zenmuse X3 camera, with three-axis gimbal combination, shoots 4k video.
Smartphone can be mounted on the optional cradle to be used as a viewfinder and watch videos shot using the Osmo. The best thing about the device is its design and the fact that it’s lightweight even after you mount a smartphone on the device, making it very handy and easy to use. The gross weight of the device is 538 grams with the phone holder.
There is a memory card slot on the gimbal which supports a maximum of 64 GB storage. A 16 GB card comes with the Osmo which can help shoot around 30 minutes of 4K video at 25fps or 40 minutes of 1080p at 50fps. However, battery backup also needs to be taken into consideration in this. The user can also shoot 12 megapixel still images and the camera does a great job of clicking in panorama mode.
The top of device consists of the motorised gimbal and the X3 camera which is fan cooled. If you want a camera with better specs, you may swap it for the X5 and X5R cameras. These offer higher resolutions. There is an option to add Micro Four Thirds sensor and lens mounts. Although the X3 is the base camera in DJI’s range but it shoots exceptional quality footage.
The DJI Osmo can be used to shoot in two 4K formats:
4096 x 2160 at 24/25fps
3840 x 2160 at 24/25/30fps
And also in two Full HD formats:
1920 x 1080 at 24/25/30/48/50/60/120fps
1280 x 720 at 24/25/30/48/50/60fps
It is advisable to use a recording device by plugging it into the 3.5mm microphone input jack if you want to use the video for any professional purpose. If you want to record high quality live audio, then it’s suggested to use a plug-in microphone because the Osmo’s built-in mic picks up the sounds of the gimbal motor.
Narada News used the camera and found that no matter whether you are walking or panning, the camera remains level resolutely where you want it to be and the video comes out without any shakes or disturbances of any sorts just like shot on a camera on rails. Operating the gimbal camera is easy. Double tapping the button re-centres and levels the camera.
If you want to take a selfie, all you have to do is triple tap and the camera rotates 180 degrees to selfie mode. The analogue joystick is operated using the thumb and controls the camera movement. The design of the device is impressive with all action buttons within the reach of the thumb of the individual holding the device. The other hand is free to control the DJI app on the smartphone mounted on the device if there is any need to use extra features like changing settings and viewing what you are shooting. Unfortunately, colour and saturation can not be changed. The smartphone app has a pleasant UI and is easy to use.
What works for the DJI Osmo are portability, usability, quality and ease of use. You don’t need to be a professional having expertise to set up the device but you can simply take out the Osmo from the travel case and start using it; it requires no setup once it is connected with the smartphone using Wi-Fi.
Well, there are some cons as well. The battery life could be better, the focus distance of minimum 1.5 mt is a bit too much. The camera has no zoom feature and the design does not support tripod use. Low light videos are not as impressive and footage is a bit noisy. Also, the design of the device is for right-handed users while left-handed users might find it a bit inconvenient to use the Osmo with the smartphone holder on the left side. But all in all, the device is a blessing for amateurs as the device is a quality product and formidable cheap alternative to bulky, complicated to use options available in the market.