one of 8
This camera competes with the GoPro and does not disappoint
Large electronic image stabilization Screw-on filters Front LCD Large rear LCD, 16: 94K / 60, 1080p / 240
Stabilization and lens correction reduce sharpness The mobile application needs to improve
The Osmo Action of DJI that was talked about so much is finally here, and although its appearance is not radically different from other action cameras, it offers a couple of genuinely innovative functions within what is otherwise a rather imitative design . The front LCD screen allows you to verify your framing even if the main screen behind is obscured, a common situation when mounting the camera on a bicycle, a vehicle or a selfie stick. The replaceable cover lens makes it easy to mount polarizing or neutral density filters. The HDR video adds three steps of dynamic range.
But in essence the Osmo Action is an action camera and looks like the GoPro. For the inexperienced eye, the gray exterior could easily be confused with a Hero7. The user interface revolves around a touch screen and gestural commands that are almost a copy of those of the GoPro. Naturally, it also uses the standard GoPro mount, so it is compatible with a wide variety of accessories.
DJI's intention here was not to invent anything new. They borrowed what they could and innovated where there was room for improvement. The result is a camera that does not stand out in its class, but for only $ 349 dollars ($ 50 less than the GoPro Hero7 Black) has great potential.
HAVE YOU USED A GOPRO? THIS FEEL FAMILY
The Osmo Action is a rectangular box the size of the palm that resists water at a depth of up to 10 meters without a case. A lens protrudes in a corner of the front, and next to it is a 1.4-inch LCD screen with a 1: 1 aspect ratio. The back is dominated by a 2.25-inch touch screen with a 16: 9 aspect ratio.
The front screen is what really distinguishes the Osmo Action from the other action cameras. The attic aspect ratio is a bit odd but you can preview your shot in either format letterbox (with black bars up and down) or in full screen mode with the sides of the shot out of the frame. The quality of the screen is nothing special, but it is enough for you to achieve the frame you are looking for.
DJI did a good job imitating the best of the GoPro
The touch interface (on the rear screen) also works very well, and here DJI did a good job imitating the best of the GoPro. The user interface will immediately feel familiar to anyone who has used a GoPro Hero5 or a newer model. Swipe to the right to access the galley, down to the control center, to the left for configuration and exposure options, and up to reveal the resolution and frame rate settings.
The camera can also be controlled remotely with the DJI Mimo application. We tested the beta version and, at least for now, it is an area in which the GoPro leaves DJI behind, as this lacks improvements in the way of displaying and navigating the functions, and some informative cones are too small. The electronic image stabilization in the camera is called RockSteady; In the application it is simply EIS. This can be confusing. And something strange is that there is no way to see the shots if you hold the phone in portrait orientation the preview of the video only appears in landscape mode.
Screw-in filters are a nice touch. The clear filter that comes by default can be removed by hand to mount a neutral density filter in seconds. DIJ informs us that there will also be polarizing and submarine filters available, and that the mount is not exclusive, so there will be no problem to use filters from other manufacturers.
SPECIFICATIONS AND VIDEO QUALITY
The Osmo Action can record 4K video at up to 60 frames per second. There is Full HD video of up to 240 frames per second for the 8x slow motion, and the camera can even record HDR video in 4K / 30. The most important function is RockSteady electronic image stabilization (although it is not compatible with HDR mode). RockSteady takes a shaky scene and transforms it into a smooth and fluid video.
The lens produces a lot of distortion, which fortunately can be corrected in the camera by activating the Dewarp function, which cuts the image a little, although the lens is so wide anyway that it won't have to matter.
The lens produces a lot of distortion, which fortunately can be corrected in the camera
Stabilization with RockSteady also causes a cut; With RockSteady and Dewarp active, the picture experiences a dramatic approach when compared to the uncorrected or stabilized version. Activating these functions is probably worth it, but that cut brings a second consequence in addition to the loss of viewing angle. Subtract sharpness to images. That 4K resolution is no longer 4K.
The reality is that these are some of the same challenges that all action cameras face, and when the video is played on a phone or other small screen you will not notice the lack of details. Just don't expect an impeccable image if you see your adventures on a 65-inch 4K TV.
THE END OF THE GOPRO?
The $ 349 dollar Osmo Action is an excellent first attempt for DJI, but is it a huge step beyond the GoPro Hero7 Black? For most people, probably not. Image quality is simply acceptable, and stabilization is certainly very good, but it is not likely to be better than what we have already seen.
GoPro maintains a slight advantage in the area of the user interface, and a much greater one with its mobile application. GoPro has worked hard on its Plus membership program, which provides its customers with additional benefits such as unlimited cloud storage and accessory discounts.
Where the Osmo Action excels is in its rear monitor with wide aspect ratio that looks surprisingly better than the Hero7 and its easy-to-use screw-in filters. The front display, despite not being something that people need frequently, also helps to differentiate this from the pile of similar action cameras. In general, this is a very capable action camera, although we wish the Mimo application was better.