DJI Osmo Action

DJI has announced the Osmo Action, a direct competitor to GoPro’s HERO 7.

DJI Osmo Action

The Osmo Action can shoot at up to 4K UHD 60p and at up to 240fps in HD. It has an f/2.8 camera with a 145° field of view, and just like the latest GoPro cameras, it’s waterproof. Is this all starting to sound a little familiar?

Key features

  • 1/2.3′′ 12MP CMOS Image Sensor – (probably a Sony IMX377)
  • Ambarella H2 image processor
  • Electronic image stabilization
  • Front and back screens
  • FOV: 145°
  • f2.8 lens
  • 4K60p
  • 2.7K, HD
  • 8x HD slow motion
  • HDR and automatic time-lapse photography
  • Single, AEB continuous shooting, countdown shooting, multiple continuous shooting, and interval shooting

Meet the Osmo Action

DJI Osmo Action

Probably the most unique thing about the Osmo action is that it has a 5.7 cm touchscreen on the back (640 x 360 pixels), as well as a 1.4″ (3.56 cm) 320 x 320 screen on the front. The back screen has a claimed brightness of 750 nits, which should make it easier to see in bright conditions outdoors.

According to DJI the front screen is only for viewing, it doesn’t do touchscreen camera control.

DJI Osmo Action

DJI have designed the camera to be easy to use and operate, and by adding screens on both the front and the back it could make for an interesting Vlogger camera.

Weight wise it is pretty comparable to a GoPro HERO 7 Black. There is really only so much you can do with an action camera as the sensors for just about every single available brand and option come from Sony.

In a nice touch DJI has designed the Osmo Action so you can attach filters to the front of the lens.

Build quality

DJI Osmo Action

DJI claims that the Osmo Action is robust and reliable and it is waterproof to depths of 11 meters. Just like the GoPro HERO 7 it doesn’t require a waterproof case.

DJI Osmo Action

DJI says that the Osmo Action uses waterproof seals and a water-repellent coating on the touch screen.

DJI claims that the camera is durable enough to withstand drops from 5′ and can be submerged down to 36′ in water without a case for up to 30 minutes.

Lens

Screen Shot 2019 05 15 at 9 56 21 PM

The Osmo Action uses a fixed f2.8 aperture lens that features three aspherical lenses that effectively prevent distortion and are claimed to provide a crystal clear image. The field of view is 145°.

There is a lens cap that removes dirt and liquids and protects against fingerprints.

Optional Neutral Density (ND), Polarizer, and underwater filters, as well as ND filters (ND4, ND8, ND16, and ND32) are available.

Video features

DJI Osmo Action

As I already mentioned the camera is capable of shooting at up to 4K UHD at up to 60p at 100Mb/s. It can also shoot in HD at up to 240fps. As well as 4K UHD, it can also record in 2.7K, 1080 and 720p.

There is also a HDR mode, but this can only be used at frame rates of up to 30p in 4K UHD.

Just like the Osmo Pocket you have the ability to switch between Auto and Manual modes. In Manual mode you have full control over ISO, shutter speed etc.

Recording formats & resolutions

Resolutions & Frame Rates

4K UHD(16: 9) – 24, 25,30,48, 50, 60 fps
4K UHD(4: 3) – 24, 25, 30 fps
2.7K(16: 9) – 24 , 25, 30, 48, 50, 60 fps
2.7K(4: 3) – 24, 25, 30 fps
1080 HD24, 25, 30, 48, 50, 60, 100, 120, 200, 240 fps
720P200, 240 fps

The Osmo Action records in MOV, MP4 (H.264) at up to 100 Mb/s (in 4K UHD 60P) to microSD/SDXC/SDHC cards.

It is a little disappointing to see that DJI hasn’t chosen to make H.265 recording available. The GoPro HERO 7 Black can record in H.265.

D-Cinelike

There is no D-Log available on the Osmo Action, but there is D-Cinelike. D-Cinelike is designed to capture a wide dynamic range from the sensor, and colors are distributed evenly so the dark part of a picture is greatly improved. It is not a real LUT, but a lower-contrast video with a flat color profile, great for post-processing options.

Stabilization

DJI Osmo Action

The camera uses electronic stabilization. DJI has years of experience in video stabilization so you would expect it to be pretty good on the Osmo Action.

Osmo Action uses what DJI refers to as RockSteady technology to stabilize footage. This EIS technology is realized by increasing the shutter speed, analyzing the images captured by the CMOS sensor, and compensating by cutting off the edges of these images. In this way, multiple frames are overlaid and finally combined into a single frame that is sharp, clear, and accurately exposed.

You cannot use HDR and RockSteady simultaneously. EIS can be enabled in all video modes except in slow-motion, hyperlapse, or time-lapse mode.

Not being able to use the HDR mode with the stabilization is a massive mistake by DJI, although in saying that, there may be a technical reason as to why this can’t be done.

The stabilization can be turned on or off depending on your requirements. Using the Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS) technology in standard record modes will mean an 18-22% crop factor.

Additional Features

DJI Osmo Action

The Osmo Action has a couple of other interesting features such as SnapShot, a QS button, Custom Exposure Control, Timelapse, Interval Recording, and Custom Mode.

DJI Osmo Action

Snapshot is designed for those times when you want to record something spontaneously. The way it works is that you just hold down the record button and the camera will start recording in less than two seconds. Pressing the record button in sleep mode and when the power is off allows you to start preset recording modes.

With Custom Exposure Control you can take long exposures of up to 120 seconds, which is perfect for shooting timelapses at night.

DJI Osmo Action

The QS button (Quick Switch) lets you quickly change through the various modes without having to go into a menu. It also lets you switch between the various screen modes quickly.

DJI Osmo Action

The Custom Mode lets you save your favourite camera settings so you can recall them quickly.

The camera has both built-in WiFi and Bluetooth, as well as a USB-C port.

Power

The Osmo Action uses a removable battery that will let the camera record for up to 135 minutes in 1080p 30p (stabilization disabled), and 63 minutes in 4K 60p (stabilization enabled).

The battery takes 1.5 Hours to fully charge.

In a nice touch, you can use a separately available fast-charging adapter to charge the battery up to 70% in 30 minutes.

Can you attach a microphone?

DJI Osmo Action

Yes. You can connect Osmo Action with a third-party microphone through the USB-C port by the 3.5mm adapter.

The Osmo Action also has dual microphones and dual speakers.

DJI Mimo App

Screen Shot 2019 05 15 at 10 05 54 PM

You can use DJI’s Mimo App to transfer footage to your smartphone or tablet for instant sharing. Just like the Osmo Pocket you can use your smartphone or tablet to see a live picture from the camera. However, unlike the Osmo Pocket, you can’t control the Osmo Action through the app.

Innovation or just another action camera?

The Osmo Action already enters a very crowded action camera market, and based on the camera’s features and specifications, the question needs to be asked. Would you buy this over a GoPro HERO 7 Black?

There are certainly some nice features on the Osmo Action, but the image quality is bound to be very similar if not the same as a GoPro HERO 7 Black.

DJI had a chance to redefine what you should expect from an action camera, but instead, the Osmo Action looks to be very similar to a GoPro in a lot of ways. This is not to say that the Osmo Action is an exact copy of a GoPro, because it’s not, but where is the innovation? In my opinion, DJI could have taken a lot more of their existing technology and made a better action camera that blew the GoPro out of the water, but instead, they settled on creating something that is very similar.

Maybe I am being a bit harsh, but I think for the majority of serious professionals who use action cameras would prefer better recording codecs and image quality over anything else.

Screen Shot 2019 05 11 at 9 42 57 AM
GoPro HERO 7 Black

The GoPro HERO 7 Black has been out for 7 months and GoPro has a long history with making action cameras. They also have a huge social media following and the name GoPro is synonymous with action cameras.

Screen Shot 2019 05 11 at 10 04 28 AM
GoPro Karma

Ironically it’s now DJI trying their hand at toppling the action camera kings. It wasn’t that long ago that GoPro decided to aggressively go after DJI with their badly conceived and named Karma drone.

Some how I think the Osmo Action will be more successful than the Karma!

Osmo Action & GoPro HERO 7 Black Comparison

DJI Osmo ActionGoPro HERO 7 Black
Sensor: 1/2.3′′ 12MP CMOS Image SensorSensor: 1/2.3′′ 12MP CMOS Image Sensor
Max video resolution: 4K 60pMax video resolution: 4K 60p
Slow Motion: up to 240fps in HDSlow Motion: up to 240fps in HD
Max Bitrate: 100Mb/s in 4K 60p MOV, MP4 (H.264)Max Bitrate: 78 Mb/s MP4 via H.264 or H.265
Vertical Shooting: YesVertical Shooting: Yes
Still photos: 12-megapixel (HDR)Still photos: 12-megapixel (HDR)
Waterproof: Up to 11 metersWaterproof: Up to 10 metres
Removable battery: YesRemovable battery: Yes
Special features: Timelapse, Interval Shooting, BluetoothSpecial features: Hypersmooth, TimeWarp, Live streaming, Voice control
Wi-Fi: YesWi-Fi: Yes
Built-In Mic: YesBuilt-In Mic: Yes
Image Stabilization: ElectronicImage Stabilization: Digital
Recording Media:1 x microSD (256 GB Maximum)Recording Media: 1 x microSD (256 GB Maximum)
Weight: 4.37 oz /124gWeight: 4.13 oz / 117 g
Price: $349 USDPrice: $399 USD

Optional Extras Available

There will be a whole ecosystem of accessories available for the Osmo Action, but unfortunately, just like the Osmo Pocket, a lot of them are not available at launch.

I’m not sure why DJI does this. Launch a product and then even after months you still can’t buy key accessories.

The good news is that most of your GoPro accessories will work with the Osmo Action.

  • Camera Frame Kit: Included with Osmo Action, the Camera Frame Kit offers a universal mount for additional accessories and a window for the LED indicator to show camera status in real time while protecting the device.
  • Adhesive Mounts: Attach Osmo Action to flat or curved surfaces including skateboards, bikes, helmets, and more to capture fast-paced moments. Both the curved and flat adhesive mounts are included with Osmo Action.
  • Waterproof Case: The waterproof case protects the device at depths down to 60 meters while providing a clear image using high-strength glass.
  • 3.5mm Adapter: The 3.5mm adapter offers users the ability to connect an external mic for professional sound recording.
  • Extension Rod: Capture unique angles using the Extension Rod, which features a rotatable phone holder and a ¼-inch screw adapter.
  • Floating Handle: The Floating Handle offers a comfortable grip for Osmo Action and keeps it floating when shooting in water.
  • Filters: Neutral Density (ND), Polarizer, and underwater filters. ND filters (ND4, ND8, ND16, and ND32) reduce light exposure in various environments, while Polarizer filters reduce reflections and increase color saturation for a more appealing image. Orange Seawater and Purple Freshwater filters restore the natural color of underwater scenes.
  • Charging Hub: Charge up to three batteries simultaneously in less than 130 minutes.

Price & Availability

DJI Osmo Action

The DJI Osmo Action comes with camera, camera frame, flat adhesive attachment, curved adhesive attachment, quick release base, battery, rechargeable battery housing, locking screw, and a USB-C cable.

It will retail for $349 USD. It will be available from May 17th.

Trade-up Program

Available in the United States, the DJI trade-up program offers customers the ability to trade in their current action cameras or other technology and receive additional credit towards the purchase of Osmo Action. Beginning May 15, 2019 at 9am EDT and ending June 15, 2019, customers can receive up to 20% additional DJI credit of the trade-in value of their action camera or up to 10% additional DJI credit of the trade-in value of other technology including tablets, cell phones and drones. For more information, please visit: https://store.dji.com/pages/recycle.

What do you think about the DJI Osmo Action? Does it offer enough for you to consider it over a GoPro? Are you disappointed or excited by this announcement? Let us know in the comments section below.

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