2019-05-16

DJI Osmo Action Review



Introducing the long rumoured DJI Osmo Action. It’s finally here and we’ve taken it out and about to test out the new action camera.



Design

So let’s get something out of the way straight away. The Osmo Action does look visually similar to a GoPro and actually, it does have a lot in common with the GoPro Hero 7 Black. With that said, the Osmo Action does bring a couple of pretty cool, new features to the action camera.

It has dual screens, so you’ve got the one on the back that you’ll be used to on things like GoPro but you’ve also got a front LCD screen which means you can always check framing and see yourself if you aren’t able to access or see the rear screen. This is actually even more useful than it sounds, if you’re attaching the camera to something that is facing you, you can still check that you’ve got everything setup properly.

Ultimately though, this is an action camera through and through and if you’ve used a GoPro before, you’ll more than likely feel right at home here. It even has the same mount so you can still use it with existing accessories.



The interface is super easy to use, it’s based pretty much entirely around touch and swiping. The touch screen on the back works perfectly and that rear screen looks great. You’ve got three buttons on the Osmo Action itself, the power and record buttons on the top and on the side you’ve got the quick switch button. This allows you to quickly switch between different modes like, video, photo, time lapse and HDR video and you can actually customise what is included in the quick switch menu.

For the front screen, you can change the aspect ratio, you can have it letterboxed or you can have it zoomed to fill with the sides cut off. It does a great job of allowing you to see your framing but otherwise the control is all at the rear.

You can also control the camera remotely through the DJI Mimo app and while it is a little basic, functionally it was all quite useful and there was minimal lag.

The camera itself is rugged, it feels like it’s built for hard use and it shows. The camera itself is waterproof not just down to 10m, DJI have turned it up to 11… 11m. That means it makes for a great travel option or adventure photography and videography.


Image Quality

In terms of video, the Osmo Action can record 4K video at up to 60 frames per second which you would probably expect from an action camera now. It can also record Full HD 1080p video at up to 240 frames per second though which gives you 8x slow motion in Full HD which is very cool. It means you can capture those awesome moments in slow motion which can give you fantastic looking footage.

On top of that, the camera can even shoot HDR video in 4K at up to 30 frames per second giving you that extra dynamic range which can look incredible.

In terms of image quality, it looks good. It suffers from some of the issues that all action cameras face but ultimately, it does look good. You’ve also got a few different colour profiles to use and I found that using D-Cinelike gives some better dynamic range. It does require some colour grading in post but the end result looks great.

For photos you can capture 12MP images in JPEG or Raw and you’ve got the time lapse functionality as well which is really nice.




Rocksteady - Image Stabilisation

One of the big features of this camera is Rocksteady. If you’re familiar with GoPro, this is essentially DJI’s version of the Hypersmooth Stabilisation and it works exceptionally well.

Rocksteady is the electronic image stabilisation in the camera and it can turn your shaky video footage into nice, smooth video. It’s able to pretty much remove the shake out of things like running or any handheld footage and give you super smooth results. It means that strapping the Osmo Action to your bike or anything like that results in very watchable footage rather than just a shake-fest. It does give you a bit of a crop but the lens is so wide already that I never felt like it mattered to me at all.

In fact, speaking of the wide lens, there is a bit of distortion here, but, you can actually fix this in camera using the ‘dewarp’ function. This adds a bit of a crop as well but again, with such a wide lens, it was never anything that I found to be problematic.

Ultimately, it’s difficult not to compare the Osmo Action to the GoPro and in particular, the GoPro Hero 7 Black. Now, these are both great action cameras and they both have their strengths but, with the dual screens, and coming out about £50 cheaper than the Hero 7 Black (at least at the time of launch), it’s a very strong entry into the action camera market by DJI and if you’re looking for a new action camera, this should definitely be one to consider.



DJI Osmo Action vs GoPro Hero7

Our handy comparison table lets you digest the key differences between the DJI Osmo Action and the GoPro Hero 7 at a glance.

Specs DJI Osmo Action - £329* GoPro Hero7 Black - £379*
Effective Pixels 12 Million 12 Million
Image sensor 1/2.3” CMOS 1/2.3” CMOS
Lens FOV: 145O f/2.8 FOV: 149O f/2.8, 170O  with SuperView
Storage media MicroSD, Max size 256gb MicroSD, Max size 128gb
Rear screen 2.25” 640x360, 325 ppi 2”, 320x480
Front screen 1.4”, 300ppi (image preview screen)Status display only
Shutter speed 120 sec to 1/8000th sec 60 sec to 1/8000th sec
Continuous shooting speed 3/5/7 fps  30fps
ISO Sensitivity 100-3200 100-3200
Waterproof without case 11 meters 10 meters
Time Lapse Yes Max 4k Yes Max 4k
Video 4K/60-24fps, 2.7k60-24fps, 1080p 240-24fps, 720p 240-200fps  4K/60-24fps, 2.7K/120-24fps, 1080p 240-24fps, 720p 240-60fps
Bitrate 100 Mbps Yes, HyperSmooth
HDR Video Yes Yes
Auto Exposure Bracketing Yes GoPro SuperPhoto
Photo formats JPEG and DNG (Raw) JPEG and .GPR (Raw)
Communication Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
Battery Life 135 mins at 1080p 30fps no EIS, 63 mins at 4k 60fps EIS on. 90 mins 1080p EIS on, 50 mins 4k 60fps EIS on.
Charge time  90 mins, via USB-C120 mins
Dimensions (W) 65 mm (H)  42mm  (D) 35mm  (W) 62.3mm × (H) 44.9mm × (D) 33mm 
Weight 124g  116g

*Price correct at time of publishing. Check here for the latest prices.

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