Another New Budget Drone From DJI

DJI has released yet another drone, this time a cut down version of the Mini 3 Pro.

So, what do you get for your AUD$829?

Well, you get the base Mini 3 drone and the standard controller. The Mini 3 weighs in under the magical (and somewhat mythical in Australia *) 249 grams and impressive is DJI rating the Mini 3 at being operable in winds up to 38kph, which is right up there with the bigger and heavier (595g) Air2S I own.

If you run the standard battery, you’ll get around 38 minutes of flying time, but the “Intelligent Flight Battery Plus” is said to boost that to 51 minutes.

The Mini 3’s camera has a 1 1/3” CMOS sensor with dual native ISO and chip level HDR technology – which basically means better and more accurate imaging no matter the light levels. There is also a 4X zoom built in.

If you are heavily into social media imagery, you’ll also be pleased to know the Mini 3 can shoot horizontally and vertically by the way. This has been achieved by clever gimbal technology apparently.

The usual Quickshots – Dronie, Circle, Helix, Rocket and Boomerang are all there and the Quick Transfer system allows you to send the results of your shoot to your smartphone or tablet for saving and sharing.

The digital video range is 10km – a bit of a moot point in Australia if you stay within CASA regs and restrain from flying out of visual range.

What don’t you get?

Importantly, especially for the beginner, the only sensor on the Mini 3 is the downward facing one, used for landing. So, trees and the like, if they get in the way, will win every time. Because of this I very much suggest if you decide to get a Mini 3, get the prop guard system with it. At least you’ll have a modicum of protection, although in a full speed wallop, I wouldn’t be holding my breath.

For that, also recommend the DJI Care system in the early stages at least too. This way if something does go awry, at least you get a replacement for a minimal cost.

In short, the improvements over the Mini 2 are primarily imaging based and a better flying time due to improved battery technology.

If you spend a further $190, you can also get the upgraded remote controller, the DJI RC-N1 which gives you an-controller screen which I also recommend, instead of using a smartphone or tablet.

Or if you upgrade to the Mini 3 Fly More combo (AUD1378), you get the drone, standard controller, 3 Intelligent Flight batteries, charging hub, shoulder bag, spare props and other goodies.

For more info, see


Review: GoPro Hero 11 Black

If you line up a GoPro 9, 10 and 11 side by side, I challenge anyone to see an immediate difference, because as far as I can tell, there isn’t one.

Resolution and Other Techie Stuff

But under the bonnet, things are very different. The biggest single change is the new sensor which has grown in size to 1/1.9 inches and now has available an 8:7 aspect ratio for shooting, and ups the ante for resolution increasing to 27.13MP up from 23MP.

Now of course this aspect ratio means you can shoot almost square still images in high resolution, but there is another bigger benefit if you are a TikTok’er YouTube’er or Instagram’er. If you shoot video at 8:7, you have the option to crop in editing to 1:1, 4:3, 16:9 or even 9:16 for these platforms. If you use the GoPro Quik app, these presets are already there (assuming you don’t mind smartphone editing of course). It also means you can shoot stabilised 4:3 video with a Superview (GoPro’s widest lens setting).

Another change is you can now shoot 5.3K and 4K at 120Mbps bit rate, an increase of 20% over the Hero 10.

And with the Hero 11, GoPro has opted to go the 10bit colour rate for the very first time. If that is pure gobbledygook to you it simply relates to the number of colours the camera can record, in this case it is 1billion, up from the 16.7 million of the Hero 10.

This means that in shots of the sky with a brilliant sunset say, the gradient between the colours will be considerably smoother and colour definition overall much better.


Also scoring a makeover is GoPro’s already impressive stabilisation I mentioned earlier. There is a new mode they call AutoBoost which basically means the camera has ‘smarts’ and can detect any shake automatically and switch on the Hypersmooth system.

Shot on GoPro Hero 11 Black in  Supervidei 2.7K Handheld

In conjunction with the stabilisation, like the Hero 10, the Hero 11 has a horizon lock system which basically means as the camera is taken off the horizontal plane (tilted) it will keep the horizon straight in the image. The Hero 10 allowed this up to 27° but the 11 covers a full 360° which means there is a hell of a lot of image processing going on in that sensor which is very impressive indeed.

The other big difference here is that the Hero 11 does all this out of the box whereas the Hero 10 needs the Max Lens Mod.

There is a minor limitation though, in that the maximum frame rate / aspect ratio pair when running at 5.3K is 30fps and 16:9. If you need a faster frame rate, you need to drop the resolution to 4K.

Showing the Horizon Lock

New Imaging Modes

There are three new imaging modes built in: Light Painting, Vehicle Light Trails and Star Trails.

An example of Light Painting is being in a dark room and waving a torch about. The camera shutter will stay open, and the Hero 11 creates a short video clip giving the impression of electronic brush strokes created by the light. Vehicle Lights Trails are similar but used to create the same thing from the lights of moving vehicles. Finally, Star Trails creates star lines caused by an open shutter and the rotation of the Earth.


Sometime back GoPro launched the Enduro battery as an option, but now it ships with the Hero 11. This is said to give you up to 80 minutes of shooting time. GoPro says the Enduro is more efficient when the camera is in “idle” mode.

The Enduro battery is also said to be more efficient in extreme cold.


If you are one of those that just want the minimum off fuss to get your stills or video, the Hero 11 now has two modes, Easy Mode and Pro Mode.

Easy Mode simply gives you less options to choose from, letting you basically point and shoot. If you switch to Pro Mode, you get access to all functions and settings of the camera to tweak and experiment to your heart’s content.

The Downside

All these new features are of course very welcome, but there a few things most users wish GoPro would address. The biggest of these by reading through various Facebook Groups is an overheating issue which many say has been a curse since the GoPro Hero 8. I have an 8, 9 and 10 and have never had this issue personally. A number of observers have suggested a lot of people have every function turned in the camera – many of them superfluous to the current operation – and this will not only cause overheating but also minimise battery life, so this is worth checking.

Another solution, and one I often employ, is to remove the battery altogether and use a PowerBank connected via the USB-C. The drawback to this is of course you’ll lose the full portability, but if you have a GoPro mounted on a car, boat, trailbike etc it is a worthwhile option. You need to remove the battery door, sure, but GoPro do also sell a “pass through” door for this very purpose.

The second gripe is the low light usability. There was hope the larger sensor might have knocked this issue on the head but sadly not. Again of course GoPro do make an add on option, the Light Mod, but this needs a shoe to sit in. The easiest way to get this is via the Media Mod (which I have on my 9 and 10 permanently). Why? Because I prefer to have external audio from a Sennheiser MKE200 as against the on-board mics or the mic in the m Media Mod.

I can also use the Hollyland Lark C1 if the situation calls for wireless mic capability.


The GoPro Hero 11 retails at $549.98, but much to many dealer’s chagrin I’d venture, you can buy through the GoPro online store with a “subscription” and save $200.

The subscription model offers a few extras, the most notable being automatic Unlimited Cloud Storage. Also included is the GoPro Quik app getting some extra features such as the Speed Tool for slo-mo effects, filters for snow and water and some themes and original music to add to your videos.

You also get offered discounts on GoPro accessories purchased from the site.


The GoPro is without question the de-facto “standard” in action cameras. I wrote a few years back that many others – Nikon, Canon, Sony included – tried to muscle in on the market but none really took off (despite the Sony offerings being very, very good).

DJI is still hanging in there of course, although with the Action 2, I feel they went slightly off the rails and thus brought out the Action 3 which is more conformist, and is in some ways, I think, superior to the GoPro.

But if it’s an action camera you want, then the Hero 11 has all the things you need with the caveat of the low light and potential overheating issues.

But I have to say at this point, a GoPro is not designed as a “Swiss Knife” camera. There are some things it is just not designed for. I have seen users ask questions about using the GoPro for wedding photography for example …

I suggest a good maxim is the one used by a popular outdoor store. The GoPro is for “BCF-ing fun!”

You can get more information from the GoPro website at

DJI Pocket 2 Accessories

Last issue I mentioned why the Pocket 2 camera from DJI was a better for me in many of the things I do as against the GoPro Hero 10.

That probably needs some expanding (for those that are interested), so apart from the gimbal system – which is THE major feature, allied with Active Track – what other things appeal to me more?

Some of the accessories I have obtained over the years take the Pocket 2 from being what it is out of the box – which is still damned good as it is – to a regular little marvel. Something I would have expected perhaps to see on Star Trek or Dr Who in the 70s.


First and foremost is the Do-It-All Handle that I mentioned in the comparison article.

This is like a Swiss Army Knife in a sense with, as the name suggests, it has a whole bunch of accessories in one small unit. The least obvious, but actually useful, is that it extends the length of the Pocket 2 giving to me at least, a better feel and flexibility in handling. Second, as it contains both Wi-fi and Bluetooth modules, you can use it with Bluetooth headphones and wireless microphones.

There is a built-in speaker so when you play back your footage, you can hear the audio. Additionally there is a 3.5mm audio port so you can plug standard headphones in too.

Finally, a ¼” thread lets you attach the Pocket 2 to a standard tripod mount.

If there is one drawback, it is that …

Charging Case

… to put the Pocket 2 into the charging case, you must remove the Do-It-All Handle. But the positives outweigh the negatives really, as with this, you can recharge your Pocket 2 while on the road. In fact it will give you an extra 4-hours of charge.

The Charging Case also allows storage of a pair of microSD cards, up to m4 ND filters and two smartphone adaptors (1for iPhone and 1 for Android say) all in a rugged case that protects the Pockets 2 from damage. It has a USB-C port so can be easily topped in the car or from a power bank.

Phone Clip

The Pocket 2 is unique in that with a smartphone adaptor, it can connect directly to your smartphone’s USB-C or Lightning port. That is, no cables needed. But this can be a little unwieldy.

If you have the Phone Clip, you rest your phone inside this which clamps it securely and gives you much more stability. The Phone Clip also gives you a ¼” tripod mount.

Mini Control Stick

If you are not using the phone adaptor, this instead slides into that port and gives you direct physical control over the camera’s gimbal camera rotation / direction / tilt / pan and zoom capability.  

It also lets you switch between the various gimbal modes and is very responsive in operation.

Wireless Microphone Transmitter,

Now this little gizmo has not one but two party tricks. In conjunction with the Do-It-All-Handle, you can plug a standard microphone with a 3.5mm connection into it and transmit audio straight to the Pocket 2. But it is also a wireless mic in its own right too!

Additionally, it can act as a remote shutter release.

Wide Angle Lens

This is one item I don’t have but am seriously thinking about. The DJI Pocket 2 Wide Angle Lens increases the equivalent focal length to 15mm, upping the field of view for the Pocket 2 to 110°. It is simple to attach (it uses magnetism) and will even store in the Pocket 2 cover.

So is there anything else I’d add? Yes. And I have them on order now.

ND Filters

I learnt of the usefulness of ND filters some years back and now all of my cameras and drones have a set – except the Pocket 2!

So what does an ND filter do? For that, I’ll point you to a tutorial I wrote some back at but in short, they are used to control light.

One of the most common images you will see when you can be pretty sure an ND filter has been used is a water shot – surf, waterfall, stream over rocks etc – where you get that beautiful blurry motion of the water. An ND filter allows you to keep the shutter open longer but not let so much light in your image is overexposed.


A mini tripod is also a great thing to keep in the camera bag and many manufacturers make great ones for use with the Pocket 2. I use one from Manfrotto that came with my Sennheiser MKE400 Mobile Connector Vlogging kit and the Phone clip works brilliantly with it.



I find that in the camera / video business, accessories are like lures for fisherman. It’s easy to get caught out and buy stuff you’d like but probably never use. There are many more things I would like to have, but what I have suggested here covers just about all bets.

The only thing I haven’t covered is an underwater housing (there is one available but I doubt I’d use it) and a really secure car mount.

I haven’t had the need as yet to bolt my Pocket 2 to the exterior of my Monaro, but if I ever did, I’d use the Do-It-All-Handle with my suction mount from CamerGrip that I have had for many years (and these I am led to believe are used by the boys from Top Gear / The Grand Tour.

Finally, don’t forget to download and install the DJI MIMO app as this will greatly increase the flexibility of use of your Pocket 2.




GoPro Hero 10 or DJI Pocket 2? Dilemmas, dilemmas

If you have bitten the bullet and decided to lash out and buy a small, portable camera that takes video and stills and is versatile, you may be tossing up between a GoPro Hero 10 or a DJI Pocket 2.

Or perhaps you have never even heard of the DJI Pocket 2?

And some may say “Why not compare the Hero 10 to the DJI Action 2”?

As for the second, the major reason is that both the Hero 10 and the Pocket 2 are self-contained units. They do not need add-ons to function and therefore are, to my mind, more similar than a Hero 10 and Action 2.


The form factors of the two cameras could not be more different. The GoPro Hero 10 follows the tried-and-true method employed by GoPro since the inception of the range, albeit the body is now bulkier than earlier models, and the ubiquitous GoPro mounting brackets, or fingers as they are known, are now incorporated into the body and foldable.

There are two LCDs – one front and one rear, a single shutter button on the top and a function button on the side.

A hatch on the side covers the battery, SD card slot and USB-C port. This hatch is removable allowing cage mounts to be used as well as the Media Mod. Despite its appearance, this cover is waterproof allowing the Hero 10 be submerged up to 10 metres, although anecdotally, some have had issues with water leakage and therefore it is recommended the underwater housing be used.

The lens, which is really a lens protector, is removable so that the Lens Mod accessory can be easily added. The majority of functions on the Hero 10 are performed by a combination of swipes and on-screen menus.

There is a single on-board mic.

Unless you have a “cage”, there is little way of adding accessories to the Hero 10. Everything is done via the finger mounts.

The DJI Pocket 2 by comparison has a long upright body and the major party trick of this camera is the fact the lens is gimbal mounted on the top. The rear houses a small LCD screen that allows commands and menus to be access via tapping and swiping.

Under the LCD are 2 button controls. One selects between video and still shots and the other is record on/off. Above this is a “universal port”, which as the name suggests allows the addition various options. For example, out of the box the Pocket 2 comes with USB-C or Lightning adaptors that slide onto the universal port.

Another supplied adaptor allows more control over the gimbal and its functionality as against using screen swipes and menus.

One side of the Pocket 2 has a power button and other contains the SD card slot. The base has a single USB-C port for charging or adding other peripherals. Audio is captured via 4 on-board mics with built in wind noise reduction.

The Pocket 2 by itself is NOT waterproof by the way, you need the optional housing for that. And like the Hero 10, apart from the universal port, you cannot add any external devices to the Pocket 2 without special DJI adaptors.


The Hero 10 is capable of up to 23 megapixel photos and 4K 120 frame per second video making it ideal for slo-mo purposes up to 8x. Video stabilisation is built in via GoPro’s HyperSmooth technology now at version 4 and works extremely well. Additional functions include TimeWarp 3.0 for time lapse plus a special night mode, HindSight to get 30 seconds of recording before pressing the shutter, Scheduled and Duration Capture and Live Burst.

You also get live streaming capability at 1080p, auto upload to the cloud options and voice control.

Standard battery life is rated at around 2 hours. Heavier duty batteries are available.

A complete description of all these is available in my review here.

The DJI Pocket 2 camera has a whopping 64 megapixel sensor. Photos can be up to this size and maximum video is 4K Ultra at up to 60 frames per second. Similar to the Hero 10 you also get Timelapse and Hyperlapse modes, with an additional MotionLapse which is like Timelapse, but the gimbal allows the following of a subject while shooting.

There is also HDR shooting available in the Pocket 2.

As mentioned, you get 60fps / second at 4K slo-mo, but if you drop down to 1080p, this ups to 120fps.

The inbuilt battery and non-replaceable is rated at 140 minutes.

Of course, the inclusion of the gimbal gives the Pocket 2 a wide range of functionality with panorama shooting and ActiveTrack (following a subject automatically) being the standouts. Indeed, in conjunction with the stabilization, the obtainable results are quite stunning.

The design of the Pocket 2 is also well thought it allowing single handed use in many circumstances.


GoPro has revamped its Quik app and I’ll have a separate review of that very shortly. In short, you get the basic necessities for editing your footage such as trim, colour controls, cropping and video speed options. A clip management system is included, and you can also auto-sync edits to music with the app.

A similar system is available for the Pocket 2 via the Mimo app, with camera movement, transitions and allowing the inclusion of music.

Both apps are quite capable in what they intend, but there is no substitute for a proper editing program and in both cases, I recommend DaVinci Resolve It’s free, available for Mac, Windows and LINUX and as basic or as comprehensive as you want it to be.

I have a couple of tutorials including an intro to the program and how to organise your footage plus a beginners editing tutorial aimed specifically at action cam and drone users. You can see these here and here.


The GoPro range has spawned a whole world of accessories, and the finger mounting system is now the de facto standard for the majority of this style of camera. Any number of mounts and add-ons are available from GoPro and 3rd parties. I have a box with probably 30 different types of mounts, then there are waterproof housings and the aforementioned Lens Mod and Media Mod in addition to a Display Mod (add on screen) and LightMod (waterproof LED light).

3rd parties have not jumped at the DJI Pocket 2 with the same enthusiasm sadly, but from DJI itself you can get a range of add-ons including a “Doo-It-All handle, microphone transmitter, wide angle lens, waterproof housing and much more.

Of all these, I highly recommend getting the Do-It-All handle as this give you a built-in wireless module, Bluetooth, wireless mic receiver and a ¼” tripod mount all in a single unit the main camera simply slots into.


So how do they compare?

The truth is that there is room for both in the serious outdoors camera bag. If you want a versatile camera for mounting on a surfboard, mountain bike, motor vehicle, rock climbing helmet or even your dog, then the Hero 10 wins hands down.

If however you want a camera for hand held work, then I recommend the Pocket 2. The addition of the gimbal especially with ActiveTrack gives it an edge in many situations the GoPro cannot emulate.

In short, I’d say the Pocket 2 is the more versatile camera if you want a hand held but the wide range of accessories for the GoPro is hard to beat for a situation mounted unit.

If it were me, and I only had a choice of one, for what I do the DJI Pocket 2 is the better choice. Your mileage will no doubt vary, and I suggest you write down your expected needs and wants and weigh them up against each camera’s capabilities and options before purchasing.


The GoPro Hero 10 is available for $749 in its basic form. The DJI Pocket 2 is $599 so slightly better in pricing (we got our numbers from Melbourne based Videoguys).

It’s hard to suggest essential accessories as everyone’s needs vary, but at the very least I’d recommend for the GoPro you get the protective housing ($89 and for the Pocket 2, as I said, the Do-It-All-Handle ($159).


Quick Field Review: GoPro Hero 9 and Media Mod, Zhiyun Crane M3 and DJI Mic

Welcome to Monkey Mia

Come to Monkey Mia they said. It’ll be warm and sunny, they said. The fish literally jumpin’ into the boats, they said.

And there are dolphins. Lots of dolphins.

Except that right now, I am sitting in a large tent, walls flapping and banging, while a 50kph gale blows outside.

Sure, the first three days were fine. If include having a bout of COVID is fine, or at best, the same sorts of symptoms, as no RATS are available to confirm, here 1200Km from home in the north west of Western Australia on Shark Bay.

Actually, no. The first 3 days were NOT fine, COVID symptoms besides. For two of ‘em we had a family in the bay behind us at the caravan park with 2 families including 4 pre-pubescent girls who had decided it was OK to shout louder than the next one starting at 6am right through until 9pm, use part of our plot as a playground (a metre from our tent) and even move some of our stuff to make room for their games and sing-a-longs.

Pleas to them and parents had little effect, but thankfully they vacated yesterday. So we had a meal and a beer at the local bar. View; gorgeous. Food; bloody awful.

So tomorrow, we are cutting our Monkey Mia adventure short (this wind, which was not forecast even 24 hours ago is now destined to last another 4 days apparently) and heading back down south to Jurien Bay. The wind will still be blowing and there will be rain, but at least Jacqui, myself and Dougie the Dog will be warm and snug in a cottage by the sea.

So ,what to do to keep myself amused?

I know, why not have a play with a Zhiyun Crane M3 married to a GoPro Hero 9 Black with a Media Mod and a DJI Mic plugged in?

Product Descriptions

I am pretty sure most will be familiar with the GoPro camera. I am using the 9 here which is one generation behind the current 10, but still allows me to use the Media Mod accessory. This is a case the GoPro slides into (you need to take the side plate off and therefore you lose any waterproofing), and marries to the USB port. This then gives you a USB-C port, mini HDMI port and a 3.5mm audio in port as well as a built in mic.  The Media Mod I reviewed here.

The Zhiyun Crane M3 is a mid level gimbal designed for cameras in the smaller mirrorless / 4/3rds style such as those from Sony, Panasonic, Olympus, Nikon and Canon, but also is suited for Gopros and even comes with an adaptor for adding a smartphone. This was reviewed by Australian Videocamera here.

The DJI Mic is DJI’s foray into wireless microphones. It comes with 2 wireless mics and a single base station all wrapped neatly into a charging station the wat better earbud headphones such as those from Sennheiser are packaged. Cleverly, the whole kaboodle is re-paired when placed in the charger. The receivers and transmitters have a capacity of 320mAh and the charging case 2600mAh.  The transmitters also record also well as transmitting which is a really smart idea. Asl neat is the addition of a magnetic clamp on the transmitters along with the standard spring loaded clip.

I reviewed the DJI Mic here.

The Test

To test the combination out, I did a quick wander around the park at a time when the wind had subsided a bit. The GoPro was set to standard 4K video, so nothing fancy there.  As you can see and hear, the results were quite successful.

The audio recorded in three locations; in camera via the Media Mod built in mic, to the DJI Mic transmitter and receiver separately. I have used the DJI receiver version here. (You can hear by my voice that I am not yet back to 100%!)


The duo of the Zhiyun and GoPro was not too heavy and well balanced and although the party tricks of the Zhiyun controls could not be brought into play with the camera (full control via triggers and menus etc is not supported for GoPros) I could control the gimbal alone easily, and the pair was well balanced.

An important point to note here is that for any success with a gimbal and camera, you MUST manually rebalance before any shoot to get the vey best. Initially it seems time consuming and cumbersome, but you soon get the hang of it and it becomes a 2 minute job.

You also need to familiarise with the location of the axis locks on the gimbal by the way as on soime gimbals, they can be a bastard to find.

Overall, it was an interesting exercise and managed to use up a couple of hours…

By the way, the lead sunset photo is from the front of our tent. What a difference 3 days ago was.

This was shot on a GoPro Hero 10 with the Lens Mod (and that is reviewed here).







Review: GoPro Lens Mod

It’s taken me a while to warm to the GoPro Lens Mod. You see I just wasn’t sure if it were any use to me seeing the stuff I do and film.

Having a boat has changed all of that. As did a little lateral thinking.

Why so? Because the main selling points of the Lens Mod when attached to a Hero 9 Black or Hero 10 Black are stabilisation and field of view.

Yes, yes, I know these cameras already have lots of built in stables but adding the Lens Mod upgrades the camera with Max HyperSmooth plus it will let you shoot at 2.7K / 60 frames a second AND at an ultrawide 155° field of view.

Cop that every other GoPro!

Up until now when fishing from a boat, to get as much action as possible I have used a 360° camera such as the Kandao QooCam or more lately the GoPro Max, and have the 9 or 10 on standby for candid stuff.

With the Lens Mod, I get the best of both worlds.

And there is an added bonus in that the horizon lock facility is simply brilliant. As you’d imagine, a boat on the briny is not the most stable platform, especially when cruising along or when stationary in any sort of swell, so having this facility makes the footage so much better without any roll and yaw to make the viewer a bit queasy. It’s also a boon for any more motor sport stuff I do in the future for the same reason.

It doesn’t matter how much you twist and turn the camera. As yet I have not been able to beat it.

Surfers and jet skiers will love it! Oh and with the Lens Mod, you still get 5 metre depth water proofing although as a SCUBA diver, I don’t recommend underwater shooting with the Lens Mod as light refraction under water plays havoc.

(I don’t surf but here is some footage I found on YouTube showing the effect)


Finally, you also get MAX Timewarp which is also super smooth.

Changing from the standard to the Lens Mod is simple; just twist and turn the original and it pops out. Reverse the process with the Lens Mod attached. You will need to go into the camera’s menu system to activate it though so don’t forget that bit.

The Lens Mod costs A$159.95 and IF you have a use for it, is worth coughing up the dollars for. If you cannot see a use, then my advice is not to bother. Oh and if you have any other model GoPro with the removable lens (its not really the lens but you know what I mean), don’t bother as it won’t fit.

There’s more info on the Lens Mod at the GoPro website.


Review: GoPro Media Mod

Not a day goes by without me being asked a single question. “Is the GoPro Media Mod worth buying?”

Not quite true, but from time to time the question has popped up. Well it did once anyway. A while back.

So I thought I’d answer it here.

So what is the GoPro Media Mod?

The Media Mod is a casing that the GoPro 8,  9 or 10 fits into but leaving access to the front and rear screens.  It works similarly to shell cases that previous GoPro models used, with a snap down hinge to lock it into place. One major difference with the Media Mod though is that the battery / SD card cover needs to come off thus rendering any waterproofing inoperative.

The reason for this is that inside the Media Mode a USB-C connector marries in with the USB-C port on the GoPro camera.


Built into the Media Mod is an external polar pattern microphone covered in a foam windbreaker. In my testing this works best when the subject is in front of the camera and close to the mic (as you’d be when Vlogging for instance). When recording from behind, or indeed at a distance, there seems to be some reverb inserted into the audio which is not ideal.

All is not lost though as there is also a 3.5mm socket letting you plug in an external mic, and with either a RØDE Videomic or Sennheiser MKE400 the sound was much, much better. There are not one but two cold shoes on which you can mount a mic or other device such as the GoPro Light Mod.


Above the external mic port is a USB-C port. The most obvious choice for this is to charge the GoPro camera battery meaning you have no need to remove the camera from the casing, but it can also be used to transfer data from the SD card to a computer.

In my usage, I found the USB port also ideal for connecting an external powerbank to give longer shooting times, and depending on the power rating, have managed up to 6 hours + on a GoPro Hero 9 Black. You do need to go into the menu settings on the camera and tweak a few things though.


This has been the most problematic part for me and gives a mixed bag of results depending on what I am doing. My primary function is to send data to an external monitor when shooting. A typical scenario is to have a number of GoPros connected to my Blackmagic Design ATEM Mini Pro with a single OSEE field monitor acting as a control monitor for all 4 cameras (with the Blackmagic Design ATEM Control Software) or a 7” OSEE monitor acting as an external monitor for a single GoPro.

The main problem is that once connected (after being suitably configured in the GoPro menus to act as a clean feed), you lose the GoPro screens and have to do everything in menu changes / camera settings by a little bit of guesswork.

I also get a fair percentage of drop out where for some unbeknownst reason, the GoPro just stops sending the HDMI signal. The only almost common denominator I can find is that using cheap HDMI cables can be a culprit.

Of course your mileage may vary.


I use the Media Mod on two different cameras, a Hero 9 and a Hero 10 and they do what I want them to do. Well mostly with the caveat of the HDMI issue. But I cannot escape the sneaky feeling the concept has been a little thrown together technology wise and probably the next version will be a better proposition.

The GoPro Media Mod is USD$79.95 for the GoPro Hero 9 and 10 and USD$47.99 for the GoPro Hero 8.

You can get them from




Are there other options than DJI Fly for my drone? Yes, yes there is…

If you own one of the newer DJI drones such as the Mini2, Air2S etc, then up until now you have been pretty much bound to using the DJI Fly app on your phone or tablet in conunction with the controller.

However now there is another option – Litchi.

Litchi has been around a while but for newweer drones has only been in restricted beta for ages and not available to the general user. But now it is and you can get it from the Play Store or AppStore.

There is a bit of a setting up procedure, and the app takes a little time (about 15 mins for me) while it downloads what is describes as the “DJI database” before you can actually use it, but the system picked up my house accurately as soon as I initialised it with my Air2S.

Once everything is in place, Litchi recommend removing the USB cable from the controller to the tablet / phone and turn everything (except) the mobile device) off and then turn on the drone and controller. When they have both fully initialised, re-connect the USB cable.

If you have the DJI Fly app already installed, it is possible there will be a conflict as this may be set to start automatically the controller is connected. If so, you’ll need to change it in Settings-> App->DJI Fly -> Preferences (Android) to remove the default. What will happen now in most cases (it didn’t in mine) is that when you connect the controller to the mobile device, a pop up will ask if you wish to use DJI Fly or Litchi. I had to choose manually.

Once the app launched, I received a pop-up screen explaining these previous steps followed after cancelling it, a second pop-up warning of a potential bug that was being fixed the affected the gimbal positioning data. Apparently, you may get some camera jittering, but I didn’t see any.

Finally, you’ll see something like the screen below. For the sake of ease (and laziness) this is screen shot I took from the Litchi website and the relevant descriptions of the numbered icons;

  1. Flight Modes: Use this dropdown to change the flight mode.
  2. Radar: Shows the position of the aircraft relative to the operator’s mobile device (Android only).
  3. Flight Telemetry: Shows altitude relative to take-off elevation, distance from home point to aircraft and speed on all axis. In Follow mode, the distance between the mobile device and the aircraft is shown.
  4. Show/hide small view: Tap to minimize the size of the small view. Tap on the small view to switch the map and video views.
  5. Aircraft: Shows the aircraft location on the map. Tap to add a Waypoint or Point of Interest at the aircraft location.
  6. Mobile Device: Shows the mobile device location on the map. Tap to add a Waypoint or Point of Interest at the mobile device location.
  7. Home Point: Shows the home point location on the map. To set a new home point, drag this marker to another location. You must be flying in order to move the Home Point.
  8. Photo/Video Switch: Use to change the camera mode.
  9. Take Photo/Record: Tap this button to take a picture while in photo mode. Tap to start and stop recording while in video mode.
  10. Gimbal Pitch Indicator: Shows the current position of the gimbal tilt. Top is +30° above horizon, bottom is -90°.
  11. Zoom to Mobile Device: Tap to zoom the map to the current mobile device location.
  12. Unlock Map Orientation: By default the map is oriented towards North. Tap to have the map rotation continuously adjusted to match your mobile device’s position relative to north.
  13. Camera Settings: Tap to open camera settings.

This is the footer screen with its descriptions;

  1. Mode Switch Button: Tap to change the flight mode or to log in to your Litchi account.
  2. Satellite Count: Shows the number of satellites that the aircraft is locked onto.
  3. RC Battery/Virtual Joysticks: Shows the remaining remote controller battery percentage. When connected to a drone without remote controller, tap to show/hide the virtual on-screen joysticks.
  4. Battery Status: This bar shows the status of the aircraft battery. The part in red represents the battery required to go home.
  5. Aircraft Status: Shows the current aircraft flight status.
  6. Uplink: Shows the strength of the remote controller uplink signal. For Mavic Mini 1 and Mini SE, the flight mode (Normal/P,Sport,Cine) is displayed in this location, tap to change the flight mode.
  7. Downlink: Shows the strength of the video downlink signal.
  8. Aircraft Battery: Shows the remaining aircraft battery percentage.
  9. General Settings: Tap to show general settings.

And here is my screen shot;

As you can now gather, there are some major differences between DJI Fly and Litchi, with Litchi having far more features such as a Simulator Mode and more diverse (and I think easier to use) Camera Settings. Ones I am particularly looking forwarding to testing are those associated with waypoints and following / tracking.

The next thing is to have a fly! I’ll report back on that within 36 hours, weather depending.

For more info, have a look at the Litchi website at








Review: DJI Action 2 – Part 1

When I first read about the new DJI Action 2, I was, as marketing people are fond of saying, “excited”.

Finally, something new and fresh without attempting to be a clone, copy or knock off of someone else’s idea.

Then I received a review sample, complete with dual screen add on, power pack, water-proof housing, mini tripod and remote-control extension rod among other accessories.

And I was still excited. The modular make up of the Action 2 with its magnetic clamping systems for each of the components is brilliant. And the incorporation of the “finger” mounting system as a nod to the massive add on market for rival GoPro’s accessory availability is both an acknowledgement that this is a system that just works, and also makes commercial sense.

But then I read the review of the DJI Action 2 by one of my peers in Red Shark, and whilst Simon Wyndham describes the Action 2 as “high quality”, he also calls it “flawed”.

And my jaw dropped. Flawed? Really? How could this be?

Now I have the highest respect for Simon’s reviews, but I don’t agree with his thoughts on the “flaws” of the Action 2.  Firstly he considers the waterproofing aspect is an issue, as whilst the camera is waterproof and uses an internal non-swappable battery, the other accessories are not. That is, the modular camera part can be taken down to around 11 metres without a housing, but if you want to add the extra screen or external battery, you need the optional waterproof housing to accomplish this.

Next, Simon considers the lack of an SD card slot on the main camera itself (again the extra screen and / or battery is needed for this) also a problem as this means you only have around 22GB as internal memory in the camera itself for recording.

Personally, for the convenience offered, I don’t consider these two as major issues. Simon does a lot of his reviews based around his own usage which involves lots of kayaking and stomping though the Welsh mountains in the fog, and in these scenarios his critiques are more than fair.

I admit that.

But I do think in a wider picture of things, they are minor niggles. If for example you wanted to do serious SCUBA / snorkelling and purchased an Action 2 to accomplish this, you most likely would get the waterproof housing and therefore can easily accommodate the second screen and SD card.

To me it’s a bit like saying you buy a vehicle to carry bricks, but your can only carry 10 at a time as there is no back tray as you bought a Hyundai i30 (the camera body only) as against a Holden Colorado (body, extra screen and waterproof cased).

In other words, use the right tool for the job.

On the flip side, we both agree on the lens; here the Action 2 is equal to the GoPro AND the Max Lens Mod combined, and as a bonus, is shooting in 4K not just 2.7K.

And the stabilisation is sublime. I took the Action 2 (with the 2nd screen option) to the Mandurah Wall Climbing Centre and handheld, shooting Jacqui, Moira and Vanni while they played mountain goat gave fabulous results.

Switching from mode to mode and changing settings once you mastered what functions were up, down, left and right was a snap and easily accomplished on the fly even if you have slightly fat fingers.

Options available are to browse recorded media (swipe from the left), change exposure settings (swipe right), resolution and frame rate options (swipe from the bottom) and full menu (swipe from the top) For swapping modes, you start the swipe at the centre of the screen and swipe to the left or right to change between photo, video, timelapse, quick clip, and slow motion.

The Action 2 supports voice commands too (you need to turn the option on in Settings) and a quick test shows the camera responded to “Record,” “Stop Recording,” “Take a Photo”, and “Shut Down.” I did notice though whilst watching a tutorial, with the Voice command option turned on, when the presenter spoke about how to record, the camera dutifully started recording! So maybe leave that option off in crowds say…

Oh and of course you can also control the DJI Action 2 via the DJI MIMO app once you have updated it.

One thing I would note and hopefully DJI will take this on board the same way GoPro did. Please make the lens protection glass user replaceable. GoPro removed that option on the Hero9, and the masses let them know in no uncertain terms what they thought of that idea and subsequently, GoPro brought it back for the Hero9.

I am also cautious about overheating. The camera did seem to get warmer than I would have expected and have asked DJI about this. But in my initial tests, it did not fail.


These are mainly my first impressions of the DJI Action 2 based on around an hour of use, admittedly in a very specific situation. Over the next weeks, I intend to push this camera and its accessories a lot harder to give a wider view.

Considering there will no doubt be lots of boating, fishing and in-car use along with remote control access etc, perhaps my initial feelings may change dramatically.

Stick around to see.

The DJI Action 2 (centre) alongside a GoPro Hero 10 and Sony RX0 Mk II

In the shorter term though, if you are in the market for an “action” camera, certainly the Action 2 is worth a look along with the GoPro Hero10, probably the DJI Pocket 2 and even the Sony RX0. I’d also add in there the Insta360, except I have never seen one and despite repeated requests don’t get any response (not unlike my attempts to get ATOMOS gear for review as it turns out).

Sample video from DJI Action 2

DJI Action 2

Just a very quick note to let you know we have just received our review version (along with a bundle of add on accessories) and will be having an extensive play over the weekend and reporting back.

On the surface it looks phenomenal; the magnetic interlocking system beween different bits is a brilliant idea.

I have downloaded the docs for each accessory I have (which means 7 different manuals to get through) and everything is on charge.