DJI Osmo Pocket Camera (Revisited)

Back in June I wrote a review on the DJI Osmo Pocket Camera and – let’s not mince words here – I slagged it off.

Not because of its quality, capability or anything like that, but simply its functionality. Specifically, about having to have to register the device through the internet via a hard connection to a mobile phone before you can even use it. And not just any mobile phone: it has to be an iPhone with a Lightning connector or an Android phone with a USB-C connector.

Either connects to the Osmo Pocket via a supplied adaptor that is slid into a multi-function port on the main body of the camera that is normally covered by a slide off panel (which like the ports panel on the Sony RX0 series I suspect is easily lost). More on this adaptor’s potential though in a minute.

My own phone is a Samsung Note 7 which has a USB-2 connector and even with an adaptor to USB-C, this would not work.

So, without an immediate way of activating the DJI Osmo Pocket, that is the review it got. You can read it here if interested.

Fast forward to today, and a visiting friend had an iPhone I could use to finally get the beast in a usable mode. But even then, it turned out to be not an easy process. Oh, it registered all right without a hitch, but after this, no matter what I tried, I could not get the unit to actually record anything. It turned out after a long frustrating battle to be simply the microSD card(s) I was using.

The documentation (which is all in teeny, tiny writing) states a UHS-1 Speed 3 card is “recommended”, but the two I had from LEXAR were simply sneered at with a permanent message on screen of “Initializing SD card …”.

Finally, after purchasing a SanDisk similarly rated card, simply to apply a process of elimination it worked.

What Is It?

The Osmo Pocket, is as the name suggests, a small and portable camera. But unlike so-called “Action Cameras”, the standard size / shape body as used in GoPros and even DJI’s own Action Cam is foregone for a small camera-head-on-a-stalk like affair.

The reason is that again, unlike action cams that traditionally have stabilisation digitally built in, the DJI Osmo Pocket combines a three-axis mechanical gimbal, with a 12MP camera built around a 1/2.3-inch sensor and a small touchscreen.

The resultant unit measures 121.9 x 28.6 x 36.9mm and weighs 116g. So small.

Technically, the Osmo Pocket, has a focal length equivalent to 26mm, a field of view of 80 degrees and an f/2.0 aperture letting the user shoot 4K (3,840 x 2,160) footage at either 60fps or 100Mbps. Full HD footage can also be recorded and for slow-motion playback, up to 120p is available. There is an electronic shutter range of 8s-1/8000secs.

Stills can also be shot as well of course, up to a maximum resolution of 4000 x 3000 pixels in JPEG and JPEG+DNG mode and ISO from 100 to 3200.

What Does It Do?

Some really funky modes are built right in to the Osmo Pocket such as 180 or 3×3 Panorama, Timelapse, Motionlapse, Auto and as mentioned, Slow Motion video.

An ActiveTrack mode is also available, whereby you tap the object to track on the 1” touch screen. If, however using the DJI Mimo smartphone app, you simply drag a box over your subject to select it.

A First-Person View (FPV) is useful when you want the camera to move with you with the gimbal kicking in to give smooth, shake free video of a very good quality which is very sharp indeed.

A USB-C port is located on the bottom of the Osmo Pocket body and is used for charging. Our tests showed to battery life is good for around 120 minutes (when shooting 1080p/30fps video). The time to recharge is around 70 minutes.

2019-07-21_17-44-27DJI offers a separate wireless module for connection to the USB port letting you remotely use the Osmo Pocket via smartphone and DJI Mimo app. Also available, and sliding into the multi-function port on the main body mentioned earlier, is a controller wheel module.

This lets you control the camera head and gimbal a number of ways including locking, FPV mode, switch between forward mode and reverse (selfie) mode and to re-centre the camera head among others.

Conclusion

We still think the registration methodology stinks, but there is no doubting once this hurdle is jumped, the DJI Osmo Pocket has great potential in its capability.

When using the DJI Mimo app on a smartphone connected to the camera via the multifunction port, it is clunky to use; adding the wireless remote module makes a world of difference and the controller wheel gives even more flexibility.

Pricing

The main camera and body of the DJI Osmo Pocket is AUD$599. The wireless module and controller wheel add another $179 (bought as an expansion kit. Other accessories such as a charging case, waterproof case, extension rod, ND filter kit and various mounts are also available from DJI’s store.

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