Just lately, DJI has been on a roll. First there was the Robomaster STEM unit we are still playing with (read assembling), then the release of the OM4 gimbal for smartphones quickly followed by the updated Ronin RSC2 and RSC Pro professional gimbals (which we are currently evaluating, and frankly finding a LOT of joy with) and now, just the other day, the Pocket 2.
The original Pocket we loved, (apart from, at the time, the method needed to register the unit with DJI to actually make it work. Back then, it insisted you use a smartphone with USB-C or an iPhone to connect to the Pocket via the app, DJI MIMO in order to complete the process).
You still need to register the camera to make it actually, you know, work, but these days, USB-C is ubiquitous – mostly, so is not too much of an issue.
So, this being a “first look”, what has DJI done to improve the original Pocket?
Quite a lot actually.
First off, the sensor has grown in size from the Pocket’s 1 / 2.3 inch to a 1 /1.7 inch letting you now take photos up to a whopping 64 megapixels. Additionally, the field of view has increased from 80 degrees to 93 degrees, the focal length and aperture upped from 26mm to 20mm and the focal length from f/1.8 (from f/2.0). This means a wider image which should make the selfie and vloggers in the world happy little Vegemites.
A new autofocus system has been developed called Hybrid AF 2.0 that DJI says “adds precision and a faster response”. There is also an 8x zoom system and audio – see below – is optimized to compensate when you zoom in to your subject, decreasing the volume of whatever is not in frame because of the zoom.
Yeah but what else?
Fast Wake means that, as they say, you will never miss “the moment” and HDR video ups the ante with captured colour and detail.
And thankfully, our never-ending mantra of “better audio” has been addressed, with the Pocket 2 having not one, not two but four mics built in. DJI has also incorporated another system, FastTrack, meaning the Pocket 2 can autotragically adjust audio direction enhancement based on the direction of the camera which we think is pretty damn clever.
And an updated Story mode lets you access the Story preset templates directly from the camera, without needing to have direct cameras access to the DJI MIMO app.
8x slow motion is now incorporated, up from the original Pocket 4x, and of course 180 degree and 3 x 3 panoramas are still supported, but the stitching process in-camera has been vastly improved, and you can view the final panoramas on the Pocket 2’s built in screen – albeit it is small.
The original Pocket had some really much needed accessories such as a wireless module and a thumbwheel system. The wireless module is still an add on, called the “Do-It-All-Handle”, and we would recommend purchasing this, otherwise you need to tether the Pocket 2 to your smartphone via the USB-C or iPhone connector, which in some circumstances is a clumsy affair we find.
The added advantage of “Do-It-All-Handle” is that it also becomes the fulcrum for other accessories, giving what DJI call, ‘seamless integration”.
However, a new joystick which uses the same port access as the USB-C/iPhone connector – sliding across the body of the Pocket 2 – takes over many of the processes of the original thumbwheel system and is, we think, much easier to use.
If you want more stability, a micro tripod is another accessory you might consider purchasing as an add-on.
The original Pocket had a protective case in the package, that in reality, we never actually used. The new version is a different ballgame though, as DJI has redesigned it to allow it to act as a protector, charging case and hold-all for SD cards, smartphone adaptors and up to four ND filters without sacrificing size.
There is nothing quite like the DJI Pocket 2 on the market right now. DJI’s expertise in the areas of gimbals and small cameras on its range of drones shines through with this latest version of the original Pocket.
For the person wanting a stabilised “adventure camera” with gimbal facility, superb imagery, both photo and video, ease of use and versatility, there really is nowhere else to look at the moment.
Sure, GoPro has a lot of this stuff – and some more – in the new Hero 9 Black, and we also love that camera to death, but the Pocket 2 has the gimbal, and that, with some other features we mention, sets it well apart.
In the coming days and weeks, we’ll have a full field test of the DJI Pocket 2. Stay tuned.
With this plethora of new product coming from DJI, we can only surmise there might be a new “Action Cam” coming too. We cannot wait to see what that, if true, might bring. And like Apple often does (and just did in fact) we hear rumours of a “Wait there is more” moment too, just around the corner…
For full details on the DJI Pocket 2 and see how it differs from the original Pocket, see https://store.dji.com/guides/dji-pocket-2-osmo-pocket-comparison