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).