Earlier in October last year the leading consumer ready-to-fly systems manufacturer DJI surprisingly announced its single hand gimbal camera/system named OSMO – a completed hand-held gimbal solution that boasts a sleek and innovative design and comes with integrated spherical camera on top providing 4K recording along with the ability to capture some really cool slow motion videos up to 120fps in HD.
Soon after that, the company updated their Go App for Android and iOS devices enabling some new features in their latest 4K stabilizer such as 10 new picture profiles, including the very enticing D-Log flat picture profile. Recently, the US-based photographer & videographer Tony Northrup got his hands on the gimbal spending six weeks working with the DJI OSMO and using it in real production environment. The result is the insightful video review below.
Overall, if you don’t mind having a hand-held gimbal with a decent 4K camera on top that will set you back less than $650, the DJI OSMO seems to be a feasible solution, but probably not the most reliable one. As Tony Northrup reports, the gimbal comes with its strengths along with its flaws and weakness that mean it might not be ready for professional use on every occasion. At least, you should be prepared for unexpected troubleshooting and extra tweaking occasionally.
Besides that, the DJI OSMO is a great device delivering excellent overall performance when it’s working properly. The Go App seems to be quite responsive. You can control the unit seamlessly directly from your smartphone and view the Osmo’s video feed without any noticeable lag. You can even take your phone of the bracket for even more flexible workflow as long as both devices are tethered and in range through the Wi-Fi connection.
The thumb stick on the OSMO seems to be another extremely useful feature being one of the major differences between the unit and the other solutions available out there. For instance, you can use it to steer the head of the OSMO around and make other smooth and natural camera movements following your hand. Keep in mind that the movement set by default might be too quick for your workflow, but you have the option to alter it and make it slower at a pace that you’re most satisfied with.
In terms of video quality, the 4K camera the gimbal provides seems to be better than the GoPro, but worse than most of the compact mirrorless 4K cameras such as the Panasonic GH4, SonyA7R II, Sony A7S II, Samsung NX1 etc. The lens mounted on the front is about 20mm (35mm format equivalent) and is pretty usable, especially when you are shooting in 4K. If you are shooting in 1080p you can crop it somewhere around 40mm which is great considering the fact that you don’t have an interchangeable lens mounted on the front.
Furthermore, the gimbal stabilizes any sort of twisting, however, it doesn’t stabilize up and down and side to side movements so probably you should be careful when you are walking behind and following a subject.
Battery life will give you about an hour of running time, but the Go App will drain your phone’s battery relatively quickly so that probably should be your bigger concern. Overall, the DJI OSMO seems to be a great hand-held stabilizer producing some fantastic results when it’s working. Just be careful when you use it on some sort of time-sensitive projects as the experience with it and making it work properly might be quite frustrating.