DJI OSMO

Austin BlaylockGear

DJI OSMO
DJI OSMO

The OSMO, cheap hype or budget necessity?

When I first saw the OSMO my first thoughts were “ooo, shiny new awesome thing I must have because surely my life will be better once I have it…” of course thats pretty much the same reaction I have to most new tech.  The thing that made the OSMO stand out as a great piece of filming making kit was the lack of a fisheye lens.  I love GoPro’s, I’ve been a fan since I got my first Hero, the versatility is great but to use for things like wedding/music videos and projects you want to have a cinematic look, GoPro’s need a fair amount of post production.  The OSMO is 3 xis (4 axis with the new z-adapter) stabilised, with a 94°wide-angle lens and the ability to film in glorious 4K, well UHD but will it give you the shots you want?

DJI OSMO Nanuk Case

I’ve had the OSMO since February this year (2016), and it is something you can get straight out the box, hookup your phone, download the app and start filming. The 4K picture is great, especially in great light but if you’re getting this camera purely for it’s 4K capability I’d look somewhere else.  Yes 4K is amazing, even better if you have a 4K device to view it on.  One of the main problems with 4K (in my humble opinion) is the device with which 4K is filmed.  The OSMO is limited by it’s lens, especially when compared with any 4K capable camera that has interchangeable lenses.  It can stand up great on it’s own but I think it all comes down to what type of project it’s being used for.  Put it with some DSLR footage in a short film you might not be happy until a lot of post processing has happened.  Add it to a GoPro project and it’l fit right in.

Am I being overly critical? Maybe but I think it all comes down to the quality of the image, and for less than £500 how much can you really get? If you want quality 4K, spend the money and buy the new Sony A6300, or even better buy an A7Sii, or even a Blackmagic URSA Mini (4k @60fps with EF mount for less than £3k!!!).

What the OSMO has going for it in buckets is versatility and speed.  There is so much available for it now (full list of official accessories here: dji.com/product/osmo-accessories) and it’s so quick to setup and get running anywhere.  I’ve used it at events, on a youth weekend, at a wedding and for a teacher training video series.  The first time I used it, I had it paired with a Motorola Moto G running Android 5.1.  That combo sucked.  The picture delay was very obvious and the app frequently crashed.  I paired it with a couple of other Android phones (not any flagships) and still had problems.  As soon as I paired it with a friends iPhone 6 it was great so I got a cheap iPhone 5s and I only use it with the OSMO.  It’s great and with the recent firmware update the OSMO is even better.  The fan turns off during recording (before this the fan could get very loud), the batteries last longer (not really the extra 30 minutes DJI suggest but a decent length) and it now has digital zoom.

The one thing I haven’t mentioned yet is the 3-axis stabilisation, and I don’t really need to.  It does what it says, it stabilises and you’ll feel like you don’t want to go back to shaky GoPro footage again but GoPros have their place.  The one thing you have to watch out for is movement on the z-axis (up and down) although DJI now have an adapter to get rid of that movement (dji.com/product/osmo-z-axis).

  • DJI Z-Axis Adapter
  • Like any piece of kit you add to your collection it’s all about using it.  The worst thing you can do is buy something and only use it on a project.  You need to experiment, learn it’s weaknesses, strengths and watch videos/read articles about what other people are doing with it.  A great example with the OSMO is hyperlapse (a timelapse that moves about the place).  I found the video below whilst reading an article on a site, it’s a great example of what you can do with the OSMO.

Should you get an OSMO? Well it all depends on what you want it for.  For vlogging, youtube videos, and stuff that is on a low/no budget then go for it.  If you want something small, versatile and have that cinematic look then spend more, get the OSMO with the X5! Hopefully soon I’ll be able to update this review when I get one.

The Good

  • 4K UHD Max resolution
  • Modular
  • Loads of accessories
  • Upgradable

The Bad

  • Mobile device dependant
  • Poor low light
  • 120fps crop
  • Camera/app glitches can be frustrating

The Cost

I got my OSMO from the great guys at Buzzflyer for £489 and then a few accessories on top.

I also bought the Nanuk 910 Case from Nanuk Cases UK.  Contact them for more info.

Overall cost for this setup: approx £650 (not including mobile device).

Disclaimer
I am not affiliated with DJI, they don’t pay me or give me products to test.  I just do this for fun and to keep people informed.