What’s up guys, Sagi here and welcome to another Tech Gear Talk. A few weeks ago, I shot my DJI Osmo Pocket first impression video and I’ve been using pretty much every day since before I do my detailed review. As I mentioned in my first video, this seems to be one of the most polarizing products I’ve ever seen, with some people loving it and some people absolutely hating it. I’ve done a lot of research, talked to a lot of people and I figured out why – and spoiler alert – it has nothing to do with the Osmo Pocket itself. Before we get to that, let’s talk about the Osmo Pocket a bit because I think it’s important to set the framework for what we’re going to talk about later on in the video. I will publish a much more complete review shortly but I really think this video is important and I wanted to make sure I get it out.
On its face value, the Osmo Pocket offers an impressive value proposition. It is DJI’s smallest 3-axis mechanical handheld gimbal. It’s able to adjust for unintended movements in real time and turn shaky handheld footage into more stable and smooth video. The camera has essentially a ½” 12MP sensor with a lens that offers an 80 degree field of view or 26mm equivalent and an aperture of F/2. And even with how small it is, camera can shoot 4K60 and full HD or 1080P at up to 120fps which allows for some nice slow motion. There is an ActiveTrack feature where the gimbal will automatically track a subject in the frame when it is forward facing. When in FPV, or selfie mode, you can have the option for face tracking so that you’re easily kept in the frame.
In addition to video, you can shoot very nice 12MP stills and even 3×1 panorama images where the Osmo pocket will pan, take 3 pictures and then stitch them together. You can also do 3×3 panorama images where the camera will take 9 pictures and then the software will stitch them together into one large image.
Another cool feature is motionlapse – which is essentially a timelapse where the camera is moving. You can select a starting position and and end position, your interval (or how long the Osmo Pocket should wait between each image) and for how long you want it to shoot). Once you hit record, the Osmo Pocket will go to the starting position and then slowly and smoothly shoot a timelapse while moving from position A to position B – hence a motionlapse.
We also have the option for NightShot where the Osmo Pocket allows you to shoot 2-3 second exposures while handheld without the need for a tripod – of course, this is something you could never do with a camera or a phone.
Finally, the Osmo Pocket has a fantastic battery life of 140 minutes. I’ve honestly never even bumped up against this time limit but it’s also good to know that you can plug the Osmo Pocket to a portable charger and have essentially unlimited power.
With all of these great features, the Osmo Pocket is not without limitations. First, the small form-factor creates some challenges in terms of handling and user experience. The 80 degree field of view is pretty tight, especially when in FPV or selfie mode and you really need to stretch your arm out to get decent framing. DJI included a USB-C and lightning phone adapters for their universal port – but did not include a micro-USB adapter which has some people complaining. While I think DJI did a great job with the functionality of the touch screen, and you can select a lot of different options, change your settings, and preview images and video, a lot of the PRO features require that you are connected to a phone. So things like manually controlling your exposure, video format, white balance, audio gain levels, noise reduction, a histogram, zebra lines for overexposure must be selected using a phone.
There are also some practical limitations based on the size of the screen. You can’t have a usable histogram simply because you wouldn’t be able see it and it would cover most of the image. At least the Osmo Pocket retains thes PRO settings even after the device is disconnected from the phone and it will even retain the settings if you turn it off and then back on again. It’s only once you make a change on the device itself, that the settings are lost and you must reconnect to the phone to re-enable them.
Another thing is that, you are also required to activate the Osmo Pocket, or register it, using a phone. This is a one-time process which is not a huge deal, but I just wish it wasn’t mandatory. The Osmo Pocket does not come with wireless capabilities and requires the use of an accessory called the wireless module base to avoid being tethered to your phone for ongoing control of the PRO features we discussed. First, this is just another thing I need to get and second it costs $110 which adds to the price of the Osmo Pocket.
Again, I’ll cover all of these things and a lot more in the detailed review, but let’s get to the purpose of this article which is explaining why there are such polarized opinions about this product.
As I mentioned at the beginning of this video, after talking to a lot of people, doing research and watching so many videos I realized that the strong reactions to the Osmo Pocket don’t have anything to do with the device itself – they have to do with expectations. DJI is known for creating some incredible, professional-grade products that are used in featured films and by creators all over the world – but this isn’t one of them. The Osmo Pocket isn’t designed to replace a high-end mirrorless camera and gimbal, and of course it’s not going to replace a professional cinema camera and an even larger gimbal – so if that’s your baseline, and those were your expectations – it would be a huge disappointment. But if you’re a casual user, and want something to throw in your pocket, take with you absolutely everywhere and get much more stable footage than you can get with your phone, you’re going to love it. When I’m evaluating and using the Osmo Pocket I’m looking at things like size, weight, performance, image quality, price and some other factors and decide whether this is something that could become a useful tool for me. I’m not bringing this as a primary camera on a professional shoot, but I’ll definitely take it and get some great broll for my channel. I look at it as something that will get me more stable footage than I would ever get with my phone without needing to bring a phone gimbal. As I mentioned in my Osmo Pocket First Impression video – I don’t usually take those with me because they are kind of clunky and big. The Osmo Pocket has features like active track, motionlapse, stable long exposure and again, mechanical image stabilization which just aren’t available on anything else I have at this size and price point. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still frustrated by the limitations I mentioned, and I’m for sure not discounting them as not being real – but I am putting them in perspective.
So now now that I told you what I think, I’m going to turn this back to you. What do you think? First, do you love it? Do you hate it? Are you somewhere in between? And what are the factors that shape your opinion? You know I’m super active in the comments section and I’m interested in how you view the Osmo Pocket.
I really hope you enjoyed this discussion of the Osmo Pocket. If you did, please let me know by leaving a comment and if you haven’t yet, join our community by hitting the subscribe and notification buttons on my YouTube.
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You know what I always say, buy it nice or buy it twice!
Good luck and see you soon.