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DJI Osmo Pro / Osmo Raw Z-Axis Review and Sample Footage

I pre-ordered the new DJI Z-axis for the Osmo Pro/RAW and just received it. If you’re not familiar the the DJI Osmo it is a hand-held stabilizer that can be used with various camera such as the X3, X5 and X5R. You can buy the DJI Osmo handle on it’s own, or as the Osmo Pro Combo. I already had an X5 from the DJI Inspire Pro, so I only needed the handle and an X5 adapter to start.

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In case you are wondering why someone would want a Z-axis stabilizer, let me tell you A Z-axis stabilizer helps remove the up and down motion you tend to see when shooting video while walking.

DJI had previously released a Z-axis for the smaller camera, the X3, but the larger DJI camera the X5 (and the X5R) were too heavy for the original adapter. A lot of people tried to mod the original z-axis with stronger springs, etc. but I wanted to wait for the real thing, so here it is.

First Impression

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This DJI Z-axis for the Osmo Pro/RAW is very similar to the X3 Z-axis but is larger and a bit heavier. My first impression (which was based on absolutely nothing) was that it was heavier than I expected it to be. The build quality is really quite nice.

Using the DJI Z-axis for the Osmo Pro/RAW

If you want to use Z-axis with the X5 or X5R you need to remove the X5 adapter which is needed if you’re attaching the X5/R directly to the Osmo.

Start out by removing the cap from the Osmo

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Remove the cap from the Z-axis handle connector

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Attach the Z-axis to the Osmo

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Twist the gimbal lock to secure

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Bring down the securing knob and screw it into the Osmo handle

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Attach the mobile device holder to the Z-axis rosette mount

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Remove the caps from the X5 and the Z-axis gimbal securing ring

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Twist the gimbal securing ring to lock the X5 in place

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There is a little knob that controls the tension on the spring on the arm. As you add tension, you will see that the camera moves up.

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You want the camera to be right above parallel to the ground when you’re holding it straight.

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Results

From a stability standpoint, the Z-axis definitely adds value. There is almost no up-down movement in the video and that was literally me picking it up and using it for the first time. The first clip was shot using 1080 @ 24FPA. You will notice that there is a significant tilt in the video. The reason is that I was so excited to use it, I forgot to calibrate the gimbal.

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I went through the calibration and then shot another video with the Z-axis for the Osmo Pro/RAW at 1080 and 60FPS. I think that the 60FPS is much sharper and there are definitely reasons for using each. You may want to slow down your footage and use the 60FPS in a 24FPS movie, or you may like the 24FPS look and use it as is.

FINAL THOUGHTS

I’m really happy that I got the Z-axis for the DJI Osmo Pro/RAW. Since most of the time I use the Osmo I will be walking around, it makes sense to add this to my gear bag. If you only plan on using the Osmo on a bike mount or a car mount, then there is no real reason to get the Z-axis and you’ll be find with the X5 adapter. I can’t wait to shoot some more tests and I will post them as soon as I can.

UPDATE: I recently took the Osmo Pro, the Z-axis and my Inspire 1 PRO on a boat and shot some test footage.

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