Osmo Action: Good for drones? Or stay with GoPro?

DJI Osmo Action

Few days ago, DJI – market leader in drone technology officially revealed their first GoPro alike rugged action camera. Let’s find out if drone pilots should switch to Osmo Action or stay with their Hero 7.

Smartphone cameras are pretty incredible these days, but they are very hard to be installed on drones, especially if you want to use them together with mechanical gimbals. For long time GoPro was the favorite brand of most FPV drone pilots. In addition to its excellent image quality, there it has wide range of mounting accessories.

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Back in 2015, DJI began putting their motorized image-stabilization technology into hand-held camera gimbals. While it was well-received by vloggers, being large and heavy, drone pilots had no interest on it. Later they announced a much smaller handheld gimbal camera called Osmo Pocket. Despite its incredibly small size still could not be used successfully on drones. Let’s be fair, handheld gimbals are good for vlogging and travailing, but surely not for extreme conditions like drone mounting or water-sport activities.

DJI Osmo Action underwater usage

DJI Osmo Action underwater usage

DJI Osmo Action – Unleash Your Other Side

Lately many action camera manufactures announced their own drones. GoPro had the Karma and Xiaomi has the FiMI X8SE. DJI response was inevitable, they had to enter in their world too!

At first look, the Osmo Action beets most action camera on the market. It features rugged design and dual-display system for selfie enthusiast. Without a housing, the Osmo Action can travel 11m/36ft safely underwater (one meter deeper than the GP7). Thanks to its versatile battery, it is certified to be used in extremely cold environments with temperatures as low as -10℃.

Osmo Action vs GoPro Hero 7

As you can see in the comparison table bellow, these two action cameras shares similar specs. Both, adopts near-identical image sensors that can shoot 4K video at up to 60 frames per seconds. While DJI names their electronic image stabilization “RockSteady”, GoPro is call it “HyperSmooth”. Anyway, for smooth videos you will need to use a mechanical gimbal. Due to the dual-display approach, the Osmo Action is slightly heavier than its contender.

  Osmo Action GoPro Hero 7 Black
Dimensions 65 × 42 × 35 mm 62.3 x 44.9 x 28.3 mm
Weight 124 grams 116 grams
Waterproofing 11 meters 10 meters
Image sensor 1/2.3-inch CMOS 12-megapixels 1/2.3-inch CMOS 12-megapixels
Live-view display Front+Rear Rear
Max video resolution/frame rate 4K/60fps or 1080p/240fps 4K/60fps or 1080p/240fps
Max video bit-rate 100Mbs 78Mbps
HDR Yes (EIS disabled) No
Video stabilization Electronic (RockSteady) Electronic (HyperSmooth)
Slo-mo speed 8x 8x
Livestreaming No Yes
Special modes Timelapse, Hyperlapse, Mimo My Stories Timelapse, TimeWarp, QuickStories
Price $349 $399.99

Similar to the Hero 7, there are it has two microphones (one on the top, another on the side), which can provide pretty enjoyable audio. Anyway, DJI says that for a superior audio quality, the Osmo Action will receive an external microphone.

DJI Osmo Action offers comparable range of trick shots like its biggest rival, including slow-motion (1080p@240fps), time-lapse and even voice command. Furthermore it has 100Mbps recording bit-rate and HDR video mode.

DJI Osmo Action for drones

DJI Osmo Action for drones

Conclusions

IMHO, in case that you are already own a GoPro camera, there is no real reason to switch. Other hand, if you are looking for your first drone camera, the Osmo Action is a good choice due to its more friendly price tag. It does almost the same thing as the $ 50 more expensive H7.

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Alex

Passion for planes, flights, aeronautical engineering and eager to share my knowledge and related areas of interest.

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