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DJI Osmo Action 3 and GoPro Hero 11 Black compared: A first look

This new action camera looks and feels a lot like the GoPro. Here's what you get.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor
DJI Osmo Action 3 with lens cap on

The DJI Osmo Action 3.

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

I own a number of DJI products – from drones to microphones – and lately I've been asked for my thoughts on the new Osmo Action 3 camera, especially how it stacks up to the new GoPro Hero 11 Black.

Challenge accepted!

Because doing a proper comparison between the two cameras will take a little while, I thought that as an appetizer I'd bring you along for a first look, and note some things that I like and some things that I dislike right away about this newest action camera on the scene.

This is the DJI Osmo Action 3 Adventure Combo, which is a little different from the base model in terms of accessories, but as far as the camera is concerned, they're the same. 

Tech specs

  • Sensor: 1/1.7-inch CMOS
  • Lens: FOV: 155°
  • Aperture: f/2.8
  • Focus range: 0.3 m to ∞
  • ISO range photo: 100-12800
  • ISO range video: 100-12800
  • Electronic shutter speed photo: 1/8000-30 s
  • Electronic shutter speed video: 1/8000 s to the limit of frames per second
  • Max photo resolution: 4,000×3,000
  • Digital zoom photo: 4X
  • Photo resolution: 12MP
  • Dimensions (L×W×H): 70.5×44.2×32.8mm
  • Weight: 145 g
  • Waterproof: 16m without waterproof case, 60m with waterproof case
  • Number of microphones: 3
  • Front screen: 1.4-inch 326 ppi 320×320
  • Rear screen: 2.25-inch 326 ppi 360×640
  • Supported SD cards: microSD (up to 256 GB)
  • Max video bit rate: 130Mbps
  • Photo format: JPEG/RAW
  • Video format: MP4 (H.264/HEVC)
  • Audio output: 48kHz; AAC
  • Battery: 1,770 mAh
  • Battery operating temperature: -20° to 45° C (-4° to 113° F)
  • Operating time: 160 minutes

What's in the box

In the Adventure Combo you get the action camera.

The Osmo Action 3 from the back

The Osmo Action 3

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

Looks familiar... 

The DJI Osmo Action 3 next to the GoPro Hero 11 Black

The DJI Osmo Action 3 next to the GoPro Hero 11 Black.

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

The kit also comes with three "extreme" batteries and a handy charging/carrying case (note that there's confusion over this as some literature says the kit comes with two batteries, but there are three).

Two batteries showing in the carrying case and another beside it.

Batteries and carrying case.

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

Those batteries look and feel familiar too.

DJI Osmo Action 3 battery next to a GoPro battery

DJI Osmo Action 3 battery next to a GoPro battery.

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

The kit also comes with a while bunch of accessories.

Osmo Action 3 accessories

The Osmo Action 3 accessories.

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

There two accessories that interest me in particular. There's the protective frame that's designed to stop the camera taking too much of a battering. It's a bit of a tight squeeze getting the camera into this, so there's no danger that it's going to fall out accidentally.

The protective frame.

The protective frame.

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

Also in the kit are two quick-release magnetic adapter mounts. These can be fitted to the bottom or side of the camera.

I'm very interested to see how well these stand up to heavy use and whether they can keep the camera in place when things start getting rough.

Quick release magnetic adapter mount fitted to the bottom of the Osmo Action 3

The quick-release magnetic adapter mount can be fitted to the bottom or the side of the Osmo Action 3 -- here it is fitted to the bottom.

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET
Adapter plate fitted to the side

Here's the adapter plate fitted to the side.

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

There's also a telescopic selfie stick that extends out to 1.5 meters to allow you to get those hard-to-reach angles.

Telescopic selfie stick

The telescopic selfie stick.

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

Many of the ergonomics of the Osmo Action 3 -- from the buttons to the battery flap -- do remind me of the GoPro Hero 11 Black. This is both good and bad in my view. It's good in that the system will be familiar to those coming from a GoPro to the Osmo Action 3, but it's not so good in that it would have been nice to have seen a fresh take on the action camera rather than borrow so heavily from the GoPro.

The Osmo Action 3 with the film compartment open

A lot about the Osmo Action 3 is strongly reminiscent of the GoPro Hero 11 Black.

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

So that's a first look at the new Osmo Action 3. 

Yes, it's an action camera, and yes, it's very reminiscent of the action cameras that GoPro has been pushing out for the past few years. But how it looks is secondary to how it performs, and my plan is to pit the DJI Osmo Action 3 against the GoPro Hero 11 Black in a number of real-world tests and see how the two perform and what kind of output they are capable of producing.

Because, at the end of the day, it's the output that matters.

Stay tuned!

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