Drones and cameras often go hand in hand, thanks to things like aerial photography and various enterprise and even emergency uses cases. So, it makes sense for DJI to launch its own rugged camera, putting it squarely at odds with GoPro, perhaps the most popular maker of action cams to date.
Called Osmo Action, the latest device from DJI is described as "waterproof, shockproof, and dustproof," but because this is an action camera, after all, those features were pretty much a given. Nevertheless, the Chinese company is promising water resistance up to a depth of 36 feet, and the ability to withstand drops and impacts from up to five feet. It'll also be able to operate at temperatures up to 14 degrees F.
DJI loaded Osmo Action with a 1/2.3-inch sensor that captures 12-megapixel stills and records 4K video (up to 60fps at 100Mbps and 4K HDR video in 4K/30fps). The lens itself comes with what DJI called a "three-glass aspherical lens design," which should allow Osmo Action to record "low-distortion content." The lens also has anti-fingerprint and anti-reflective coatings, letting you to shoot in a variety of conditions without having to worry about nuisances like lens glare or brightness, or your grubby prints getting in the way.
Uniquely, there's not one but two color screens on Osmo Action. The first is a 1.4-inch front-facing display that's been added to make it easier to capture stunning selfies during stunt work. The second one is a 2.25-inch rear-facing touchscreen, complete with water and fingerprint resistance and a brightness of 750 nits, which means it should be a breeze to use in all sorts of situations, including in direct sunlight.
Osmo Action has a removable battery that offers a run time of about 93 minutes during 4K recording. If you need even more juice for your travels, DJI is offering a Charging Hub accessory you can separately purchase. It's supposed to let you power up to three batteries simultaneously in less than 130 minutes.
Now, an action camera without stabilization features is worthless. Imagine climbing a mountain with Osmo Action, or surfing a huge wave, all while trying to capture 4K HDR video -- only to review the footage after and be disappointed by the amount of shake, making it completely unwatchable. To avoid all that, DJI created three-axis mechanical gimbals and incorporated its Electronic Image Stabilization technology in conjunction with stabilization algorithms to ensure smooth, stable video recording at all times.
In terms of creative features, DJI added a bunch of shooting modes, including slo-mo (up to 8x slow mo in 1080p 240fps), time lapse, and custom exposure settings (up to 120 seconds of exposure). Each of these features are easily accessible with a few taps.
Osmo Action can be connected to your iOS or Android device over Wi-Fi or Bluetooth using DJI's newly released DJI Mimo mobile app. It primarily lets you see a live feed of the action camera, but also access multiple story templates and do quick in-app quick editing.
Of course. DJI is launching a range of accessories to go with Osmo Action. It consists of a protective camera frame kit with a universal mount for other accessories, as well as adhesive mounts for flat and curved surfaces, and a waterproof case that adds protection up to 60 meters. There's also a 3.5mm adapter for microphones, an extension rod that works like a selfie stick, and a floating handle so it can bob in water.
Plus, DJI is offering the Charging Hub, which we mentioned earlier, though we don't yet have pricing.