When it comes to drones, DJI has long been the leader in the space. But a few years ago, GoPro tried entering the space with their GoPro Karma quadcopter, and it was a very expensive (and embarrassing) disaster, sending the company’s stock spiraling down 30% in 2016 after having to recall 2,500 drones due to “a small number of units” losing power mid-flight.
Now, DJI is turning the tables and taking a run at GoPro on their turf with the introduction of their DJI Osmo Action Camera, a compact, rugged action camera that should give the GoPro Hero 7 a run for its money. In fact, early reviews suggest that it might just be a “GoPro killer.”
So what exactly makes the DJI Osmo Action so special? At first glance, it looks much the same as the other action cams on the market. But the devil is in the detail.
Here’s a quick rundown of the Osmo Action’s specs:
- Compact action camera with 1/2.3″ CMOS sensor and wide f/2.8 lens that records up to 4K60p HDR video and 12MP photos.
- Capture up to 12MP raw and JPEG photos; record up to 4K60p or 1080p240 H.264 MOV or MP4 video at up to 100 Mb/s; supports slow-motion, hyperlapse, and time-lapse modes.
- Crisp 2.25″ touchscreen display on back with 640 x 360 resolution; 320 x 320 resolution display on front. Lock screen function to prevent accidental touchscreen presses.
- DJI’s RockSteady Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS) technology stabilizes footage in standard record modes with 18-22% crop factor. RockSteady is enabled in all video modes except in slow-motion, hyperlapse, or time-lapse mode.
- Slow-motion mode records up to 240 fps; maximum ISO is 3200.
- Supports High Dynamic Range (HDR) video recording in 4K30p.
- Five voice commands make essential functions like filming, capturing photos, and powering down the device effortless.
- Dual microphones with noise reduction technology and dual speakers; can input audio with an external microphone using the USB Type-C input.
- Durable enough to withstand drops from 5′ and can be submerged down to 36′ in water without a case for up to 30 minutes.
- The Quick Switch button ensures modes and settings are easily and quickly accessible. It has multiple capabilities including options that let you flip between the front and back screen, change modes, and select custom settings.
- With SnapShot you’ll never miss a moment of the action. Press the shutter button to power on and begin recording in under two seconds. Pressing the shutter button once when the camera is in sleep mode or powered off engages preset shooting modes.
- 145° angle of view; narrow and dewarp field-of-view options.
- Removable battery with a run time of 93 minutes recording at 4K/30fps with RockSteady enabled, and 135 minutes recording at 1080p/30fps without RockSteady. Charge to 70% in 30 minutes with a separately available fast-charging adapter.
As you can see, there’s a lot to like about the DJI Osmo Action. For me, the big differentiator is the front LCD display, which shows a live view from the camera and allows for easier framing of shots without having to connect to the camera through an app.
In addition, DJI’s Rocksteady feature combines EIS with complex algorithms, delivering stable, shake-free footage no matter how heavy the action gets. It should be interesting to see how it compares to GoPro’s HyperSmooth EIS technology.
And of course, we can’t forget about price. The DJI Osmo Action retails for $349, which is $50 cheaper than the GoPro Hero 7. But something tells me that GoPro will be dropping their prices to match very soon, so they don’t get undercut on price.
What do you think of DJI’s foray into the action camera market? Will you switch from GoPro? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.