DJI OSMO Review: Osmo vs. G4 GoPro Gimbal
With the release of the DJI Osmo, we've had a few videographers ask us what all the buzz was about. Most of them had heard of the OSMO and DJI but didn't know much. They thought the Osmo sounded like a mixed drink or might be a fancy selfie stick. After getting our hands on the OSMO, we can tell you it's much more than a glorified selfie stick.
Watching video shot out at the beach, our videographer friends were blown away. They routinely spend thousands on a single lens for their camera. But they were impressed with the quality of video taken with the Osmo! We figured it would be beneficial to the video community to show what the Osmo is all about. There are a few other options on the market like Osmo, like the GoPro G4 Gimbal. But all in all, the Osmo is something that makes quality, steady video possible for anyone. Watch the video below to get an idea of what the Osmo is capable of.
The Osmo is from DJI, a company better known for its Phantom 3 and Inspire 1 drones. One of the best features of these UAVs is their gimbal and camera system. With the Osmo, DJI has essentially taken the same camera (Zenmuse X3) and gimbal system from the Inspire 1 and created a handheld version. Or another way to look at the Osmo is as the smaller, younger brother of the larger handheld gimbal system: the DJI Ronin - designed to carry a larger DSLR camera. The Osmo has impressive specs and shoots video in 4k. It can shoot slow motion HD video at up to 120 fps and takes 12MP photos. It even shoots in RAW. You can connect different cameras like the Zenmuse X5 or X5R to the gimbal as well. What I really like about this system is the comfortable ergonomic grip and it’s easy to use. DJI has done a great job creating a product that is functional and extremely useful. Everything from setting it up, to the grip and button placement is well thought out.
Now the question is why not just get a GoPro and cheap selfie stick? If you saw the first few seconds of the video above that is one huge reason. Video stabilization! It does depend on what you want to do, but in general the only thing the GoPro does better is underwater filming - with the right case of course. The current set up for the Osmo is not waterproof - yet! The GoPros have a lot of case options that can make the camera more sturdy to falls and rough handling. But, if you are not trying to beat up your camera or go swimming with it, we recommend the Osmo.
There are a ton of accessories out there for the Osmo as well. To name a few you have many different tripod options, vehicle mounts, bike mounts, as well as extension handles. So you can definitely take the Osmo on all of your adventures. There are many other third party companies coming out with a ton of accessories everyday as well. When you get down to it the Osmo’s video quality with the gimbal provides much smoother video compared to the standalone GoPro. Think of an action shot where you are running, biking or driving (or even just moving the camera in place). The standard GoPro will give you breaks of clean video, but in general a lot of it is unprofessional and depending on the shot and movement will give viewers a headache with shaky bouncy shots.
The top of the line GoPro Hero4 has some impressive stats that are similar to the Osmo. You can compare line by line, but they will both shoot some great video. Each has its place, but the Osmo lack of non-fisheye lens is a huge plus. Everyone knows when video is shot with a GoPro because of the wide angle, fisheye lens. There is a time and a place for a fisheye lens, but in general it just looks a little strange to have a fisheye lens for every shot. The Osmo integrates with your phone and attaches onto the device so you can easily see exactly what you are filming. Gone is the hard time with that tiny screen on a GoPro. Granted, GoPro can link to your phone, but now your holding your phone in one hand and camera in another.
Finding a full camera and gimbal setup that is as good or better and the same price or less than the Osmo is going to be a difficult task. A G4 3-axis handheld gimbal is the closest competition.
All of this to say the Osmo is a great piece of equipment. It is revolutionizing the way we shoot quality stabilized video. It consistently shoots amazing video and is built very user friendly. The market is headed this direction and the video quality and stabilization is something that everyone will expect when they are looking to get a new camera. GoPro Hero4 to mount on the G4 - the camera is not included like OSMO. Quality is decent on the G4, but the G4 gimbal and GoPro Hero4 purchased together would be well over $800.