DJI hopes to take on GoPro with its new Osmo Action camera


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DJI has taken a detour from drones and gimbals to release the Osmo Action, a robust action camera designed to compete directly with GoPro’s Hero lineup.

The compact, ruggedized action camera features the same 1/2.3-inch sensor found inside the Osmo Pocket and captures 12-megapixel Raw stills, as well as 4K HDR video. In front of the sensor is a three-element F2.8 glass lens with a 145 degree field-of-view.

As noted in our hands-on, the Osmo Action features DJI’s electronic image stabilization (EIS) technology it refers to as RockSteady, an tongue-in-cheek nod to GoPro’s HyperSmooth EIS technology. It’s

noting though that DJI estimates an 18-22% crop factor when using RockSteady. DJI has also included a de-warp function to minimize the exaggerated perspective of the wide-angle lens.

One, er two, of the stand-out features of the Osmo Action are its dual displays. In addition to the 2.25in rear touchscreen that’s used to navigate the menu and compose shots, DJI has also added a 1.4in front-facing screen so you know what you’re getting in the shot when snapping a selfie.

Being an action camera, it shouldn’t come as any surprise the Osmo Action is designed to take a beating and keep on working; it’s dustproof, shockproof up to 1.5m (5ft) and waterproof down to 11m (36ft) as is. If more protection or underwater capabilities are required, DJI is also offering an external housing.

The device itself features three buttons: a power button, a record button and a dedicated button DJI calls the Quick Switch (QS) button. The QS button makes it easy to transition between shooting modes, flip what screen is active and change settings, even with gloves on. If the Quick Switch button doesn’t fit the bill, the camera can also be turned on and start recording with your voice thanks to integrated voice control.

On the photo front, the Osmo Action can capture 12MP Raw (DNG) or JPEG images in 16:9 or 4:3 ratios. It features an ISO sensitivity range of 100-3200 and shutter speeds between 120 seconds and 1/8000th of a second. In burst mode, the Osmo Action can capture shots at three, five or seven fps, and the self-timer mode can be set for three or ten second intervals.

When it comes to video, the Osmo Action can capture 4K/60p video at 100Mbps and 4K HDR video at up to 30 fps. For high frame rate video, the Osmo Action can capture up to 240 fps if the resolution is dropped down to 1080p.

The Osmo Action has built-in Bluetooth and Wi-Fi so it can be paired with Android and iOS devices via DJI’s Mimo mobile app. When connected, you can compose shots, change settings, capture images and instantly transfer content on the fly.

Media is stored on microSD/SDXC/SDHC cards up to 256GB. The battery, which DJI says can be fully charged via the onboard USB-C port in 88 minutes, can last 116 minutes when recording at 1080/30p or 91 minutes when recording 4K/30p with RockSteady enabled.

The DJI Osmo Action is currently available to pre-order at Adorama and B&H for $349. It comes with a camera frame, a flat adhesive mount, a curved adhesive mount, a quick-release base, the battery, a battery case, a locking screen and a USB-C cable. Additional accessories are also available.

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