DJI Osmo Action 3 Review: Cheaper and Nearly as Good as a GoPro

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Every iteration of DJI’s motion digital camera will get higher, from the unique with its shade entrance display screen, to the second model with its intelligent modular and magnetic design, to the most recent, which is in some ways a synthesis of the perfect components of the primary two. Design-wise and functionally, there’s a lot to love right here.

If the brand new Osmo Action 3 have been going up towards the GoPro Hero10 it might be very aggressive. Unfortunately, the GoPro Hero11 is already on the scene and the Osmo struggles to compete with video and picture high quality. That mentioned, should you don’t want vertical video, 5.3K-resolution footage, or the 27-megapixel stills of the Hero11, the Osmo Action 3 is extra reasonably priced and nonetheless is a superb motion digital camera.


Photograph: DJI

The first Osmo Action introduced a shade display screen to the entrance of the motion digital camera, a transfer that GoPro later copied. Now DJI has upped the ante once more by including a touchscreen to the entrance of the Osmo Action 3, permitting you to not solely body photographs, but additionally management the digital camera as effectively. Using your fingers to regulate a tiny display screen would possibly sound cramped, however it works surprisingly effectively. I had no bother adjusting primary settings like mode and capturing decision.

DJI additionally introduced the perfect a part of its Action 2 digital camera—the highly effective magnetic mounting system—within the type of a quick-release mounting system. This is the primary mounting system I’ve used that trumps the GoPro in some ways. It’s by far the quickest, best approach to transfer, for example, between a versatile tripod and a helmet mount. There’s no unscrewing and twiddling with the threaded screws of GoPro mounts.

Sure, there are third-party quick-release mounts for the GoPro that supply related performance, however they aren’t as easy and elegant as what DJI has completed with this magnetic mount. Despite what you would possibly assume, it’s onerous to by accident knock these magnets off—it by no means occurred in my testing, which included a few makes an attempt to hit it as onerous as I might with out breaking the digital camera.

The different place the Osmo Action 3 impresses is battery life. DJI claims 160 minutes. I solely managed 140 (with the rear display screen off, the entrance display screen used about half that point), however that’s nonetheless leaps and bounds past the GoPro Hero11’s 70 minutes, which appears downright paltry. Also spectacular is the recharge time—I used to be in a position to get the batteries absolutely recharged in 52 minutes. DJI can also be promoting what it calls a (*3*) which is a very slick case that additionally serves as a charging hub, powering up three batteries at a time. Throw that in your bag and you’ve obtained effectively over six hours of capturing time earlier than you might want to recharge. To shoot the identical size of time with the Hero11 would require six batteries.

Lights, Camera, Action

So far so good. Externally, the Osmo Action 3 is chock stuffed with intelligent improvements. Where it’s much less spectacular is the sensor inside. The Osmo Action 3 sticks with the 4K decision of its predecessor. Most of the time that can get the job completed, however I’ve discovered that the Hero10 and Hero11’s 5.3K video decision is useful once you need to crop into the footage and nonetheless export to 4K. I’m additionally keen on capturing at 5.3K for the flexibility to tug out higher-resolution nonetheless photographs.

The Osmo Action provides the identical body charges at 4K as you’ll discover in different motion cams, permitting for 120 frames per second at 4K and 240 frames per second in 1080p, which is loads of frames to get these dramatic slow-motion photographs you crave. When you turn to 120 fps, the Osmo will warn you that at 25 levels Celsius (77 levels Fahrenheit), the digital camera will overheat in 9 minutes.

While high-quality video is a a part of the equation, what you actually need in an motion digital camera is a nice stabilization system. DJI’s RockSteady isn’t fairly GoPro clean, however it’s fairly shut. The foremost time you’ll discover some noise and blurring is in low mild (indoors for instance). This wasn’t actually a difficulty in most of my footage, however the GoPro Hero11 did clearly outperform the Action 3 in low-light conditions.

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