I’m sure the question “Should I buy a DJI Osmo?” is one that’s on the mind of quite a few people right now. At £549 ( $649 ) it’s definitely a very expensive camera. So lets look at it a little bit more shall we..
Who are DJI?
DJI are more commonly known for making arguably the best and most popular “Drones” on the market, the DJI Phantom series. These started out with no camera then moved along to having mounts/gimbal for GoPro’s and then DJI started making their own cameras. What we are left with now is the amazing DJI Phantom 3 with its 4k ready stabilized camera and the more impressive Inspire 1 that now sports a very good quality Micro Four Thirds camera, the X5.
So, how does this lead us to the Osmo.. Well, as you see, DJI have a history of making the two items that make up an Osmo, a quality gimbal and amazing cameras.
So, What is the OSMO?
In simple terms, the OSMO is nothing more than a handheld camera mounted to a gimbal. It was originally going to be an accessory for the Inspire 1’s X3 camera and was shown off early this year at CES 2015. For reasons unknown, DJI decided to ditch this accessory and create a dedicated device instead. Roll on to October 2015 and DJI reveal to the world their new fangly handheld stabilized camera, the OSMO.
The Osmo, as sold has a very similar camera to the Inspire 1’s X3. Its modified to be suited to close filming as well as having 120fps support. DJI did not stop there with the OSMO, no no no, they were already developing a new camera for the Inspire 1, the X5 and X5R so it made sense they made this camera compatible with the OSMO handle too ( not available to buy at time of writing ). The link between Osmo and the X5 puts the device well inside the professional bracket.
Is it better than a GoPro?
I think they have different uses to be compared directly as devices but in terms of camera, yes, IMO its better. GoPro seems to target the action camera market whereas the Osmo is more suited to general video production and with the X5 and X5R options, camera quality wise the Osmo blows the GoPro out of the window. You could use thre Osmo as an action camera but unlike GoPro it does have limitations. Osmo is in no way waterproof so going underwater with it is a no no. Likewise, Osmo is not really that rugged, drop it and its likely to break. But to be fair, if you use the GoPro with a gimbal, both of these limitations apply to it also.
The Osmo does have the option of a few accessories. There is a bike mount and car mount that will allow you to create some good action shots.
Can the Osmo ever be a professional device?
Yes, yes it can. If you want pro quality stabilized video then the Osmo handle with an X5 or X5R camera mounted will give you this. And because of its size, even with the X5, you can get it into locations a bigger set-up could not. The X5 is also not limited to one focal length, you have aperture control and low light video will look much better. Another good feature of the Osmo is the App driven wireless control. This means you can have dual operator control.
So, should I buy it?
Well, if you are a pro film-maker then you will definitely make good use of the Osmo. If you are average Joe then maybe you need to have more of a think about what you will use it for. Its pricey as a selfie cam and not as good as a GoPro in terms of being a full on action camera.