Tech

DJI Osmo Action 3 review: Cheaper and almost as good as GoPro


Each iteration of by DJI action camera gets better, from the original version with the front color display, to the second version with its smart modular and magnetic design, to the latest version, which is in many ways a compilation of the best of the first two versions. In terms of design and functionality, there’s a lot to like here.

If the new Osmo Action 3 resists GoPro Hero10 it will be very competitive. Unfortunately, the GoPro Hero11 is was at the scene and Osmo struggle to compete with video and image quality. That said, if you don’t need the Hero11’s vertical video, 5.3K-resolution footage, or 27-megapixel stills, the Osmo Action 3 is more affordable and still a very good action camera.

osmotic

Photo: DJI

firstly Osmo Action brings color display in front of the action camera, a move that GoPro later copied. Now, DJI has raised the bar once again by adding a touchscreen to the front of the Osmo Action 3, allowing you to not only capture the frame, but also control the camera. Using your finger to control a small screen sounds cramped, but it works surprisingly well. I had no trouble adjusting basic settings like mode and resolution when shooting.

DJI also brings the best part of it action camera 2—a powerful magnetic rack system—in the form of a quick release rack system. This is the first mount system I’ve used that outperforms GoPro in many ways. For example, it’s the fastest, easiest way to move between a flexible tripod and a helmet mount. There is no need to unscrew and screw the threaded screws of the GoPro mount.

Sure, there are third-party quick release mounts for GoPro that offer similar functionality, but they’re not as simple and elegant as what DJI has done with this magnetic mount. Despite what you might think, it’s hard to accidentally drop these magnets—this has never happened in my testing, including the few times I tried to smack it as hard as I could without fail. break the camera.

Another point where the Osmo Action 3 impresses is the battery life. DJI claims 160 minutes. I only managed 140 (with the rear monitor off, the front screen uses about half that time), but that’s still a huge leap beyond the limit 70 minutes of GoPro Hero11, which seems downright bland. Recharge times are also impressive—I was able to fully charge the battery in 52 minutes. DJI is also selling what they call “multi-function battery case,” which is a very sleek box that also serves as a charging hub, powering three batteries at once. Put it in your pocket and you’ve got over six hours of filming before it needs to be recharged. To shoot the same amount of time with Hero11 would require six the battery.

Light, camera, acting

As far as possible. Externally, the Osmo Action 3 is filled with clever innovations. Where less impressive is the sensor inside. The Osmo Action 3 sticks to the 4K resolution of its predecessor. Will get the job done most of the time, but I find that hero10 and the Hero11’s 5.3K video resolution is useful when you want to crop a scene and still output to 4K. I also prefer shooting at 5.3K for the ability to produce higher resolution still images.

Osmo Action offers the same frame rate at 4K as you’ll find in other action cameras, allowing for 120 frames per second in 4K and 240 frames per second in 1080p, so there’s plenty to get you in Impressive slow motion shots. crave. When you switch to 120fps, Osmo will warn you that at 25 degrees Celsius (77 degrees Fahrenheit), the camera will overheat in nine minutes.

While high-quality video is part of the equation, what you really want in an action camera is a great stabilization system. DJI’s RockSteady isn’t quite as smooth with the GoPro, but it’s pretty close. The main time you’ll notice some noise and blur is in low light conditions (indoors, for example). This wasn’t really an issue in most of my footage, but the GoPro Hero11 clearly outperformed the Action 3 in low-light situations.

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