30 November 2018
The Osmo Pocket is the latest stabilised camera from Chinese drone maker DJI. The new camera is tiny – even smaller than an iPhone – but is built around an electronic gimbal stabiliser like the ones in DJI’s Mavic drones. It’s far smaller than the other models in the Osmo range, including the Osmo Mobile which I use with my iPhone.
I think this is a really interesting camera. One of the biggest drawbacks of shooting with your phone is that you can’t really keep it steady, especially for moving shots, without a stabiliser. And while the Osmo Mobile works very well, it’s big, relatively heavy and too obtrusive to use discreetly. I often rely on a ShoulderPod clamp instead.
The Osmo Pocket is small enough to take anywhere, and as they say, the best camera is the one you have with you. It offers lots of creative possibilities: use it to get smooth tracking shots, steady static shots without a tripod, or on a boom pole to get crane shots like this one.
The Pocket’s built-in camera has a 1/2.3″ sensor – that’s roughly the same size as the sensors in the newest iPhones. It can record 4K in 60fps slow motion, or Full HD at 120fps. It has a built-in colour touchscreen, but you can also connect it to your phone and use that as your screen.
DJI have developed a new phone app – Mimo – which includes ActiveTrack (for tracking and following objects) and FaceTrack (for faces). In selfie mode, FaceTrack will be really useful for vloggers. You can also switch to FPV mode which follows tilts and leans to show dynamic movement.
The Pocket is designed to be very easy to use, but the Mimo app also has a Pro mode which gives you manual control over exposure and even lets you shoot in a D-Cinelike mode (forthcoming) which offers more scope for colour correction than normal footage.
DJI are developing a range of accessories for the Pocket: you can already get a controller wheel for accurate pans and tilts, an accessory mount and a wireless module, and you’ll shortly be able to buy a waterproof housing, an extension rod/selfie stick, ND filters and a charging case.
The Pocket has a built-in battery (good for up to around 2 hours filming) but you can connect an external power pack.
If you were thinking of buying a basic camcorder or GoPro – or getting a gimbal stabiliser for your phone – it would be well worth considering the Pocket as a more convenient alternative. It costs $349/£329, less than the GoPro Hero 7. I’m ordering one.