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Osmo Action: DJI’s here to take GoPro’s lunch money

Remember that time GoPro tried to beat DJI at their own game? Well, it’s now DJI‘s turn to return the favour with the company’s brand new DJI Osmo Action. It’s an action camera that looks suspiciously like a GoPro Hero7, but has a couple of features to give it the competitive edge.

I mean, the resemblance is uncanny. From the way it looks to the way you mount it, there’s no doubt here of DJI’s intention with this tiny camera. And if you look closely at the Osmo Action, you can see how DJI plans to do it too.

Right off the bat, the most notable thing about this tiny shooter is the fact that it has a front-facing screen. Yes, a front-facing screen so you can monitor your framing on an action camera that’s the size of half a Rubik’s cube — that’s incredible. Of course, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen something like this on a tiny “action” camera because we saw Sony’s RX0 II show off something similar. However, while that had an over-engineered flip up screen, the Osmo Action adopts a much simpler approach.

At the back, the Osmo Action is also all-screen — a very 2019 gadget then. This display is touch-sensitive and is the primary way you interact with the camera through it’s UI, Action OS . Of course, there’s also a power button, record button and something called the QS button on the side that can be use to quick-switch between shooting modes. To switch from the back screen to the front screen, you can either press and hold the QS button for three seconds, or double tap the main touchscreen with two fingers.

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Very intuitive, yes, but I do find it weird that the front display is square when the camera shoots in a rectangular 16:9 aspect ratio. Does that mean it doesn’t show you the sides of your frame? I suppose that’s not a huge deal, just something I thought was kinda interesting.

In any case, the GoPro Acti– sorry, Osmo Action, is as capable as any high-end action camera out there when it comes to video recording. It does up to 4K with 60fps at a 100Mbps, (145-degree FOV) and is able to shoot 240fps (8x) slow motion footage at 1080p. Image quality from the various videos I’ve seen online looks pretty comparable to the GoPro Hero7, but I did notice that in a couple of tests the Hero7 has better dynamic range and highlight control. Still, this is by no means enough for me to give a definitive answer, so judge the footage for yourself.

Much like the GoPro Hero7 Black that this tiny guy will be going up against, DJI’s equipped the Osmo Action with its very own HyperSmooth built-in video stabilisation. It’s called RockSteady and from what I can tell it works about the same as GoPro’s, if a little better. Test footage looks really incredible so I’m psyched to try it out for myself.

One interesting thing about the Osmo Action is that the front lens is actually removable, so you can add stuff like an ND filter to the action camera for shooting in bright sunny days. It can also take 12MP photos if that’s more your thing.

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Powering the Osmo Action is a 1,300 mAh battery (3.85V) that DJI says can give you 135 minutes of 1080p/30fps video recording with RockSteady on, and 63 minutes of continuous video recording at 4K/30fps with RockSteady on.

The Osmo Action is also waterproof down to 11m (how convenient that it can go 1m deeper than the Hero7) without a case, and uses what looks to be an identical mounting system to the one GoPro uses. However, it is worth noting that the Osmo Action’s twist quick-release mount looks a lot more intuitive than GoPro’s.

For now, we don’t have any information on the DJI Osmo Action’s Malaysian pricing, but we’ve reached out to DJI Malaysia to find out and we’ll update this post when we hear back from them.

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