REVIEW: DJI Osmo Mobile

Recently, I got hold of the DJI Osmo Mobile as I was looking for a hand held stabilizer to shoot videos. Several reasons why I went for the Osmo Mobile instead of buying the other range of products is quite simple:

1. Price wise, it's quite ok (RM1,099 or USD300).
2. I can mount any phones to it.
3. I can use the GoPro with it (with an adapter)

What I don't like about it:

1. It only came with 1 battery
2. The USB to RCA cable used to charge the Osmo is so small that you will easily misplaced it
3. Should have come with the external charger + extra battery (cause getting those added unnecessary cost for me)
4. The angle of the hole for tripod mount on the side of the joystick is in a weird angle

The Osmo Mobile gimbal itself is quite easy to use, charge it up with the supplied cable, download DJI Go into your phone, sync the 2 devices together (brand new ones will require a firmware update that takes about 15min to do) and you are ready to go.

I've used it for about 2 months now, and I must say that I did not regret buying the Osmo Mobile. I've used it on several shoots and with phone technology these days, I am shooting at 4K with great results. Most of my clients doesn't even realize that some of the footages they receive was shot from a phone! Yes, I'm still learning and figuring out how to smoothly do certain stuff but in general, it is easy to use. Much more easier than my old steady-cam rig that I had to mount a beta cam onto.

With an adapter, I even save money on a GoPro Karma gimbal as I can mount the GoPro cameras to the Osmo and use. Only downside to it is, the GoPro do pick up a bit of noise from the Osmo (Might be due to the gimbal constantly moving to right itself due to the weight of the GoPro). So if you are not planning to use your GoPro with sound, it's a good fit.

That's about the gimbal itself. Now, the DJI Go software itself. It connects to the Osmo via Bluetooth so you can still use your wifi to do Live Streaming when you needed to. Overall, the software is quite intuitive, simple to use and with a bit of practice, easy to navigate around (it is less cluttered compared to the DJI Mavic interface).

The one part that I wish they'd improve on is the tracking system. If you intend to use the system to do vlogging, it's OK. Slow moving objects, just walking about (as long as the side you want it to track faces the camera) works smoothly. The problem came in low light, it will hunt for the subject even after you lock the box in. And if you intend to track a faster moving object, it'll go haywire. I was trying to use it to track a dance routine, but when we go into the fast movement, I can see the Osmo going bonkers and start rotating about looking for the subject it was locking into even though I am just in front of it. If they found a solution for that, I would say it's going to be my go-to device for all my dance demos and performance.

Photo quality wise, it works off your camera's sensor, so on that, I won't comment much as I am still using an old Note3 and you know how the quality of a Note3 is like. The DJI Go app itself does not shoot in 4K but a workaround to it is, I do the video recording off another app while I use the gimbal. It doesn't really affect the device itself, you can still rotate, tilt and move with the Osmo, only thing that will be disabled is the ability to control when you want to start recording on the Osmo itself and rely on poking the screen with your finger.

Overall, I am quite happy with it, didn't regret spending money on it as it's one of the things I carry with me whenever I work. A little "Pro-Tip" for you before you start using yours, always balance the phone or the GoPro (adapter mounted) on the gimbal first before you turn the Osmo on. It will work less hard in making your camera balanced which means your device consume less power.

A friend of mine used his without balance and the battery lasted only 2 hour ish (continuous use) with the joints heating up fast while I managed to use it for up to 4 hours and there was less heat coming from the joints. A balanced Mount would mean that your camera will be facing upright (like the photo) even without the power turned on. An unbalanced mount will have the camera dropping to the side before getting upright after the power turned on.

Well, hope this helps. Will update this post with more things as I discover more about the device. Until then, here's a video montage I shot in Bali using only my phone with the Osmo Mobile.

*This is not a paid review, I bought the device and used it for work and was asked by some friends about my thoughts on the Osmo Mobile. Rather than repeating myself, I write a post about it.

Ratings :

Ease of Use :

Intuitive :

Durability :

Battery Life :

Value For Money :

Michael Yip

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