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DJI Osmo Pocket Review (Still worth it in 2024?)

Updated in 2024 by Paul Posea
osmo pocket stabilized gimbal 4k camera vlogging

At the time of its release, the original DJI Osmo Pocket sent waves into the handheld camera market. It gave GoPro’s then flagship device, the GoPro 7, pretty decent competition.

But now that we're in 2024, is it still a relevant camera?

Well, it does deliver high-quality stabilized footage in a 4k format. But that isn’t quite enough to know whether it’s still worth buying.

This post is all about sifting through the Osmo Pocket’s spec sheet and reviewing its actual performance, all while keeping in mind some of the more recently released devices we have in the market now. 

What Makes the Osmo Pocket a Great Vlogging Camera

Image Stability

There's no doubt you’ve seen a lot of vloggers, or just people in general, shooting videos that made you dizzy because of how unstable they were.

Good image stability can make or break a video. And that’s something the Osmo Pocket does offer.

It has a stunning 3 axis gimbal, and it also comes with a very capable camera on top.

osmo pocket gimbal photo

Camera Quality

A camera this small shouldn’t really be able to shoot truly impressive footage in today’s standards, right?

Wrong.

The Osmo Pocket is not only capable of recording up to 4k 60fps, but also slow motion in 1080p, and all of this at a 100 Mbits/s.

The thing that contributes most to the cinematic effect, compared to similarly sized GoPro cameras is the recording field of view. The 80 degree field of view is in my opinion perfect for capturing a tighter but more "film-like" shot of the environment or even your face.

There is no fish eye effect, and that's a good thing, because that should be used for sport videos, and not everything else. Otherwise, your footage can seem amateurish.

Turning Camera and Portability

If the Osmo Pocket looks tiny to you over the internet, well... it's even smaller in real life.

The name isn't for nothing, as you can actually keep it in any pocket and have it ready to go in a few seconds for capturing whatever you want.

The ability to turn the camera by pressing the button 3 times toward you or away from you makes this the ultimate tool for vloggers.

No more need to have a bulky cam around and maybe one that doesn't even have a flip screen so you have no idea if you can see yourself in the frame.

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.

Osmo Pocket Price and Specs

The DJI Osmo Pocket, as of its review, is priced at $279. This price reflects a decrease from its price at release in 2018.

The Osmo Pocket's price positions it as a somewhat affordable option for those seeking a portable and high-quality video camera with gimbal stabilization. 

It's important to note that this price does not include any additional accessories, which may be necessary for maximizing the camera's potential. 

The cost makes it a competitive option for vloggers and social media enthusiasts looking for a balance between functionality and affordability.

The specs for the Osmo Pocket are still impressive today, especially considering its size. But specs aren't always everything, so I do recommend you check out my full review down below, where I also tested its stabilization on an off-road track.

My Osmo Pocket Video Review

Design and Build Quality

The DJI Osmo Pocket stands out for its compact and portable design. Measuring 4.8 x 1.5 x 1.1 inches and weighing just 4.1 ounces, it’s ideal for on-the-go shooting.

The device's dark gray body is also solid and durable, crafted to withstand regular use.

Despite the gimbal’s delicate appearance, it proves to be robust in functionality. DJI smartly includes a protective case, essential for safeguarding the gimbal against daily wear and tear.

Overall, the Osmo Pocket's design is both user-friendly and sturdy. It's definitely a practical choice for anyone needing a portable, high-quality video and photo tool.

Camera and Stabilization

As mentioned previously, the Osmo Pocket comes with a novelty for this size of camera. The 3 axis gimbal stabilization is pretty much the highest quality image stabilization option in the modern world. 

The electronic stabilization in cameras like the new GoPro is getting quite good, but they have to crop from the image and they have a considerable disadvantage when it comes to night time video stabilization.

gimbal stabilization vs electronic vs optical image

Gimbal vs Electronic vs Optical Image Stabilization

Stabilization is key in photography and videography for clear, smooth results. Here's a brief comparison of Gimbal Stabilization, Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS), and Optical Image Stabilization (OIS):

FeatureGimbalEISOIS
MechanismPhysical counteraction using motors.Digital shake reduction.Lens/sensor adjustments.
EffectivenessGreat for wide movements.Good for minor shakes.Best for small, quick movements.
Quality ImpactNo quality loss.Slight crop and quality reduction.High quality maintained.
Power UseHigher due to mechanics.Lower, software-based.Moderate, physical adjustments.
Best ForProfessional video.Casual, mobile use.General photography/videography.
PortabilityLess portable.Built-in, very portable.Minimal impact on size.
CostMore expensive.Cost-effective.Moderately priced.

A few image samples for comparison

In the middle there's my Panasonic camera with a natural looking lens, but although the quality is amazing, I have to keep my camera farther away from me to even be able to capture my entire face. 

The Osmo, on the other hand, has a perfect field of view in my opinion, being able to capture without distorting things and keeping things crisp at the same time.

The GoPro makes me look tired and the field of view is too wide for my taste.

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The photo above is considerably smaller than the original, so don't think this is the standard sharpness. Osmo takes 4000x3000 pixel photos that are super sharp in quality.

I wouldn't consider it to be great when taking pictures at night though, as they can end up blurred.

Osmo Pocket Functions and App

DJI seems to have made the Osmo good for quick use when you actually need it fast.

The most useful features in that regard are the two buttons in the front.

Besides the red button that starts and stops video and takes photos the other single button can do the following functions:

  • One press: change between photo and video mode (super useful for quick use without getting in the menu)
  • Pressing it two times: recalibrates the gimbal to stay in the general direction you're facing
  • Pressing it three times: reorients the camera either facing you or facing front (depending on where it currently is)

Of course, you can hold the right button to turn it on and off at any time in about 2-3 seconds.

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Gimbal Safety and Storage Case

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I was initially worried the Osmo Pocket would require me to be a bit too cautious with its use and handling.

However, the reality differs.

The most fragile thing is the moving part of the gimbal, which DJI made in such a way that if you put the Osmo on any surface that represents too much of a burden for the motors, they will shut down temporarily and relax so that they don't break. 

This feature means you don't have to turn the Osmo off every time you put it facing down.

Another very important safety accessory is the case that comes with it. Which is very well built and easy to use. 

An update made the gimbal capture the perfect position to be put in the case after you shut down the osmo, so you don't have to manually handle it while putting it inside.

What comes with Osmo Pocket?

In the box of the DJI Osmo Pocket, you'll find the essentials to get started: the Osmo Pocket camera itself, a protective cover for safekeeping, a lanyard for easy carrying, and a power cable for charging. 

Additionally, it includes two smartphone adapters, one for USB-C and one for Lightning connections, ensuring compatibility with a variety of phones. 

This setup provides the basic tools needed for immediate use, right out of the box.

Touchscreen Settings and Gimbal Modes

The Osmo comes with quite a complete ecosystem of settings just by itself.

However, that doesn't mean connecting it to a phone is useless.

The small touch screen on the Osmo is very responsive and handles important settings like:

Changing between camera modes

  • video (4k or 1080p in 30/60p)
  • photo  (with timer)
  • timelapse (and motionlapse)
  • slow-motion (1080p in 120fps)
  • panoramas (180 degrees or square)
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Choosing one of the 3 gimbal modes:

Tilt locked:

Holds the camera oriented in the same direction just like a chicken head no matter what you do with the body

FPV:

In this mode the camera follows your hand movements (including rotating and spinning) while still stabilizing

Follow:

This mode is a combination between the previous two, with the addition of being able to doubleclick an object and follow it. It can also automatically detect faces and follow them.

There's also many other settings, including if you want to see the Osmo screen in a square format or 16 by 9.

Is a phone necessary to use the Osmo Pocket?

The phone is definitely not necessary to have if you want to use the Osmo Pocket.

And honestly, It would’ve been such a waste if it was, considering how big of an advantage is the small size of this device.

However, if you do choose to do so, there are some added benefits:

Being able to see a bigger and clearer picture of what you're recording

  • This is paramount. especially if you want to carefully fit certain subjects into the frame and are very useful for photos.

Manual settings for the camera

  • if you want to keep the golden rule of double shutter speed you might want to consider getting some ND filters
  • You can choose to manual if you want to adjust iso, shutter speed and exposure just as you want them

Editing panoramas and timelapses

  • Unfortunately panoramas aren't automatically stitched in the Osmo so you'll need to get them in the app for that, or maybe put the photos together with another program in your computer. You may do this through the DJI Mimo App, which is one of the most functional editing apps for Osmo products.

As a side note, however, one issue I did come across is how the Osmo sometimes doesn’t directly connect with your phone. You may need to try again while listening to DJI's tutorial, which can get pretty annoying.

Pros and Cons of Osmo Pocket

Pros

  • Highly Portable: Compact and easy to carry.
  • Excellent Stabilization: Three-axis gimbal for smooth footage.
  • Good Video Quality: Supports 4K at 60fps.
  • User-Friendly: Simple controls and interface.
  • Strong Battery Life: Suitable for extended use.
  • Versatile Features: Includes time-lapse and panoramic options.

Cons

  • Autofocus Issues: Performance drops in dim settings.
  • Limited in Low Light: Struggles in low light.
  • Average Audio Quality: External mic recommended for pro use.
  • Small Screen: Can be challenging for detailed adjustments.

Conclusion 

In conclusion, the DJI Osmo Pocket, even in 2024, holds its ground as a versatile and valuable tool for vloggers and casual videographers alike. Its compact size, combined with the powerful 3-axis gimbal, delivers smooth, high-quality 4K footage, giving it a strong foundation as a handheld camera. 

While it may not directly rival GoPro cameras in all aspects, its unique features like the 80-degree field of view and the absence of a fish-eye effect cater to a different set of preferences. 

And although it faces competition from newer models, its balance of portability, image quality, and stabilization capabilities still makes it a worthy consideration — especially if you’re seeking a budget-friendly recording device.

faq what should you look for in a drone

Frequently Asked Questions

Everything you need to know will be answered in this section.

Can I use Osmo Pocket without an SD card?

No, an SD card is necessary for storing videos and photos as the Osmo Pocket doesn't have built-in storage.

Can I use DJI Osmo without WiFi?

Yes, the DJI Osmo can operate without WiFi. However, WiFi is required for certain features like firmware updates or using the DJI Mimo app for advanced controls.

Can Osmo Pocket shoot raw?

Yes, the Osmo Pocket can shoot photos in RAW format, allowing for more detailed post-processing.

Does Osmo Pocket have internal storage?

No, the Osmo Pocket does not have internal storage and relies entirely on a microSD card to store media.

How many megapixels is the Osmo Pocket camera?

The camera on the Osmo Pocket is 12 megapixels, capable of capturing high-quality images and 4K videos.

Can the DJI Osmo Pocket be used underwater?

The Osmo Pocket itself is not waterproof. For underwater use, it requires a special waterproof case.

Is an external mic needed for professional vlogging?

While the built-in mic is adequate for casual use, professional vloggers might prefer an external microphone for superior audio quality.

author-paul-posea-picture
Hi, I'm Paul.
A big drone enthusiast, reviewing, comparing and writing about drones since 2015. I'm all about helping people enjoy and even monetize their hobby.

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paul posea
Paul Posea
Hi, I'm a long-time drone reviewer and I hope my articles and comparisons on this site as well as Dronesgator's youtube channel are of as much help as possible.
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