DJI delivers one of their most cohesive products to date.
While DJI's various pieces of gear for professional photographers and happy, enthusiastic amateurs have slowly but surely crept closer to perfection with each iteration, it has often felt a bit like the various departments designing these products don't talk to each other enough to ensure the right design decisions are replicated across the board.
A good bag for a Mavic drone is replaced by a worse one for the Mini, a Pocket tripod mount suddenly lacks for the Mobile - it's this kind of unevenness that can be frustrating, especially when DJI continually demonstrates that they're an incredibly consistent manufacturer.
With that complaint out of the way, you have the Osmo Pocket 3, a product that doesn't just combine Mobile and Action in one product. You have a gimbal, you have a dedicated GoPro-like action camera in one product, and thanks to solid accessories and excellent build quality, it's the camera we'll be using in the future and the one we'd recommend.
Okay, so the idea is simple. By flipping the display on the Pocket 3 from horizontal to vertical position, it switches on and calibrates the gimbal that holds the 108 degree 20mm or f/2.0 lens, which shoots up to 4K/60fps at 16:9 ratio. This means you get the same stable shooting as with an Osmo Mobile 6, while shooting with a dedicated camera that gives you everything you need without having to pull your phone out of your pocket.
This is an ad:
Along with the two-inch OLED panel, there's of course a joystick that allows you to manually pan, as you'd expect from a gimbal. It can pan from -235 to 58 degrees, give you -120 to 70 degrees in tilt and -45 to 45 degrees in roll, which is quite reasonable, and the fairly solid, and by now tried and tested, 1" CMOS sensor gives you stable zoom on optical 2x with plenty of image stabilisation.
In the software, which records directly to microSD up to 512GB, there are all the options you'd expect, like Countdown, Panorama, Hyperlapse and Motionlapse. It has a dedicated low-light mode that allows for more light when needed, and of course there's the same ¼" threading on the bottom for tripods.
Of course, the main limitation is that you can't place a phone with, for example, 5x or 10x optical zoom, or switch to an ultra-wide of 120 degrees. Smartphones have a myriad of varied optical options to choose from that a simpler solution can't really reproduce. But what you lose in versatility you gain in dedicated reliability, and simply booting up the Osmo Pocket 3 and starting a shoot is a far better experience for a production company like ours.
This is an ad:
In fact, this is a downright brilliant bid for "my first DJI product". You lack the myriad of shooting modes you get elsewhere, the controls are easy to understand and intuitive and the moment you flip the screen you're actually ready to go. If you buy the slightly larger package, you even get DJI Mic built right in, which only requires you to put on the microphone and switch it on. It doesn't have an IP certification against water, it would have been useful to be able to use it in the rain, and although we love the modular design that allows you to attach a battery pack, for example, it quickly becomes quite expensive.
But the DJI Osmo Pocket 3 is one of the most cohesive packages DJI has offered, if you ask us, and demonstrates a more unified step forward than other, perhaps better, products have demonstrated in the past. Bravo.