Five years ago, DJI combined its ultra-steady camera drones with a postage-stamp-sized screen to create the Osmo Pocket, a small camera for vloggers. It was elegant, and its successor had a few major improvements.
But no New Osmo Pocket 3advertised and shipping today, has more than a handful.
While the price of the small still camera now starts at $519 — a significant bump from its $349 predecessors — it has a much larger sensor, a much larger touchscreen, faster autofocus, much faster charging, longer battery life, built-in wireless, and a stick. Built-in controller, third microphone, And Satisfying elegant rotating screen It clicks into portrait or landscape mode while automatically switching the aspect ratio for shooting.
I haven’t been out on a real photo shoot with the Osmo Pocket 3 yet, and I’m sorry to say, but I can already see ways that would beat tethering my smartphone to a standalone gimbal.
First, there’s that sensor – a one-inch CMOS sensor, which should be about three times larger than the 1/1.7-inch sensor in the Pocket 2 and about four times larger than the original 1/2.3-inch chip. It shoots slow-motion video at up to 4K/120 as well as 1080p at 240 fps. It also has continuous ‘full pixel’ autofocus, which I assume means that each individual pixel can be used as a focus pixel – all I know for sure is that it seemed faster than my old iPhone.
Meanwhile, the screen is 4.7 times larger than old postage stamps, a 2-inch OLED screen that can display 100 percent of the P3 color gamut. It’s clear, crisp, colorful, and large enough to tap and swipe controls, many of which display helpful reminders about how they work. At 700 lumens, it should be bright enough for outdoor use as well.
And if you want to use your phone’s screen instead, you’ll no longer have to buy a special wireless handle unit for remote monitoring! Where the Osmo Pocket and Pocket 2 were designed so modular that you needed to click a joystick or phone adapter, both the larger joystick and Wi-Fi are integrated directly into the Pocket 3 – including support for DJI’s wireless clip-on microphone.
However, there are still some stereotypes this time. There’s a $49 wide-angle lens that attaches magnetically to an existing lens; The $519 basic kit comes with a basic accessory that adds a 1/4-inch tripod mounting thread and redirects the USB-C charging port; A $69 longer battery grip extends battery life by up to 70 percent and adds the same 1/4-inch mount on the bottom.
The $669 Creator Combo comes with all of these items, plus a wireless microphone, a windshield, a magnetic clip, and a small tripod accessory. There’s also a magnetic ND filter set for $59 and a black fog filter for $49.
Speaking of battery, the quoted playback time is now 166 minutes of 1080p24 video, up from 140 minutes with the Pocket 2 – and DJI says you should be able to get two hours of 4K/60 on a charge. What’s even better is the charging speed, with just 16 minutes to 80 percent and 32 minutes to fill the tank, although this assumes you’re using a 65W PD adapter. (The Pocket 2 took 73 minutes to charge from a 10-watt wall wart.)
While I definitely want my friend, colleague, and fellow DJI observer Vjeran Pavic to put me through his paces by filming some… edge shots (did I mention it can shoot in 10-bit D-Log and HLG and supports timecodes?), I did see some strange behavior from the camera.
Firstly, my unit got quite warm once I shot a few minutes of 4K footage in an air-conditioned room – not alarmingly warm, just warmer than I expected You have one job project. (I read that this was a complaint with the Pocket 2 as well.) Second, there was one evening when every time I turned the camera on, the gimbal would shake uncontrollably. He’s been fine ever since.
I 3D printed a small custom kit to attach my review unit to some GoPro gear; I can’t wait to try some pivot movements in the future edge Social video.
Photography by Sean Hollister/The Verge
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