A Dual-Screen Shooter

The King of Drones’ First Foray Into Action Cams is Damn Impressive

May 15, 2019 Tech By

DJI is officially in the action camera business and the first results are impressive. The DJI Osmo Action is the company’s first-ever action camera — announced today and available now for $349 — and it looks strikingly like its main competition, the GoPro Hero 7 Black ($349). Both are roughly the same size, are shock resistant and waterproof, have similar photo and video shooting abilities, and cost $349.

The DJI Osmo Action is capable of shooting 4K video at 60 fps, as well as 12-megapixel stills, and it comes with a bunch of other creative features. You can shoot time-lapse, slow-mo (up to 8x) and HDR videos. The Osmo Action also has built-in electronic image stabilization, which DJI has featured in its latest drones and most-recent handheld camera, the Osmo Pocket. Essentially, you should be able to shoot super smooth videos, without having to worry about your hand shaking or driving on bumpy roads.

Video: DJI Osmos Action Camera

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The most obvious difference from the GoPro Hero 7 Black is that the Osmo Action has dual screens, one 1.4-inch screen on the front and one 2.25-inch screen on the back. Only one screen can be on at a time, but you can easily switch between them by double tapping on the rear-facing screen. The main advantage here is that it allows you to see what you’re shooting, especially when shooting selfies, with having to whip out your smartphone and deal with an app.

Up to this point, DJI hasn’t had a bonafide action camera. Unlike the handheld Osmo Pocket ($349), which is ideal for shooting more cinematic handheld stuff, the Osmo Action is designed to be a camera you can rough around with. You can attach it to a bike or stick it on a helmet (ski, motorcycle or bike), or take it underwater and go snorkeling with it.

If you’re looking for differences between the Osmo Action and the GoPro Hero 7 Black, they appear to be minimal (at least on the surface). As The Verge‘s Becca Farsace points out in her early comparison, the Hero 7 Black adjusts quicker to exposure changes, say if you were to ride your bike from a dark street to a bright one, or if you were to emerge quickly out of the water.

DJI has been in the camera business for years, but that doesn’t change the fact that the Osmo Action is still technically a first-generation product, which usually aren’t perfect. Still, given the popularity of its other drones and handhelds, you can probably rest easy knowing that the Osmo Action is a legit competitor in the space worth putting on any action camera buyer’s shortlist.

Gear Patrol also recommends:
DJI Osmo Pocket ($349)
GoPro Hero 7 Black ($349)
Sony RXO II ($648)
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Tucker Bowe

Tucker Bowe has been on Gear Patrol's editorial team since 2014. As a Tech Staff Writer, he tracks everything in the consumer tech space, from headphones to smartphones, wearables to home theater systems. If it lights up or makes noise, he probably covers it.

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