Every iteration of DJI’s action camera will get higher, from the unique with its coloration entrance display screen, to the second model with its intelligent modular and magnetic design, to the newest, which is in some ways a synthesis of the most effective elements of the primary two. Design-wise and functionally, there’s a lot to love right here.
If the brand new Osmo Action 3 had been going up in opposition to the GoPro Hero10 it will be very aggressive. Unfortunately, the GoPro Hero11 is already on the scene and the Osmo struggles to compete with video and picture high quality. That stated, should you don’t want vertical video, 5.3K-resolution footage, or the 27-megapixel stills of the Hero11, the Osmo Action 3 is extra reasonably priced and nonetheless is a superb motion digicam.
The first Osmo Action brought a color screen to the entrance of the motion digicam, a transfer that GoPro later copied. Now DJI has upped the ante once more by including a touchscreen to the entrance of the Osmo Action 3, permitting you to not solely body pictures, but in addition management the digicam as properly. Using your fingers to regulate a tiny display screen may sound cramped, but it surely works surprisingly properly. I had no bother adjusting fundamental settings like mode and taking pictures decision.
DJI additionally introduced the most effective a part of its Action 2 camera—the highly effective magnetic mounting system—within the type of a quick-release mounting system. This is the primary mounting system I’ve used that trumps the GoPro in some ways. It’s by far the quickest, best technique to transfer, for example, between a versatile tripod and a helmet mount. There’s no unscrewing and twiddling with the threaded screws of GoPro mounts.
Sure, there are third-party quick-release mounts for the GoPro that supply related performance, however they aren’t as easy and elegant as what DJI has achieved with this magnetic mount. Despite what you may suppose, it’s onerous to by accident knock these magnets off—it by no means occurred in my testing, which included a few makes an attempt to hit it as onerous as I may with out breaking the digicam.
The different place the Osmo Action 3 impresses is battery life. DJI claims 160 minutes. I solely managed 140 (with the rear display screen off, the entrance display screen used about half that point), however that’s nonetheless leaps and bounds past the GoPro Hero11’s 70 minutes, which appears downright paltry. Also spectacular is the recharge time—I used to be in a position to get the batteries totally recharged in 52 minutes. DJI can also be promoting what it calls a (*3*) which is a very slick case that additionally serves as a charging hub, powering up three batteries at a time. Throw that in your bag and you’ve acquired properly over six hours of taking pictures time earlier than that you must recharge. To shoot the identical size of time with the Hero11 would require six batteries.
Lights, Camera, Action
So far so good. Externally, the Osmo Action 3 is chock filled with intelligent improvements. Where it’s much less spectacular is the sensor inside. The Osmo Action 3 sticks with the 4K decision of its predecessor. Most of the time that may get the job achieved, however I’ve discovered that the Hero10 and Hero11’s 5.3K video decision is useful once you wish to crop into the footage and nonetheless export to 4K. I’m additionally keen on taking pictures at 5.3K for the power to drag out higher-resolution nonetheless photos.
The Osmo Action gives the identical body charges at 4K as you’ll discover in different motion cams, permitting for 120 frames per second at 4K and 240 frames per second in 1080p, which is loads of frames to get these dramatic slow-motion pictures you crave. When you turn to 120 fps, the Osmo will warn you that at 25 levels Celsius (77 levels Fahrenheit), the digicam will overheat in 9 minutes.
While high-quality video is a a part of the equation, what you really need in an motion digicam is a nice stabilization system. DJI’s RockSteady isn’t fairly GoPro clean, but it surely’s fairly shut. The essential time you’ll discover some noise and blurring is in low gentle (indoors for instance). This wasn’t actually a problem in most of my footage, however the GoPro Hero11 did clearly outperform the Action 3 in low-light conditions.