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DJI Osmo Pocket

Our product review includes an embedded video with sample travel footage, "The DJI Osmo Pocket in Venice, Italy."

DJI Osmo Pocket and accessories

ABOVE: The DJI Osmo Pocket (second from left) is shown with its hard case, a set of Tiffen neutral-density/polarizing filters, an optional Controller Wheel accessory for easier tilting and panning, and euro coins for size comparison.

Over the years, we've used many different film and digital cameras to document our travels in Venice, in Paris, on cruise ships, and elsewhere in Europe. But none has been more convenient than our latest acquisition in early 2019: the DJI Osmo Pocket, which combines a 4K video/still camera with a jiggle-reducing gimbal mount that fits into your palm.

We bought the DJI Osmo Pocket to replace an existing setup, the DJI Osmo Mobile gimbal with a smartphone attached. Compared to that earlier system, the DJI Osmo Pocket has several clear-cut advantages:

  • It's far smaller, lighter, and easier to pack.

  • It's also less obtrusive than a smartphone mounted on a gimbal. (The device is so small that most people on the street won't even notice it.)

  • There's nothing to assemble: You just take the DJI Osmo Pocket from its hard case, press a button to turn it on, and start shooting. And because the Osmo Pocket is smaller than a candy bar, you can carry it around--ready to go--for hours at a time.

  • Results are comparable to what you'd get with a decent smartphone camera and a gimbal. (Because the DJO Osmo Pocket is so light, it might be slightly more prone to a gentle "bounce" effect while walking, but--even if that's the case, and I'm not sure it is--the pluses clearly outweigh the negatives.)

  • Audio quality is surprisingly good. An optional adapter lets you use an external microphone, such as a lavalier microphone for voiceovers, but we suspect that most people will be happy with the built-in microphones.

  • You can easily switch in and out of selfie mode by pressing the "mode" button. This makes the DJI Osmo Pocket handy for vlogging.

Caveats:

  • The DJI Osmo Pocket's sensor is tiny (like a smartphone's sensor), so it obviously can't compete with a full-size DSLR or mirrorless camera under harsh lighting conditions or at night. If you're shooting advertising footage or magazine covers, conventional pro gear is likely to be a better choice.

  • The DJI Osmo Pocket doesn't have zoom: Its lens has a fixed 94-degree field of view (FOV), which is roughly equivalent to a 26mm lens on a "full-frame" 35mm camera. If you need zoom or interchangeable lenses, look elsewhere.

Bottom line:

We think the DJI Osmo Pocket is a superb device for travel videos and vlogging. At US $345 for a device that combines a decent-quality 4K video/still camera with a mechanical gimbal, the DJI Osmo Pocket is a steal.

For more information on the DJI Osmo Pocket, visit the manufacturer's Web site and search the Web (or YouTube) for "DJI Osmo Pocket reviews."

Want to view sample footage? Click to watch our video:


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