Is the DJI Osmo Action worth buying?: Exploring Photography with Mark Wallace
Is the DJI Osmo Action worth buying?: Exploring Photography with Mark Wallace

Hi everybody, welcome to another episode of Exploring Photography right here on AdoramaTV. In this episode I’m going to be talking about this little guy it’s the new Osmo Action. It’s the pocket camera that has a front-facing screen, so you can see what you’re doing. Well let’s get right to it, what makes the Osmo action an awesome camera? There are tons of features in this camera that I’ve sort of put it through its paces. I’ve had this little action camera for about a month now, and I tried it in different scenarios… underwater in crazy rain on my motorcycle, walking, using it as a vlogging camera, using the internal audio. I just try to test everything to use it as you would normally use it in the real world. So let’s talk about some of the features that set this apart. The first one is… it has a front facing camera… so right on the front, there’s a full HD screen, and so you can actually see what you’re doing either from the back screen, or the front screen, and so if you’re using this as a vlogging camera, you need to sort of frame yourself up. You can do that just fine or you can use the back screen to see exactly what’s going on.. So you can just hit this little button on the side, it’ll flip that around, and now you can see what’s going on from the back. It’s really cool, the other thing that’s really nice about this camera is, there’s a button on the side here, that’s called the QS button… that’s the quick, quick, switch button, and what that allows you to do is, change between modes, and so if you just click it once, you go to video mode. Click it again, you go to HDR video, you go to slow-motion, hyperlapse, whatever, you can set that up and customize it. The cool thing about this button is, if you’re using gloves, so if you’re on a… snow, like snowboard, or you’re skiing.. or you’re a snowmobile, or you’re on a motorcycle, or you’re doing anything. You have gloves you can actually can control this camera switching modes, and doing things with gloves on, and I love that. The other thing this little side button does is – if you hold it for just a couple seconds it switches from the back camera, to the front camera, so that’s really easy, and it’s really really fast. All right now, let’s talk about some of the things that really matter. The first one is stabilization, this camera has something called rock steady, and it is incredibly good, and so just to give you a sense of how good this is. I walk down the pier here with the camera handheld, with just a normal setting, and you can see that it is all over the place, because I’m holding that with my hand. So then I went back and all I did was I turned on Rocksteady, and did the same exact walk, and you can see that now, this is smooth as butter. It is gimbal like, and so it is super smooth, in fact because it corrects all of the axes, it actually looks a little bit better walking than my Osmo Pocket, which I was very surprised about. So this is gimbalish… not a gimbal, but it’s so darn close. It’s really sort of crazy, now I’m using the front facing camera to frame up my shot to make sure I am actually in the frame. I also am using the built in audio so it’s not horrible… probably a external audio device works a little bit better, also face oriented exposure turned on, and so you can see that it does a pretty good job of making sure I’m exposed. But even with the bright background like this, you can see that I’m not exactly exposed correctly, but it does a pretty impressive job. We’re about… oh an hour or so, before Sun is going down. We’ve got a lot of clouds out there, so the contrast between my face in the background isn’t extreme, but it is enough. That would normally give a GoPro or other little camera some issues, so I’m really impressed with this camera. I’m impressed with how stable it is, it’s very similar to using a gimbal. It’s sort of wacky and crazy, The other thing that I think that is amazing about this camera that doesn’t get a lot of hype is… this front little screen here, it is water repellent, and so I was astonished, I was riding through heavy rain on my motorcycle and I was really loving the fact that even though this thing was just getting drenched in rain, it was just falling right off the front of that lens. Let’s talk about a couple other things, one of the things that I love about this, it just came out, it’s a new feature with the firmware update called Hyperlapse, now what Hyperlapse allows you to do is it’s sort of like time lapse, but the difference is this.. is for having your camera move and recording things over time, and so you can do things like zipping through the curves on your motorcycle, and you could speed that up, you can do a little walkthrough which I did. And there are different speeds, so you can do it 10 times as fast 15 times as fast, or 30 times as fast. So it really depends on what you’re doing. You get different effects using that, and it’s as simple as just choosing Hyperlapse… saying which speed you want, and off to the races you go. Another feature of this camera that I absolutely love is HD, our video you know what that allows you to do if you have a really high dynamic range scene, you can sort of compress those things, and get the highlights and the shadows in one shot in the camera without having to do a bunch of post-production… and so I tested that out on just behind me here last night when the Sun was going down, and here’s the scene that you can see. This is just normal video, and you can see that it’s got some problems with the highlights, things are being blown out, but then what I did was I just turned on HDR video, shot the same scene, and wow what a huge improvement. That really changes the way I see things. I also did some tests and some more dramatic scenarios when I was in a cave doing some swimming in Mexico, and you can see here the back is totally blown out. When I turn on HDR video it does a little bit better job, it still has some high-light problems, so it can’t solve every single HDR issue, but it does a really, really good job. Another feature of this camera that I love it’s called the DeWarp feature… now wide-angle lenses like this, are going to distort the scene and so on. This camera what you can do is, you can turn on something called DeWarp. What it will do is it will crop the frame, but it will straighten things out, and so here’s a couple of scenes I have… here is one with DeWarp turned off, and you can see it the edges, things are just wonky, they’re a little bit curvy they look round… turn on DeWarp, and you can see that now everything is flat and horizontal, and looks wonderful. DeWarp I love it! Another really cool feature of this camera is… if you want to shoot videos for Instagram and you need that vertical orientation, well you just turn it like this, and now you’re in portrait mode, and the videos are going to be saved in portrait mode, and so you can shoot things, and then post those straight to Instagram without having to do any kind of post-production rotation stuff. It’s really a time saver. This is DJI’s is a very first action camera, and it’s no surprise that it’s pretty awesome… because it’s from DJI but the question is are there any negatives… and the answer is yes so the first one that a lot of people are talking about is this does not do live streaming, and so that’s something that is not right now in this… but the cool thing is with the firmware update that could be enabled… So I wouldn’t be surprised if live streaming comes to this camera and before Christmas… so I don’t know don’t quote me on that, but I’d be surprised if live streaming doesn’t come around very, very soon. The second thing and this is one of the my gripes about this again, this is something that could be solved very easily. There’s no remote control other than a smartphone, and so the smartphone is amazing, because you’ve got the MIMO application… you can control everything on this little camera from the smartphone, but if you’re skydiving or zipping down a mountain on skis, or you’re on a motorcycle or snowmobile, or something… you have this mounted to a helmet or on your bike or somewhere else. You can’t use your smartphone… you need some kind of little thing you can put on your wrist to turn it on and off, or maybe on your handlebars that doesn’t exist yet, and so I hope DGI it creates that, and then one little persnickety thing that kept getting me over and over, is this little quick switch button on the side… it’s used for two things 1. switching modes and 2.switching between the front and rear camera. I love it cuz you can use it with gloves… it’s all the rage I love that, but the problem is if you don’t hold it quite long enough you can accidentally switch this camera into the wrong mode, and so now I have really learned to really be deliberate when I push that button, so I don’t accidentally change from video mode, to hyperlapse, or something else .. and shoot unintentional video. Now the question is Mark should I buy this camera? And my answer is …Absolutely! Yes. I absolutely love DJI equipment…. in fact I shot this entire video using nothing but my DJI Osmo pocket. Every single shot that you see either came from the Osmo action or the Osmo pocket.. 100%.. DJI gear. The thing that I love about this camera is it’s super easy to use it… shoots 4k 60 frames per second slow mo Hyperlapse. Time-lapse… it does Stills it does everything you could ever imagine out of an action camera. It’s got a front-facing camera, so you can use it for vlogging. You can use external USB C compatible adapters for external audio. It just does everything, so yeah, it’s a no-brainer and this is the camera… I think you should get if you want an action camera. Thank you so much for joining me for this episode of Exploring Photography… Don’t forget to subscribe to Adorama TV. It’s totally free… turn on the bell, so you get notifications, and also make sure you follow me on Instagram, because I’m always posting behind the scenes videos of me making videos for Adoramatv, and my travels around the road… around the world. Thanks again for joining me, and I will see you again next time!

14 thoughts on “Is the DJI Osmo Action worth buying?: Exploring Photography with Mark Wallace”

  1. lee sponenberg says:


  2. Kennon Nilsen says:

    What about battery life?

  3. Abhishek Vlogs says:

    You forgot man it has Voice control so u DNT need a remote

  4. cashino says:

    Honestly, I pressed the thumbs up button once I saw your name Mark! and the review exactly the type of real-world review I wanted on the Osmo Action. The built-in audio to me sounds fine just a little gain and bass boost and it should be great. It will be a Christmas present to myself 🙂 Thank you~

  5. Archie Bunkers says:

    No mention of the lag in the video output when turning on the rocksteady. Has that been fixed via firmware?

  6. Mohummed Saleem says:

    Quick question, IF I had an option between the DJI Osmo Pocket and this one, which one would YOU purchase?

  7. phynx2006 says:

    Remember the good ole days when Mark use to travel with a large DSLR and tons of gear, now Mark is the DJI man of action! hahaha

  8. Desmond L says:

    Looks like Mark is still delivering his easy an simplistic approach at breaking stuff down and making you understand. Mark I definitely think you sold me on a birthday gift to self. Thanks Mark and Adorama.

  9. yeahchuan style says:


  10. Ranger 7 Studios says:

    I've been using the action for a while now and I love it. However there are a few caveats. The major one is that you can NOT plug an external mic in to the action, contrary to popular belivef. (You were actually wrong about that. The only thing you are getting is the audio from the built-in mic. The adapter does NOT work.) They really missed the boat with this one. Hopefully, in the next model, we will get that feature. Also, the ability to control brightness and sharpness, which is also missing from this model.

  11. Ranger 7 Studios says:

    Wow, dare I say the pocket has a better image than the action.

  12. PiDsMedia says:

    If DJI can do a Streaming option that allows the user to set the network address and hook in to existing networks, DJI will sell a ton of these in to the Live Production segment of the Streaming Market.
    (basically by doing the opposite of what GoPro does)
    That water repellent coating will appeal to a lot of us doing live streams of sports.

  13. Brandon Cole Photography says:

    In portrait mode, does it still shoot 4k60? And battery life?

  14. fishycomics says:

    Hoping DJI continues hte firmware with Nighlapse bfore livestream ha ha ha and use the data and not hotspot. be different I say?

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