Photographer Tony Northrup got his hands on the new Osmo from DJI, which records a 4K image on a gimbal stabilizer through its built-in camera. The whole thing fits into an incredibly small, handheld package and sells for around $625. Is it up to par with competing products, and is it as awesome as the hype has led us to believe? Northrup answers those questions and more.
The Osmo utilizes the Zenmuse X3 camera/gimbal, not unlike the setup on the DJI Inspire. Video can be captured at 4096 x 2160, while 12-megapixel DNG images are the highest quality of still photos you can take. The innovative thing to note is how the Osmo is built with a smartphone in mind, utilizing the screen of an iPhone, for example, as a controller and preview monitor.
Besides holding and turning the handle for your shot, there is a joystick for manual pan and tilt. As Northrup points out in the video (along with showing examples) the Osmo doesn't do well to smooth out the up/down motion from regular walking, but it's still able to capture a great video clip — when it works.
I guess what it comes down to is budget, how compact of a kit you need, and are you under pressure to get results (are you shooting for fun or for a client, for example)? Because something like the Ronin-M can deliver more reliable results, smoother images, and works with higher end cameras — but it is twice the cost and much larger. In any case, the recent release of compact, truly handheld gimbal stabilizers is exciting to see, and hopefully the quality of image continues to improve while the cost continues to go down.
You can check out more of Tony Northrup's video reviews and behind-the-scenes segments on YouTube.