DJI's Osmo Pocket: a tiny camera with big features

DJI's new Osmo Pocket hand-held gimbal camera, offers stability and more to beginner and prosumer content creators.

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Image: DJI

In the world filled with social media leaks, it came as no surprise that DJI was launching a new mobile camera aimed at the prosumer looking to create awesome photos and videos.

DJI pretty much owns the consumer market when it comes to drones, but now the company is adding yet another feather to its hat. The Osmo Pocket. The newest innovation in hand-held camera gimbals.

Tech specs

Let's get all the nerdy tech specs out of the way because that stuff maters (to an extent). The size of the Osmo Pocket is 1.51 x 1.12 x 1.45-inches. Yes, it's a tiny camera on top of a device that's about as long as a cell phone (4.7-inches) (Figure A).

Figure A

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Image: DJI

The camera shoots 4K video at 60 frames per second, which is great for a smooth looking video. It can easily be edited and used in lower framerate productions providing a film look such as 24 frames per second. The image sensor is 1/2.3 inch and comes with a battery life of up to 140 minutes, all while using mechanical image stabilization. For stills, take advantage of the 12MP and the wide 80-degree field of view. The sensor size is roughly the size of most higher quality drones, so low-light shooting won't be as difficult as it is for a smarphone.

SEE: How to make your product photography shine (TechRepublic)

Other features

DJI has great motion tracking software in its drones. There's no surprise that the same tech is involved in this gimbal. With it's Active Track the gimbal and camera track a moving subject and follow it throughout a video scene. Also, when the device is in selfie mode, there's facial tracking capabilities to help keep you as the point of interest in the frame.

There's also an FPV mode (first person view), which allows the gimbal to be used more dynamically. For example, in DJI's promo video you see the Osmo Pocket attached to bike helmets, roller coasters, and even dog harnesses. The stabilization keeps the video footage smooth while you're seize a point a view not typically captured from cameras.

From a photography standpoint, you can shoot time lapse images as well as long exposure images. Long exposures are limited to two to three second exposures, but that's plenty of time pull off a creative image. The tech behind this feature reminds me of the Night Sight AI Google uses, but unlike Google, there's a mechanical stabilizer in place to keep the camera steady during those two to three seconds.

SEE: Getting started with drone photography (free PDF) (Tech Pro Research)

Designed for all content creators

The small design reminds me of the old Re camera from HTC. Remember that? Of course this isn't the same tech, but the ergonomics and flexibility of use are top notch with the Osmo Pocket. Unlike the Re, the Osmo Pocket has a small view finder on the back so that you can see what's being framed in your photo or video from one hand.

You don't have to worry about hand or arm fatigue since the device weighs less than one pound at 116 grams. Plus, the controls on the device appear ergonomic. If the on-device controls are uncomfortable, you can use the included smartphone adapter and connect the Osmo Pocket to your phone. Packaging also includes an adapter for both iOS and USB-C Android devices.

I can see this device being quite useful in the world of story telling and creative content creation. Loads and loads of shot angles and perspectives can be captured without the need to lug around large equipment to do so. You already have your smartphone with you in most instances. In this case, the smartphone acts as an accessory to the Osmo Pocket and expands its use cases. The pricing seems fair at $349 with shipping. Waterproof casing and extension rod is not included, but can be purchased additionally.

What are your thoughts on the Osmo Pocket. Do you think you'll add this device to your creative tool kit?

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By Ant Pruitt

Ant Pruitt is an IT Support Professional with a passion for showing the non-geek how great technology can be. He writes for a variety of tech publications and hosts his own podcast. Ant is also an avid photographer and weight lifter.