Thanks to our ever-present smartphone, we’re all shooting a lot more videos now, and taking a selfie at every occasion. Smartphones with 4K video-recording have become the norm, at least in the premium segment. But if you’re looking to give your smartphone videos a more cinematic effect, a polished look, then perhaps getting a gimbal for your phone is not a bad idea. The DJI OSMO Mobile is a gimbal for those looking to up their smartphone video game. Here’s our review of the DJI OSMO Gimbal.
Price: Rs 25,000+ on Amazon India
DJI OSMO Mobile
Now DJI is now known for its drones, which can record some stunning 4K videos. However, the DJI OSMO Mobile is a gimbal where you can fix your phone, which ensures stabilization for videos recorded from smartphones. The DJI OSMO Mobile is a bulky accessory to lug around, weighing in at 499 grams without the phone.
But overall it has a nice grip, and the build feels premium, though I did notice some scratches near the back thanks to some rough usage.
There’s a switch on front side, you can toggle to switch the gimbal on or off. There’s a trigger on the back of the device, tap thrice and it will switch from rear camera to selfie, tap twice to reboot the device. The big round button on the front can be used to maneuver the gimbal, and move up, down, left or right. There’s a button with a red button for straight up recording video.
The gimbal can rotate on its three axes for you to try out something new with your phone’s camera.
So what’s good?
As I’ve said, if you’re looking to add more a professional twist to your smartphone videos, the OSMO Mobile is one way of getting there. The good thing about OSMO Mobile is that you can fit most of the premium Android phones, and yes the iPhones on this.
OnePlus 3, OnePlus 3T, Google Pixel, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 7 Plus; we had no trouble fixing any of these phones onto the DJI OSMO. Fixing the phone onto the OSMO Mobile is pretty easy thanks to the knobs at the back.. I even managed to put the iPhone 6s with the case, but it really depends on the size of the smartphone case in question.
To start recording via the gimbal, you’ll be required to use the DJI Go app, and then connect the gimbal via Bluetooth. Also keep screen Rotation Lock off for shooting in landscape mode when you are using the DJI OSMO Mobile. The app connects easily to the gimbal, at least on the iPhone 6s I was using, though it has some issues, which I’ll point out later on.
Interestingly iPhone users can go live with DJIO OSMO, but Android folks can’t which is disappointing.
I liked the DJI OSMO app, even though it takes a while to get a hang of all the settings in the app. You can choose your video resolution, even zoom in on an object without touching your phone, by just using the two finger pinch on the display.
The DJI OSMO Mobile will also let you fix focus on one particular person as you record. Once you do this, the person will be in focus even as you walk around shooting the video and the gimbal will follow them around. This ActiveTrack is one of the best features of OSMO App. If you’re recording someone running or walking, or hiking, then this is a good feature to rely on.
The gimbal was used to shoot our Mannequin challenge as well, and it delivered excellent results, which shows the capabilities of this device. In my own case, I took the gimbal out for a walk and run and recorded my husband and dog while they walked ahead.
While my iPhone 6s has no OIS, the videos look pretty steady. I know that on my own, the videos would be shaky; my hands are not the most stable when taking photos or videos. The gimbal fixes all of those mistakes, though if you’re running too fast, the video is not as steady. But the fact that you can move your smartphone up, down in a steady manner while recording ends up adding a lot of value to the final video.
So what’s not good?
For starters, the gimbal is heavy and you can get tired easily lugging this around. I can’t imagine myself carrying a gimbal on any vacation, no matter how exotic the location. Call me lazy, but that’s just me. So unless you love shooting videos all day with a hefty device in your hand, you need to consider this carefully.
The battery takes a while to charge, around 3-4 hours, and the levels start dipping quickly once you’ve been shooting for too long. So keep that in mind. The battery is removable though.
At one point, the motor got really hot for us as well. It crossed over 61 degrees, according to our temperature gun, which was surprising. The app also kept telling me to reboot the OSMO quite a few times, which I thought was strange. This message would only disappear after I restarted the OSMO. Another person in our team also faced this issue when he used the gimbal for recording videos at a festival.
Finally, remember you’re shooting videos in the app, and the quality will depend on your smartphone camera. So don’t expect a miracle, if your smartphone camera’s video feature isn’t that great.
Should you buy?
The OSMO is around Rs 25,000 on Amazon India, which is a lot to pay for a smartphone accessory. The price means it is for those who can afford the extra accessory. If you have a budget phone, where the video recording quality is average, this doesn’t make sense. The premium price means it will be limited to a select bunch of users.
So if you have an iPhone 6s and above or a S7 edge, and you love to travel and shoot videos, then consider getting this. DJI OSMO Mobile is strictly for the video, photography buffs, the ones who are constantly ready to go live with their phone. If you fall into this list, then go ahead and try the DJI OSMO, you won’t be disappointed.