The DJI Osmo Pocket was just what I was looking for in a small form factor video camera. Specifically, I had two major requirements that it met. First, it had to have great video quality. Second, it needed to be small enough to easily carry in my pocket during hikes or while out &- about. In addition to meeting my needs, the DJI Osmo Pocket had a bonus feature, a built-in gimbal. The handheld gimbal for my phone was very tedious to use; setup time was at least 5 minutes. So, the Osmo Pocket was also a perfect replacement for that.
Wow That’s Small
My first impression was, “Wow that’s small!” However, despite the size of the camera, it had an LCD viewing screen. Consequently, the screen was very small. The size of the screen would make it hard to see what you’re shooting. Nevertheless, the portability of the camera was the main thing I was looking for. So, I wasn’t overly concerned about the screen size – yet. Next, it was time to try it out.
I powered it on, which was fast… The DJI logo appeared on the LCD, the gimbal aligned itself, and it was ready for the initial setup. In order to complete the setup, I had to download the DJI Mimo app to my iPhone. Then it was as easy as connecting the camera to my phone with the included lightning adapter and responding to few prompts. Now, it was time to try out the camera. Even though I had full functionality with it connected to my phone, I disconnected it for my first use.
I shot some test video, and camera operation was comfortable and smooth. The gimbal functioned as expected, keeping the camera steady. But, this when the size of the LCD screen became somewhat of an issue. Despite the quality of the LCD display, it was a little difficult to see exactly what you were shooting. In addition, the camera only has two buttons (one is power/function, the other is start/stop video). All other operation (gimbal movement, menu options) is done using your finger on the LCD, and most fingers will be too big for ease of use. In spite of that, I continued testing the operations of the camera.
The workaround for the small LCD size is to use the DJI Osmo Pocket connected to your phone. When using it that way, you have full visibility to see what you’re shooting, and you have better control of the gimbal. Having to use it connected to my phone defeats the purpose of having a small camera. When it’s connected, it’s bigger than my phone and it’s awkward. There’s also the added time from poweron to use… as you now have to power on the camera, connect it to your phone, and open the app. Remember my tedious cell phone gimbal…
My phone is an iPhone XS Max, which can shoot 4k video. Chances are, even when I have the Osmo Pocket, I’m going to have my phone. So, now the ONLY benefit of using the Osmo is the gimbal.
Good Not Great
Overall, I like the Osmo, but I don’t love it. Good Job DJI, not a great job… I love the size of the camera, and I’m very impressed with the video quality. On the other hand, I don’t like the fact that I have to connect it to my phone to make it easier to use. I used it disconnected on a recent vacation, and I will continue to use it that way. After all, that was why I bought it.