October 8, 2015

DJI Osmo Is a Powerful 4K Camera with an Integrated 3-Axis Gimbal Stabilizer

DJI Osmo
DJI's drone cameras have come back down to earth, and have been transformed into a unique and powerful tool for stabilized handheld video.

The Chinese company today announced Osmo, a new twist on the action camera that has tremendous potential not only for consumer-level videography, but for filmmakers as well. Sporting a simple pistol grip and one of DJI's Zenmuse 3-axis gimbal stabilizers, the Osmo brings highly-stabilized 4K video and 120fps HD video right to your hands. The device also offers hyperlapse and timelapse functionality, as well as panoramic shooting.

First up, here are the two introductory videos for the DJI Osmo.

DJI Osmo

The Osmo appears to be using the same 4K camera — or at least one that is very similar — to the camera that is included with the Phantom 3 Professional. The main difference between the two is that the camera on the Osmo is capable of 120fps in full HD, whereas the Phantom 3 Professional camera tops out at 60fps.

Like the rest of DJI's cameras, the Osmo needs to be used with a smartphone in order to monitor your footage and change most of the internal settings on the camera. With that said, the pistol grip has some basic functionality built into it, like a record button, joystick for controlling the gimbal manually, and a toggle switch to change the mode in which the gimbal is operating.

Here's the footage that DJI released today:

And here's the Osmo in use with the Zenmuse X5P camera in a professional filmmaking environment:

The real innovation here — if you want to call it that — is the stabilization, or at least the form factor in which it's presented. While pistol grip gimbal stabilizers for GoPros and phones have been available for quite some time, DJI's integration of the camera and stabilization hardware should give users a far more streamlined shooting process than they would otherwise have. Add to that the fact that the stabilization here is really impressive, possibly even leaps and bounds better than the competing pistol grip gimbals, and you've got a device that has some serious filmmaking potential, especially when paired with a better camera.

That brings me to the coolest aspect of this device, which is that it can be upgraded with either the camera from DJI's Inspire 1 drone or DJI's new Zenmuse X5 cameras, which means that Osmo users aren't limited to shooting on a prosumer drone camera. This could also mean that the Osmo will be compatible with new DJI cameras as they become available, meaning that new and improved Phantom 4, Inspire 2, or Zenmuse professional cameras could be used on the Osmo. That's just speculation at this point, but it seems like a no-brainer for DJI to allow different segments of their user-base to choose different cameras based on the feature set that they need.

The DJI Osmo will set you back $650, and is expected to begin shipping on October 15th. You can pre-order it here.      

Your Comment

44 Comments

This is a toy camera. No apperture. Very amateuristic.

October 8, 2015 at 3:35PM

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It is not, it will definitely have its use. When I use steady cam I often do it with a closed down aperture because of focus issues. Its also something you can easily bring as a b-cam if setting up a steady cam is to much hassle.

I see myself using this

October 8, 2015 at 4:03PM, Edited October 8, 4:03PM

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Gerbert Floor
DP / Director / Camera / Editor
239

You just mentioned your self, you are closing down the aperture when using steady cam, this camera is wide open at f2.8

October 8, 2015 at 9:26PM

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On the X3, it's a 1/2.3 sensor, which means it's something like a 6x crop, which means f2.8 is more like f16.8. On the X5, it's a 4/3 sensor, which is 2x crop, which is f5.6.

October 9, 2015 at 9:20AM

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JR
69

It is the first time I heard this wisdom, i have to check it out but i doubt if it is true.

October 9, 2015 at 6:23PM

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DIt doesn't matter what sensor size the lens is on. It's not like the pupil entrance changes size if you put a lens on a different format.
If i use a light meter it gives me iso value, shutterspeed and aperture value.
If i use this on a full frame canon say 5dmk3 with the 24-105 F/4 lens
And if i entered the same value on the 70d with the same lens, i will get the same exposed picture.

October 9, 2015 at 6:50PM

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@Kenneth: that wasn't the point. Of course exposure will be the same on every camera if you're using the same lens at the same iris aperture, but sensor size will make field of view and depth of field be less as you decrease the size of the sensor. That's the goal when you're stopping down a lens for steadycam shots, you can't control the focus directly so you want to have as much in focus as you possibly can (unless you have a focus puller with wireless control).
A closed down aperture and/or a small sensor are the way to achieve that.

October 9, 2015 at 9:22PM

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Ernesto Mántaras
Director / Cinematographer / Editor / VFX Artist
92

right, but this lens of the osmo stays wide open at f2.8, you cannot close the aperture, it doesnt have an aperture

October 10, 2015 at 1:47PM, Edited October 10, 1:51PM

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Thats where you need an assistant.. who earns and learns something, you don't have to try to be a one man army all the time. I know its sometimes not possible due to budget reasons, but frankly, don't use a steadicam than.
And if this replaces a steadicam, that's just bad news for everyone to be honest. And I am sure it might be fun for students and amateurs, who will now surely have the tendency to overuse movement..
But I am not excited about this as a camera professional, and the argument I always read here is, it's about the story, and how a DP should translate the story to an image, which demands skills, unable to be put in a -cheap- chinese box. But that doesn't mean there are no other jobs in our business out there. Not that I'd see this as competition, for them. But hey, a man can rand sometimes. Long text, one point, get that assistant, ditch the chinatoys.

October 9, 2015 at 3:45AM, Edited October 9, 3:55AM

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You obviously have not checked specs. One of the things DJI really got right is the software part which allows quick control of the camera. The X5 actually does have aperture and focus control on the DJI app. Weather you consider it a toy or not, the results you can see in the demo is clearly good enough for many pro jobs. You do know this camera (mounted on the Inspire 1) is used in numerous major TV shows, right?

I'm annoyed when I bring a Ronin on a documentary work and end up using the Inspire 1 more because there is just no time to setup a gimbal. I would definitely be using this a lot, but with the X5.

October 8, 2015 at 4:12PM, Edited October 8, 4:21PM

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Haroun Souirji
Director / DP and Producer
345

Every camera man want to control the aperture. This camera doesnot have an aperture.
The X5 has because it is more or less in fact an GH4, is a real camera. DJI SAW THEIR MISTAKE IN MAKING A GOOD CAMERA WITHOUT AN APERTURE. THE CAMERA ON THE PHANTOM 3 or inspire need to be used with ND filters to get acceptable pro results.
Perhaps, I hope, there is a hidden feature in the camera that can be activated to give t an aperture.

October 8, 2015 at 9:23PM

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You mean the shutter and ISO. There's no mention you can change the aperture.

October 15, 2015 at 12:30AM

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Mooey
217

I'd agree that the results speak to themselves.

I've spoken to a few people and they have all been really happy with their Osmo's.

A couple of them said they've enjoyed it even more after adding another battery and the LED accessories -> http://www.heliguy.com/dji/osmo.html

April 15, 2016 at 8:22AM

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It has its limitations but I think this looks to be a very powerful tool. One of the biggest hassles for me when it comes to using gimbals or other stabilizing systems is simply the amount of time it takes to get it set up. If I just had this in my kit and could use it without any setup time? Done. I'd use it all the time.

Of course it's limited but it also doesn't cost nearly the same as a Movi or even a DJI Ronin.

October 8, 2015 at 5:46PM

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...So what's a better solution at this price point ? ( $650 )

October 8, 2015 at 6:52PM, Edited October 8, 6:52PM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
28429

I second that. Keep in mind a GoPro Hero 4 Black costs $500. For $150 more you get a camera of that caliber PLUS a handheld gimbal that, from the sample videos, looks very good. This looks like a great product.

October 8, 2015 at 8:43PM

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And yet 'toys' more than serve their purpose in the indie film world/sports video. If you can't find a use for this 'toy' - go grab a 5d and a ronin. You'll spend more than 600 dollars

October 8, 2015 at 11:22PM

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Would love to use this with X5 but them it'll cost prob like $3500

October 8, 2015 at 4:24PM

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sonu2c
96

This seems very, very interesting. How about recording sound?

October 8, 2015 at 4:49PM

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Has built in mic AND 3.5 plug for adding your own ext. mic.

October 22, 2015 at 6:57PM

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Steve Sprague
Amateur film maker, photographer
74

That's a good idea, for them it must be very affordable to produce, sadly the image on the regular one looks a bit sad, over sharpen, not very clean. The X5 on the other hand looks great but I wonder what will be the price of this last one. Probably much more expensive. As a B cam for the steadycam shot I can be a good alternative. If you have spare batteries for your Iphone ;-)

October 8, 2015 at 4:59PM, Edited October 8, 4:59PM

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AvdS
1508

Can the Osmo be bought with the camera for cheaper and the add the X5?

October 8, 2015 at 5:50PM

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Tony
74

According to Newshooter.

"Initially the OSMO will come in a kit with the X3, or as a grip only option for existing X3 and X5 Pro owners."

Source: http://www.newsshooter.com/2015/10/08/dji-introduce-osmo-integrated-4k-c...

October 8, 2015 at 6:41PM

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John Mark
DP
81

Maybe said in the article my bad, doesn't rec in raw right? :(

October 8, 2015 at 6:42PM

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DJI is coming out with the X5R which shoots raw. I don't know when it's coming out but it looks like the Osmo will be compatible.

I would love that option. The way I see it, a Movi M5 costs $4000 by itself. If the X5R + Osmo costs less than that then that's a hard combo to beat.

October 8, 2015 at 8:47PM, Edited October 8, 8:47PM

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It's a cool new product that doesn't cost as much as previous cool new products. What's not to like?

Gear evolution is fine by me.

If you're poo-poo'ing advances in technology while trying to make a living in a technological/artistic craft, that's just kinda weird, ain't it?

October 8, 2015 at 8:47PM, Edited October 8, 8:47PM

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Dji should bring an modified version of the this camera on the market, with an aperture.
Iam willing to pay extra to get a camera with aperture controle on the phantom 3.
Iam shooting 24 frames and need to keep the shutter at 1/50 constant. It is a bad thing to use the ISO for getting the right exposure or even the ND's for that matter. The quality of the ND glass may ruin your shot!

October 8, 2015 at 9:38PM

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You complain a lot... If you don't feel like you can use this "toy" to create engaging content because of it's limitations... that's your loss.

There are plenty of great things one can do with such a small camera.

October 16, 2015 at 5:53PM

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Mike
81

Sounds great! I like the features and stuff. But i won't think it's that great to shoot a film with it. Maybe a few stable shots.
But i think its a huge advance for all hobby filmmakers of people who like to own a camcorder with stabilization - depends on pricing.

October 9, 2015 at 12:41AM

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Nico Saiger
Indie Filmproducer
241

If this would be waterproof like the GoPro, then everyone would buy it i think. Image a gimbal under water...

October 9, 2015 at 12:42AM

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Nico Saiger
Indie Filmproducer
241

Sure, because shaky underwater footage is very ennoying, lol, luckly it doesn't happen because of the water velocity, it already forbid the camera to shake :-)

October 9, 2015 at 4:47AM

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AvdS
1508

He probably meant going in and out of the water in a smooth way.

October 9, 2015 at 8:24AM

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Danny T
Photographer
190

Most of my money is coming from weddings. Using my ronin is very tiresome for an all day event. I welcome this new addition. Definitely buying it and doing tests against my ronin with gh4 and a7sii.

October 9, 2015 at 2:30AM

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Bryan
Cinematographer / Editor
15

lol, looks like DJI was inspired by Star Gate ;-)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x5RcDSPc_IA

October 9, 2015 at 4:01AM

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WalterBrokx
Director, DOP, Writer, Editor, Producer
8053

The issue with all these new tools is the need of a smartphone to be use, I use it as recorder for my lav mic, as screen for my gopro, as camera it self (sometimes for hidden camera), to take picture on set for the social network of the show (offen), to drive the drone, to get direction to the shooting location, etc, etc in the end we rely on one device to do a lot and it cannot be at differant places at one, so for me I have two smartphones, and I am starting to concider buying a third one. I think we have enough of gear that rely on smartphone to be use properly, it would be good to step back a bit.

October 9, 2015 at 4:59AM

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AvdS
1508

Get an iPod Touch and a usb battery brick. Shoot all day.

October 9, 2015 at 4:35PM

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Yeah, you should look into getting an iPod Touch or used iPhone. You can get an iPhone 4 on Swappa for like $100.

October 9, 2015 at 7:33PM

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I shoot about 50 weddings a year. We have a Movi and the Came TV 800. Movi is amazing but takes a long time to set up. This thing = no set up time. I'd use it all the time.

October 9, 2015 at 2:33PM, Edited October 9, 2:46PM

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Ian Hopkinson
Videographer/ Editor
168

The Zenmuse X3 at higher frame rates especially 120fps are heavily compressed and pretty poor for serious film work. It is a pity there is no 60fps or 120fps on the X5 or X5R.

October 10, 2015 at 4:00AM

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Simon Chan
Director of Photography
148

60/mbs 4K video? That's cell phone quality.

October 10, 2015 at 11:06AM, Edited October 10, 11:06AM

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Nice stabilizer, nice package, cool design, but the image out of the camera does not look very detailed and looks rather "digital". Resolution looks good enough for 1080P, but not for 4K. A great little system for family use. Not for professionals. Just MHO.

October 10, 2015 at 12:13PM

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Erwin Hartsuiker
CineVideo-NL videographer
420

This is a shift in thinking about what a camera should be in this oversaturated content creation world. I had to have it the moment I saw it though along with all of the accessories and the X5 as well. Hoping it is an ideal compliment to our GH4's for specialty shots. Since I have the Phantom 3 Pro and Ronin M, and have had great luck, I expect it will be. Planning to use it on our web series OUR REEL LIFE over at http://www.togetherinstyle.com for BTS and on the go footage. Looks promising!

October 12, 2015 at 10:46AM

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Charles Maring
Photographer / Filmmaker
84

Looks amazing, easy to use and light weight. This means fun to use and will offer the flexibility for creative shots that you couldn't get on a bigger rig. I have put Inspire One footage on TV countless times (same cam) with no complaints from the broadcaster (no one in the real world gives a damn as long as the shot is good). So good enough for telly and convenient enough to play with on the weekend. Far worse ways to blow £500. X5 looks tempting but not sure it's worth the upgrade.

October 15, 2015 at 1:12PM, Edited October 15, 1:12PM

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Calling this unique is a bit strange for me...It's like there is no Pistolet grip gimbal out there...Ok the osmo is designed for his owns cameras but i'm not sure that its so much of an innovation.
I really look forward to some comparisons but i think a gh4 or as7 on a Piltofly or a Came single it's still better even if it's a bit harder to have smooth shots.

October 28, 2015 at 12:32PM, Edited October 28, 12:32PM

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hippase
82