Every new action camera release is bound to inspire comparisons and questions: "Do I need this if I also have an iPhone? How is this different than a GoPro? Is this really worth the money? Can I bring this camera skydiving?"

The new DJI Pocket 2 inspires different questions entirely: "What can you create with this powerful little device? Why compare at all? Can’t you have the best of both worlds?"

As for the smartphone, the Pocket 2 can plug into it and turn it into a filming and editing suite. And as for the GoPro (read our review of HERO 8), well, I have yet to fit one in my pocket.

While the Pocket 2 motto is “because life is big,” this camera seems instead to say “because creativity can come in small packages.” The DJI Pocket 2 is a small, powerful, and easy-to-use device in a cute tiny “easy to take anywhere” body. DJI managed to cram several high-powered features in a tiny lightweight device, along with several small accessories that you are bound to lose if you don't keep them together. Among them is a handy joystick which allows for easy re-adjustments of the gimbal and camera direction.

Dsc05121_copyThe joystick allows for easy re-adjustments of the gimbal and direction.Credit: Michelle DeLateur

The Pocket 2 is not an action camera, but rather a story-capturing camera. It may not be a replacement for the GoPro you’d take snorkeling... at least, not out of the box without its available waterproof housing. But it will inspire you to create differently and share your stories, perhaps using the preset shooting patterns and templates available in the Mimo app.

As you begin to create with the Pocket 2 and the app, you will notice a few precarious and curious elements, from placing the camera to audio, none of which are impossible to navigate. From the moment you open the box to the moment you put the camera away, you will still feel like you have a creative tool at the ready. But, as soon as you do open that box, you'll want to plug the camera into your phone and set it up. While there is an option to set up wirelessly, my phone never connected to the Pocket 2 through Bluetooth. So, one suggestion off the bat is to use the included iPhone and USB-C connectors to attach to your phone through the universal port to get started.

Dsc05134_copyCredit: Michelle DeLateur

In addition, the camera stand is fairly light and not entirely stable, something the Pocket will warn you about if you leave it unattended to record a timelapse. I leaned mine against a rock to make sure the camera was steady. A larger plate or an included mount could have helped here. And, speaking of timelapses, while the battery is quick to charge, it also seemed quick to die, especially when filming a timelapse.

The new microphone set-up is designed to help you tell stories: four microphones in total. As you move, your voice or audio will tend to be picked up by the other microphones. I modified the audio channels in Premiere to Mono Tracks to smooth this out.

Screen_shot_2020-11-09_at_8Me, in the cold

Knowing these possible difficulties can help you avoid them, and once you do, you’re freer to create. Tools like Follow Track help in both regular and selfie mode and it is especially easy to use when you’re off and roaming...e ven with winter gloves: 

Having this camera on you can help you capture moments on the fly, and turn even an afternoon winter stroll into a creative opportunity. At $350, it's certainly not cheap, however, being able to put a Pocket 2 in your back pocket might be worth the investment to you.