DJI Osmo Action: Can this clever action cam give GoPro a run for its money?

With a polariser filter and electronic image stabilization, the new DJI Osmo Action could be the perfect compact camera for filming your boat

DJI refers to itself as the ‘world’s leader in civilian drones and creative camera technology’. There’s no argument about the drones – DJI is the default consumer drone brand. And it puts up a strong showing in creative camera technology with some very smart gimballed camera solutions.

But DJI has never managed to challenge market leader GoPro in the action cam arena, which it dominates with a string of ever better Hero branded products, culminating in the latest and greatest Hero7 launched earlier this year. Until now. Because DJI’s brand new Osmo Action looks like it could beat GoPro at its own game.

The concept is very similar to the GoPro – a small, tough, waterproof, droppable cube with a camera lens on the front, a screen on the back and a multitude of mounting brackets and attachments. It’s even virtually the same size. But DJI knows full well that ‘as good’ is not good enough, so it has packed its new baby with some serious bonus features.

Most obvious is a screen on the front next to the lens. No longer do you have to point, shoot and hope when taking selfies or recording vlogs to a self-held camera, you can now frame the image while facing the camera. A large 1/2.3 sensor utilises a three-glass aspherical lens design for low-distortion content and reduced warping effects (handy for boat interiors).


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Even the lens cap is finished with two layers of anti-fingerprint coating to keep the shot clean during use, as well as an anti-reflective coating to reduce lens glare.

It comes with neutral density and underwater filters to reduce excess light and colours to give a more balanced exposure. And there’s a Polariser filter to eliminate reflections and increase colour saturation for a more appealing image (perfect for use on the water).

And it incorporates RockSteady, DJI’s brand new Electronic Image Stabilisation (EIS) technology, which should make boat-to-boat footage a much less jerky affair than normal.

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A removable battery allows you to carry spares (figure on about two hours recording at 1080p/30fps without RockSteady). It can record in up to 4K and run frame rates up to 240fps at 1080p for butter-smooth slow motion. SnapShot allows the unit to be turned on and taking a photo in under two seconds with one press.

And where the new GoPro Hero7 can submerge 10m below the surface without a case, the Osmo Action very deliberately trumps even that at 11m.

If all of that wasn’t enough to sway you from your favourite action cam brand, it’s been priced at £329 – £50 cheaper than a compatible Hero7 Black! Your move, GoPro…


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