It’s been quite a while since we reviewed the original DJI Osmo – two years in fact. That was swiftly followed by the Osmo Mobile, which was itself refreshed this year, along with the larger Ronin S. At the same time, we’ve seen a rush of hand-held stabilizers hit the market, with the likes of Feiyu, Zhiyun getting into the market with their offerings.
Certainly, it is reaching a point where almost any brand of hand-held stabilizer will serve you well, giving you stabilized handheld images and videos. However, these stabilizers often require a separate carrying solution as they are fairly large themselves; not to mention their need for spare batteries!
Not so with DJI’s latest innovation though. The aptly named Osmo Pocket (henceforth referred as “Pocket") is a miniaturized Osmo that will literally fit in your pocket. It measures just 121.9 x 28.6 x 36.9mm and weighs just 116g, while coming with its own touchscreen that brings up different menus just by swiping up, down, left or right. There’s a slot for a microSD card (supports cards up to 128GB in capacity with write speed over 15MB/s) and two main buttons to start recording and accept settings so you can really record videos without the use of a mobile phone.
Despite boasting active mechanical stabilization, the Pocket offers approximately two full hours of recording at 4K (3,840 x 2,160 pixels resolution) at 30p. 4K 60p recording is also possible on the 1/2.3-inch sensor, while 12MP stills are captured in both JPEG or DNG formats. It’s worth noting that while the Osmo Pocket’s battery is non-replaceable, it will charge via a power bank. There’s also a charging case accessory planned that also lets you put in two microSD cards, four ND filters and two smartphone connectors – in short, all you need for a shoot in a handy package.
The Controller Wheel, in particular, will be most handy if you intend to use the Pocket without your smartphone, as it allows you to move the gimbal both vertically and horizontally. The Extension Rod is also something we’d look at picking up, as without it there’s no option to mount the Pocket on a tripod, which you’ll want to in order to take advantage of the time-lapse features built-in.
The Pocket offers two time-lapse options – Timelapse and Motionlapse. The latter is basically a time-lapse taken with the addition of gimbal movements, so you can achieve a moving time-lapse video without placing your camera on a motorized slider.
We’d recommend using the Pocket with your mobile phone..The Pocket has what DJI calls a universal port on the front, and you get a Lightning tip as well as a USB-C tip that fits into the port that you can use to connect your phone. If you use just the Pocket, you can only control vertical movement via the rear screen, but the Mimo app lets you control the gimbal in all four directions smoothly, so having this flexibility greatly helps. Of course, having the larger screen for viewing is always helpful.
The Mimo app was specifically built for the Pocket, and adds a new Story mode feature. This basically contains a set of templates for timed camera movements with transitions, color effects, and accompanying music built in. There’s supposed to be an option to create your own template, but that wasn’t made available at the time of testing so we can’t yet comment on that. Still, it’s good to know that the option is included as we found the initial set of presets to be a little repetitive.
Focus is pretty fast in general, though there’s really only so much accuracy you can get by tapping on the small rear display. Using the Mimo app with your phone though, you can also draw a rectangle over your subject to have the camera track it. Handy when you’re trying to capture sporting activities as you’ll see in the video below. However, the subject does need to be fairly large in the frame, so this won’t work as well at a distance. We’d love for it to be able to track a basketball instead of a player for example, so the camera automatically follows the action.