DJI Osmo+ Gimbal Camera Video Review
Steady as she goes...
What is the DJI Osmo Plus?The Osmo Plus is a gimbal-based video camera that offers stabilised video production at resolutions up to 4K. It also differs from the basic Osmo model as it offers up to 7X zoom capabilities in 1080p video mode with 3.5X Optical zoom available in 4K mode. The Osmo+ is the step up series from the recently reviewed DJI Osmo Mobile, which uses your mobile phone as the video camera and viewfinder, and the Osmo provides the stabilisation. Here, with the Osmo Plus, the camera is built-in and you use your smartphone as the viewfinder via the DJI Go app (iOS or Android). This is connected by Wi-Fi so there are no wires or connectors required. There is also a 3.5mm jack on the front of the handle body that allows you to use external microphones depending on the type of video you are making.
The camera consists of a handle that is shaped to fit neatly in the hand with a trigger on the front side for use with one finger and to the rear of that are some basic controls neatly positioned for use with your thumb as you hold the handle. The trigger responds to commands based on how many times you press it. For example if you want to centre the camera you press it two times quickly. If you want to talk directly into the camera for a Vlog you press the trigger three times and it spins around to selfie mode. Just make sure you hold the Osmo as far away from you as possible and remember to tap to focus on your face. Where do you tap? Well to the left of the handle at the same level as the trigger is a cradle for your smart phone. You need to load up the DJI GO app which is available in iOS and Android flavours and also make sure you are connected to the Osmo via Wi-Fi. Within the app you have complete control over the main settings as well was swapping between stills and video, setting your resolution and frame rate, setting up timelapse modes for still or motion as well as focus assistance and more. The zoom functionality is also available within the viewfinder on your smartphone screen. You can use the Osmo without the smart phone but you have no way of telling what you have in frame or if you are in focus, so it is not recommended. However sometimes it can’t be helped, especially on a busy show floor at a major event like CES with so much Wi-Fi traffic that your connection is lost at times. Being a semi-professional camera the requirements placed on it will be very different from a normal consumer video camera. As such there will be differing use cases for the stabilised video depending on the type of production it is being used for. For all the various uses and features the DJI website does a decent job of highlighting the most used and useful uses.
The Osmo+ is a weird looking camcorder and it certainly draws attention to itself when used on a busy show floor. We used two of these cameras and accessories to help us capture video for our CES 2017 coverage. The cameras and accessories were provided by broadcast specialist retailer CVP and on their advice we put together two separate rigs for 'run and gun' style video making. This requires each rig to be light and easy to assemble with all day battery life and good quality video and audio. This review is based entirely on our use of the units at CES 2017 and more recently at the Bristol Sound and Vision Show and various press trips.
DJI Osmo+ Video ReviewWe reviewed the Osmo+ following CES 2017, The Bristol Sound and Vision Show and a few press trips. The reason for this is that we have used it for 'run and gun' production, something that rarely gets reported on within camera reviews. There are plenty of unboxing videos on You Tube and many reviews covering the basics, but we can give a unique look at the Osmo+ using a number of accessories to help with battery life and ease of use when moving quickly around a big show or event.
Our main review is in video form here where we go through the set up, the two rigs we used as well as sample footage from those events and some 4K clips. To get the most out of this review please watch the video in full.
- Excellent 4K images in good lighting
- Light weight and easy to use in 'run & gun' shooting
- Audio input for external mic
- Good battery life which can be extended successfully for long shoots
- Low light is a challenge
- No audio monitoring or headphone connection
- Full rig setup can be unwieldy
- Can lose Wi-Fi connection on busy show floors
DJI Osmo+ Gimbal Camera Video ReviewThere is no such thing as the perfect all round video camera and, like every other device out there, the DJI Osmo+ is a tool to use for certain productions where you want a certain look, or ease of use given the event you are covering. As a consumer camera it is fairly expensive but easy to use and adds a nice feel to the video you can capture from family holidays or events. The stabilisation aspect of the Osmo+ is the main reason to shell out on one. It adds excellent production values to your video and a smoothness that you can’t get without using a gimbal system. As such to use a separate high quality DSLR in 4K and get the same look would cost considerably more. You do lose that depth of field of the DSLR, but the Osmo+ has a good sharpness and can be forced to show a shallow depth of field when required, but it has to be in extremely good lighting, which brings us to the downsides we found with the Osmo+.
In bright outdoors surroundings or well-lit rooms and convention areas the image quality was very good and it managed to hold focus well. Images had a nice amount of depth and detail with decent shadows and highlights. However as soon as you get out of the good light, the Osmo Plus really starts to struggle. The image starts to get noisy as you push higher ISO settings to try and keep things visible in shot and the focus starts to wander. Images can quickly become flat and lifeless and full of digital grain and noise, even in normal living rooms with decent grey daylight coming in the windows. As such you really need to figure out where you are going to use the Osmo Plus the most, what the environments are like for lighting and just forget about using it at night under street lighting. Some footage we captured in the Hi-Fi rooms was so bad it never saw the light of day and was deleted. For the Bristol Show and press trips following that event, we added a small LED light to the Osmo rig and this has really helped in most difficult situations. In the darkest of demo rooms it may still struggle slightly, but using the small light means we don’t need to dump the footage if the content is interesting. Just adding some external lighting to bad environments can improve your 'run and gun' video making on show floors without adding too much extra weight. The issue with a busy Wi-Fi environment and losing the connection is one we have only encountered at CES and we managed to work around it. We have not found any other solution to this issue yet.
Plus we haven’t even mentioned the excellent photographic features like long exposure shots while handheld and motion timelapse – along with really great accessories like the extension arm and tripod which can add even more flexibility to your production values.
So in conclusion, with everything covered in the video review and within this write up, we can give the DJI Osmo+ our recommendation for 'run and gun' video making, and for capturing your own family events with incredible smooth moving video in the right light. It adds something positive to your video making toolbox that would normally cost far more than the sum of the parts here. We have no plans to stop using the Osmo+ for our video making here at AVForums.
Suggested retail price when reviewed: £689.00
Ease of use8
Value for money7
Where to buyDJI Osmo+
Our Review Ethos
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