DJI’s new Osmo+ brings 7x zoom to handheld gimbal cameras

Aug 26, 2016

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

DJI’s new Osmo+ brings 7x zoom to handheld gimbal cameras

Aug 26, 2016

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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DJI have updated their Osmo handheld gimbal camera to provide up to 7x zoom capabilities. Like the recently announced Zenmuse Z3 zoom camera for the Inspire 1, it’s actually a 3.5x optical zoom. On top of this is a 2x “digital lossless zoom”. Technically the “digital zoom” is really a crop mode, and is only available when shooting 1080p.

You get a field of view equivalent to a 22-77mm focal range on a full frame camera. It’s a comfortable range. It’s compatible with the DJI GO app, so you get full remote control and viewing from your cellphone or tablet.

When DJI first announced the zoom technology in the Z3, the samples I saw didn’t really inspire much confidence. When lenses are zoomed all the way in, slight movements are magnified. That’s just a fact of photography. It’s why we need to shoot handheld with faster shutter speeds on longer lenses.

Stabilisation will take care of some of this, which is the whole point of a motorised gimbal. On a single shot, stabilisation technology often works great. Recording at 60fps, or even 24fps, instability between frames becomes obvious. I would imagine, though, that the handheld Osmo+ would introduce far less risk of vibration than a drone mounted gimbal. This should prove for some fairly smooth resuts.

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DJI have, obviously, updated their stabilisation technology to account for this extra level of zoom, stating that it will “keep the camera flat no matter how you move it”.

It appears that the Osmo+ has some basic motion control functionality, with its “Motion timelapse” function.

Osmo+ helps you record the passag e of time more easily than ever. Just mark where you want the camera movement to start and end, and tap ‘Start’ to create phenomenal moving timelapses without additional specialist equipment.

As well as motion timelapse, there is also a panorama mode. This blends 9 photographs together to form a single image.

DJI say that the Zenmuse X3 camera is similar to, but not interchangeable with, the Zenmuse Z3. So, if you were hoping to get a single camera for both handheld and drone use, you’re out of luck.

 

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Available for preorder now, the DJI Osmo+ costs $649 for the full kit. Or, you can get just the Zenmuse X3 Zoom Gimbal and Camera without the handle for $499.

All in all, it looks like a pretty solid bit of kit. If you’ve been thinking about picking up an Osmo, I’d say Osmo+ is worth a look, it’s only an extra $80. If you already own an Osmo, though, it may not be worth the upgrade unless you specifically need the zoom feature.

Do you already own an Osmo? What do you love or hate about it? Is this a worthy potential upgrade for you? Or will you stick with what you have? Are you considering an Osmo+ as your first handheld gimbal? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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