DJI Osmo Pocket 3 review: an exceptional vlogging camera that really does fit in your pocket

Mar 20, 2024

Roman Fox

Alex Baker is a portrait and lifestyle driven photographer based in Valencia, Spain. She works on a range of projects from commercial to fine art and has had work featured in publications such as The Daily Mail, Conde Nast Traveller and El Mundo, and has exhibited work across Europe

DJI Osmo Pocket 3 review: an exceptional vlogging camera that really does fit in your pocket

Mar 20, 2024

Roman Fox

Alex Baker is a portrait and lifestyle driven photographer based in Valencia, Spain. She works on a range of projects from commercial to fine art and has had work featured in publications such as The Daily Mail, Conde Nast Traveller and El Mundo, and has exhibited work across Europe

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DJI Pocket 3 review: an exceptional vlogging camera that really does fit in your pocket

It’s been just over four months since I got the DJI Osmo Pocket 3, and in this blog, I will share my thoughts, having used it almost daily as my main travel / YouTube / vlogging camera. This review will not cover every single feature and will only focus on the ones I personally use.

I got this camera with the intention of it being my main YouTube camera when I’m out and about or travelling. I use it to capture my travels and to make YouTube videos. In fact, almost all my videos from the last few months have been shot on the Pocket 3 either partly or fully.

Despite the camera having a ton of different features and modes, the main use case is basic video. From time to time, I also take photos with it, but that’s mostly for YouTube thumbnails. When it comes to video, I use it as a POV camera, give it to someone to film me or set it up on a tripod with one of the smart tracking modes to follow me around.

DJI Pocket 3 review: an exceptional vlogging camera that really does fit in your pocket

Ergonomics of the Osmo Pocket 3

If you use the camera without any grips or extensions and you have big hands, you will not like it. However, if you either add the small extension or if you’re like me and have small hands, then the fit is great.

The main selling point is just how small it is. It really does fit into your pocket and it means it’s always ready to go. There is minimal faff when it comes to switching it on and recording. Simply turn the screen to turn it on and hit record.

DJI Pocket 3 review close up

One annoying issue is the red record button can also turn the camera on. I’ve lost count of how many times the camera accidentally turned on in my pocket or bag. Nothing bad will happen if it does, just battery drain.

Of course, using the included case will remove this issue, but it’s bulky. Other than that, the ergonomics are great, and this camera is a joy to use. The UI is very intuitive, smooth and responsive while the screen is large and easy to see/use.

DJI Pocket 3 review close up

The battery is insane. It can easily last an entire day, and when you need a charge, it will do so quicker than anything you’ve seen. I’d plug it in when the battery is at 40%, have coffee and by the time I’m done, the charge sits at around 90%.

DJI Pocket 3 review  battery

If I could fix one thing, it would be to add a tripod screw mount into the actual body without requiring an extension.

Build Quality & Reliability

Some people seem to have had many issues with their Pocket 3. However, I haven’t experienced anything too drastic. I did have an issue where the gimbal got sticky when going to sleep/waking up. When switching the camera on, the gimbal got stuck in the closed position and needed a little push to get it open.

Once open, I had no issues. Same when going to sleep; the gimbal got stuck just before going into the sleep position and needed some help. This happened around a month into ownership, however, has resolved itself, and everything is fine now. Other than that, I had no issues.

DJI Pocket 3 review lens

I do have two major concerns. Firstly, this camera is not weather-sealed at all. Even the MicroSD card slot is fully exposed. For many people, this isn’t an issue, however, it has stopped me filming a few times. Secondly, the camera does seem a little brittle.

You certainly wouldn’t want to drop it head first. With that said, I did get it wet in the rain and I did drop it once. Both times, it was ok. Finally, it’s worth mentioning that there are regular firmware updates that add features and remove bugs.

DJI Pocket 3 review

Image Quality

The biggest surprise with this camera is the image quality. It has a 1-inch sensor, which does lend itself to more background blur and better low light, however, I wasn’t expecting anything as good as this. The dynamic range will never be as good as a ‘proper’ camera, however, it’s better than anything else pocketable I used.

If shooting In DLOG, you get a lot of room for grading and correcting. When it comes to photography, I only used it for thumbnails and the results speak for themselves. I’m not a technical person, so rather than bore you with copy & paste specs, below are screenshots from video footage and some photos too.

DJI Pocket 3 review sample
DJI Pocket 3 review sample
DJI Pocket 3 review sample
DJI Pocket 3 review sample
DJI Pocket 3 review sample

Sound Quality

The sound quality from the built-in mics is great, but it does need to be fine-tuned depending on the use case. Also, if you have the creator combo or own the DJI Mic 2, you can connect an external mic via Bluetooth and record an internal backup track.

The mic located at the front of the camera (facing you) is by far the best one which makes sense given this is a vlogging camera. The mics located on the back and the sides of the camera are not as good and are more suited to picking up ambient sound.

Personally, I switch off the side mics and only keep the front and back ones on. Most of my videos are filmed using the built-in mic, with the external one only being used for interviews or when I might be far away from the camera.

Features of the Osmo Pocket 3

Finally, I want to mention a few standout features that I personally found extremely useful. The first feature tracks your face when you point the camera at yourself. This means that you don’t need to worry about making sure you’re in the frame. The second feature allows you to tap on anything in the frame and have the camera follow it.

The third feature I already covered, but it deserves another mention. If you’re using an external mic, you can set the camera to record a backup audio track using the built-in mics and store it as a separate audio file on the SD card. This has saved my ass twice. This camera has a ton more features that I barely covered here. However, I don’t use them daily, therefore I can’t comment.

DJI Pocket 3 review settings

Annoyances

There are some annoyances which I hope can be fixed with firmware updates. Sometimes, when you switch the camera on, there is a noticeable delay between turning on and being able to record. Equally, if you hit record too soon, it will not record anything, or it will not indicate it’s recording. Sometimes, when turning the camera on myself, it doesn’t pick up my face.

To fix this issue I need to turn it back facing forward, then on me again. Whenever you get notifications, they take up most of the screen. Although they can be useful, I wish there was a way to turn them off. Sometimes, when you turn the camera off, it still stays on.

Finally, there is no way to tap and expose for a specific part of the scene. All these things are not major issues that would cause me to not use the camera instead, they are small annoyances that add up over time. All of these seem to be software-related so I hope they can get resolved, as I’m not the only one mentioning these.

Summary

This is an amazing piece of kit and no wonder why every YouTuber has one. However, I would also recommend it for everyone wanting a hassle free way to document their life, family and travels. For 99% of people, the normal package is enough, and the creator combo is only for those who actually create professionally.

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About Roman Fox

Roman Fox is a travel and street photographer. He also has an extensive number of guides to Fujifilm products, available here. You can check out his work on his website, follow him on Instagram, or watch his YouTube channel. This article was also published here and shared with permission.

We love it when our readers get in touch with us to share their stories. This article was contributed to DIYP by a member of our community. If you would like to contribute an article, please contact us here.

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