While unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have been the primary focus of both companies, a critical component of any drone setup is the gimbal that connects the camera to the UAV. Considering much research and development capital is invested in this tech, it only makes sense that both companies should make the most of it and figure out how else they can utilize the tech they develop.
DJI recently did this with Osmo, a a handheld 4K camera that features an incredibly efficient 3-axis stabilizer. Yuneec, on the other hand, has always included a handheld mount with their drones that allow owners to remove the gimbal and camera from the UAV and attach it to the handheld unit for use on the ground.
The difference is, the two companies approached this ground-level stabilization technology differently.
Osmo is sold separately from DJI’s drones and is considered its own dedicated system. Yuneec’s system was considered part of the drone purchase and worked as an included accessory.
That’s no longer the case though. This week, Yuneec showed that they’re looking to go toe-to-toe with DJI by announcing the Typhoon ActionCam, a dedicated handheld 4K camera with a built-in 3-axis gimbal for silky smooth footage.
To see how the two compare, we’re going to give a little rundown of their features to see which one offers the better value in terms of quality for cash.
Before diving into the comparison, it’s important to note that the DJI Osmo is capable of being used with DJI’s Zenmuse cameras and gimbals, but considering it’s sold as-is with DJI’s X3 gimbal and camera setup, that’s what we’ll be comparing the Typhoon ActionCam to.
Both the Osmo and Typhoon ActionCam are capable of capturing 4K video using 1/2.3″ CMOS sensors.
The Osmo specs show it’s capable of capturing 4K footage (3840 x 2160) at 24, 25 and 30fps, with the framerate jumping up to 120fps if shot at 1080p resolution. Currently, the Typhoon ActionCam doesn’t have detailed framerate specs, but Yuneec’s product page says it’s capable of shooting 4K footage with 1080p slo-mo video at 120fps.
When it comes to stills, both cameras capture 12MP images through a glass lens designed for minimum distortion.
The main difference between the two camera setups is the field of view (FOV). Whereas the Osmo offers only a 94º FOV, the Typhoon ActionCam is capable of shooting much wider at 115º.
Considering neither cameras have had extensive hands-on time with reviewers, we can’t comment on the quality of images from either device, but from specs alone, it appears the only differentiating factor is how wide you want your shots. If you’re looking to capture more, the Typhoon ActionCam is for you. If you prefer tighter crops, Osmo is where it’s at.
Also worth mentioning is that as of writing this, DJI’s Osmo does appear to have more shooting modes than the Typhoon ActionCam. Specifically, Osmo is capable of time-lapse, interval shooting, auto panoramas, selfie panoramas and more. It’s very likely the Typhoon ActionCam will also have a number of these modes, but no specific mention of them has been made.
As previously mentioned, the Osmo utilizes DJI’s Zenmuse X3 gimbal system. The Typhoon ActionCam uses Yuneec’s CG03 system.
At the core, both gimbals utilize the same principle – stabilization across three axes, providing clear shots in most any situation. The difference between the gimbal systems lies in how much control you’re given of the camera attached.
DJI’s Osmo allows for two-axis control of the camera, letting you control both tilt and pan. Yuneec’s Typhoon ActionCam on the other hand only provides tilt, meaning to move the camera side-to-side, you need to rotate the device yourself.
Both models feature modes that let you either lock-on to the focal point of the shot and adjust the gimbal movement based on that, or opt for an overall stability mode that ensures no matter what direction you’re moving, the footage is as smooth as possible.
DJI’s Osmo has the clear advantage here, as you have an additional axis to work with. If you need panning shots and don’t want to risk any extra motion, the Osmo will provide much more stable footage than the Typhoon ActionCam.
Both the Typhoon ActionCam and Osmo rely on a smartphone or small tablet for live view and control. Each company offers a dedicated application, which can be used to control every aspect of their respective devices.
This remains up in the air, as it comes down to little more than personal preference. If you prefer the interface and experience of DJI’s app, the Osmo is what you should opt for. Similarly, if you prefer Yuneec’s app, the Typhoon ActionCam is what you should opt for.
Both systems are cited for up to 90 minutes of use, pending environmental variables and shooting modes. Until a hands-on review of both devices can compare, it’s mostly a guessing game as to which device will come out on top.
In terms of product design, the two are rather different in their approach. Whereas the Osmo lofts its camera above the handle and smartphone off to the side, the Typhoon ActionCam opts for more of an RC remote control look, with the camera hanging from its pistol design and a smartphone mount on the top as the viewfinder.
Like the above category, this comes down to personal preference and use case. Personally, the Typhoon ActionCam’s grip looks more comfortable. But the Osmo has a much more professional aesthetic.
Overall, both devices usher in a new way to make use of each companies gimbal and camera technology.
The Osmo will set you back $650, while the Typhoon ActionCam comes in at only $550. Considering the specs behind both are almost identical, the Typhoon ActionCam could very well give the Osmo a run for its money.
That said, there are limitations that could make the Osmo a more realistic choice for those looking to get the most out of every dollar.
Which one would you choose if you had some cash burning a hole in your wallet? Does the Typhoon ActionCam peak your budget-friendly interest or does the brand recognition of DJI’s Osmo do the trick for you?