When the GoPro Hero 7 Black was announced it was lauded as the “Gimbal killer” with some pretty amazing built-in image stabilisation. It’s even convinced a few people to finally upgrade from their GoPro Hero 4. But has DJI just announced a “GoPro killer”?
DJI recently announced the new DJI Osmo Pocket. A teeny tiny gimbal that seems to easily match the Hero 7 on specs, but features a true mechanical built-in gimbal rather than electronic image stabilisation. Dave Altizer at Kinotika took the two out for a spin to see how they compare.
Both cameras have a 1/2.3″ sensor with the ability to shoot 4K video at 60 frames per second. The Osmo Pocket does have a stop wider aperture, though, at f/2.0 vs the Hero 7 Black’s f/2.8, theoretically making it better in lower light. The colour, contrast and dynamic range coming out of the two looks fairly similar – at least in the daytime.
Obviously, the GoPro Hero 7 Black and DJI Osmo Pocket are two very different types of camera. They’re both quite impressive, but still different cameras designed for different uses. The GoPro is a true action camera that can take a hell of a lot of abuse, but I’d be very concerned if I crashed out while using the Osmo Pocket
But for general daily use? In not-so-potentially-destructive scenarios? Scenarios where GoPros are typically used simply due to the fact that they’re small and convenient? Well, for that, the DJI Osmo Pocket looks like it really stands a chance of usurping pretty much all action cameras.
Although the Hero 7 Black’s electronic image stabilisation is easily their best yet, this comparison, as well as the one below, really shows that it’s still no match for an actual gimbal – but how could it be? It also has to scale that image up to make the shot fill the frame the more stabilisation it has to do.
And as for low light shots, EIS can’t get rid of that motion blur in streetlights and cars with such a slow shutter. David doesn’t go much into the low light capabilities, but this night time comparison shot by the folks at My First Drone makes the differences between the Hero 7’s electronic image stabilisation and the Osmo Pocket’s real gimbal stabilisation obvious.
If you’re doing things at night, the DJI Osmo Pocket is the clear and absolute winner. That extra stop on the aperture lets in more light, so shutter speeds don’t have to be so long, and the gimbal keeping the camera physically level prevents the unwanted motion blur that becomes obvious in the stabilised GoPro footage.
But, as mentioned, different cameras for different reasons. You’re not going to be taking the DJI Osmo Pocket underwater any time soon – although an underwater housing is on the way. And I can’t imagine the Osmo Pocket will take the kind of physical abuse that a GoPro can for extreme activities.
Ultimately, which will be better for you will depend on your own needs, but if image quality and stability is your absolute concern, then you probably want the DJI Osmo Pocket. If you’re going to be doing extreme sports or are planning to take it underwater regularly, then the GoPro Hero 7 Black will probably be the better option.