The Dirt on the DJI Osmo Mobile
Now lets get to the fun part– actually using this thing. Initial set up is easy, only taking about 15 minutes from start to finish. As a word of caution, it’s critical to make sure that the device you are using is properly balanced on the gimbal every single time you put it on. Get the balance off and the motors will be working much harder than they need to and battery life, responsiveness and longevity will suffer.
Take the extra time to balance this little contraption, and you’ll blow yourself away with the results. Most smart phones take pretty damn good video these days, but coupling that with the silky smooth stabilization and refinement of this gimbal gives you a recipe for success. With proper practice and a smooth walk, going up and down stairs, or better yet a rocky, bumpy trail, looks like your camera is hovering magically in space. Suddenly all the angles and footage you see in your favorite mountain bike videos becomes attainable using just your phone.
Like most DJI products, the Osmo Mobile is a fine-tuned and feature packed device. Whether you’re a professional or just someone wanting to improve video quality using their cell phone video arsenal, it’s an indispensible tool. DJI’s experience in the stabilization world with cornerstone products like the Ronin line up have given them the knowhow to offer this consumer-level product. Small details like different holding positions or customizable button actions really take the Osmo from being good to great.
Over months of testing, I found that 160 FPS typically yielded the smoothest video for high speed action. As an added bonus, the fast frame rate let me do slow motion in post, which everyone loves.
I did find that on prolonged usage, especially where the motors were working hard as I ran over rough sections of trail, heat was an issue. An overheat warning or a degradation in performance never occurred, but there have been times that the motors were so hot they were uncomfortable to touch.
DJI’s app is also cumbersome and inconvenient. Unless you’re editing video within the app, which is an awful experience, you’ll need to export it using a lengthy list of steps, which is even more miserable. As a result, I found myself using Filmic Pro or the native iPhone camera app 99% of the time, so I could easily move the footage onto my computer to edit in Premier Pro.