The DJI Osmo Pocket. Cute Design, average performance.

The DJI Osmo Pocket. Cute Design, average performance.

By Steve Huff

This article is best summed up in the video below where I talk about the Osmo Pocket vs the GoPro 7 Black (which to me is no real contest). But I will also write a few more thoughts on the Osmo Pocket below, after the video…


Hello all and Happy Christmas Eve! I am guessing that there are some of you reading this, at least one of you, who may have one of these new gadgets under the tree this Christmas this year. The new Osmo Pocket by DJI arrived with a splash and excitement not too long ago and it even got me! I ordered one with my own $349 of hard earned cash. It arrived a week and a half ago or so from B&H Photo who delivered super fast, right as it was released. So kudos to B&H once again. (It’s now sold).

With that said, I was excited to test this guy as I literally always carry my GoPro 7 in my front pocket and use it heavily. I love the GoPro 7 so much I almost bought a second one. It is by far the best GoPro ever made and deserves high praise even though it does have a flaw with low light shooting with the Electronic Image Stabilization (and yes I paid the full $399 for my GP7 as I do not do “free product for reviews” when it comes to cameras, lenses, etc.) Even so, for vlogging use no one who watches your vlogs or videos will even notice or care about that glitch with the GoPro 7. No one cares, really. Only we do. ; ) That is another story for another day but today I want to just quickly share my thoughts on the Osmo Pocket, which is a video camera/gimbal that is so tiny it fits in your front pocket and can be taken anywhere (Like the GoPro 7).

But this Osmo Pocket. It is cute and has a super cool design, which I admit, DJI is great at. Their products always suck me in and make me spend my cash and no, they do not ever send me review units nor do I ever get “free’ products in exchange for a review. I could jump on that train but just do not do it as THAT is when it gets tricky.  Today the way these companies market is via “Influencers” and I guess you could say I was one of the very 1st influencers back in the day (11 years ago). I would write about what I loved, and many of you would buy it if you like what you saw or heard, but I am always honest and only review products I love ; ) But today, it works differently as many YouTube channels you see reviewing gear get some of those products for free in exchange for a review. It’s a fact, just how it is. I choose to BUY the gear I review these days, or rent it, or get it on loan for 2 weeks or so and often turn down the freebies offered to me. I do not take free camera or lenses or electronics in exchange for reviews. This is why I can be brutally honest with how I feel and why I only spend my time reviewing products I love (usually).

Before I get to the Pocket I want to say I did also post a look at the DJI Ronin S a while back when it was announced. In fact my video on youtube was the 1st “In Hand, In Use” video there was and when I said it was too heavy I received a few words from DJI…that if I can be honest, I did not like. Yep, these days the review business is very political. But again, that is another story for another day but many reviews today are sort of nonsense done only for the financial aspects and rewards of it. The passion is still there but many just have the passion for the money that can be made, not the actual products or art of the craft. Sad to see but it’s true.

But yea, that Ronin S is heavy (which is not an issue as it is for more serious projects not daily use), and I guess the Osmo Pocket was designed at DJI while they were having Opposite Day. The Pocket is truly super light and it is the world smallest and lightest 3 axis gimbal camera. It’s slick, I will admit. It’s almost worth buying one for the fun factor alone and stealth vlogging (but again, the GoPro 7 does it better and is also just as small).

Enough fooling around…Let’s get right to the meat of the matter and how the GP7 bests the Pocket. These are facts by the way…

  1. The Osmo Pocket doesn’t have a wide enough field of view for its target audience (vloggers). With GoPro, I can choose between my levels of wideness, and I use linear as there is no distortion or fisheye effect. It is a normal wide angle look without issues and allows me to fit my environment in without issue (the screen grab above is from GoPro 7 video), or if I want to be close up with my mug I can do that as well. The Osmo, when vlogging, makes you look extremely close to the camera and no one wants to see ME that close ; )  Unless your arms are like stretch Armstrong and can reach out to a lengthy distance when recording yourself you will be taking up the whole screen with your face while in selfie vlog mode, and the quality is bested by the GP7. With that said, I do love the LCD screen on the front and as small as it is, even with my aging eyes I can still frame up the shot. The Osmo needs the screen, so I am glad they put one there. But why not make it a tad wider? They market it for those who vlog but it is not really that great or even that good for this purpose. GoPro 7 beats the pocket here easily without question, hands down, period. Maybe DJI can change this in an OSMO 2, and if they do my guess is that all of those defending the pocket now will praise them for making it wider later.
  2. When you buy the Osmo Pocket you have to go through a whole series of annoying events just to use the thing. It’s a process and you must hook your phone up to it to register and set it up, to activate it. Takes a bit of time. I’d rather open it up, charge it and use it. DJI always does this though, and they get some of your info when you do this. Just seems strange. With the GP 7 I put in a battery and was able to use it without ‘activating” it online.
  3. The gimbal drifts. A lot. GoPro 7 has no gimbal so no drift. 
  4. You need to buy their microphone accessory to get better sound. More money. The built in is good sometimes, and other times not so good. The GoPro 7 has a more beefy sounding mic that has never given me sound or wind issues. The Pocket is more crisp which can be better but it’s weird, as it is not 100% reliable.
  5. This is not any kind of action camera, not made for that. It is not waterproof, not shock proof and if you drop it while on you will most likely mess up the gimbal. Feels a bit fragile so be careful. On the flip side, the GP 7 is tough, waterproof, and can be dropped (I’ve dropped mine many times).
  6. The Stabilization is good but the GoPro 7 EIS works better, and is smoother. This is true. Not sure what GoPro has done but it may be technology from the outer limits. It’s amazing. Anyone who claims the IS of the Osmo is better has not seriously used both side by side. It’s almost night and day. GP7 IS much smoother for IS.
  7. Low light is about the same as the GoPro 7 really, maybe a little more noise. So no improvement. BUT the GP has issues with the IS in low light so the Osmo is better for low light.
  8. The Slow Motion feature is useless and crippled. There for marketing only it seems. Not really something I would ever use. 
  9. You can use your phone with it but attaching it is akin to attaching a basketball to your head. Makes no sense AT ALL as it kills the whole small size argument.
  10. Focus is hit or miss with the pocket, and will sometimes not focus correctly. You will notice when you load the footage. 
  11. White balance is all over the place with the Osmo. You will se color shift within the same footage at times. 

After using the GoPro 7 for months and now the Osmo Pocket I have realized that the GoPro 7, for me, does everything better than the Osmo Pocket. It has better video quality from what I see, has better audio, has better stabilization, is even smaller, is waterproof and drop proof, doesn’t need “extras’ that you will lose due to their tiny size, can easily change the batteries and have many on hand, oh and it fits in my pocket.

Some will not like hearing this but it is the honest truth and fact. The Pocket is cuter and has a cool trendy design but performance wise, I am sorry..it lacks.

With that said you would think I am saying DO NOT buy the Osmo Pocket. Well, even with all of what I just said it is still a cool device. The form factor is the opposite of a GoPro and some will like the way you hold it vs a GoPro. Some will prefer the lens to being wide angle, as it may work better for B Roll footage. That’s about it. The GoPro 7 beats it in all ways (besides low light with IS) but it’s still a cool device to own if you like what it is. It can be a camera you take everywhere with you and does fit in your pocket (you MUST have it in the case or else risk breaking it). It starts up pretty quick (5 seconds) and is ready to roll. Just do not take it out in the rain, and do not drop it.

DJI could have made this much better. A wider angle lens, waterproof, drift free gimbal, class leading audio quality, better video quality and low light quality or at least quality that beats the GP7. Maybe by the time we get to the Osmo Pocket 3 these things will be better. For now, it is another first gen product much like their original Osmo (which I was not a fan of and thought was the worst all in one camera gimbals made and yes I bought one of those as well).

The marketing blitz for this pocket is strong as DJI is giving so many away to YouTubers in exchange for reviews. That’s never a good thing and not something I would ever do. I buy my own gear that I review or get a loaner (that gets sent back)  but do not accept free cameras or lenses in exchange for a review. I will repeat, the GoPro 7 is a much better camera that can do what the Osmo Pocket does but even better. Others have said this in their reviews as well, those who bought an Osmo Pocket and those not looking to capitalize on affiliate sales with it. I could have done that, praised it and sold a hundred or so through links but sorry, I have to be honest with my reviews. 

I highly recommend the GoPro 7 for those who want a take anywhere video camera that offers gimbal like stabilization, great color, small size, toughness and good audio though with a weakness in the dark when using IS (it shimmers). If you want something with a gimbal (but larger), THIS GIMBAL is awesome for less than a Osmo Pocket.

At this time I can not and do not recommend the Osmo pocket but hey, you may like it anyway ; )

 

19 Comments

  1. Thank you Steve for the review. I like both products although (duh) I own neither. I have though a DJI Sparkie and the Osmo 2 (cheap, capable but cumbersome). GP7 and Pocket are different products but aim for similar audience. Anyway, what the Pocket can do is motionlapse which the GP7 cannot do.

    • GP can do Hyperlapse. They are not different products, but are much more the same than different.

      Both can do duty as a vlog camera. GP 7 does it better though.
      Both can be used for B roll.
      Both have stabilization but the GP7 is smoother.
      Both are small, both are light.

      GoPro does Hyperlapse, slo motion, photos, etc.
      Osmo Pocket does Motionlapse, slo motion, photos

      Both are handheld small video cameras with great stabilization.

      They both do the same thing but the GoPro does everything better, is built better (weather proof, water proof, and if dropped will not break) has interchangeable batteries so you can have a few on hand, and both can be used with an app if you so desire.

      In any case, same kind of cameras but the GP7 is actually quite a bit better in all areas.

  2. Dear Steve,
    better late than never!
    Thanks to your honest review, based on daily use and overall user experience, I reconsidered my choice to the point that I returned the DJI osmo pocket and got the GOPRO H7 black!

  3. I HAD the Osmo Pocket for about a week. It’s crap, overhyped, and I’m surprised at how misleading so many of the “honest” reviews have been. There are so many faults with this device before even turning it on. No swappable battery, the stupid unsupported phone connector (that will lead to phones with damaged charging ports), no mounting solution, no built in Wi-Fi, a tiny screen that doesn’t show you how badly the Osmo Pocket is out of focus, only one, way too narrow, fov, hardly any resolution/fps options, no zoo option, a ridiculous claim to having slow motion (which is really closer to 720p/120fps that is automatically converted to 1080p/29.97fps), and horrible durability issues (not to even mention the lack of any water resistance/proofing).

    And then you start using it….good grief. When it gets it right, the image is pretty good. When it gets it wrong, everything falls apart. It can’t handle sun glare. It can’t expose backgrounds correctly, dynamic range is horrible and the camera is slow to react to changing environments, gimbal is not very smooth unless you are walking like a slow robot, face tracking often gets lost, focus is constantly off, WB shifts for no reason, and low light is full of grain.

    As far as low light is concerned, I forgive the noise and grain because it has a small little sensor. The same size as the HERO7 Black. To say that the Osmo Pocket is a good buy because it has better stabilization than HERO7 Black in low light is just about the stupidest argument I’ve heard. NEITHER camera is good in low light. However, at 4K/24fps I can get much better footage from the HERO7 Black. In fact, even at 60fps I can get better footage because all of the settings are right there and available to me on the GoPro HERO7 Black. Funny thing is, I was going to change the settings on the OSMO Pocket with my phone, but then I realized my phone’s camera looked better. So why bother?

  4. GP7 is the seventh iteration of an old idea. electronic stabilization suffers in less than ideal light conditions and this is where mechanical stabilization shines. BTW GP7 and Osmo pocket are not comparable and plays on different fields, the first is an action cam which the latter doesn’t want to be at all. why are you comparing them? i could argue that GP7 is much worse than Pana GH5 but it would sound unfair and meaningless… Steve is like comparing a leica M10 with a canon 1dx2 and I think you would never do that!

    • Both do the same thing and can be used for the same thing. Both are used heavily for vlogging and GoPro is far from just an action camera. It can do much much more and does for many every day. Your comment seems to be making excuses for the Pocket. Both are small, both are video cameras first and foremost, both shoot video and photo, both are take anywhere and both fit in the pocket. One is built better, has better stabilization, is more versatile, is waterproof, offers better video quality, has more accessory support, and even allows different FOV (three of them). That would be the GP7. What is NOT to compare here? As you may have seen here are probably over 1000 comparisons online that have been done. As I have said, the only way the Osmo beats the GP7 is in low light with stabilization. The GP has a weird thing it does but in ever other scenario the GP wins. In no way would I ever recommend a pocket over a GP7 to anyone after owning, buying and using both.

  5. Jeez Louise some folks seem really upset w this site for not loving this gadget

    I bought one. It’s a toy…a gadget. I’m keeping it because it was not expensive and it has it’s moments, but I would not recommend it.

    Lighten’ up man. It’s just a review.

    This is the only site that gives up unfiltered opinions. Opinions are never wrong….sometimes just different from our own…at least on stuff like this.

    • I see the difference. The Osmo is not smooth as a larger gimbal. Many reviews point this out. You can see it in the footage here in my video, as well as a new video I made (which is not up yet). It’s quite obvious. The GP7 is not typical EIS, but they did a great job with it and it performs like a normal gimbal in every day shots. The Pocket has a wobble and is not super smooth and this is due to the design and size of it. It is limited in what it can do and how smooth it can be. This is just fact, and anyone who uses both side by side will see that difference. Again, others show the difference and see it and have proven it just as my two videos do. It is what it is and the GP7 offers smoother stabilization over the pocket, without question. Now does a GP7 offer smoother video than a larger gimbal? No. But the pocket doesn’t either, and it’s not even really close. The pocket is a fun gadget but in no way would I see it as any kind of serious tool, which some are touting it as. I could have jumped on the bandwagon and sold 100 or more of these through affiliate links by saying its the best thing ever but I am honest, and do not hype for sales or money. If something is great I get excited by it and share that enthusiasm but in this case, I felt let down and that was mostly due to the HYPE some have created (to make sales). Thank you. So I am not blind, just doing my job, being honest and stating facts. Some are blind though, to the realities of what the pocket is.

  6. nice gopro review! you just be enjoying your free product to its fullest.

    saying the gorpo stabilization is better than a gimbal is rediculous…not to mention it completely falls apart is less than ideal lighting situations.

    • Sorry, I paid for my GoPro 7 in full, as I did the pocket. Never done a “paid review” in over 11 years here and never will. Enjoy reading biased reviews to please you and your own decisions. The GP7 is far better than the Osmo Pocket in EVERY SINGLE WAY. This is fact. IQ, color, noise, stabilization, size/form factor, toughness, weather proof, battery options, audio…well, one area the GP sucks is low light when using IS. That’s it and that is the truth and fact. Maybe if you used both, side by side and saw for yourself you would understand the facts. I do not deal in paid reviews or “free product” for a favorable review. I buy the products I review or get a 2 week loan. I am honest, unlike some out there who want the affiliate sales. Sorry, not here.

      • I tend to agree that the GoPro is a better option than Osmo Pocket. GoPro is much more rugged, better colors out of camera, good stabilization and wider field of view.

        During my trip to Florida a few days ago I used the GoPro for more than the Osmo Pocket for the reasons above.

  7. Steve I bought one too and it is absolutely PERFECT….at being a fun cool little gadget

    That’s what I bought if for. It is cheap.. I bought it for no other reason than it is cheap, cool, fun and takes acceptable video

    So if you’re looking for a gp7 or a gh5s on a gimbal…it’s weak

    But if ya want a fun cool gadget – get it

    It’s a fun toy

    • I use dit much more today before having to ship it out to the new owner. The GP 7 simply blows it away in every single area from video quality, to audio, to build, to stabilization. DJI is not marketing this as a “toy” but it is indeed like a toy. I could never ever recommend this but the GP 7 is a stunner in comparison. I bought the pocket in hopes it would best the GP but not even close. Took a loss of $150 to sell it quick, as it would never get used. The GP7 goes with me everywhere and provides fantastic footage, sound and ease of use. I have three wide angle modes to choose from and choose linear to avoid the ultra wide look. If you want a fun gadget, or serious tool the GP7 is the way to go. The Osmo Pocket is gimmicky. It’s one of the 1st products I have use that I actually really dislike.

      • I understand completely

        My take though is that it was cheap and a toy for me …a curiosity

        Note – I’m not into video much and if I were, I would ship it back

        I just find it to be an interesting gadget and I’ll keep it just to goof with

      • stop saying software stabilization is better than mechanical…thatbis simply not true.

        not to mention the gp7 stabilization doesn’t even work in low light / less than idea situations.

        what a biased review… you should stick to writing marketing copy for gp

        • I will not stop saying what is true in this case. The EIS in the GP7 is much smoother than the Osmo Pocket which is sort of jerky as it is limited by the small size. In low light, as I have said before, the GP7 gets wonky with the IS but in daylight, everyday use the GP7 is better and I am not the only one telling the truth on this. I paid for my GP7 and my Pocket, in full. I speak the truth but some, like you, do not want the truth. You would rather hear someone praise YOUR choice. That’s not what I do here, never have and never will. I have also never in 11 years done a “Paid” review nor do I take free items in exchange for a review. MANY have for the pocket and in IQ, IS, and every other area the GP7 beats the pocket. This is fact for anyone who has used both Side by side and is not out to make affiliate sales for the pocket while it is hot.

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