Cameras

DJI Osmo Pocket Review

Who exactly is it made for?

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Looking back at technological trends of the yesteryears, there are certain patterns that we can see. One example is how devices have a tendency to become smaller and smaller over time — having better functionality in smaller packages.

During the 90s, cellphones were as large as walkie-talkies and later on shrunk when the likes of the Nokia 8210 came about. Fast forward to now, and not much has changed.

Stabilizers for professional cameras started out as huge rigs and were worn around the entire body. The size got reduced for DSLRs, then smaller for smartphones, and now, a full-blown three-axis gimbal with its own 4K camera can now be held and operated single-handedly.

This is the DJI Osmo Pocket. As its name suggests, it’s built for portability and ease of use since it easily slips inside the pocket. We’ve seen it coming, though. All DJI had to do was to take its camera-mounted stabilizer from its consumer drones and turn it into a handheld standalone product.

Having a stabilized camera for video shooting is the main reason you’d want to buy this. Although, there’s more to it than just capturing footage smoother than with your smartphone. For this review, we tested out its features, saw what works and what doesn’t, and compared it to another big name in the portable camera category: GoPro’s Hero 7 Black.

It has a candy bar-sized body

Makes it easy to put away and take out

No built-in storage

Although it readily accepts a microSD card up to 256GB

USB-C port to keep with the times

For speedier file transfers and charging times

Universal Port allows for additional connectivity

Comes with adapters to connect to a smartphone and DJI’s app

Built-in preview screen

There’s a small touch display to tweak settings and preview shots

Guaranteed stabilization

The three-axis gimbal promises stable footage

Feature-packed

DJI has pretty much polished the accompanying app for its drones and once again, they only needed to make a specific app for the Osmo Pocket. Called DJI Mimo, it’s made for this handheld device as an all-in-one software for shooting in Professional Mode and editing clips to produce a short video.

Those who have tried flying the company’s drones through the DJI Go app will feel at home using DJI Mimo. The layout is familiar, even with how the settings are lined up. Through this app, it’s easier to go for the Pro Mode that lets you have control over your settings. Remember: It’s always better to be able to tweak separate values the way you want to so you can achieve the shots you have in mind.

The sensor shoots 12MP photos and videos can go up to 4K at 60fps. You can also choose to go for a high frame rate of 120fps to achieve smooth slow-motion shots. Other features include First Person View mode, Active Track, and Motionlapse. We made a short video showcasing these shooting modes.

Image quality vs GoPro’s?

With its 1/2.3-inch camera, the Osmo Pocket has the same sensor as the first Mavic Pro. And, together with its RAW photo capturing and D-Cinelike color profile, you can turn your photos and footage into a cinematic piece good enough for professional use. Details are sharp during the day, and digital noise — although still present — is kept at a minimum when shooting at night. Recording videos at Full HD resolution is enough for your usual social media posts, although you can always go for 4K if you need a little wiggling room in manual post-production.

When you talk about a compact camera that would do great for travels, GoPro’s name almost always comes to mind. I personally have a lot of friends asking me which to go for between these two. I don’t blame them since it’s pretty common to see them as an alternative to the other.

If you simply want a handheld camera that shoots good photos and stabilizes your video clips, then I guess you can compare and choose between the two. For a quick shootout, we took side-by-side shots of a few scenes on both cameras. These were shot in standard mode and some samples were captured in GoPro’s wide mode to show the difference in field of view.

Now that you have an idea of their image quality, it’s worth noting that these two cameras are not so alike. Sure, they both have great video stabilization and offer a compact form factor, but a GoPro is more for adventure and sports with its wide selection of mounts and accessories. The accessories for the Osmo, since the product is still fairly new, are mostly sold out or not available in stores. Either way, these do not provide the same flexibility of use the GoPro mounts offer.

Another major difference is that the Osmo Pocket is not water- and dust-proof, unlike the Hero series that always has water resistance as part of its offerings. You could say the target market for these two cameras could be represented as a Venn diagram showing two different devices that slightly overlap with one another.

So who is it made for?

If the Osmo Pocket isn’t direct competition for GoPro, to whom does DJI target this device? To answer that, let’s first see where the Osmo Pocket delivers.

It’s very handy and easy to use. I went on an interstate trip in the US with the Osmo Pocket just in my… well, pocket, and taking it out and powering it up when I needed it was easy. Because of that, I’d say it’s definitely made for sightseeing during out-of-town trips.

Battery life is also satisfactory. During my travels, I made sure that the camera was fully charged before leaving the house. This would usually last me an entire day’s stroll — shooting photos and videos of the new places I visited.

Although, I’d still recommend bringing a dedicated powerbank since the battery isn’t removable like GoPro’s. And the battery understandably drains a lot faster when you shoot hyperlapse and other special modes.

Switching its camera from forward-facing to selfie mode happens in one swipe plus a tap, so it should be easy for vloggers to shoot while talking and even walking. Do take note, though, that audio reception through its built-in microphones can get tricky at times since it’s easy to cover the pinholes for the mic when you grip the entire body.

The company has already rolled out a firmware update that lets you access Pro Mode on the device itself without needing a smartphone to attach. This is an appreciated update since it’s not all the time you can afford to connect an extra smartphone just to go to the advanced settings.

However, having two ways to shoot would be a lot easier whenever you want to take your time and perfect your shot. This makes the Osmo Pocket a good tool for cinematic videography, as well.

Is this your GadgetMatch?

If you require more robust and flexible shooting equipment, you might want to look at GoPro’s selection. But if you find yourself doing the things mentioned above, the Osmo Pocket would fit your needs, undoubtedly.

I had a Hero 7 Black with me during the same trip and I only brought it out whenever I needed a wider shot or when I used a specific mount to capture a timelapse from a compromising spot.

The DJI Osmo Pocket is available internationally for US$ 349, but you can get one from Philippine retailers for around PhP 23,000.

Cameras

Olympus bids goodbye to its camera business

Bought by Japan Industrial Partners

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Olympus is a well-known brand due to its reliable DSLR cameras that offered alternatives to mainstream competitors like Canon, Sony, and Nikon. However, its camera business could soon be over. The company recently announced that it is selling its business to Japan Industrial Partners (JIP) — the same company that bought the iconic VAIO laptop line.

The announcement means an end to Olympus’ presence in the camera market. The company has been producing cameras ever since the 1930s. Some of its iconic products include the Olympus Pen and Zuiko lenses.

An ever-shrinking market for dedicated cameras and a much competitive market resulted in losses for its camera division in recent years. As such, the company decided to sell its camera division to JIP to streamline its operations.

However, that doesn’t mean an end to Olympus cameras. JIP said that they are going to continue releasing new OM-D DSLR cameras as well as Zuiko lenses.

To formalize the acquisition, both Olympus and JIP will sign a definitive agreement this September. Specific details about the acquisition are yet to be announced by both companies.

Source: The Verge

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Cameras

Sony’s new ZV-1 camera is built for vlogging

Shipping in June

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How much personalization do you want your cameras to have? Some purists prefer completely manual cameras, allowing for absolute control over every aspect of their photos. Other professionals prefer a more consumer-friendly approach to photography, balancing easy-to-use functions with stellar photo quality.

Combining both aspects, the recently launched Sony ZV-1 is an all-in-one compact camera built specifically for casual video shooters. A boon to the vlogging community, the ZV-1 maintains both uncompromising video quality with ease of use.

Featuring a 1.0-type stacked Exmor RS CMOS image sensor and the latest BIONZ X image processor, the camera shoots at 4K resolution with in-body image stabilization. Inside, a 24-70mm f/1.8-2.8 large-aperture lens allows for dynamic bokeh control. Named the Bokeh Switch feature, the camera can increase and decrease background blur according to preference without losing its main focus.

In the same vein, the new Product Showcase feature allows for an easy transition between different focal points, such as switching between a subject’s face and a focused object. As the name suggests, the feature helps vloggers easily unbox and review products.

A Face Priority autoexposure feature automatically adjusts the device’s exposure settings depending on the brightness of the background. It will prioritize the subject’s face, ensuring correct exposure settings regardless of background. With the feature, it’s easier to shoot in bright sunlight, low-light conditions, and transitioning quickly between the two.

Besides what’s inside, the camera is also built ergonomically for a casual shooter’s hands. Instead of the traditional vertically flipping screen, it carries a horizontally flipping LCD screen, allowing users to easily see what’s being caught on camera. It comes with a 3.5mm microphone jack and a wind screen accessory to reduce wind interference.

Sony will start selling the ZV-1 at authorized Sony stores and through Lazada starting June 2020. It will retail for US$ 799.99.

SEE ALSO: Sony Xperia 1 II camera phone now available for pre-order

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Apps

Use your Canon camera as a laptop webcam

Up the quality on your video call meetings

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Video conferencing is the new normal as most of us continue to work from home. Canon hopes to make the experience better with the EOS Webcam Utility Beta.

You may have noticed though that the video quality from your laptop’s webcam is not up to par with your smartphone’s front camera. Most manufacturers tend to put sub-par cameras on laptops. The reason: your laptop’s webcams were not that highly used before the whole COVID-19 situation.

To address this, Canon recently released a tool that will level up your video quality over online conferencing apps. The idea is to transform your Canon camera into a portable webcam. Simply plug-in an EOS or a PowerShot camera to your laptop, configure the software, and you now have a powerful webcam at your disposal.

The utility is called “EOS Webcam Utility Beta”. It’s a software that automatically configures your Canon camera into a portable web camera over a USB connection.

The caveat though is that only select EOS DSLR, EOS Mirrorless, and PowerShot cameras are compatible. The software is still in beta, but if you’re really determined to level up your video calling game, you can view the full list of compatible cameras here.

Grainy and lifeless videos will be a thing of the past for Canon users with this new tool. If you own a Canon EOS or DSLR camera, make sure to give this utility a try to improve your video chats with friends, family, or your fellow co-workers.

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