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

Canon unveils PowerShot G5 X, PowerShot G7 X in PH

Up your vlogger game with these two additions

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Canon’s G series family just received its latest additions for vloggers and compact camera enthusiasts. These two cameras promise to bring high quality and quick images, while packaged ever so lightly. During the Canon Vlog Ventures event, the company unveiled the PowerShot G5 X  II and the PowerShot G7X  III.

Canon’s Benny Yu, Head of Marketing for its Consumer division dubbed these cameras as an “on-the-go” devices. According to Yu, these devices fit best with “advanced photographers and vloggers who are constantly on the move.” The PowerShot G5 X and G7 X bring a new one-inch CMOS image sensor, 4K video recording, and livestreaming features (only for the G7 X).


Apart from these, both devices support up to 30 frames per second of continuous shooting modes in RAW format. This enables you to capture fast-moving objects without missing a singe thing, especially for events and travel vlogs. This frame cap also applies when shooting videos in 4K, which allows you to shoot videos in unbelievable, stunning quality.

Canon is currently offering vlogger packages along with any pre-orders between August 16 to 31, 2019. The Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark III package starts at PhP 46,998, complete with a free 24/7 Vlogger Service Support, 3-year warranty and access to Canon’s accessories and lens. Meanwhile, the Canon PowerShot G5 X II package starts at PhP 54,998.

The vlogging cameras were first announced in July. In the US, the G7X III retails for US$ 749.

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Accessories

DJI launches the ultra-portable Osmo Mobile 3

It’s now foldable!

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DJI Osmo Mobile 3 | Image credit: DJI

DJI has been a quintessential part for most people — drones, portable cameras, action cameras, you name it, they have it. With the existence of advanced smartphone cameras, there’s no doubt that mobile cinematography is also getting better. DJI continues to prove that they are the world’s leader in creative camera technology with the Osmo Mobile 3.

The third iteration of the Osmo Mobile is the first folding stabilizer made by DJI. They have specifically thought of its new folding design to make it more portable for everyone. The redesign also paves way for clutter-free operation, even when you are using charging cables and external mics.


It doesn’t stop there as they also included efficient and convenient buttons so you’re ready to shoot whenever, wherever. You can access Quick Roll by pressing the Mode (M) button twice 🤟🏼. That feature automatically rotates the phone’s orientation from landscape to portrait (and vice versa).

ActiveTrack 3.0

ActiveTrack 3.0 also helps in re-centering the subject being tracked. A trigger exists for locking orientation and rotating the gimbal for selfies. There’s also a dedicated zoom slider on the stabilizer’s side for hassle-free operation. In addition, users can control the zoom speed based on their preference.

DJI Mimo App and Story Mode

With the DJI Mimo App, you can access its pre-programmed modes during and after shooting. Story Mode lets you edit videos right away with preset music, transitions, and filters. There are also 13 templates you can choose from.

DJI Osmo Mobile 3 with Sport Mode

Several modes to play with

The Sport Mode increases the stabilizer’s responsiveness in shooting subjects that are fast-paced. There’s also the Gesture Control which automatically snaps a selfie once you pose for the camera — a peace sign, perhaps?. Panorama mode is also included with 3×3 or 180º options when shooting. Don’t worry, the Slow Motion Mode is also present with 4X or 8X speed options.

Get more creative with TimeLapse, MotionLapse, and HyperLapse. They all sound similar but they are different in their own ways.

TimeLapse lets you shoot longer videos in a shorter playback duration. MotionLapse combines the function of TimeLapse, but with the addition of the movement of a dynamic element you selected in the frame. Lastly, HyperLapse works just like TimeLapse but adds more movement by moving the stabilizer along with you. It works best not just because of EIS (Electronic Image Stabilization), but also with DJI’s ActiveTrack 3.0.

Pricing and availability

The DJI Osmo Mobile 3 is currently available in DJI’s flagship stores and select Apple Stores in the United States. It’s currently sold in two packages: The standard package with the wrist strap, storage pouch, and anti-slip pads retails for US$ 105. Meanwhile, there’s a US$ 125 package that includes everything in the standard version, plus the Osmo Grip Tripod and Osmo Carrying Case.

Global availability and local pricing has yet to be announced.

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Cameras

Sony RX100 VII: full-frame features on a compact camera

Best compact camera today?

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Sony’s compact camera just leveled up. Just months removed from the announcement of its predecessor, we now have the Sony RX100 VII and it’s the company’s most powerful camera to date.

The headline feature is the Sony A9 level speed performance with up to 60 AF/AE calculations per second and 20fps blackout-free shooting with AF/AE tracking. Speaking of tracking, the Real-time Tracking and Real-time Eye AF for movie shooting introduced on the Sony A7R IV is also making its way to the RX100 VII.


It comes with a ZEISS 24-200mm F2.8-4.5 high magnification zoom lens to give you flexibility when shooting. Other improvements include a new drive mode, Single Burst Shooting, for capturing high-speed shots at up to 90FPS.

More options for movie recording

Those looking to shoot plenty of videos will love the 4K Active SteadyShot that Sony says is eight times more effective than 4K Standard SteadyShot. Interval Shooting(19) For stunning time-lapse videos, there’s Interval Shooting. And there’s also slow-mo recording at up to 960FPS for that cinematic flair.

There’s also an option for vertical movie recording if you want to record for IGTV. Vloggers were kept in mind with the 3.5mm mic input and a 180-degree flip screen.

Package for vloggers

If you want to kick it up a notch there’s also a Shooting Grip Kit package. It includes an RX100 VII and Shooting Grip  that allows for easy recording and zooming. The kit also comes with a bracket with accessory shoe and two rechargeable battery packs.

Sold separately, but recommended by Sony, is the Sony Stereo Microphone (ECM-XYST1M). It mounts on the brack’s accessory for simple vlogging setup.

Pricing and availability

The RX100 VII  will ship in August 2019 for around US$ 1,200 while The RX100 VII Shooting Grip Kit will be available later in 2019 for around US$ 1,300. In Singapore, the RX100 VII will be available end of August starting at SG$ 1,649. The RX100 VII Kit will retail for SG$ 1,799.

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