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OSMO Review

Product Review

OSMO is actually a high quality hand-held stabilized 4K camera module. It offers fantastic stabilization, great video quality, comfortable grip and a full-featured app.

The OSMO enables you to capture the world from a personal perspective, with a camera that exceeds by far the capabilities of regular action cams like the GoPro Hero4. The software is very intuitive and the convenient hand-held gimbal is outstanding.

As a classic drone camcorder, the OSMO captures smooth handheld video footage, though its battery life is problematic and its internal mic is pretty poor. In this respect you'd better invest in an external mic.

For filmmakers it's a fantastic tool, putting steadicam-style footage in the reach of average users. Unlike the expensive and heavy professional steadicam rigs, the OSMO takes the niche of portability, usability, quality and ease of use. It provides a unique ability to shoot professional stabilized footage at a price that it's unrivaled on the market.

OSMO's handle features a series of buttons that enable complete control over the operation of both the camera and gimbal. On the side there is a spring-loaded holder that can be used as a home for a WiFi phone that can expand the camera and gimbal's operation, or act as a handy live view screen.

One of the first things you'll notice on the OSMO is the locking system. The camera head and tilt arm can be twisted into a locking position, and the rotating arm has a switch that allows it to lock into place for safe storage and transport. There are three points that you'll need to unlock in order to start using it. At the base of the gimbal, just underneath the arm that holds the camera, is a toggle switch. This allows the gimbal to pan left and right. The other two are located at the rotation points for camera movement—they're marked by lock and unlock icons.

Just unpack it, and the OSMO is ready to go in seconds. It has no built-in screen, so you'll have to use your phone as a display and interface. The installed clip can hold phones up to 5.5 inches in size. The free Go app which works with Android and iOS communicates with the OSMO, controlling video settings, adjust the gimbal and set exposure. All controls can be adjusted with one hand.

A trigger button sits at the front of the pistol grip handle. Holding it down locks the camera onto a target in space, so you can move your hand in any direction while still tracking a set point. There's a rear thumbpad to tilt up, down, left, or right, as well as dedicated buttons to capture a still image and to start and stop video recording.

The outcome of the video looks great, but attach your own mic for reasonable sound. The Osmo has a fan to keep it cool, but the internal mic makes it an audible distraction. DJI sells a Rode microphone that is sized appropriately for the OSMO, but you'll also need to buy the Universal Mount and Straight Extension Arm to use it.

The battery life is short, and it will last for only about 40 minutes of footage out of a fully charged battery. The OSMO's Zenmuse X3 camera has the same lens and sensor as the camera used by the Inspire 1, but the gimbal hardware has been optimized for handheld use.

Video is saved at a 60Mbps bit rate, with cinema 4K (4,096 by 2,160) available at 24fps, and the more common UHD 4K (3,840 by 2,160) available at 30fps, in addition to 24fps. You can also opt to shoot at 2.7K (2,704 by 1,502) at either of those frame rates.

In conclusion, the OSMO easy to operate, compact and steady, light and very capable. It's not a cheap device, but it will cost you less than half price if you already own an Inspire One or Inspire Pro and use their cameras.

The OSMO is a fantastic tool, but your decision weather to buy it depends on your specific needs. For home movies producers, the price may be a bit on the high side, especially if you consider that it doesn't have zoom lens and requires to buy an external mic. Though enthusiasts won't give it up, especially if you already own an Inspire 1 drone and can share the camera between the devices.

For cinematographers and documentarians who will need it for daily production, the OSMO is extremely worthy and useful. Future support for the X5 Micro Four Thirds camera and its interchangeable lenses will make the OSMO a much more versatile tool for serious filmmakers, but also a more expensive one.


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