DJI Osmo Mobile
Shaky handheld footage has afflicted video makers since the dawn of time. It’s either a surefire sign that you’re an amateur who doesn’t know what you’re doing or you’re acclaimed director Paul Greengrass.
The DJI Osmo Mobile is a handheld gimbal for your smartphone camera, letting you record stable and smooth video. The Mobile also brings ActiveTrack, subject-tracking technology from the Phantom 4 drone, to the Osmo series.
Little has changed on the rest of the Osmo Mobile, except three things. The Osmo’s 3.5mm audio jack has been converted into a battery charger; you’ll need to use the special 3.5mm to USB cable that comes in the box to charge the Mobile.
The second significant diﬀerence is battery life. The original Osmo drained its battery pretty quickly, but the Mobile can run up to four and a half hours using the same battery. The third diﬀerence is that your smartphone now connects to the Mobile via Bluetooth, instead of Wi-Fi, so you can shoot and live stream at the same time.
The Osmo Mobile is as easy to use as it gets. It stabilizes your smartphone even if you’re shooting with its default camera app, but using the Mobile with the DJI Go app unlocks more features, like motion time-lapse and ActiveTrack. ActiveTrack, promises to always keep your subject in the center of the frame, by moving the camera to follow him, her or it.
ActiveTrack worked whimsically for me. In some videos, it managed to track me even when I walked down a flight of stairs and swung the camera around me. In other cases, it lost track just from me walking. From what I can piece together, ActiveTrack seems to work better with slower-moving subjects than fast ones, and subjects that tend to appear the same throughout the shot.
The Mobile’s key feature is its ability to stabilize, and it manages to turn usually shaky and nausea-inducing videos into smooth, perfectly usable videos. What it does best is prevent the unconscious, random hand- shakes and jitters that mar most smartphone videos, giving you a steady, moving shot that is otherwise impossible to achieve with handheld video.
Now, while the Osmo Mobile is half the price of the original Osmo, it still isn’t that aﬀordable that you can go and buy it on a whim. But it will let you shoot smartphone videos that look steadier than the Jason Bourne movies’ shaky cams.
AT A GLANCE
61.8 × 48.2 × 161.5mm