DJI Announces the First Fully Integrated and Stabilized 4K Camera System

Lately it seems that DJI has been releasing innovative video tools every single month. Known primarily for their ultra popular Phantom and Inspire 1 drone systems, DJI just announced today that they are releasing their own handheld 4K camera and gimbal called the Osmo. Together with the Ronin DSLR stabilizing system and the Micro Four Thirds Inspire 1 Pro, the Osmo is yet another product that will change the way photographers and videographers can capture stabilized footage on a budget.

As you can see from the promo video above, the Osmo is basically a small 4K camera attached to the new DJI 3-Axis Gimbal. What is so cool about this unit is that it is modular so you can use any of the current DJI Zenmuse camera systems (no word yet if you can actually mount your Zenmuse gimbal from your Phantom drone which would allow you to use your GoPro cameras too). This really opens the door for those who want a cheap system now, but eventually want to upgrade to a micro four thirds camera system like the one used on the brand new Inspire 1 Pro. We are currently testing the Inspire 1 Pro right now and have to say that having a micro four thirds sensor on a aerial drone is pretty amazing.

Here are a few specs that we know about this system that was just released today.

Camera (X3/FC350H):

  • Wide 94 degree field of view (22mm or 35mm equivalent)
  • Sony Exmor R CMOS 1/2.3-inch sensor (same size as GoPro Hero 4)
  • Video Resolutions: UHD: 4K (4096 x 2160) 24/25p
                           UHD 4K (3840 x 2160) 24/25/30p
                           2.7K (2704 x 1520) 24/25/30p
                           HD: 1920 x 1080 24/25/30/48/50/60/120p
                           HD: 1280 x 720 24/25/30/48/50/60p
  • Max Bit rate: 60 Mbps (bit rate for each frame rate is still unknown)
  • Photo Resolution: 12 megapixels
  • ​MP4/MOV (MPEG-4 AVC/H.264) for video
  • JPEG/DNG for stills

Osmo ships with X3 but can be used with X5 and X5 R

Gimbal (ZENMUSE X3):

  • Tilt: -35 degrees to +135 degrees, Pan: ±320 degrees, Roll: ±30 degrees
  • Output power: Static: 9 W, Dynamic: 11 W
  • 221 grams

​Arm:

  • Stereo Microphone
  • 3.5 mm audio jack for external microphones and lavs
  • Smartphone holder for camera control and monitoring
  • Ability to attach to tripod, bike mount, extension arm, and other accessories
  • 201 grams 
  • 60 minutes of battery life, 6 hours standby time, 60 minute recharge time
  • Wi-Fi compatible​

It looks like the DJI Osmo will be shipping around October 15 but you can preorder it today from B&H Photo. The retail price for everything is $649 which is very reasonable considering you can get a GoPro 4 Hero Black for $499 and the Feiyu G4 Gimbal for $250. Obviously with the GoPro system you can detach the camera and use it elsewhere or even underwater, but with the Osmo system you can also use the much more capable X5 R camera that shoots raw 4K video (granted it is $5,000).  

Here are some videos showcasing the raw footage taken from the Osmo system. What do you think, will this system be a useful tool for videographers on a budget or is this stabilized system a little late to the party?

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15 Comments

Taylor Osborn's picture

What's odd is that DJI only sells OSMO with the camera. I already own an Inspire so I don't need the camera, just the handle. Their logic is so odd sometimes.

Garrett Reid's picture

I believe they specifically address that in the video...

Taylor Osborn's picture

Incorrect. Nowhere in that video does it state you can purchase just the handle if you already own an inspire. It just states that OSMO is compatible with the X3 from the inspire. DJI's website also confirms my initial statement as well. http://store.dji.com/product/osmo

Casey Berner's picture

60 minutes of battery life??? Sad. This isn't replaceable either so plan to bring a charger. Pros and cons, this is from a much more well known company than Feiyu. It looks much bigger than the Feiyu G4 too, but having integrated iPhone controls is great. I feel like a lot of people in the market for something like this already have a GoPro but I like the fact you can use the X5 and X5R, but then that puts you in a different class of consumer all together. I don't think DJI is late to the party, but I do think the market for a camera and gimbal setup like this is limited considering those interested in a budget system like this might go for a GoPro to maximize their dollar beyond just the handheld gimbal system.

Taylor Osborn's picture

Agreed. What's also interesting is that the X3 that comes with OSMO does 120fps which probably means the Inpsire's X3 may be getting 120fps as well.

Patrick Hall's picture

I'm pretty sure you can just change the battery out. In the "items in the box" they list 1x battery which makes it seem like you can take the battery out.

Also in the FAQ it says this:

"What will happen if Osmo’s battery depletes while I’m recording a video?

The video currently being shot will be stored in micro SD card as a temporary file. To recover the video file, insert a charged battery and the Osmo will automatically start the recovery process."

Patrick Hall's picture

I agree too about DJI not letting their products work with GoPro. I think that is a HUGE mistake. I understand they want to build their own cameras and pull away from the GoPro partnership they had with the DJI Phantom 1 and 2 but to not offer a GoPro option as well seems like they are cutting off their own foot for the exact reason you suggested.

We bought a FeijuTech gimbal so we could use our GoPro and get steady walking shots. I would definitely consider buying the Osmo instead of the Feiyu if it worked for my Gopro but it doesn't. In hindsight, I almost would prefer to buy the Feiyu Gimbal for the iPhone especially now that the iPhone 6 shoots 4k and has 120 and 240 fps options (which in many ways competes with both the GoPro and the DJI cameras). DJI would be wise to offer another gimbal that would work with this Osmo handle that could accommodate both GoPros and Smart Phones because I would most definitely buy that!

YL Photographie's picture

a serious competitor for GoPro

Patrick Hall's picture

Maybe, but I think the idea of having a GoPro that is easily mountable to pretty much anything AND have a waterproof solution is a better solution in general. Obviously we would have to compare the quality from both cameras but attaching a iPhone or GoPro to a 3rd party handheld Gimbal isn't very difficult at all.

Budget Hungry Pro Film Makers are going to go towards the Ronin because they need the extra versatility a stabilized DSLR offers. Those who are truly cheap are going to want to use their existing GoPros or even their 4k Smart Phones. I think it is cool that DJI is offering a "turn Key" solution but if they really want to knock it out of the park they should offer a gimbal that can calibrate for both an iPhone/smart phone and also the GoPro. That would help move so many more units.

Matt Green's picture

That's me Patrick. I recently purchased a Ronin. It's impressive. I saw this new OSMO and it's pretty impressive as well. But, I think you're right. The Feiyu makes a lot of sense for those who already have an iPhone 6s.

On a side note, I'm glad to see DJI upgrading the Inspire camera. But I'm still thinking I'd prefer a drone that would fly a DSLR. (mostly for the ability to shoot stills as I think the video from the new Inspire cameras would be sufficient for most motion shots, I'm not sold on their "still" image quality)

Patrick Hall's picture

Yeah I can see it both ways for the stills. Flying a D810 or equivalent would be the most ideal situation but having had friends who built custom rigs to fly DSLRs, I know those things are not toys and are MASSIVE operations that would make me nervous. The Inspire 1 is already much more of a beast than then Phantoms we have used so far.

The one thing that does interest me about the smaller rigs like the Inspire 1 is eventually they should be able to zoom the lens in and out where that would require a lot of hardware to do with a DSLR. Being able to shoot wide and then control the lens to say 50mm or 85mm would be awesome on a smaller camera setup.

It's easy to want 36mp with the best ISO performance on the market but it wasn't that long ago that 12mp from something like a D300s or D3 was AMAZINGLY good for any type of image file. At some point it's worth having a slightly worse image file and actually have years of incredible photography published than to wait and wait for that perfect camera rig and miss all the opportunities you could have had.

Patrick Hall's picture

From our readers or from us? Lee and I do not buy into the "smaller easier to travel with" mantra that everyone loves to kick around. If I'm going to shoot on the ground I'm going to use a DSLR for stills and video or rent something even higher end. I will say though, the Sony A7RII video quality does have me excited because it is no doubt higher than the DSLR options but I'm not going to buy a Sony or Panasonic just for a little bit better video. That's a whole different system to have to adopt and invest into.

Shaun cleary's picture

Very cool -- any idea what the lowlight would look like on that video?

Patrick Hall's picture

That's a good question. I don't recall seeing a single indoor video clip and all the outdoor low light video clips are silhouette sunset shots so who knows. My guess would be "not good" since it's such a smaller sensor but I think this is aimed more at the lifestyle videographer or blog videographer not necessarily the reception wedding videographer. It should be interesting to see what it can do here soon

now make it waterproof and you get the gopro market.