Tech Thursday: Osmo Mobile
For the serious smartphone photographer/videographer
The Osmo mobile from DJI is essentially a smart selfie-stick that does more (but if you want to be technical, it’s a smartphone gimbal stabilizer). For one it has a built-in gyroscope that keeps your phone level while holding it. This means smooth-as-butter video recording even while walking.
How do you use it? Easy. Mount the phone using the knob on the back to hold it in place and simply switch on. In doing so, the device will self-level but you’ll need to go through onboarding-calibration to help adjust the balance of the Osmo. You will, however, need to download the DJI Go app to be able to maximize the device’s functions, i.e., ActiveTrack technology, timelapse, panorama, etc. But more on that later. Scroll down to see the full features:
Weight: 488g (including battery and wrist strap)
Dimensions: 290 x 110 x 120mm
Supported smartphone widths: 59 x 84mm
Battery: 11.1V 980mAh
Angular vibration range: + / – 0.03 degree
Controllable range: pan: + / – 150 degree; roll: + / – 25 degree; tilt: -125 to +35 degree
Mechanical range: pan: + / – 165 degree; roll: – 50 to +90 degree; tilt: -140 to +50 degree
Max. Controllable speed: 120 degree/s
Bluetooth 4.0 compatible
The Osmo Mobile comes with a carrier, a charger cable, wrist wrap and user manuals. To enhance user experience, you can pair it with other accessories, like the Osmo tripod and Osmo base that are sold separately.
Shot using standard SLR
Footage from smartphone on the Osmo
As mentioned previously, the Osmo Mobile is designed to work with the DJI Go app, which you can download for free. With the app, you can use ActiveTrack, a feature that allows the gimbal to track a particular subject. All you have to do is drag a square around the subject on your smartphone and the device will automatically track the subject. Just don’t run too fast, ok? This function is also great for people who travel or work alone and want to document their great escape. You can also access timelapse and panorama functions via the app. But the best part? The Osmo lets you share moments in real time on YouTube Live using—what else—the app! Though we’ve only used it iOS, which worked pretty well, other reviews online say that some features don’t work on certain smartphones. But for sure, the developers will work out the kinks.
So we’ve got the basics and great features covered. Stabilization technology? Check. Smart features? Quadruple check. Now onto operating time; the Osmo can only be used up to 4.5 hours max. But we don’t really see that as problem since a standard smartphone can only record between one to two hours of video footage. Meanwhile, newer phones that have the optical image stabilization (OIS) feature need to be switched off or the two stabilization mechanisms will fight against each other and yield to wobbles in the footage. So as long as you have it switched off, you won’t really have a problem.
DJI’s Osmo Mobile is still one of the best smartphone gimbals out there. The addition of the DJI Go app with ActiveTrack technology is a great feature, too, so long as it works on your phone. It’s a great alternative to the more expensive Osmo gimbals and is worth the investment if you’re serious about smartphone photography/videography for say, your business, blog/vlog or your own leisure.