Our Favorite Drone Maker Now Has an Affordable 4K Steadicam
Not content with simply making one of the most popular consumer drones in the world, DJI has expanded its lineup to include handheld cameras rigs. Well, one rig, anyway. The company has announced the Osmo, a 4K-shooting, 12MP contraption that includes a three-axis gimbal designed to smooth away any shaky-handed cinematography.
The Osmo looks almost like a handheld microphone; it comprises a one-hand grip, a smartphone mount, and the camera itself, a detached cyborg eyeball, which can be swapped out for any of DJI’s drone-friendly Zenmuse line of cameras. That synergy makes sense; the same stabilization you need to get drone footage that’s not a stuttery mess applies to terrestrial steadying as well. Here’s some Osmo-shot footage, though keep in mind that, like all photo and video demos, it’s shot by professionals under optimal conditions.
As shipped, it’s a minimally intrusive design. Controls are built into the grip itself, giving you the ability to fine-tune shooting angles and start or stop photographing or recording without any extraneous movement. There are panorama, timelapse, and slow motion (120 fps up to 180p) modes as well. As for that smartphone mount, you’ll need to use your handset as a display, since there’s not one onboard. You can further trick out Osmo with optional accessories like a tripod, bike mount, or extension arm. And yes, there is a selfie mode.
Not everyone needs a steadicam in their lives, or 4K video for that matter. Those that do have had plenty of options already. But at $650 (you can also buy the handle without the camera, if you have a Zenmuse product already), Osmo manages to balance function and affordability in a way that’s hard to find. It’s available for preorder today, and ships October 15.