The DJI Osmo Action 4 has seemingly been unmasked by some new leaks – and while the imminent GoPro rival sounds like a solid update, it won’t satisfy the growing numbers who’ve been waiting years for a DJI Pocket 3.
DJI’s Osmo and Pocket ranges are surely different enough to co-exist. The Osmo Action 4 leaks, shared by @camerainsider on Twitter, suggest it’ll be another traditional action camera with some improved specs, most notably a bigger 1/1.3inch sensor and some slightly improved waterproofing (down to 18m).
It isn’t clear exactly when the Osmo Action 4 will launch – DJI has another event on July 25 at 9am EST / 2pm BST / 11pm AEST, which is expected to be for the DJI Air 3 drone – but when it does, it’ll be around a year on from the DJI Osmo Action 3, which landed in September 2022.
The DJI Pocket 2, meanwhile, arrived way back in October 2020. So has DJI given up on its unique little gimbal-stabilized camera? It’s hard to say, but with no leaks to compare to those of the Osmo Action 4, the odds on it arriving this year are growing increasingly long.
DJI OSMO ACTION 4 specs:Sensor:1/1.3-inch CMOSLens:155° f/2.84K60P 155° FOV4K120P slow motion10-bit & D-Log M360° HorizonSteadyWaterproof:18m without Waterproof CaseWeight:145g pic.twitter.com/ZXCi0w6ezqJuly 19, 2023
That’s a shame, as the Pocket remains a unique camera that’s still one of the best vlogging cameras around. Yes, increasingly powerful electronic image stabilization like that seen on the GoPro Hero 11 Black and DJI’s own Osmo Actions is reducing the need for a physical gimbal – as is the Action Mode on the latest iPhones.
But a physical gimbal on a little pocketable camera, which is the DJI Pocket’s USP, still creates some unique effects. For example, it lets the camera follow solo videographers around a scene using face tracking, which is great for solo vloggers. It also lets you shoot motion timelapses with ease.
The Pocket series will never be as rugged as a DJI Osmo Action 4, but an update with similar specs would surely prove hugely popular. The Action 4 leaks suggest that alongside that new 1/1.3-inch sensor, it’ll be able to record 4K/120p slow motion and shoot with 10-bit color depth alongside formats like D-Log M.
Meanwhile, the Pocket 2 still has a much smaller 1/1.7-inch sensor, is limited to 4K/60p and tops out at 8-bit video. Many prospective Pocket 3 buyers would surely accept a slightly bigger chassis if DJI could pack in some of those improved specs plus, ideally, a 1-inch sensor.
Osmo vs Pocket
The lack of any Pocket 3 leaks alongside the ones emerging for the Osmo Action 4 doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the end of the road for DJI’s compact gimbal cam. Those kind of DJI leaks tend to only appear in the immediate weeks before a launch, so there’s still time for a Pocket 3 to emerge before the end of the year.
But the last time we heard a mooted release date for a Pocket 2 successor was back in January, when the reliable DJI leaker @dealsdrone posted a possible roadmap that said a Pocket 3 could launch in April. Clearly, that didn’t happen, and whether it’s down to supply chain issues or rejigged plans, there hasn’t been a hint of news since then.
For now, then, fans of travel-friendly, gimbal-stabilized video cameras will have to accept the slightly dated specs of the DJI Pocket 2, or look at rivals like the Feiyu Pocket 3, which arrived in May. We haven’t tested the latter, but it has some intriguing features like a removable gimbal camera head. That means you can more easily stick it on a bike helmet, like some of the best action cameras.
As our DJI Pocket 3 wishlist shows, though, the dream for many remains a significantly upgraded Pocket 2 with a big sensor (like the 48MP 1/1.3-inch one inside the DJI Mini 3 Pro), a removable camera head (like the one seen previously in DJI patents shown on Chinese social media site Baidu, above) and a removable battery.
In the absence of any Pocket 3 leaks, all we can do is tune into the seemingly imminent launch of the DJI Osmo Action 4 and look for clues that it might actually be coming.