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Osmo Action 5 - DJI Avatar and DJI Osmo 4 review

DJI Avatar and DJI Osmo 4 review

 

TheKiteMag staff had the chance to review the DJI Avatar and DJI Osmo 4. Here are the results:

DJI Avatar and DJI Osmo 4 review

In the fast-evolving world of outdoor sports videography, having the right equipment can make all the difference in capturing those dreamy sessions. Over the last few weeks we have had both ‘airborne’ and a ‘pole/hand/helmet’ worn options on test in the form of the DJI Avatar FPV drone and the DJI Osmo4 POV camera. In this crazy modern world of videography, we discovered that with these two items in your videographic arsenal you really do – literally – have all angles covered.

DJI Avatar - DJI Avatar and DJI Osmo 4 review

DJI Avatar

From the airborne side the DJI Avatar brings FPV drone videographer to the masses. For those not in the know, this essentially means that you are wearing a headset which shows what the drone is seeing… It’s a crazy kind of witchcraft which takes a few flights to get accustomed to and can lead to a little motion sickness initially. It takes a little while to get the headset, hand controller and drone set up and connected, but when you stop and consider what you are actually doing, it’s not surprising – there is a lot going on… The ‘Motion’ controller for the Avatar is handheld and you simply rotate it to steer the drone and tilt it on its axis to move the drone up and down. Once you are tuned in to it, it’s super easy and intuitive to fly and essentially turns you into a remote superhero.

As a compact and powerful drone, the Avatar provides breathtaking aerial perspectives that were once reserved for big-budget productions. Equipped with a 4K/60fps video with the 155° FOV the quality is insane… And the RockSteady and HorizonSteady options keep things stable even as you are banking into a full speed turn. We followed both foilers and kiters with the Avatar and you can get as close as you dare for some insane angles. Of course, over water you have to be a little more careful, but over land the Avatar’s protected props and sturdy construction ensure that you can push your limits knowing that if you hit a tree (okay, we did do this once. Or maybe twice) you can dust it off and are good to go again. There are also spare props provided if you hit a tree particularly hard…

The real benefit of the Avatar over a standard drone is the truly immersive experience, you can change the angle of the camera more quickly and naturally and you can also lock onto your subject to keep them perfectly framed. In the realm of extreme sports like kitesurfing and foiling, where split-second maneuvers define the experience, the Avatar’s exceptional combination of speed and stability was a real asset. For windier days, we flew the Avatar comfortably up to around 20 knots and it lets you know when it is out of its comfort zone. Overall the Avatar provides a mind-bending experience while you are using it, and an very satisfying one when you review the footage…

DJI Avatar 3 - DJI Avatar and DJI Osmo 4 review
DJI Osmo - DJI Avatar and DJI Osmo 4 review

DJI Osmo 4

We tested the Osmo3 and were impressed with its features, quality and particularly with its ‘clip on’ attachment system. Overall a well-priced POV camera which offered a professional experience at a competitive price-point.

So, what’s changed for this latest iteration? Well on first glance, it would seem to be not a great deal, but check the specs though and you can see that there has been a significant change, the sensor (the heart of any camera) has received an impressive upgrade from a 1/1.3-inch to a 1/1.7-inch sensor. By action cam standards this is serious step forward and sees DJI stepping firmly into the ‘professional quality’ realm. The main place where this will show benefits is in low light scenarios. We had a couple of end-of-the-day foil sessions and the Osmo 4 really handled this well ensuring that in post-prod we had a crisp, rich and consistent rendering of the whole session.

Another switch up is that there is no dedicated HDR mode, instead all modes now record HDR due to the sensor. There is also now an option to adjust the sharpness of your image while shooting which is great for water based activities where you don’t always want that overly sharp contrast between rider and water.

Overall if you are familiar with the Osmo series then the fourth iteration marks a definite step forward to keep it right at the top tier of the action camera market and for everything up to 4k product clip shooting, we continue to be super impressed with the quality of the footage and of the UI. If you’re not familiar with the series, then it is definitely one to explore if you are looking for a well-priced, high quality action camera that isn’t looking to mimic the competition but instead to evolve its own unique (and in several cases superior) features.

Osmo Action 4 1200x754 - DJI Avatar and DJI Osmo 4 review

The Combo…

So, having looked at both devices individually, how can they complement each other? Well, the seamless integration of these two devices can amplify the overall storytelling potential. Imagine capturing a kitesurfing or foiling session with the Avatar above, and then seamlessly transitioning to a ground-level perspective with the Osmo 4 providing the kiter or foiler’s perspective? It’s not quite Hollywood, but it’s not a million miles away!

 

This synchronization of devices creates a dynamic narrative, offering viewers a comprehensive and immersive experience of the session. Of course you still need one extra pair of hands (and eyes) for piloting the drone but the potential for maximising the impact of one of those sessions is huge.

Overall DJI have done a great job of tackling the balance between “accessibility/usability” and “image quality/features” with both the Avatar and the Osmo4 providing both the weekend warrior and the professional videographer with the tools they need to document their session, be that for their social media or for a full blown product clip.

 

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