DJI OM4 Review – New DJI Osmo Mobile Gimbal
- Great stabilisation
- Excellent magnetic mount
- Very useful app features
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An excellent but a bit expensive phone gimbal
- Great stabilisation
- Excellent magnetic mount
- Very useful app features
- Controls are a bit confusing
- A bit limited manual app controls
Today’s just going to be a quick review as we’re going to be taking a look at the new Osmo Mobile 4 from DJI.
DJI is rebranding it and it’s now known as the OM4.
It’s very similar to the Osmo Mobile 3 in the fact that it folds up and it’s pretty similar in shape and size, but it does have a few interesting new features.
New, soft case – what is in it
When you purchase the Osmo Mobile 4 you only get a soft pouch unlike its predecessor that came in a hard case. DJI do include this nice soft poach that will keep it protected.
Just like the Osmo Mobile 3, the gimbal comes with a tripod, the unit itself, a USBC cable for charging, a wrist strap, spacer, alignment card for attaching the magnetic mount and manuals.
What’s new this year is that they have this magnetic phone mount and we’ll take a closer look at that here in a minute.
It’s pretty similar to last year’s model in both shape and size. It has a folding design. So it is quite compact for travel. The buttons and configuration are very similar.
There is a joystick at the front and a record and shutter button. There are a mode and power button at the side.
The zoom control is on the right hand side and USBC port for charging is under the set of flap. We have a USB port, so we can charge up our smartphone. When it’s mounted on the back, we have a trigger button.
And then of course at the bottom, we have a quarter 20 for attaching to things like tripods and extension poles. If we compare it to the Osmo Mobile 3, it’s pretty well identical in both shape and size. The weight of the two units are almost the same.
DJI have changed the coloring of this new gimbal as it’s quite a light gray now compared to the darker gray of the Osmo Mobile 3.
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New magnetic mount
One of the biggest changes this year is the new magnetic mount system.
The first way to mount your phone is the clamp. And then we have a little ring that can connect directly to a phone.
There is a sticker at the back and it also has a little ring that you can fold out that helps you get a grip on your phone when you’re holding it.
So it really just depends on how you want to connect your phone. Clamp is more permanent. Once you stick it on, it’s there permanently.
DJI does sell these separately on their website. So if you do stick it to your phone and then you upgrade your phone, you can purchase a replacement for yourself. I just use the phone clamp and it just goes on quite easily.
And I really like how this magnetic system works as it just clips on there with ease.
And the connection is actually very strong. I’m not too worried about a phone falling off at all.
At first, I wasn’t quite sure about this magnetic system and whether it was just a gimmick or not. But after testing it for days, it proved to be super solid and I had no issues with it, whatsoever.
So if you’re out traveling or doing any kind of adventuring, you can actually just leave the clip right on your phone while you’re on vacation. And it’s always there ready to go for you.
This eliminates the biggest problem people have with gimbals: they’re not always so convenient to use as it can be a little bit of a pain to use if you’re out sightseeing and you’re filming with your gimbal and you want to put it away, you gotta dismount your phone.
Then when you want to film again, you’ve got to put your phone back in the cradle, rebalance it. And sometimes you just don’t bother because it’s such a tedious thing to do.
So OM4 solves this problem elegantly with this new system where you can just connect it and disconnect it whenever you want. So I do think it’s a great, useful feature and not really so much of a gimmick.
Do we still need Gimbals in 2020?
Now kind of an important question is, do we even still need smartphone Gimbals in 2020 as cell phones have come a long way over the last couple of years. And the stabilization and image quality on a smartphone is actually quite good. Most phones nowadays have some form of electronic image stabilization, the higher end ones even have some optical image stabilization in them.
A gimbal is not really necessary nowadays, after all the reason why cell phone cameras have become so popular is that they’re so easy to use. They’re always in your pocket. You can pull them out and film take photos. Whenever you want to add a gimbal like this to the mix is a little bit inconvenient, but there definitely is still a market for them. After all DJI wouldn’t continue to develop new models if there wasn’t. But I think today people use them for more, very specific tasks. For example, if you’re a solo content creator, these things work great as a camera man, you could Mount this on a tripod use, active track 3.0, and the camera’s gonna follow you around while you move. And that’s great for somebody who maybe has a, say a cooking channel on YouTube.
A gimbal like this is also great for easily creating panoramas. So if you’re a landscape photographer and you want to get some nice panoramas with your smartphone using something like this is great as well.
Motion timelapses are another great reason to pick up something like this. If you Mount this on a tripod, you can make some really nice motion timelapses and last year, if you’re going to be filming in low light conditions, sometimes electronic image stabilization on the phone doesn’t work that well. So there definitely still is a market for smartphone gimbals.
Let’s take a quick look at the MIMO app.
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Not a lot has changed since the Osmo Mobile 3, but there are a few new features.
You will have to download the MIMO app, because this gimbal has to be activated through the app before you can use it. The interface is very similar to its previous version with a few tweaks. We can go in and set some manual settings. If we so wish we can change our resolution, we can put it up to four K at 60 frames per second.
And of course we have all our gimbal settings and different things there in the bottom center, we could set our zoom level. We can go to a wide angle shot, or we can zoom right in. And of course we can use the side toggle to zoom in even farther.
Just like Osmo Mobile 3, we can drag on the screen drop box around an object and we can automatically track it. The other way of tracking is just by lining up the subject in the box and then pressing the trigger button. And it’ll automatically track it.
And a third way to do it is by using your gestures over on the right hand side, you can actually set a gesture to start tracking CFOs.
Should you upgrade if you have the Osmo Mobile 3?
Probably not. I don’t know if there’s enough change to justify spending the money to upgrade performance wise. You’re not going to get any kind of improvement. Now, if you like the new magnetic system, then maybe yes, that’s definitely something you might want to consider. But for the most part, it’s pretty similar to last year’s model. Now, if you don’t own a smartphone gimbal and you are in the market for one, I do highly recommend it. I’ve used a lot of smartphone. Gimbals, I’ve reviewed a lot over the years on my channel. And when it comes to performance and value for money, I really liked the Osmo Mobile series.
I think they do a good job for the price and the folding feature is kind of nice because if you do want to pack this in a camera bag, it’s not going to be too inconvenient.
Combined with the DJI Mimo app, the DJI OM4 offers video filmmakers a robust set of powerful tools that opens up a whole world of creative possibilities. Even though the various buttons may take some getting used to and the manual controls can be quite limiting in use, the bottom line is hard to beat. It’s just a pity that there are only limited updates over the predecessor model, especially considering the price increase.
However, if you are in the market for a new smartphone gimbal and are prepared to pay the extra price for high quality results, the Osmo 4 is definitely well worth a consideration. However, if you already own an Osmo 3, the upgrade may not be worthwhile.