Biggest drone manufacturer DJI has just introduced a brand new action camera, the DJI Osmo Action. The latest product from DJI is a direct attack on GoPro’s Hero 7 Black: The two cameras share a very technical base, but the new DJI Osmo Action offers also some new features. Is that enough to become the best action camera on the market?
The Osmo Action has a 12 megapixel camera that supports 4K 60 fps video at 100 Mbps or 240 fps video at 1080. The bit rate is higher than what the GoPro Hero 7 Black has to offer. Both cameras are equipped with a 1/2.3-inch CMOS image sensor and offer a very good image stabilization.
The design of the Osmo Action and the GoPro Hero 7 Black is very similar, too: grey instead of black housing and the dimensions differ only in a few millimetres (DJI Osmo Action: 65 x 41 x 34 mm and GoPro HERO 7 Black: 62.3 x 44.9 x 33.0 mm). This means the DJI camera together with its mounting frame also fits into GoPro mounts. The camera case is of course waterproof (up to 11 meters). For water sports enthusiasts who need even more, GoPro offers the SuperSuit protective housing with a water resistance of up to 60 meters free of charge as part of the standard package, while the Waterproof Case of the DJI Osmo Action must be purchased as an extra accessory.
There are only few differences in battery performance: Osmo Action has the slightly stronger battery with 1,300 mAh, but consumes a little more power thanks to the two colour displays. The expected battery life is approx. 60 minutes (DJI Osmo Action) or 55 minutes (GoPro HERO 7 Black) (while unstabilized 4K recording). In reality, with image stabilization switched on, both cameras are approximately on the same level.
The differences between the DJI Osmo Action and the GoPro Hero 7 Black
Clear advantages of the DJI Osmo Action compared to the GoPro: the colored front display, which shows a live view of the camera image. The GoPro HERO 7 Black only has a black-white info display on the front. For bloggers and YouTuber, the DJI Osmo Action is clearly the better choice, because you can see the picture and adjust the camera accordingly while filming yourself.
The colored main display on the back (with touch function like on the GoPro) is slightly larger on the DJI Osmo Action with 2.25 inch compared to the GoPro HERO 7 Black’s 2 inch display which makes using it somewhat easier. By the way, you have to choose between the display on the main display or the front display, using both at the same time is not possible.
The Field of View (FOV) of the DJI Osmo Action is slightly lower with 145° compared to the GoPro HERO 7 Black with 150°. Thus the DJI Osmo Action offers a somewhat less wide-angle picture impression. In contrast to GoPro, DJI has a replaceable protective lens. This is simply screwed on and can be replaced without tools. Additional ND and color filters (for example for underwater photography) can be attached very quickly and easily.
Both models have WLAN, Bluetooth and even voice control, but a HDMI connector for connecting to a TV and streaming and broadcasting is only available on the GoPro HERO 7 Black.
The DJI Osmo Action is missing the GPS module of the GoPro, which records your filming location. The DJI Osmo Action is equipped with only two microphones and only two status LEDs while the GoPro HERO 7 Black has a total of three microphonee and three status LEDs . The sound quality is therefore, as expected, better with the GoPro Hero than with the Osmo Action.
The GoPro is also more versatile when it comes to special modes: The DJI Osmo Action offers neither a special selection for night shots with little light, nor a HDR-function for photos (known on the GoPro as “SuperPhoto”). The DJI Osmo Action, however, is equipped with an HDR video function at 4K and 30 images per second, which is not available with the GoPro HERO 7 Black.
Verdict: Which camera is better?
There is no clear winner in this battle: Both models deliver similar technical features, similar image quality and around cost the same. For bloggers and selfie fans, the DJI Osmo Action with its useful front display is the better choice. It also shines when it comes to video but rate. If, on the other hand, you value good sound quality or would like to shoot HDR photos at night, you should go for the GoPro Hero 7 Black.