DJI Osmo Pocket 3 review

DJI Osmo Pocket 3 review: one camera to rule them all

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For anyone who wants to up their content game, the DJI Osmo Pocket 3 should be on their shortlist. Distinct from standard action cameras like the DJI Osmo Action 4 or GoPro Hero 12 Black, it’s a portable gimbal camera that combines features you wouldn’t normally be able to get in a single, compact device.

So why would you choose the DJI Osmo Pocket 3 over a high-quality smartphone camera or even a pro-level cinema camera?

DJI Osmo Pocket 3 review

What’s in the box?

Osmo Pocket 3 (standard):

  • Osmo Pocket 3 camera
  • Protective cover
  • Handle with 1/4 in thread

Osmo Pocket 3 Creator Combo:

  • Osmo Pocket 3 camera
  • Protective cover
  • Handle with 1/4 in thread
  • DJI Mic 2 transmitter
  • Battery handle
  • Mini tripod
  • Carrying bag
The Creators Combo kit is my recommendation for everything you need including an external mic, tripod, battery handle and more.

DJI Osmo Pocket 3 specifications

Price (Pocket 3 only)$849
Price (Creator Combo)$1,129
Official websiteDJI Australia
Warranty12 months
Dimensions139.7×42.2×33.5 mm (L×W×H)
Microphones3
OLED TouchscreenSize: 2.0 inches
Resolution: 314×556
Brightness: 700 nits
MemorymicroSD up to 512 GB (not included)
Sensor1-inch CMOS
LensFormat Equivalent: 20 mm
Aperture: f/2.0
Focus Range: 0.2 m to ∞
Max video bitrate130 Mbps
Video FormatMP4 (H.264/HEVC)
Photo FormatJPEG/JPEG+DNG
Battery1300mAh
WirelessWi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
Bluetooth BLE 5.2, BR/EDR
More specificationsOfficial specs page

Features

At the heart of the camera is a one-inch CMOS sensor. This is designed to capture up to 4K resolution at 120 frames per second – but this is only achievable in slow-motion mode. Otherwise, it supports a maximum 60 frames per second, and you can also choose 24, 25 and 50fps. The CMOS sensor is capable of low-light recording too, and a recent software update introduced a dedicated low-light mode. It’s also tuned to improve the appearance of different skin tones, and there are 10-bit D-Log M and HLG modes for High Dynamic Range (HDR) footage and advanced colour grading. For those that might not know, 10-bit recording means the little Pocket 3 can record up to one billion colours, and gives editors the ability to fine-tune colour and exposure.

Of course, it’s hard to overlook the Pocket 3’s compact size and innovative design. The actual camera unit is tiny, so it fits easily on a small integrated gimbal, which in turn is mounted on a handle that houses a rotatable two-inch OLED display. Flick the display to horizontal mode to record in 16:9 or flip it back for native 9:16 recording mode.

The handle also incorporates a rechargeable battery, and you can add external attachments including an extended battery and a base with a ¼-inch screw for affixing other accessories like tripods and mounts.

The Pocket 3 has “full-pixel fast focusing” to keep your subject sharp while you move around, and there’s DJI’s latest ActiveTrack 6.0, which is a face and object tracking system to help keep your subject in the frame. This is all supported by the integrated gimbal, with three-axis mechanical stabilisation for beautifully fluid camera movements.

There are a few “SpinShot” gimbal modes too that automatically rotate 45 and 180 degrees, for a cool spiralling effect. And you can also choose from: 

  • Motionlapse: From sunrises to city traffic, capture the gorgeous and surreal flow of time
  • Digital Zoom: Up to 4x digital zoom lets you get closer in any shot
  • Panorama: Give sweeping landscapes and scenes the full detail they deserve
  • Glamour Effects 2.0: for smoothing out skin and other beauty ‘adjustments’

According to DJI, the internal battery delivers up to 116 minutes for 4K/60 footage or 166 minutes of 1080p/24 capture. You can charge up to 80 per cent of the battery in 16 minutes. If you choose the Creator Combo package, which is what I reviewed, the attachable Battery Handle extends operating times.

In terms of audio, the Pocket 3 has both an internal 3 mic array and it can also wireless connect to up to two DJI Mic 2 transmitters – with one included in the Creator Combo kit. The internal mics record omnidirectional sound and can reduce wind noise. With the USB audio protocol, the Pocket 3 can connect to other external mics and monitoring earphones too.

Shooting

Thanks to its portable dimensions, it’s easy to get out and shoot with the Pocket 3. It’s so light too, at just 180 grams. The combination of gimbal, fast auto-focus and tracking makes it a snap to create footage that’s in focus, stabilised and creative. 

The OLED screen is bright and easy to see outside, and the menus are like other DJI products such as the Osmo Action 4. Swipe down for settings, up to change your resolution and frame rate, to the right to review your captured footage and left for camera shot settings.

Overall, there are three gimbal modes to choose from: FPV, Tilt Lock and Follow. Each has its uses, such as Tilt Lock which locks the horizon line for creating push-ins and pans or FPV for free-flowing and all-directional rotation.

When shooting, there’s a handy symbol on the screen that reverses the gimbal so it points towards you, and press it again and it will go back to facing outwards. You can select between different gimbal speed modes as well – from slow to standard to fast. Slow creates a silky smooth effect, while fast creates more of a jerky look. Standard seemed adequate for most purposes. 

When you’re done, the gimbal locks into place and there’s a handy protective cover and bag included in the Creator Combo kit.

Stability and subject tracking

In terms of stabilisation, this doesn’t appear to be post-processed, nor are there any settings for it. The gimbal’s completely mechanical stabilisation is great because it negates any post-cropping of your image as well. I took the Pocket 3 with me on a run and it was buttery smooth. Yes, you could still tell I was making strides, but it was not jerky or jarring. This is similar when walking, or orbiting around an object.

The ActiveTrack 6.0 system works very well and makes it easy to stay focused on a moving person or object in your scene. Tracking directs the gimbal so it pans and tilts to stay on your subject. This can be initiated by simply tapping on the person or subject in the viewfinder, or you can use the app. I liked using the Dynamic Framing mode, which lets you position your subject slightly off-centre in the frame for a creative look, rather than dead centre. 

There’s a handy Product mode too, which prioritises focus on objects in the foreground, should you want to show-and-tell about a piece of jewellery, gadget, cupcake or what-have-you.

You can permanently enable selfie face-tracking via the menu, which means that whenever you’re in selfie mode, the face-tracking will ensure you are focused, and the gimbal will pan left to right and up and down to keep you in frame. This is fab when setting the camera on a tripod for a piece-to-camera.

In-camera effects

For those who want to polish up their look, Glamor Effects 2.0 does things like smoothing out your complexion, whitening your teeth or even making your face look thinner. You’ll need to be connected to the DJI Mimo app as the effects are applied in the app and not via the Pocket 3 itself. 

For playing around, the Timelapse, Hyperlapse, Lowlight and Slo-mo modes can come in handy, plus there’s Panorama, Livestream and webcam support, and you can shoot photos. For slo-mo, you can reach up to 240 frames per second in 1080p mode, or the aforementioned 120 in 4K.

Using the out-of-the-box recording settings, the camera is happy to manage aperture, ISO and colour temperature settings to suit lots of lighting situations. Yes, there are manual adjustments for most things, and DJI’s 10-bit log and HLG are handy for colour grading. However, the standard colour settings are just fine for most uses. 

I tried out the 15mm / .75x wide-angle lens attachment too, which you get in the Creator Combo package. It’s a handy option that snaps over the original lens with a magnet and helps fit more into the scene. I also appreciated the handy storage spot for it in the protective cover, as it would otherwise be very easy to lose.

Add ons

I didn’t experience any issues with short battery life or heat generation while recording a fair amount of footage in 4K / 50fps mode. As you get the external 950mAh battery handle in the Creator Combo kit, this increases your total charge by 62 per cent. So, if you’re running low after the rated 116 minutes of 4K/60 recording, you can just snap this on. Plus, as recharging gets you 80 per cent of the main battery in 16 minutes, there’s little to fret over.

Attachments snap onto the bottom of the handle and what I like about them is that they each have a USB-C port. So, if you connect a tripod, you’re not blocking the USB-C charge port that’s on the bottom of the handle.

Testing it out

During testing, the 1” CMOS sensor’s broad dynamic range meant that going from indoors to outdoors didn’t create excessive blown-out skies, nor did the inside get so dark that you couldn’t see any detail. When the sun does go down, I was impressed with Pocket 3’s low-light performance. The ISO can hit 6400, which does create some noise, however nothing excessive, and there’s still lots of detail visible as the scene gets darker.

I did try to use the Pocket 3 with Microsoft Teams, but it had problems with my setup. I could only get an image preview to appear if I selected ‘auto-brightening’ but my picture did not appear for any of the other participants. I’m sure this can be ironed out with a software fix.

When reviewed in Adobe Premiere, the 4K footage was very detailed, the colours are realistic, and there’s visible detail in low light. It’s great to have the option of 16:9 as well as 9:16 native recordings too. 9:16 is captured in 3K, so I had lots of resolution to play with.

Overall, I was impressed with the quality of the footage, and it’s fantastic for all sorts of purposes – vacations, family events, pets, products, interviews, etc. Where it doesn’t compete with a more pro setup is that the standard 20mm f/2.0 lens will always have that slight fisheye effect, where the image distorts from the middle as it moves towards the edges, but this is a common thing for most action camera-based setups. This is where pro-lenses come into their own. Still, you could use the Pocket 3 for creating dynamic b-roll or run-and-gun interviews for corporate or web-based productions. For enthusiasts, the Pocket 3 won’t leave you wanting for anything else. 

Who is the DJI Osmo Pocket 3 for?

This little unit is almost perfect in many ways and makes me seriously reconsider what I include in my camera kit bag. It will certainly complement, and even replace, some of it. 

The Pocket 3 out-matches high-end phone cameras’ internal stabilisation thanks to the built-in three-axis gimbal, meaning you can create smooth and dynamic footage that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to do.

DJI Osmo Pocket 3, Vlogging Camera with 1” CMOS & 4K/120fps Video, 3-Axis Stabilization, Fast Focusing, Face/Object Tracking, 2″ Rotatable Touchscreen, Small Video Camera for Photography, YouTube
  • Footage That Stands Out – With 4K/60fps video, 64MP photo, and 3-axis stabilization, DJI Osmo Camera allows you to capture stable footage that pops with life-like detail.
  • Effortlessly Frame Your Shots – Get the ideal composition with Osmo Pocket 3’s expansive 2-inch touch screen that rotates for both horizontal and vertical shooting.
  • Ultra-Steady Footage – Say goodbye to shaky videos! Osmo Pocket 3’s advanced 3-axis mechanical stabilization delivers superb stability. Enjoy smooth footage while dancing, chasing pets, or hiking.

Plus, the one-inch CMOS sensor and excellent audio setup with the external DJI Mic 2 transmitters mean that I can leave my high-end camera and lenses behind for many ‘run and gun’ type shoots. 

The basic kit is relatively low-priced too, so the Pocket 3 is accessible to enthusiasts and content creators alike. Or you can build it into something more capable with the available accessories.

The Pocket 3 isn’t an action camera per se though, as it doesn’t have the robustness or water resistance, so you’ll still need one for getting into the muck. But for vlogging, product shoots, or just fun with the kids, pets, holidays, travel and the like, this camera really delivers.

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DJI Osmo Pocket 3
The DJI Osmo Pocket 3 is a fantastic video camera for content creators and enthusiasts, with a built-in gimbal and great audio options.
Performance
9
Features
9
Value for money
8.7
Design
8.5
Ease of use
8.7
Positives
Compact design with built-in gimbal for smooth shooting
Capable 1" CMOS sensor that manages challenging lighting conditions
Excellent audio options including the optional connection to the DJI Mic 2, plus decent built in 3-mic array
Fantastic looking 4K footage and support both 16:9 and native 9:16 aspects for social content
Great selection of add ons included in the Creator Combo kit such as tripod and battery handle
Negatives
Still has that slightly fisheye look with the standard lens
8.8