Sports cameras are essential for outdoor and sports enthusiasts, and DJI’s range stands out for its performance. The DJI Osmo Action 4, a newer model, features a pre-record function ideal for shooting videos. Questions often arise about the quality of DJI cameras, the best model to choose, the specific upgrades in the Action 4, how to connect it to a smartphone, and the differences between the DJI 3 and 4 models.Let’s start with their specification comparison.
- The Osmo Action 4 retains the previous model’s design and weight, with interchangeable batteries and accessories, except for the ND filter.
- Dimensions: 70.5×44.2×32.8mm, Weight: 145g
- It boasts an industry-leading waterproof rating, increasing from 16 to 18 meters for the bare device.
- The device features a 1.4-inch 320×320 front screen and a 2.25-inch 360×640 rear screen, both touch-enabled and fully laminated LCDs with a peak brightness of 800 nits.
- The sensor is upgraded to 1/1.3 inches with 12 million pixels, 2.4μm pixel size, and a 155-degree field of view with an F2.8 lens, likely the OV48C used in various DJImodels
- Video capabilities reach up to 4K at 120fps and 1080P at 240fps, with D-Log M 10bit mode. The minimum focus distance has increased from 30cm to 40cm.
- Equipped with three microphones, it’s compatible with DJI’s wireless mic system.
- The 1770mAh battery lasts up to 160 minutes (at 1080P 24fps with stabilisation and Wi-Fi off, improved from the previous model’s 1080P 30fps).
- It supports 30W fast charging, reaching 80% in 18 minutes and fully charging in 50 minutes. The multi-functional charging box can charge three batteries, hitting 80% in 56 minutes and full charge in 1 hour and 59 minutes.
- New features include access to gyroscope data for stabilization, manual adjustments for image sharpness and noise reduction, GPS Bluetooth remote control support, and app-based LUTs and underwater colour restoration for D-Log M.
The OSMO Action 4 keeps the original Action’s design with minimal changes from the third iteration. It features a square front screen next to a 155°, F2.8 lens, and the Action 4 logo. The lens integrates a threaded design hidden within the body for a sleek look when filters are attached.
The body is finished in matte black, with only the record button on top and a power button on the side that quickly switches between photo, video, and timelapse modes. Openings on the sides provide access to the USB-C port and a compartment for the battery and microSD card, with a removable U-shaped pivot latch for easy connection to devices like the DJI Mic.
Despite being tightly built, care is needed when attaching and detaching the USB-C port door to prevent damage. The back features a 2.25-inch screen with a UI that displays current settings for easy adjustments.
Switching settings is intuitive, with swipe controls and menus for functions like the new D-Log M mode. The bottom retains the magnetic quick-release design from the third generation, ensuring a secure mount that’s not prone to moving objects.
Compatibility with previous generation accessories, like mounts and selfie sticks, is maintained, allowing for quick swaps without removing the battery.
The OSMO Action 4 comes in standard and adventure combo, the latter includes extra batteries and a battery charging case that can charge three batteries simultaneously and has storage for two microSD cards.
Ideal for handheld shooting or vlogging, the combo pack is a practical choice for users who frequently switch settings or need a robust charging solution.
The Osmo Action 4 features a larger 1/1.3-inch sensor compared to the 1/1.7-inch sensor in the Action 3, paired with the same 155° wide-angle, F2.8 aperture lens that focuses from 0.3 meters to infinity. The larger sensor size should enhance low-light performance, allowing for more balanced exposure and better high-light control in dim conditions. In practice, the Action 4 maintains darker scene details without overexposing the highlights.
In sunny conditions, the Osmo Action 4’s standard 4K shooting mode delivers decent performance with bright, evenly exposed shots. The contrast and saturation are modest, resulting in a slightly gray output, likely to leave room for post-processing.
Its 155° wide-angle lens offers a more impactful view, enhanced by in-camera distortion correction, which improves the usability of the footage.
Additionally, the Action 4 includes a 10bit D-Log M recording mode for advanced colour grading post-shoot. DJI has optimised this model for high dynamic range environments, allowing for more natural colour transitions than before.
Compared to the default output, enabling D-Log M on the Osmo Action 4 slightly desaturates the image, revealing more detail in both highlights and shadows. This is particularly useful if you’re color grading footage alongside other devices that shoot in D-Log M for a consistent look.
The updated DJI Mimo app now offers D-Log M color restoration capabilities. It can distinguish between standard and log footage, allowing users to apply stylized LUTs for convenient color grading on their smartphones.
The Osmo Action 4 continues to feature HorizonSteady 360, with improved low-light performance over the previous generation. Under well-lit conditions, its stabilization excels, handling activities like running on flat ground or stairs with ease. Additionally, the Action 4 supports gyroscope data export, facilitating post-processing stabilization with software.
Rather than just an upgrade, the OSMO Action 4 is a worthwhile investment. It’s a versatile action camera that excels both on land and in extreme sports. For users of the OSMO Action 3, the Action 4 represents a significant enhancement in completeness. It’s proficient in professional shooting, extreme sports, and everyday documentation. If you’re considering a portable camera for life’s moments, primarily for handheld selfies and first-person perspectives, or if you want to add a special angle to your existing camera setup, then the OSMO Action 4 is a fitting choice.