After its boldly different and innovative Action 2 camera, DJI returns to the roots of its line of action cameras with the Osmo Action 3. It now looks very much like the original DJI Osmo Action, including the reintroduction of the Osmo branding in its name. However, it’s clearly learned a lot from the Action 2, so the camera does offer some unique talents that could give it an edge over the fierce competition it faces.
The key feature that helps the Action 3 stand out from the crowd is its magnetic mounting system. This was pioneered in the Action 2, and has been refined in the Action 3 to eliminate loose connections and better withstand impacts. However, unlike the Action 2, the Action 3 no longer transmits power and data over this connection.
The advantage of this magnetic system is that it is much faster than any other camera mounting method to connect and detach the camera. The Action 3 provides a magnetic mount on both its side and bottom, making it easy to switch between horizontal and vertical shooting.
On the video side, the Action 3 shoots at up to 120fps in 4K with a 155-degree field of view using a 1/1.7-inch image sensor. You can also go up to 240fps if you go down to 1080p. D-cinelike recording is available for great post-processing flexibility. For stabilization, the camera incorporates Rocksteady 3.0, HorizonSteady, and Horizon Balancing for super smooth footage.
Another standout feature of the Action 3 is that both the front and rear screens are now touch sensitive. This is useful if you’re shooting vlogs or selfies and want to change modes or settings without having to rotate the camera.
The Action 3 is also meant to offer greater auto white balance accuracy, even when switching between shooting above and below water. The camera also includes stereo recording from three microphones and offers voice control capability. It’s designed to be tougher, with a 5-foot drop resistance, and is waterproof to an impressive 52 feet. The battery shrinks at temperatures as low as -4 degrees Fahrenheit and up to 113 degrees Fahrenheit.
I was recently able to get hands-on with the Osmo Action 3, so I haven’t formed any firm opinions on it yet. I loved the DJI Action 2 and was a little sad to see the unique design change with the third iteration of the camera. However, after taking it out of the box and filming with it, I can see why they made the change. This thing feels like it could take a hit, particularly when attached to its protective frame.
The little video I’ve shot so far with the Osmo Action 3 looks really sharp and clean, although that was also true of its predecessor. Video stabilization is also very good, and I let it sit in a pond for a few minutes watching mosquito fish, so it’s clearly waterproof as it remained functional afterwards.
I will have to do a lot more testing before I can say for sure whether or not the Osmo Action 3 is the competitor to the GoPro Hero 11 Black that DJI clearly intends it to be.
The DJI Osmo Action 3 is available today starting at $330, or $440 for the Adventure combo, which includes the new multi-function battery case and three batteries, as well as a few other accessories.