Is the Osmo Pro worth buying?
It’s been over a year since the DJI X5 cameras were announced and you can even get it in the new Osmo bundle called Osmo pro, but yet it’s still unclear what people are using it for, how they use it and why you would want to spend your hard earned cash on what is considered a “B camera” (Not your primary shooting device). Just a few weeks ago, I myself was wondering whether or not the Osmo pro was worth buying. I had seen many reviews of the X5 camera and the Osmo, but most of them contradicted each other and really didn’t help me come to a conclusion. I might make a longer in-depth review in the future, but for now here’s my mini Osmo Pro Review.
Why I got the Osmo Pro
Recently I went on a trip to Mexico. I wanted to get some stabilized footage of the area, but taking the Ronin M and A7S was just not an option for me. The Ronin M is a great tool for planned productions and multi-person crews, but its big size and long setup time meant that I wouldn’t be able to quickly use it whenever I wanted to. I figured this was the perfect time to try out the Osmo Pro and see if it could do the things that I would normally use the Ronin M for.
I ordered the X5, the Osmo handle, an external battery adapter (for extremely long battery life), the olympus 14-42mm lens, all of the DJI balancing rings and finally some ND filters. I decided not to get the Osmo RAW, but I’ll explain why later.
How I shot the video above
All of the shots taken from the sky were from the Phantom 4 and the night shots at the end were done using the Sony A7S II. Everything else was shot using the Osmo Pro at 3840 by 2160 at 24fps. all of the footage was shot in the log color profile and color graded in Final Cut Pro. There is one part in the video where I was running on rocks with the Osmo Pro and the video came out jittery. I think it was like this because I was using it in the horizontal flashlight mode which doesn’t work as well when aggressively moving.
What I found after using the Osmo Pro
At the beginning of the trip, using the Osmo Pro felt strange. Putting it down on a table was a little awkward since it’s a gimbal on a stick. Focusing using the touchscreen of a phone was challenging. Getting it perfectly balanced with the ND filters and the balancing rings was basically impossible. Somehow none of this bothered me though, especially after looking at the footage from the camera.
The kind of shots I was able to take (without even trying that hard) were truly amazing and every time I reviewed the footage it felt like I was getting shots that I never would’ve gotten the chance to capture with any other camera. Just by holding the Osmo Pro out the window, I was able to get all of the shots of the town that I needed while riding in a car on a bumpy dirt road. Since almost all of the control and monitoring is done wirelessly, I was able to check exposure, focus and pan the camera all in the palm of my hand while holding my other hand over the roof of the car.
after a few days, I managed to work around all of the little things that I was initially worried about. I figured out a trick to focusing easier. I stopped caring about it looking strange on a table. I even found out that the lenses really don’t need to be perfectly balanced like the Ronin M in order to produce good footage (the motors won’t get too hot with the extra weight on them as long as it’s not extremely unbalanced).
It’s been a less than a month since I got the Osmo Pro and I can already say that for what I shoot, the Osmo Pro is going to be my “A camera” from now on and the A7S will do the shots where a tripod is still needed or when shooting in low light environments.
You can still record great audio
Like others have said before, the camera audio is basically useless in any environment that isn’t really loud due to the gimbal sound, however if you really care about sound then you probably won’t be using camera-microphones anyway. It’s always better to record using a directional mic like the Rode Video Mic Pro or Video Mic Go. If you’re trying to do interviews, it’s best to buy a lavalier mic. That way the mic is on your subject, not the camera!
Should you buy the Osmo Pro/RAW
The short answer is YES. The long answer is this. I think everyone who is thinking about buying the Osmo Pro should go for it. It has a few issues here and there, but so does every product, and what you get by living with those issues is an amazing camera with portability and image quality that will make you want to take it with you everywhere. Even if you use the Osmo Pro and don’t think it’s worth it to you, it’s always possible to sell it and get 90% of your money back. Recently I even sold my Ronin M, because the Osmo Pro just does almost everything that I needed the ronin for.
Really if you’ve read this far, the question isn’t “should you buy an Osmo Pro/RAW”. The real question is which of the two models should you get. I personally got the DJI Osmo Pro because I mainly work on my macbook pro and use Final Cut Pro, so I wanted everything to be pro! All jokes aside though, I didn’t get the Osmo RAW because having a RAW camera would majorly slow down my workflow. Basically, If you are on a fast desktop computer, or you have more time to spend editing and want the best quality possible then go with the X5R. Otherwise, If you don’t need the best of the best, the Osmo Pro is the way to go.
Now Get the Osmo Pro with the all new Quad Charging System, plus 4 batteries, waterproof Osmo Pro/RAW Case, Osmo Universal Mount and External Battery Extender for only $1,999. Or get the Osmo RAW bundle for $3,699.