Foldable steadicam for smartphones DJI Osmo Mobile 3



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DJI Osmo Mobile 3 with optional tripod. Source: bhphotovideo.com

Key Features

  • Folding design.
  • Hyperlapse and timelapse.
  • Active tracking (tracking).
  • Lock button control (trigger).
  • Bluetooth connection.
  • 15 hours of operation on a single battery charge.

In recent years, we have seen a huge leap in smartphone video quality, allowing content creators to use mobile devices for a wider range of purposes. Whether you’re a vlogger, journalist, aspiring filmmaker, or just a fan of beautiful social media videos, chances are you’re part of this trend.

However, to get the best results, additional accessories are usually required, such as special lenses for smartphones and steadicams. The third generation of steadicams from the famous drone manufacturer — DJI Osmo Mobile 3, is designed specifically for mobile devices. This steadicam will help you take your shooting quality to the next level, especially if you’re shooting on the move.

The Osmo Mobile 3 is a radical redesign of its predecessor Osmo Mobile 2. It complements a line of increasingly advanced smartphone steadicams from Freefly, Zhiyun and Gudsen.

Design

The major upgrades in Osmo Mobile 3 are in the overall design of the device. Although DJI borrowed most of its design ideas from the Snoppa Atom Gimbal crowdfunding project, the company has fundamentally changed two aspects of the device’s appearance and functionality.


Source: bhphotovideo.com

First, the Osmo Mobile 3 folds up to be more compact and transportable. To do this, the device uses only one hinge, so that the other axes remain in place. When the folded steadicam is detached from the tripod that comes with the Combo, it is slightly larger than the average person’s hand. The construction of the steadicam has been well received by most users, and the ability to fold it is certainly a very welcome upgrade.


Source: bhphotovideo.com

The foldable design is made possible by a second, and perhaps more significant, design change: the side orientation of the smartphone holder. DJI has placed the holder on the right side of the device instead of behind it, breaking the pattern found on most other mobile steadicams on the market.

This change will likely require some muscle memory adjustment for those accustomed to the standard rear-mount design. According to users, the difference is most noticeable when shooting close to the ground: with a conventional design, in such a situation, the Steadicams need to be tilted forward and away from the body, while the Osmo Mobile 3 needs to be tilted sideways. At the same time, a number of users complain about the rather small tilt of the device, which generally makes shooting from the ground not very convenient.


The key layout is the same as the previous model Osmo Mobile 2

A common complaint about the Osmo Mobile 2 was that the smartphone holder was blocking access to the USB port and headphone jack on the smartphone. The side mounting of the holder solves this problem — now there is access to both ports. The tradeoff is that now the smartphone needs to be balanced every time it is mounted on a gimbal. The use of counterweights in Osmo Mobile 2 meant that once the user balances the mobile device, they can remove and install the smartphone again without having to reconfigure. Osmo Mobile 3 did not receive this option, although balancing the smartphone on one axis is a fairly quick affair.


New lock button allows you to quickly switch between sport mode and handle tracking off

DJI has added a lock button (trigger) to the back of the device’s handle. It provides access to two convenient functions in a very convenient location. Depending on the press or hold, the button activates the sport mode, which makes the steadicam more responsive to movements, or vice versa blocks the responsiveness to the movements of the handle, which is useful for maintaining framing.


Steadicam allows you to connect both USB A and USB C: and can also charge your smartphone during use. Source: dpreview.com

Working with steadicam and app

The Osmo Mobile 3 experience is inseparable from its DJI Mimo app. The application is used with other DJI devices, and its interface is quite simple and understandable almost immediately. Connects to your mobile device via Bluetooth, eliminating the need for additional cables. The Mimo app adds the hand controls you need to your smartphone to create more professional-looking content. The app also provides various creative modes.


Source: Vnreview Lab

In Osmo Mobile 3, the Chinese company has used an updated Active Track technology that keeps the camera focused on an object selected by the user. There are two ways to effectively use this feature. The first is that the steadicam remains stationary while the camera pans (pan axis) and tilts (tilt axis) to keep the subject in the frame. This method is suitable for bloggers and anyone who records a selfie video while they move at low speed throughout the frame. This option is not suitable for recording fast movement.


Source: DPReview

The second way is to keep the camera directed at the object in a stationary state during the movements of the stabilizer itself. This eliminates the need to track the subject with hand or joystick movements, and helps add cinematic camera movement along multiple axes.


Source: VENOMENE

The Mimo app also features photo panorama, gesture control, timelapse and hyperlapse modes. Using a combination of software stabilization in Mimo and Osmo Mobile 3 stabilization is quite impressive.

However, Osmo Mobile 3 has several weaknesses. Firstly, the rounded base and the handle tilted forward. This makes it impossible to mount the gimbal on a flat surface without using the tripod included in the more expensive combo package, which is most likely made by the Chinese company on purpose. The tripod keeps the steadicam upright, but also requires a lot more space to mount, which is clearly a downside for a device that should be as portable as possible.

Another drawback: Osmo Mobile 3 does not have a full 360-degree rotation — the gimbal reaches a certain point during rotation and then stops.

Results

Pros of DJI Osmo Mobile 3:

  • Folding design.
  • Charging a smartphone from a steadicam.
  • hyperlapse mode.
  • Effective tracking system Active track.
  • The smartphone holder design allows you to attach an external microphone (unlike Osmo Mobile 2).

Minuses:

  • The stabilizer needs to be balanced every time the smartphone is attached.
  • The rounded base of the handle makes it impossible to mount the steadicam without the use of a tripod.
  • The side mounting of the smartphone holder takes some getting used to.


Source: dji.com

Overall, the Osmo Mobile 3 is a great upgrade to the Osmo Mobile lineup and is great for a range of applications. The most obvious use is streaming. With the addition of an external microphone, Osmo Mobile 3 could become popular for live newscasts, conferences, vlogging, and more. – wherever a smartphone can be the easiest way to deliver high quality live video.

The Steadicam is also suitable for those who want to improve the quality of family video or record more professional travel videos without buying a new camera.

However, for smartphone steadicams like the Osmo Mobile 3 to become more popular with serious filmmakers, I think they need to be drastically reduced in size. The most important advantage of shooting with a smartphone is that it is always at hand. However, once the smartphone is mounted on the Osmo Mobile 3, the whole structure is only slightly smaller than its mirrorless camera equivalent, while still producing much better video.

However, for most users, Osmo Mobile 3 can be a very interesting option that provides effective stabilization and provides a number of interesting shooting modes without requiring any serious skills.

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