Camera drone company DJI is moving into the actioncam market and has launched a highly-featured model designed to compete with GoPro's products. It makes sense, as the new Osmo Action incorporates a number of DJI’s camera drone technologies, including advanced image stabilisation. The ultra-compact camera is dustproof, waterproof down to a depth of 11 metres and shockproofed to withstand a drop of up to 1.5 metres. It can also operate in subzero temperatures down to -10 degrees Celsius. An optional housing extends the underwater shooting depth down to 60 metres.

Photo: DJI

The actioncam has colour monitor screens on both the front and back with the latter being a 5.7 cm touch display which has a special coating to help repel both moisture and grease. A similar coating is applied to the exposed surface of the lens’s front element. The front screen – obviously very handy for vlogging or selfies – is a 3.5 cm display. The three-element lens delivers an angle-of-view of 145 degrees and includes aspherical elements to correct for distortion. The maximum aperture is f2.8.

A 1.2/3-inch CMOS sensor delivers 12 megapixels stills (either JPEGs or DNG RAW files) or 4K UHD video at 50 fps (PAL, 60 fps NTSC) with a 100 Mbps bit-rate. Additionally, the Osmo Action can shoot HDR video at 25/30 fps, and this mode gives an additional three stops of dynamic range. Shooting speeds of either 240 or 120 fps are available when recording Full HD video to create slow-motion effects, and there’s also a time-lapse video function. There’s also a set of built-in neutral density filters (ND4, ND8, ND16 and ND32), a polarizing filter and two underwater filters called ‘Orange Seawater’ and ‘Purple Freshwater’ for colour correction. The sensitivity range is equivalent to ISO to 100 to 3200. Continuous shooting for stills is possible at 3.0, 5.0 or 7.0 fps, and files are stored on a microSD memory card with support for storage capacities of up to 256 GB.

Photo: DJI

The Osmo Action is the first DJI hand-held camera to include ‘RockSteady’, the company’s advanced electronic image stabilisation (EIS) technology. The algorithms work in conjunction with EIS to deliver smooth and stable video, even when recording 4K video at 50 fps. The camera’s rechargeable battery is removable (but can be recharged in-camera) and has a run time of up to 93 minutes recording 4K video at 25 fps with ‘RockSteady’ enabled, and 135 minutes recording at 1080p at 25 fps without ‘RockSteady’. It has dual built-in microphones which allow for voice control, and a built-in loudspeaker. An external microphone can be connected via an optional adapter.

Other features include a long exposure mode for astrophotography (up to 120 seconds duration), a ‘Quick Switch’ button for easier physical operation (including quick switching between shooting modes), a dual-delay self-timer, and both WiFi and Bluetooth wireless connectivity with DJI’s Mimo mobile app (for both Android and iOS devices) also enabling remote camera control and live streaming.

The DJI Osmo Action is supplied with basic mounting options and is priced at $499. For more information visit http://www.dji.com/osmo-action In Australia, distribution of DJI products to the photography market is handled by C.R. Kennedy & Company, visit http://www.crkimaging.com.au