DJI Osmo Action 4 Long-Term Review of GoPro Competitor

Good day, folks. Shawn here from Air Photography. The DJI Osmo Action 4 has been out for a little over six months now, and usually, with important product releases like this, I like to do follow-up videos to talk about how the product has changed and if my opinion has changed, especially after using it for quite some time. This allows me to get a better feel for how the product performs. This has definitely been my go-to action camera all summer, into the fall, and even into the winter. I find myself tending to reach for this camera even more than my GoPro, and that's for a couple of different reasons.

DJI Osmo Action 4 Review

Connecting the DJI Mic 2 via Bluetooth

One of those reasons is that we can now connect a microphone directly to the Osmo Action 4 via Bluetooth. The DJI Mic 2 is fully available, and in my opinion, this has really been a game-changer. No more having to connect a receiver to it, which can be beneficial for many different reasons.

Dji Osmo Action 4 Long-Term Review Of Gopro Competitor

If you're a moto vlogger, if you're going to be filming out in perhaps a little bit of light mist or rain, you don't have to worry about having any of your ports exposed, and it's just so simple and convenient.

Some people were worried that the Bluetooth audio was going to be problematic, and I can say that I've recorded several videos for YouTube using only the camera, the Action 4, and the DJI Mic 2 transmitter. And I've had no issues at all. It's performed flawlessly every time. And that's sometimes recording for half an hour or 45 minutes at a time. It's such a clean, simple, streamlined way to capture video.

Dji Osmo Action 4 Long-Term Review Of Gopro Competitor

Interference in Some Scenarios

Now, with that said, because it is a Bluetooth connection, it is susceptible to interference. If you take a look at this video I'm going to play here, I was recording for a YouTube video, and I was launching the Pro. As soon as the drone went up in the air, there was some interference, and you could hear the audio was cutting in and out.

Dji Osmo Action 4 Long-Term Review Of Gopro Competitor

“There we go, now we can just go ahead and launch. See, just it was nice and simple.”

And again here in this shot, you can see when I was walking away from the camera, the Bluetooth was kind of cutting in and out. Now, of course, my body was in between the transmitter and the camera, but if I were using the receiver at the time, most likely that wouldn't have happened, especially being that close to the camera.

Dji Osmo Action 4 Long-Term Review Of Gopro Competitor

So, definitely, a good rule of thumb, good practice, if you're going to be using just the transmitter connected directly to your DJI Action 4, make sure you start a backup recording. And that way, you know you're always going to have a backup track. And in some situations, it's definitely a good idea to use a receiver if you do have one. If you've bought the whole kit.

The only thing I find with this receiver is that it doesn't fit quite as flush as the original DJI Mic system. You can see when you plug it in, it kind of sits off to the side. Now, it works perfectly fine, so definitely having a microphone that can connect via Bluetooth is just a nice, simple, streamlined solution and one of the reasons why I have been using this camera so much.

One of the reviews I did about a month ago was for an e-bike. I had this on a chest mount, and I had my DJI Mic 2 connected to me, and I was able to do some kind of bike vlogging while I was riding the bike, and it just worked really well.

“Yeah, it's pretty bumpy back in here. That suspension's coming in really nice, and uh, my hands are getting cold, so I'm going to stop here in a minute and, warm up, get some coffee. Lots of mud, lots of mud. And uh, just for those who are curious, I'm filming this on the Action 4, the DJI Action 4, and I've got the wireless mic that came with the DJI Pocket 3 paired to it via Bluetooth. That was one of the new features, new that they released a couple of weeks ago, and, really nice. You don't have to have the dongle attached to it. Oh, very mucky. Yeah, great for scenarios like this. If you're a helmet, motovlogging,, yeah, perfect for those types of scenarios.”

Dji Osmo Action 4 Long-Term Review Of Gopro Competitor

Travel light with the DJI Action 4

Now, another reason is when I'm capturing for YouTube, if I'm out hiking or doing whatever, I like to have minimal equipment with me. I don't like to be bogged down with a lot of gear, so this whole system is very minimal. In the past, when I was filming outdoors for YouTube, I would still use my iPhone, which is what I'm filming on right now, but that meant me bringing along a tripod, and sometimes I am filming, sometimes I'm not, so it's kind of an inconvenient thing to bring along if I wasn't going to use it.

But with the DJI Action 4, all I do now is use the extension pole. I attach this tripod base to the bottom. This here is from Ulanzi; it has little extension feet to give it a wider base, and as you can see, I can just extend the extension pole, use this tripod, and it becomes like a little portable tripod. It's very minimal, so it will fit in a backpack or even a little sling bag if that's what I'm using that day, and I don't even have to detach the tripod base if I'm just using it in extension mode. It still works just fine.

Now, using this method is not perfect, of course. You have to make sure you have it on a nice level surface. This isn't a very wide tripod base, so if there's a slight grade and you have this extended out, you know, four or five feet, there's a chance that it will tip over. But for the most part, that hasn't been an issue. The other thing, too, is if it's a windy day, you can get some wobbling in the camera. So those are some things to keep in mind, but for me, it's just been a great solution.

Now, the DJI Action Series has been maturing over the years, so we do have a lot of great accessories for it that weren't available early on. So, no matter how you need to capture, there's going to be an accessory to help you get the point of view that you want. Of course, it does use traditional finger mounts, so you can use it with any other type of GoPro mount.

Dji Osmo Action 4 Long-Term Review Of Gopro Competitor

10-Bit color without D-Log on the DJI Action 4

Now, another nice feature that was added via firmware update after the launch of the Action 4 is the ability to capture in 10-bit color without having to be in D-Log. And that's great for those who want the benefit of capturing with 10-bit but don't want to go in and do their own color grading.

The only thing is, to be able to make use of that feature, you do have to be capturing with the HEVC codec. Not a big issue, but just something to keep in mind. And as far as I'm aware, this is the only action camera that allows for that. With a GoPro, you do have to be capturing in that flat color profile in order to make use of 10-bit color. So definitely a great feature.

DJI Action 4 has good White Balance

The other reason I really like it is due to the color temperature sensor. Now, that can be very important. It allows for accurate colors, even underwater. Now, ideally, it's always a good practice to go in and set your own color temperature, but there are those times if you're just run-and-gun filming, you're just capturing something quick, with that color temperature sensor, you know you're always going to have nice, accurate colors, and you're not going to have as much flickering and color shifting.

Back in the fall, when I was doing a comparison of the Action 4 against the GoPro, I had set the camera up and just started recording, and of course, there's a lot of color. The GoPro, when I started recording, you can see in this side-by-side, just did not get the color temperature very accurate at all. You can see it was very oversaturated, way too orange, whereas the Action 4 got it correct as soon as I started recording.

Dji Osmo Action 4 Long-Term Review Of Gopro Competitor

Now, if I was moving, the GoPro would have corrected itself, but that can be kind of a problem as well. I find with GoPros, the color temperature is constantly changing, especially if you're going into darker areas and then into full sunlight. You can get a lot of shifting of the colors, whereas with the color temperature sensor, that's going to be very minimal, or at least in my experience, anyway.

Low-Light Recording Capbilities

Now, with the DJI Action 4, they did increase the capability when filming in low-light scenarios. Now, ideally, if you're going to be filming a lot at night or in low-light scenarios, there are better cameras suited for that, such as the DJI Pocket 3.

And myself, I don't really do a lot of filming when it's really dark, but having those extra low-light capabilities, that extra low-light mode that is available in the Action 4. Even when you're filming in certain scenarios, such as under a tree canopy on an overcast day where the lighting is not ideal. Or even later in the evening, sunset twilight, you know, you're still going to get a fairly good image.

Quick Charging Feature

Another nice feature is the quick charging capability. Being able to charge it up to 80% in 18 minutes is a great feature. In fact, I quite often only ever use one battery. I do have two spares, but just due to the long-lasting capability of the battery, and if it starts to get low, I'll plug it into a power bank for 10 minutes, and that usually gives me enough charge to finish out the day.

And that's a nice thing about the Action 4 with DJI, a lot of the features that they've implemented are useful, real-world things that we can make use of, and that even goes to their charging case. It's a nice little case to hold the batteries when you're not using them, but just due to its design, you can close the lid, plug it into a power bank, and then charge on the go. Definitely a nice design.

Dji Osmo Action 4 Long-Term Review Of Gopro Competitor

So, the Action 4 has been a real pleasure to use, and I highly recommend it to anybody who is looking for their very first action camera. It's going to be really interesting to see what DJI brings to the table next with the DJI Action 5. I'm assuming we'll see, maybe, perhaps this summer.

Well, folks, that's basically my long-term review of the Action 4. Hopefully, you enjoyed this video and got some value out of it. Give it a thumbs up if you did; it's always greatly appreciated.

Thanks a lot for watching, and we'll see you in the next one.

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Shawn Air Photography
Shawn Air Photography

Hi my name is Shawn and I love filming and capturing this beautiful planet of ours with my GoPro and DJI drones. My channel features some of the camera gear I really enjoy and want to share. Every week I will be uploading new unboxings, reviews and tutorials for your GoPro and drones to help you get the most out of them. Tips and tricks that will help you capture beautiful cinematic drone videos as well as stunning time-lapses.

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