After its audaciously different and innovative Action 2 camera, DJI is returning to the roots of its action camera lineup with the Osmo Action 3. It now closely resembles the original DJI Osmo Action, including the reintroduction of the Osmo branding into its name. However, it has clearly learned a lot from the Action 2, so the camera offers 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 through this connection.
The advantage of this magnetic system is that it’s far quicker than any other camera mounting method to attach and detach the camera. The Action 3 provides a magnetic mount on both its side and bottom, making it easy to swap between horizontal and vertical filming.
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. It can also go up to 240fps if you drop down to 1080p. D-cinelike recording is available for plenty of 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 now both the front and back screens are touch sensitive. This is helpful if you’re shooting vlogs or selfies and want to change modes or settings without having to turn the camera around.
The Action 3 is also intended to offer greater automatic white balance accuracy, even when switching between filming above to below the water. The camera also includes three-mic stereo recording and offers voice control capability. It’s designed to be extra tough, with a 5-foot drop resistance, and is waterproof down to an impressive 52 feet. The battery is rated down to temperatures as low as -4 degrees Fahrenheit and up to 113 degrees Fahrenheit.
I only recently got to go hands-on with the Osmo Action 3, so I’ve yet to form any firm opinions on it. I absolutely loved DJI Action 2 and was a little sad to see that unique design changed with the third iteration of the camera. However, after getting it out of the box and filming with it, I can see why they made the change. This thing feels like it can take a hit, particularly when clamped into its protective frame.
What little video I’ve recorded so far with the Osmo Action 3 looks really sharp and clean, though that was also true of its predecessor. Video stabilization is similarly very good, and I let it sit in a pond for a few minutes observing mosquito fish, so it’s clearly waterproof since it remained functional afterward.
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 multifunction battery case and three batteries, as well as a few other accessories.