Jump to content
Andrew Reid

Why the DJI Osmo is actually a 4K raw Micro Four Thirds camera

Recommended Posts

EOSHD Pro Color for Sony cameras EOSHD Pro LOG for Sony CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs

There's some pretty innovate stuff going on here.  But, I just can't stand the image quality I'm seeing on the X3 and the X5 because of its limited bitrate of just 60mbps.  Not to mention, your camera lives on a gimbal.  That's great if you want a gimbal shot, but what if you want handheld or organic movement? Can you even get that with these cameras? And while I'm not crazy about the image quality of GoPro either, I think it makes more sense to have a stand-alone camera that you attach accessories to. In fact, what DJI is doing here isn't all that innovative.  You've been able to mount your GoPro to gimbals and drones for a while now.  And if you want your image to look crazy and handheld, you can mount a GoPro directly to a helmet or a bike frame or whatever the heck you want to.  Which, is a useful effect at times!

Same goes with the X5 and the X5r.  To me, it's overpriced and fairly limiting as a camera.  I prefer the direction Blackmagic has gone with their Micro Camera. I wish it were a 4K camera, but... you get 1080p RAW or ProRes video from a company that has a solid reputation in image quality.  And it's actually small, using SD cards internally. The X5r is pretty big once you add that SSD. It starts to fall outside of that tiny camera market, if you ask me. The X5 isn't even a consideration to me because it uses MicroSD and is limited to H.264 at 60mbps.  A 1080p RAW or 10-bit ProRes 422 HQ image from Blackmagic is probably going to be superior to an H.264 60mbps 4K image from DJI... a company who doesn't exactly have a good reputation in customer support, who is attempting color science and sensor calibration for the first time (Remember how long it took Blackmagic to iron those things out? And Blackmagic is pretty well-regarded in user feedback and customer service.) And again, with DJI you're stuck to their proprietary accessories that power and operate the camera.  So, not small when you consider those things. If I need a small camera, I need it to be flexible. I need to mount it in a variety of places and be able to use it in a variety of ways (handheld, stabilized, odd angles, etc.).  I think the GoPro and the Blackmagic Micro Camera do a better job fitting that niche over what DJI have designed here.

Kudos to DJI as a business though, I think they're really smart and are probably going to sell a ton of these! They've done a great job of marketing this and convincing the world what they've done is really innovative.  I just think if you look at it a little bit closer, you'll see it isn't all that innovative... and it's actually a little bit crippling.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just came across this. It's the full onstage announcement. Apparently it's not called the Osmo but rather the Zenmuse X5R:

The Osmo is the gimbal, which is being offered with the X3 camera for $649. The gimbal will be available separately in case you already have an X3 or X5Pro/R camera. The X5Pro and X5R are separate cameras compatible with the Osmo.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's actually rather just the grip unit. When you would've purchased a DJI Phantom you could get a Zenmuse gimbal unit, like the H3-2D to balance your GoPro. So, Zenmuse = gimbal. Now they've actually gone and combined both camera and gimbal into one unit calling it a Zenmuse X5(R). Which is the interchangeable lens mount camera.
 Add a grip (and throw in some added features that make it more interesting for handheld shooting) and you've got a new product to sell.

Actually, months ago, we already had a peak at this!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just got the X5 in (with an Inspire Pro) and I have to say...it's a pretty big upgrade over the X3.  I was a little worried when I heard what the bitrate was but as long as you shoot in 24fps it seems to be quite a bit better.

Ultimately the X5R will be what you'd want to use but in the meantime (and for a lot less money) I would take the X5 over the X3 ALL day.  Even just being able to throw on a 15mm lens makes a difference.  Very impressed so far.

On the flip side, this is the second time my "slave" controller hasn't worked and DJI hasn't provided an answer on how to solve it.  So, the rumblings about their customer service are very real.  It's not like they aren't helpful or nice...it's just that they don't have ANY answers.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just got the X5 in (with an Inspire Pro) and I have to say...it's a pretty big upgrade over the X3.  I was a little worried when I heard what the bitrate was but as long as you shoot in 24fps it seems to be quite a bit better.

Ultimately the X5R will be what you'd want to use but in the meantime (and for a lot less money) I would take the X5 over the X3 ALL day.  Even just being able to throw on a 15mm lens makes a difference.  Very impressed so far.

On the flip side, this is the second time my "slave" controller hasn't worked and DJI hasn't provided an answer on how to solve it.  So, the rumblings about their customer service are very real.  It's not like they aren't helpful or nice...it's just that they don't have ANY answers.  

That's encouraging to hear.  It's hard to tell if it's YouTube creating the artifacts or if it's the camera.  I was never thrilled with the footage I shot on the X3.  I always felt like I would rather just shoot on a Phantom with a GoPro or on something bigger like the S900 with a DSLR. That middle ground didn't seem like a huge leap in image quality that justified the price increase over the lower tier.  

I'd be curious to see some downloaded footage comparing the X3 and the X5 footage (not on Vimeo or YouTube)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's encouraging to hear.  It's hard to tell if it's YouTube creating the artifacts or if it's the camera.  I was never thrilled with the footage I shot on the X3.  I always felt like I would rather just shoot on a Phantom with a GoPro or on something bigger like the S900 with a DSLR. That middle ground didn't seem like a huge leap in image quality that justified the price increase over the lower tier.  

I'd be curious to see some downloaded footage comparing the X3 and the X5 footage (not on Vimeo or YouTube)

Quick update.

I hate it now.  Ha ha.  Seriously though, I'm starting notice a lot of the same "quirks" that made me get tired of the X3.

Motion blur looks absolutely horrible.  So bad that I would suggest shooting at 1/120 or so and adding it in post.  It's like the codec is SO bad that it looks at motion blur in a shot and goes "nope, nothing here" and just wipes it out.  It looks so so so bad.  The compression does seem to be better overall, not as much of that weird shutter artifacting.  DR is slightly better, not sure about low light performance yet.  It is fun to mess around with a longer lens as well.  A 15mm lens (30mm s35) creates a totally different look so that is fun.

 

Ultimately...I kind of think it shapes up like this:

 

X3 - Intro Video and Photos

X5 - Intro Video and "Pro" Photos

X5R - "Pro" Video and Photos

 

I will probably come back to the middle after using it a bit more but I personally just don't think it's justified at the price tag.  Might as well go for X5R if you're doing video.  For photos?  This is the one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Quick update.

I hate it now.  Ha ha.  Seriously though, I'm starting notice a lot of the same "quirks" that made me get tired of the X3.

Motion blur looks absolutely horrible.  So bad that I would suggest shooting at 1/120 or so and adding it in post.  It's like the codec is SO bad that it looks at motion blur in a shot and goes "nope, nothing here" and just wipes it out.  It looks so so so bad.  The compression does seem to be better overall, not as much of that weird shutter artifacting.  DR is slightly better, not sure about low light performance yet.  It is fun to mess around with a longer lens as well.  A 15mm lens (30mm s35) creates a totally different look so that is fun.

Hi Neumann,

 

Thanks for sharing your experience with the X5. It would be fantastic if you have some examples of the poor motion blur of the X5. I currently use a Glidecam and GH4 for my work and there is massive appeal to the X5 + Osmo combo due to speed of set up, ease of use (controlled tilts especially) and size.  However, that appeal would diminish if the image doesn't cut it. The X5R would produce too large files for my type of work.

I would also love to know the following about the X5:

- Can it shoot 1080p at 25fps?

- Is there a maximum recording limit?

- Are there colour profile options?

- How easy is it to configure for a longer lens (say a light Panasonic 20mm or 42.5mm) and switch between lens configs?

- And yes, most of all... lowlight... I'd only be interested in buying it if it could keep pace with the GH4

- Oh... and how long does the battery last!? =)

Thanks in advance for any information you can share on this.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So far my DJI products have been solid as I have the Phantom 3 Pro and the Ronin M... So, the moment I saw the OSMO I added it to my gear bag along with every accessories and the X5. It looks to be an ideal compliment to my GH4's for specialty shots. Looking forward to working with it in our web series OUR REEL LIFE over at http://www.togetherinstyle.com Since everything is unscripted run and gun, this could be great for us to capture BTS footage.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Neumann,

 

Thanks for sharing your experience with the X5. It would be fantastic if you have some examples of the poor motion blur of the X5. I currently use a Glidecam and GH4 for my work and there is massive appeal to the X5 + Osmo combo due to speed of set up, ease of use (controlled tilts especially) and size.  However, that appeal would diminish if the image doesn't cut it. The X5R would produce too large files for my type of work.

I would also love to know the following about the X5:

- Can it shoot 1080p at 25fps?

- Is there a maximum recording limit?

- Are there colour profile options?

- How easy is it to configure for a longer lens (say a light Panasonic 20mm or 42.5mm) and switch between lens configs?

- And yes, most of all... lowlight... I'd only be interested in buying it if it could keep pace with the GH4

- Oh... and how long does the battery last!? =)

Thanks in advance for any information you can share on this.

 

I will be uploading some stuff soon, for sure.  

 

- Yeah, I believe it can do 4K/UHD at 25fps as well.  

- Just what the SD card can hold, I don't think there is a recording limit since people shoot for long periods in the air.  Don't quote me on it though :)

- Yeah, they have "DLog" which seems to be pretty good so far.  Hard to tell since it's 8 bit 60Mbps...but it's a log profile nonetheless. 

- Right now they only have 3 lenses with the longest being a 15mm.  I'm assuming by the time the OSMO comes out they will have added more.  For drone work I doubt a 45mm would be too usable (as even a 15mm starts to show some "shake" that wasn't there on the X3).  Switching is really easy and the camera recognizes the lens and adds the profile automatically.

- Lowlight is pretty good so far, I would say it's comparable to the GH4 in that aspect.  

- They have two versions, TB47 and TB48.  The TB48 seems to last about 15-20 minutes and that is with constant recording and movement.  We used to mount the drone onto our car and get stabilized shots that way, since the drone wasn't actually on the battery seemed like it would've lasted for hours.  Not sure what kind of battery is going to be on the OSMO though?  

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Ebrahim Saadawi

Price, lenses and battery, prevent it from being what Andrew is trying to make it look like.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×