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DJI Releases Osmo Action, An Underwater Camera Made to Go Head-to-Head with GoPro’s Hero 7 Black

BY Zacc Dukowitz
15 May 2019

Rumors have been flying around the last few weeks about what product DJI might be releasing today, with buzz built up by a marketing campaign that has underwater images and the tagline “Unleash Your Other Side.”

Photo credit: DJI

Now we know—the new product is the Osmo Action, a small, powerful waterproof camera from DJI, created for shooting during extreme sports and in other action-related scenarios.

Sound familiar?

That’s because DJI is directly taking on GoPro with this release, going head-to-head with their small, high quality cameras made for action-packed shots taken on the spur of the moment, and specifically with their Hero 7 Black. (The Hero 7 Black costs $399, while the Osmo Action costs just $349.)

Given that GoPro’s consumer-focused drone venture Karma failed about a year and a half ago, thanks largely to stiff competition from DJI, this release must have GoPro a little rattled.

Osmo Action Key Features

What’s special about DJI’s Osmo Action? Here are the key features:

Dual Screens

The Action comes with two screens, one on either side of the camera. According to DJI, the dual screens let you “spend less time worrying about equipment and more time living the action.”

Photo credit: DJI

The front screen lets you easily frame yourself for selfie shots, and the back screen gives you a display for taking shots of action, nature, or whatever you want.

Photo credit: DJI

If you’re trying to capture something so quickly that you don’t have time to push a button (as you can do on any iPhone to turn the camera around), the dual screens lets you get the shot you want in the moment without worrying about having to adjust the camera.


Pretty straightforward.

The Osmo Action can be taken underwater up to 11 meters (37 feet). To enable this, the Action has a watertight seal and hydrophobic coating on the back touchscreen.

“RockSteady” Stabilization

The new Osmo Action has a proprietary stabilization feature called RockSteady. According to DJI, RockSteady “combines EIS with complex algorithms, delivering stable, shake-free footage no matter how heavy the action gets.”

One of the standout features for the GoPro Hero 7 Black is also stabilization—according to initial comparisons, the Action beats out the Hero 7 Black for stabilization, but the Hero 7 Black wins when it comes to audio quality.

High Image Quality

The Action comes with 4K HDR video, which provides more dynamic details for shots.

The high quality allows for natural transitions between light and dark areas without losing small details, which can be hard to capture in complex lighting environments.

Hands Free

The Action also comes with a voice control feature, which allows for five commands related to filming, capturing images, and powering the device down.

Prosumer Settings

The Action also comes with several customizable settings and features that make it a camera that can appeal to both consumers and prosumers:

  • 8x slow motion with 1080p resolution and 240fps—allows for high clarity and detail in slow-mo
  • Custom exposure settings—manual and semi-automatic settings that allow up to 120 seconds of exposure
  • Timelapse settings—enables easy-to-create timelapses
  • Timed shooting mode—enables set-up for timed RAW shots, helpful for post-processsing and additional control

In addition to the above, users can save their favorite settings using “Custom Mode” so they don’t have to input them manually each time.

[Want to learn more about the top camera drones on the market? Check out our free guide here.]

Taking on GoPro

Some overall standout features for the Osmo Action are its ease of use, its toughness, and the speed with which you can turn it on and be shooting while still capturing high quality images and video, all features that have been GoPro’s primary selling points for years.

Photo credit: DJI

With this release DJI is making it clear, yet again, that their ambitions aren’t just limited to drones—they want to dominate the drone consumer and prosumer media-creation market, and all the tools and gear that come with it.

Are you excited about the release of the Osmo Action? Do you think the Action might be better than the Hero 7 Black? Chime in on this thread in the UAV Coach community forum to share your thoughts.

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