Hi there, it's Ernest from Trip Astute. In
this video, we're reviewing the DJI Osmo Mobile 2, and determining whether it's
worth getting for your next trip. (light chiming music) We recently did a video on whether you need
a better travel camera. In that video, I suggested checking out gimbals and they
seemed like a great way to improve the stability of your videos. I've been
really impressed with the three axis gimbal stabilization found on my DJI
Mavic Air drone, so I thought I'd try out the latest mobile phone gimbal called
the Osmo Mobile 2 that was just released in January 2018.
The DJI Osmo
Mobile 2 is the second generation of their mobile phone handheld gimbal, and
it's actually a lot cheaper too. The original used to run for $299 while the
new model costs only $129 US dollars. That's a pretty significant difference
in price. Most of that comes from DJI's switch from an all-metal design to a
plastic build. However, the Osmo Mobile 2 also has some new capabilities that were
not found in the original model, like the ability to orient the phone in portrait
mode rather than just landscape. Before I get into what I like and dislike about
the Osmo Mobile 2, I do want to add a caveat that this is not a comprehensive
tech review, but one that is geared more for the traveler. If you want to see
every feature and capability, then you'll want to check out some of the great
reviews posted by other tech reviewers on YouTube. I've included some of my
favorite ones below. So, let's start with what I like about the DJI Osmo Mobile 2.
Well to start, I think the build quality seems to be solid. Even though the body
is plastic, it still feels substantial.
And as with other DJI products, it
seems very well-built and seems like it would survive the wear and tear that
would occur during travel. Another thing that I like is the battery and charging
capabilities. The battery is rated to last 15 hours. Though even more
interesting is the fact that you can charge your mobile phone in the event
that you need additional power. In that case, the Osmo Mobile 2 can function
like a spare battery charger. And on the flip side, if you need to charge your
Osmo Mobile 2 while away from a plug, you can use a portable battery charger.
The Osmo Mobile 2 also has some awesome modes and features. The Active Track
feature allows you to track a subject, and from my casual testing, seems to work
The gimbal also has a Motion Lapse mode which allows you to capture
motion time lapses. This is an awesome feature and can help take normal time
lapses to the next level. So the Osmo Mobile sounds great,
right? Well, there are some serious issues. First off, I knew going in that the
original Osmo Mobile was known to have issues with jittery video, particularly
with mobile phones that have optical image stabilization or OIS that can't
be locked or disabled.
I don't know the technical ins and outs, but essentially
the camera's OIS and the gimbal are in conflict when it comes to stabilizing
the video, which causes this weird jittery effect. Unfortunately, this is
still an issue with the Osmo Mobile 2. What makes it even more weird is it
seems to be more present when capturing video using the DJI Go app. If you look
at the footage, you'll notice that the video seems to jitter whenever I take a
step. However, when I use the native Apple Camera app, then you'll see that the
video seems smoother, though not completely free of the jitter. You'll
also notice that when I use a front-facing camera, the video is much
smoother. This is because the front camera doesn't have OIS which means
that the gimbal is able to do its job of stabilizing the movement and vibration. I
also did a side by side with the DJI Go app and the native camera app while using
the Osmo Mobile 2, and I honestly think that the native app looks better, which
is just strange since the DJI app is supposed to be optimized for the gimbal.
The differences are less apparent when using the front-facing camera.
sense as the front camera doesn't have OIS So, if your primary use of the Osmo
Mobile 2 is more vlogging or selfies, this might still be a viable option for
you. The other thing that concerns me with the Osmo Mobile 2 is its size
and clunkiness when traveling. I honestly didn't expect this to be an issue, but i
couldn't figure out a good way to carry it while I was walking around the LA
Travel and Adventure Show. With a normal camera, I can just have it strapped to my
However, I think you would need some kind of holster in order to carry the
gimbal hands-free, which is something to consider when traveling especially when
you need to sign receipts or carry items. Calibrating the gimbal with my phone
was also another annoyance with the Osmo Mobile 2. While I understand why I have
to do it, I didn't realize that I have to do it throughout the day, especially
after holding the gimbal under my arms. It might not seem like a
big deal, but I feel like at least half of the videos and photos that I capture
when traveling are spontaneous, and I don't know if I would be able to use the
Osmo Mobile as quickly during those kinds of situations.
Lastly, using your
phone while in the gimbal is cumbersome. I realized that if I'm placing the phone
in the Osmo Mobile 2, I'm gonna use it primarily as a camera. But when traveling,
I use my phone all the time to get maps, information, or stay in contact. What I
didn't anticipate was a difficulty of having to pull out the phone each time I
need to use it, and even using it while still in the gimbal. So unfortunately, I
think I'm going to return my Osmo Mobile 2. For me, the big deal breaker was the
jittery video. From what I understand, it's not DJI's fault. This is more of an
issue with the OIS not being lockable on certain phones. However, I do think that
it would be better for DJI to put a label on the box
or a note on the website letting folks know of the issue. It might be something
that can be addressed in a future app update, but for now, it's
enough of an issue for me not to recommend the unit. Personally, I would
rather carry another camera that isn't as cumbersome.
Cameras like my Canon G7X
have pretty good in-body stabilization, though you have to learn to walk like a
ninja. I'm also a bit more picky about my video, so you might not care as much
about the jitter, which can probably smooth out using video editing software.
If you do decide that the Osmo Mobile 2 is right for you, I recommend watching
the DJI Support videos on setting up the device. I made the mistake of relying on
the instruction manual and didn't quite get the calibration right. After watching
the video, it made a lot more sense and I was able to properly calibrate the
gimbal. Do you have any experience with the DJI Osmo Mobile 2 or any other
gimbal? If so, I'd love to hear how you carry them when traveling and whether
you find them to be an essential part of your travel camera gear. I've included
links of some of the products shown in this video.
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