DJI Osmo Pocket 3
Image courtesy: DJI

It’s been just over three years since DJI released the DJI Pocket 2. And while the camera was an impressive, portable 4K gimbal camera, it still had its issues. Now, DJI has released its follow-up to the Pocket 2, the DJI Osmo Pocket 3. The DJI Osmo Pocket 3 is a handheld gimbal camera that caters to the needs of solo DIY filmmakers. This version also improves on the shortcomings of the previous model. Being the newest advancement to the Osmo Pocket series, it comes packed with a variety of features that could make it the best all-in-one solution of its kind.

Let’s take a closer look at this three-axis gimbal camera and see how it stacks up to the Pocket 2. In the end, we’ll learn whether it’s worth the purchase or not.

Overview: What’s new?

The Osmo Pocket 3 combines a three-axis gimbal and a high-quality camera in one compact unit. It features a larger one-inch sensor that captures more light and produces better image quality than the Pocket 2. The autofocus system on the Osmo Pocket 3 is also more advanced than that of the Osmo Pocket 2. The system allows for faster and more accurate focusing. 

The Osmo Pocket 3 can shoot slow-motion videos at up to 240 frames per second, while the Osmo Pocket 2 can only shoot at up to 120 fps. Among other design changes, the new model has a swiveling display that makes it easier to frame shots from different angles. It also features a larger joystick for camera movements. 

Design and build

Body and touchscreen

Image courtesy: DJI

By design, the camera is light and compact. The device measures 5.5 x 1.7 x 1.3 inches and weighs 6.3 ounces. This is a tad bigger than the Osmo Pocket 2, but still conveniently small.

The components sit nicely in the overall design. The Osmo Pocket 3 has a rotating two-inch touchscreen OLED display that can switch between landscape and portrait shooting modes. You’ll need to be precise while navigating menus (especially if you have larger hands). However, it’s definitely a step forward compared to the one-inch display on the Pocket 2. It’s also less of an eye strain when monitoring and reviewing footage.

There’s a 3-mic internal stereo array on board the Pocket 3 for audio capture, but it’s also compatible with the newly released DJI Mic 2. With a receiver built right in, the two devices just need to be turned on for easy syncing. DJI includes this external lavalier, alongside a number of accessories, bundled together with the camera in a Creator Combo for $669.

Battery and storage

The device’s battery handle provides up to 2 hours of battery life. It also charges stunningly fast, so you can get up to 80% in 16 minutes via the USB-C port. The same port can be used to attach battery packs, tripod mounts and other accessories.

The DJI Osmo Pocket 3 does not have built-in storage. Instead, it supports microSD cards with a maximum capacity of 512 GB. DJI recommends using microSD cards with a minimum UHS-I Speed Grade 3 rating for optimal transfer speed.

Connectivity

As for connectivity options, the Osmo Pocket 3 can connect to your smartphone via Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. This allows the user to connect Osmo Pocket 3 to the DJI Mimo app for device control, firmware updates and material export. Additionally, you can select OTG connection in system settings on Osmo Pocket 3. There, you can connect it to an OTG-supported smartphone through a USB-C cable for file export.

Gimbal

The DJI Osmo Pocket 3’s three-axis gimbal provides mechanical stabilization that keeps the camera steady and smooth during recording. Like a traditional gimbal, you can customize the kind of stabilization you want depending on the desired shot. 

The gimbal has several modes, including Follow, Tilt Locked and FPV. In Follow mode, the camera’s pan and tilt axes follow the handle while the roll axis remains level. This mode is suitable for most scenarios. In Tilt Locked mode, only the pan axis follows. The tilt axis locks, while the roll axis remains level. You could use this mode in situations where the camera position switches between high and low. In FPV (first-person view) mode, all three axes follow the handle’s movement.

Key features and specifications

Image courtesy: DJI

The DJI Osmo Pocket 3 is an impressive upgrade from its predecessor, including higher resolution and autofocus capabilities. The camera’s one-inch multi-aspect sensor can shoot a mix of horizontal, vertical and square format videos. The sensor shoots 4K video up to 120 fps in the traditional 16:9 aspect. Meanwhile, the square aspect ratio delivers a 3K resolution up to 60 fps. Also, it’s now possible to record 1080p at 240 fps. This is a great option to have for extra smooth slow-motion footage. The Osmo Pocket 3 has a digital zoom of up to 4x for video and 2x for photos

Additionally, the Osmo Pocket 3’s autofocus system is also quite impressive. From quick-moving close-ups to wide shots, the camera is able to adjust quickly with full-pixel focusing. With the impressive sensor upgrade, you can now get a nice bokeh effect. This is a feat expected from expensive DSLRs, so it was surprising to see this from such a compact camera.

Dynamic range

The DJI Osmo Pocket 3’s color is vibrant and accurate thanks to its 10-bit capabilities. The camera’s one-inch CMOS sensor provides 10-bit HDR color through D-Log M and HLG modes for up to one billion colors and a higher dynamic range.

D-Log M mode is a flat color profile that provides more flexibility for color correction. It captures a wider range of colors and brightness levels, which can be adjusted later in post-production to achieve the desired look. 

HLG mode, on the other hand, is a high dynamic range color profile that provides a wider range of colors and brightness levels than standard color profiles. For those who aren’t looking to do much color correction, this option produces great color straight out of the camera.

Overall, the DJI Osmo Pocket 3’s D-Log M and HLG modes provide users with a wide range of options to capture their best footage in the way most comfortable to them.

Low-light performance

The larger sensor also enables better low-light capturing. An area the Osmo Pocket 2 struggled with, the device’s specialized image optimization brings dimly lit scenes to life. The improved low-light performance of the device makes it a great choice for capturing footage in a variety of lighting conditions.

Special Shooting Modes

ActiveTrack 3.0 allows the DJI Osmo Pocket 3 to track and follow a subject smoothly using advanced computer vision algorithms. Deep Learning and Computer Vision algorithms enable ActiveTrack 3.0 to recognize and track subjects in real time. Also, Glamour Effects 2.0 adds personalized beauty options for subjects.

The camera has three “lapse” modes: Hyperlapse, Timelapse and Motionlapse. In Hyperlapse mode, you can set the resolution, frame rate, and speed. In Timelapse mode, you can set the resolution, frame rate, interval and duration. And in Motionlapse mode, you can set the resolution, frame rate, interval, duration and waypoints.

SpinShot allows for smooth camera movements of up to 180 degrees. This feature is useful for capturing panoramic views or creating spin transitions.

Lastly, the DJI Osmo Pocket 3 has a Panorama mode. In this mode, you can capture wide-angle shots of landscapes and cityscapes. It can be activated by swiping through the modes in the app and selecting either 180º or 3×3. The Osmo Pocket 3’s gimbal keeps everything steady. There is no need for tripods or other supports, meaning it can all be done handheld. The user manual provides instructions on how to switch between 180° and 3×3 panoramas by swiping left.

Audio

The DJI Osmo Pocket 3 features a three-mic array that captures stereophonic sound while reducing ambient noise. It’s worth noting that the audio options on the Pocket 3 are the same as on the Pocket 2. However, as mentioned earlier, this new model also supports the newly released DJI Mic 2 transmitter. That means you can record with up to two mics. The DJI Mic 2 is a wireless Lavalier microphone that even comes with a clip-on windscreen.

The built-in camera mics do a decent job of picking up sound. For most use cases, the Pocket 3 won’t have any trouble picking up your audio. However, without much ability for audio customization, you’re kind of stuck with what the camera determines as the appropriate audio level. In loud situations such as concerts, there will likely be some level of distortion. However, I will reiterate that the Osmo Pocket 3’s audio pickup is still reliable for the vast majority of situations, even while vlogging on a city street.

IP Streaming

Image courtesy: DJI

The IP streaming capabilities and timecode feature really bring home the practicality of the Osmo Pocket 3. The camera can be used as a webcam or for livestreaming, as well. While connected to the DJI Mimo app via Wi-Fi, you can livestream in HD on platforms such as Facebook and YouTube. The RTMP URL can be prepared and copied to your smartphone device. Then, the DJI Mimo app can be used to select the livestreaming function and choose RTMP for a custom URL for other platforms.

The Osmo Pocket 3 is also equipped with a built-in timecode function, ensuring seamless synchronization between different cameras. Particularly useful for multicam shoots, productions can use timecode to streamline the post-production process with easy camera and audio syncing.

App compatibility with LightCut and DJI Mimo

For in-depth device control and customization, you will need to do so remotely via the Mimo App. In fact, you are required to do so. You need to activate the Pocket 3 before you can use it. We would consider this a con, especially as we’re always eager to try our new gear as soon as we unbox it. Not a big deal, just slightly inconvenient. 

Despite this, there’s no doubt that the app is necessary. It offers loads of options for customization, including presets and custom gimbal movements that can’t be done with the device alone. It’s useful during all stages of production, including post-production, where you can add effects and create shot sequences. Furthermore, your phone can double as a monitor while the camera is live. This is great if you have a team; one person can control parameters such as exposure, allowing the cinematographer to focus on movement 

Using the LightCut app, the official DJI-recommended mobile video editor, you can use features such as One-Tap Edit without the need to export footage from the device. The app uses AI to select highlights from your footage and compile them. You can also choose between different video templates made for vlogs, travel, parties, family gatherings, pets, food and more.

Accessories

There are plenty of add-on accessories that can enhance the functionality and versatility of your Osmo Pocket 3 camera:

  • Osmo Pocket 3 Black Mist Filter ($49): The Black Mist Filter is designed to control highlight flares and soften skin tones. It features a magnetic design for easy mounting on the Osmo Pocket 3 camera.
  • Osmo Pocket 3 Wide-Angle Lens ($49): This lens attachment expands the field of view (FOV) to 108°, providing a wider perspective. Like other accessories, it uses a magnetic design for quick and convenient attachment.
  • Osmo Mini Tripod ($16 USD): This mini tripod is a portable and flexible accessory equipped with a 1/4-inch-20 screw, making it compatible with various camera and accessory mounting options.
  • Osmo Pocket 3 Battery Handle ($69): The Battery Handle is equipped with a built-in 950 mAh battery, which can extend the operating time of the Osmo Pocket 3 by approximately 62%. It supports hot swapping and can be used to connect external audio devices through its USB-C port. Additionally, it features a 1/4-inch thread for connecting accessories such as tripods.
  • DJI Mic 2 Transmitter ($249): The DJI Mic 2 Transmitter is designed for audio recording and has an operating time of six hours. It comes with 8 GB of internal storage, which can store up to 14 hours of 48 kHz 24-bit audio without compression, making it a valuable tool for creators and videographers.
  • Osmo Pocket 3 Magnetic ND Filters Set ($59): This set includes ND16, ND64 and ND256 filters that can be easily attached and detached due to their magnetic design. ND filters are useful for controlling the exposure and achieving specific cinematic effects in your footage.
  • Osmo Pocket 3 Expansion Adapter ($19): The Expansion Adapter expands to fit a cold shoe, allowing you to attach accessories. It also provides an action camera port for further customization.
  • Osmo Pocket 3 Carrying Bag ($35): This carrying bag is designed specifically for the Osmo Pocket 3 Creator Combo, providing a convenient and protective way to transport your gear.

These accessories can enhance your Osmo Pocket 3 experience by expanding its capabilities and helping you achieve your specific creative needs. The DJI Mic 2 Transmitter is especially useful for capturing high-quality audio to complement your recordings.

Marketplace

The GoPro HERO12 Black is a direct competitor of the DJI Osmo Pocket 3. However, the Osmo Pocket 3 comes out on top. The HERO12 Black has a 27 MP image sensor that can capture 5.3K videos at 60 fps. Comparatively, the Pocket 3 has a 1-inch 10 MP CMOS sensor that can record UHD 4K video at up to 120 fps. Although the new HERO12 Black has a larger battery life than the GoPro HERO11 Black, the Pocket 3 still has a longer battery life. The HERO12 Black lasts 81 minutes when shooting 4K video at 60 fps. As for the Pocket 3, it lasts up to two hours.

However, although the HERO12 Black wins on the resolution, the Osmo Pocket 3 is the clear winner when it comes to shooting in low-light situations. The HERO12 Black, while offering a slight improvement over the HERO11 Black’s low-light performance, is still lackluster.

Price-wise, the HERO12 Black wins. It is notably just about $100 less than the Osmo Pocket 3 while offering higher-resolution shooting. Overall, both the HERO12 Black and the Osmo Pocket 3 have their advantages and disadvantages and are quite close in comparison. It will come down to your personal preference and your needs.

Final thoughts

On the surface, the device may seem a little gimmicky when considering more traditional options, such as a mirrorless DSLR. At the price point, some would conclude it’d be better to purchase a used DSLR for 4K video shooting. But with features like IP streaming, timecode, app monitoring and more, you simply can’t get more bang for your buck. To us, these features make the Osmo Pocket 3 a worthy addition to a semi-professional studio production.

Unless you need the security and ruggedness against the dangers of extreme weather and action sports, we would also consider the DJI Osmo Pocket 3 a better option over a similarly priced action camera, as well. Though options like the well-known GoPro HERO series and DJI’s own Osmo Action 4 offer similar (and in some cases, better) features at lower prices, the larger sensor alone leads us to prefer the Pocket 3. As mentioned, the one-inch sensor offered in this Pocket model brings in more light, so you’ll have a much easier time shooting in dimly lit environments. 

While low-light performance is impressive, the Osmo Pocket 3 simply gives a more cinematic look overall. This is thanks to the bokeh effect the camera captures with close-up shots. Action cameras just aren’t there yet.

The Osmo Pocket 3 is an excellent camera that defies categorization but somehow manages to be ideal for a variety of users. The DJI Osmo Pocket 3 is perfect for vloggers and travelers who want to capture high-quality videos and photos on the go. Due to its amazing portability and built-in gimbal, hobbyists looking to capture action for long periods of time could also benefit from the Pocket 3. 

However, the price hike means this is far from a casual purchase. The basic camera package costs $519 and includes the Osmo Pocket 3, a handle, wrist strap, protective cover and USB-C PD cable. In addition, you can also pick up the Osmo Pocket 3 Creator Combo for $669. This adds a DJI Mic 2 Transmitter, a DJI Mic 2 Windscreen and a DJI Mic 2 Clip Magnet. It also comes with an Osmo Pocket 3 Battery Handle, an Osmo Mini Tripod and an Osmo Pocket 3 Carrying Bag.

Though it’s a big price jump from the previous model, we think the improvements brought by the Pocket 3 make it worthwhile. The low-light performance, dynamic range capabilities and new shooting modes alone justify the price in our eyes. If you’re looking for a pocket-sized camera with advanced features and improved performance, the Osmo Pocket 3 is definitely worth considering. With so many professional features packed into this super compact camera, you’re unlikely to be disappointed with the results.

Summary

The DJI Osmo Pocket 3 is a significant upgrade from its predecessor, the Pocket 2. This handheld three-axis gimbal camera boasts a one-inch sensor for improved image quality, advanced autofocus for rapid and precise focusing and enhanced low-light performance. It’s tailored for solo filmmakers seeking a portable, all-in-one solution. With a body measuring 5.5 x 1.7 x 1.3 inches and a weight of 6.3 ounces, the camera maintains its compactness while offering a two-inch rotating touchscreen for ease of use in various shooting modes.

Key features include the ability to shoot 4K video up to 120 fps and 1080p at 240 fps for slow-motion effects. The camera offers 10-bit HDR color, useful shooting modes like ActiveTrack 3.0, and panoramic capabilities without the need for a tripod. Its three-mic array captures clear audio, but there’s also support for the DJI Mic 2 for enhanced audio capture. The Osmo Pocket 3 also offers IP streaming with HD livestream capabilities and a timecode function for multi-camera synchronization. While app compatibility enhances the camera’s functionality, activation is required before use.

Overall, the DJI Osmo Pocket 3 is a worthy camera for creators who need a powerful, versatile camera that offers both high-quality imagery and professional features in a compact form factor. If you currently have the Pocket 2 and wonder if you should upgrade to the DJI Osmo Pocket 3, we’d say go for it.

Tech specs

Image sensorOne-inch-type CMOS
35 mm-equivalent focal length20 mm 
Maximum aperturef/2
Minimum focus distance7.9 inches / 20.1 cm
Fixed focusYes
Angle of viewWide: 180°
Media/memory card slotSingle slot: microSD (unspecified type) (UHS-II) [512 GB maximum]
Video Fformat3840 x 2160p at 24/25/30/48/50/60 fps (130 Mb/s MP4 via H.264/AVC, H.265/HEVC)
2688 x 1512p at 24/25/30/48/50/60 fps (130 Mb/s MP4 via H.264/AVC, H.265/HEVC)
1920 x 1080p at 24/25/30/48/50/60 fps (130 Mb/s MP4 via H.264/AVC, H.265/HEVC)
3072 x 3072p at 24/25/30/48/50/60 fps (130 Mb/s MP4 via H.264/AVC, H.265/HEVC)
2160 x 2160p at 24/25/30/48/50/60 fps (130 Mb/s MP4 via H.264/AVC, H.265/HEVC)
1080 x 1080p at 24/25/30/48/50/60 fps (130 Mb/s MP4 via H.264/AVC, H.265/HEVC)
1728 x 3072p at 24/25/30/48/50/60 fps (130 Mb/s MP4 via H.264/AVC, H.265/HEVC)
1512 x 2688p at 24/25/30/48/50/60 fps (130 Mb/s MP4 via H.264/AVC, H.265/HEVC)
1080 x 1920p at 24/25/30/48/50/60 fps (130 Mb/s MP4 via H.264/AVC, H.265/HEVC)
Slow motion mode120 fps recorded at 3840 x 2160p
100 fps recorded at 3840 x 2160p
120 fps recorded at 2688 x 1512p
240 fps recorded at 1920 x 1080p
120 fps recorded at 1920 x 1080p
Still image supportJPEG / RAW
9.4 MP
Audio formatAAC
Sampling frequencyAAC: 48.0 kHz
Bit rateAAC: 16.0-bit
IP streamingUVC/UAC
1920 x 1080
Display typeFixed touchscreen LCD
Display size2.0 inches
Display resolution314 x 556
Secondary displayNo
Shutter speed1/8000 to 1 second in Photo/Video mode
ISO sensitivity rangePhoto
50 to 6,400
Video
50 to 6,400 (Extended: 50 to 16,000)
Interval recording.5 second
1 second
2 seconds
3 seconds
4 seconds
5 seconds
6 seconds
8 seconds
10 seconds
15 seconds
20 seconds
25 seconds
30 seconds
40 seconds
60 seconds
Burst PhotoNo
Remote controlNo
Image stabilizationIntegrated 3-axis gimbal
White balance modesAuto
Built-in speakerNo
Built-in light/flashLight — No
Flash — No
Wireless2.4 / 5 GHz Wi-Fi
Mobile app compatibleYes: Android and iOS
App name: DJI Mimo
Accessory shoeNo
Tripod mounting threadNo
Inputs1 x USB-C
Microphone inputNo
Headphone jackNo
BatteryRechargeable lithium-ion polymer battery pack, 7.70 VDC, 1300 mAh
Max runtime: 2.6 Hours per charge
Charging methodUSB
Charging time0.5 hours
Operating temperature32 to 104°F / 0 to 40°C
Dimensions (W x H x D)5.5 x 1.7 x 1.3 inches / 139.7 x 42.2 x 33.5 mm
Weight6.3 oz / 179 g
Kyle Alsberry is a multimedia producer and audiovisual technician at California State University, Chico.