20 years ago the only way to get uber smooth video from a camera was to buy a giant rig known as a Steadicam. It cost 10’s of thousands of dollars and required a trained expert to properly use it. Sure, Hollywood still uses Steadicam technology but there are amazing options available for the rest of us that not only cost much less but also don’t require a trained professional. I took the newest option, the DJI Osmo Mobile 3, for a test.
Foldable and compact
The first thing you’ll notice when you pull the Osmo Mobile 3 out of the box is how compact it is. It’s based off what has become DJI’s classic gimble grip but now the top folds down so that you can slide it into the included carry bag. The controls are right there where your fingers naturally fall. The trigger button can be used for a variety of features from re-setting the center to turning on/off the active tracking feature. It charges up using the included USB-C cable. The unit feels super solid although I can’t imagine it would survive a big drop (I didn’t try). Overall, it screams quality and is exactly the level of build we expect from DJI.
Clip in your phone
The DJI Osmo Mobile 3 is designed for smartphones. The impressive thing is that you can clip ANY smartphone into the OM3 and it automatically adjusts for it. There’s no required calibrating or balancing needed. It just works! Anyone who has used older gimbles will know that this is a big deal. The level of complication is very low with the OM3. The OM3 actually balances and stabilizes your smartphone even before you load up the DJI app. The controls work out of the box to tilt and pan. This can easily be used for basically stabilization without using any special apps.
DJI Mimo App
The Mimo App is a pretty straight forward camera app with the added Osmo features. You can change the settings of the gimble and also use the app to track people or objects. It worked pretty well. You can use the trigger to lock in an active object or face and the camera then tracks it from there. It works really well when the Osmo is mounted on a tri-pod but also works pretty good while you’re following something in action.
The DJI Osmo Mobile 3 is among the best when it comes to handheld gimbles for a price that won’t break the bank. The tracking features that mostly come from DJI’s expertise with drone cameras are impressive and easy to use. There are some features that still need to be added to the app (Facebook streaming anyone?) but I’m hopeful those will come with time. Overall, you can’t go wrong if you’re looking for a handheld smartphone stabilizer for just $120. You can buy the DJI Osmo Mobile 3 in tech retailers or directly from DJI on their website.