Its pretty obvious that DJI's new Osmo Action was designed to take on the GoPro Hero 7 Black. While very similar in many ways, they each have their strengths and weaknesses. In this article, we are going to break down all of the features and see how they really stack up against each other.
DJI Osmo Action
GoPro Hero 7 Black
With essentially the same sensor, it isn't a surprise that most of the photo mode specs are pretty much the same. The GoPro has an internal HDR photo mode which eliminates post processing exposure merging. The Osmo Action doesn't have an HDR mode, but it allows you several different settings for Automatic Exposure Bracketing, but you will need to combine the images yourself. Two big differences for the Osmo Action is the ability to tune your exposure by directly controlling the ISO and Shutter, and having a maximum shutter speed of 120 seconds (30 seconds on the Hero 7).
Winner: Osmo Action - Manual exposure settings, multiple AEB settings, and super long exposure times put the Action ahead of the Hero 7.
DJI Osmo Action
GoPro Hero 7 Black
Again, the video modes are both pretty similar, with a couple of minor differences. The Osmo Action's HDR video can get you more dynamic range, but the RockSteady feature does not work when shooting HDR, which limits it's functionality to being used on a tripod or gimbal. The Osmo Action also bests the GoPro's video bitrate at 100 Mb/s vs 78 Mb/s although the Hero 7 being able to use H.265 pretty much makes this a wash.
Winner: Osmo Action - The only real win here is the Osmo Action's HDR Video mode.
Both cameras have front screens although the GoPro only displays some settings while the Osmo Action has a full-color screen that is very useful for doing selfies and framing the shot.
Winner: Osmo Action - The front screen can be extremely useful
Both cameras feature some pretty incredible electronic image stabilization. The Osmo Action is widely praised by its RockSteady, which while I will say is extremely good, there are times that I like the Hypersmooth on the GoPro as the Osmo Action's RockSteady can be so good, its almost robotic. The GoPro's HyperSmooth does a great job of stabilizing the footage, while still having a bit of movement which can feel a little more natural at times. RockSteady currently has some issues in lower light, but DJI says they are working on the algorithms.
Winner: Tie - If DJI can improve their RockSteady, possibly by allowing different levels of stabilization, and better performance in lower light, it will become a clear winner. Right now, it is extremely difficult to say that one is better than the other.
The Osmo Action is rated for 11 meters and the Hero 7 Black at 10 meters without their underwater housings and both are rated at around 66 meters with their underwater cages.
Winner: Hero 7 Black - while the specs on both are extremely close, the Hero 7 Black takes this category because it's underwater housing is currently available.
Both cameras can record audio along with the video, however, the Action currently does not have a means of connecting an external microphone
Winner: Hero 7 Black - Being able to use an external mic, is a clear winner in the category.
Both cameras have pretty easy to use interfaces. Many people complain about the Hero 7's interface to tricky to use sometimes and say that the screen can be laggy at times.
Winner: Osmo Action - With an interface that is a little easier to use, and is much faster and responsive.
If DJI had all of the accessories ready to go, this category may go a little differently. Fortunately, the Osmo Action can attach to any standard
This is a pretty easy one to call, the Osmo Action costs $349 vs the Hero 7 Black is at $399.
Winner: Osmo Action by $50
As you can see, there are strengths and weaknesses with both, We are giving the overall win to the Osmo Action. The GoPro Hero 7 Black has been available for almost a year now and is the 7th generation of the product line. The Osmo Pocket is DJI's first iteration of an action cam, and should continue to put a gap between itself and the Hero 7.