Drone maker DJI is not any stranger to nice and small cameras and lenses. The company’s drones seize a number of the finest aerial footage round, which is why DJI’s first stab at an motion cam—the Osmo Action—was successful. It was roughly a GoPro clone, nevertheless it added a full-color entrance display, a characteristic GoPro copied later on.
For its second tackle the style, DJI seems to have forged a fond eye at one other competitor—Insta360, which pioneered an interchangeable lens system on an motion digicam. DJI’s GoPro clone innovated in some actually intelligent methods, however the brand new Action 2 is much less compelling.
On paper, its specs are stable. There’s 4K video recording at 120 frames per second (fps), improved movement stabilization, and a bunch of computerized seize modes and options which have turn into customary on high-end action cams. But after weeks with the Action 2, I’m simply not impressed. I can consider solely one cause I’d decide it over the GoPro Hero 10 or Insta360 One R: weight.
The Action 2 is not strictly an Insta360 One R clone. They’re each modular, however with the One R, the modularity consists of swapping completely different lens and sensor combos. DJI takes a unique method, with the primary unit being a functioning digicam. What you’ll be able to add to that’s both a battery pack or a dual-screen module; the latter permits you to see your self when the digicam is pointed at your face. (The magnetic sides also can connect to varied mounts and clips so that you by no means have to screw something in.)
This modular method is welcome, however once I first unpacked the Action 2, I used to be most taken with the digicam itself. If there’s one factor that is not nice in regards to the GoPro Hero 10 Black, it is weight. Or no less than, I assume it is annoying to have a 5.3-ounce weight in your head. I very not often strap any digicam to my particular person—I do not discover the ensuing footage notably attention-grabbing—however I acknowledge that many individuals do precisely this.
If your main use case for an motion digicam is in actual fact strapping it to your helmet when you, as my snowboarding roommate used to say in all earnestness, “bomb the slopes,” then the DJI Action 2 will in all probability trump the GoPro and just about anything in the marketplace. It weighs a mere 2 ounces, which is hardly even noticeable when it is in your helmet. DJI’s digicam can also be tiny, which suggests much less drag in wind and water.
In addition to the featherweight design, you’ll be able to flip it right into a extra conventional motion cam by including the battery and display modules to the combination. Here, nevertheless, is the place the quirks and downsides of the Action 2 start to point out.
DJI’s magnetic attachment mechanism is, from a pure engineering standpoint, genius. It’s easy and dependable. You put the 2 cubes collectively and so they snap in place. Doesn’t get a lot simpler than that. Two clips additional safe the magnet, however you’ll be able to nonetheless simply get it aside even with gloved palms. But you in all probability should not attempt to take it aside with gloved palms, as a result of if you happen to’re carrying gloves, then you definitely’re in all probability in snow, and solely the lens portion of the digicam is absolutely waterproof.
Divers, concern not, there’s a waterproof case you can buy for an extra $65 that may make the entire digicam waterproof to 196 ft (60 meters). But then you definitely lose the benefit of the fast-change magnetic clip system. The lack of full waterproofing is reasonably annoying, however not a deal breaker except you are planning to primarily use your motion cam within the water. If so, that is undoubtedly not what you need.