DJI Action 2

DJI Action 2 gets big-time update with all-new 4K HorizonBalancing algorithm, addresses overheating issues

The DJI Action 2 has been out for less than six months, but it’s already getting a welcome update that fixes early complaints about the compact, waterproof action camera. DJI has recently launched a firmware update that entails new features like HorizonBalancing, as well as a low power mode, DJI Mic remote control and more.

The update, dubbed Action 2 firmware version 01.02.10.10, is primarily all about providing more stable footage to the DJI Action 2 camera, which is one of just a few DJI products that doesn’t entail a 3-axis gimbal, which provides that silky-smooth, gliding aesthetic (much like what you expect on a drone). Software can simulate that aesthetic, but it’s not always a 1:1 replicate of something a physical piece of equipment can do. With the firmware update, though, the DJI Action 2 gets a lot closer to offering that drone-like, flying footage on the ground in a compact form. And with that, here are the biggest changes to the DJI Action 2 in light of this fresh firmware update:

Read more: DJI Action 2 unboxing: what’s inside the box 

HorizonBalancing and 4K leveling

HorizonBalancing is a built-in stabilization algorithm for DJI Action 2 that enables you to shoot 4K/60fps videos with horizontal stability. It keeps your 4K footage level when the roll axis is tiled by up to +/- 45 degrees.

Steady mode

There’s HorizonSteady, but there’s also Steady. This is a new, real-time stabilization mode meant to reduce stretching during distortion correction. And it’s now the action 2’s default stabilization mode, capable of supporting up to 4K/60fps video shooting. Given the wide field of view of the camera already, this is able to provide less image distortion.

That said, there are also a couple different EIS modes besides Steady and the aforementioned HorizonBalancing. Those are:

RockSteady

While this mode can generate more stable videos with a wider FOV, this mode will require additional computing capability. It supports up to 4K/120fps video shooting.

HorizonSteady

Turn on HorizonSteady, and you’re looking at stable footage at any angle. It supports up to 2.7K/60fps video. In a way, this mode is even better, as it can keep footage level at literally any angle with no limitations. This mode is excellent for wild action, such as if you’re turning, jumping, spinning or doing other high-activity shooting. Even in such wild action scenarios, this mode can detect and correct camera shake and rotation in real-time.

Of course, the tradeoff is it doesn’t support as high video quality.

Comparing the four modes

Between the four EIS modes, you’re looking at a differing FOV. In descending order of FOV, it goes: EIS Off, RockSteady, Steady, HorizonBalancing and HorizonSteady. Here’s how those look in visual form:

HorizonBalancing modes DJI Action 2

And speaking of all this horizon talk, you do want to make sure your horizon is even. Now, Action 2 automatically checks the IMU sensor. If a calibration is needed, your camera will prompt you to reset it. Of course, you can also manually set the horizon calibration via the settings page.

Smarter power modes ensure more battery life

This update addresses a lot of negative reviews in the original iteration of DJI Action 2 that cited overheating problems. The Action 2 typically shuts off from overheating, which requires you to wait to let it cool, which can sometimes be around 15 minutes. Users have reported this happening in warm, but not unreasonable warm temperatures (think around 80 degrees Fahrenheit), causing problems for people wanting to take videos on a warm summer day. In fact, sometimes the camera itself became too hot for some users to touch.

First, there’s a big adjustment with this firmware update called “Timelapse Low Power Mode.” To enable it, tap the moon icon in the top left corner, which tells the screen to turn off after recording for 10s, which can be a significant battery saver.

Going back to Steady mode, power consumption is optimized when Steady is enabled or EIS is disabled, which can help additionally save on battery.

DJI conducted an Auto-Stop Rec temperature test under different shooting modes to show how long it’ll last. Here are the results for using the camera unit only:

And here are the results for using the camera unit plus the power module/front touchscreen module:

DJI Mic Remote Control

Finally, there’s a way to better control the DJI Mic. When you connect the DJI Mic receiver to the DJI Action 2 Front Touchscreen Module or Power Module, you can now press the linking button on the transmitter to start and stop recording.

Improvements to SD card control

The Action 2 can save footage to your phone and internally, but filmmakers shooting lots of footage will likely lean on a microSD card. And that process just got some nice updates. There’s now a better user interface when you exporting internal storage files where the camera screen automatically lock. There’s also a better interface when it’s time to reformat your card, as you’ll now need to provide double confirmation — reducing the change you accidentally reformat the card when you didn’t intend to and unwittingly delete unsaved files.

The firmware update included far more updates than just these. Download it now from your app store to see everything that’s new.

To update your DJI Action 2, both your camera and smartphone will need sufficient power. First, update to the latest version of the DJI Mimo app, and then conduct the firmware update. You may need to restart your devices before updating.

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