There’s an all-new waterproof action camera from DJI out on the market dubbed the DJI Osmo Action 3 — and its number one feature fixes one of the key gripes of its predecessor in an impressive way.
The DJI Osmo Action 3, which is a GoPro-like Action camera, dropped today — and everyone is talking about its battery life.
The camera comes just about a year after the launch of the DJI Osmo Action 2. When the 2 hit shelves, it was priced at $399. Apparently inflation is no match for the DJI Action 3, as this one comes with a delightful price reduction, too, starting at just $329.
It also comes at a particularly interesting time, as DJI Osmo Action’s key competitor, the GoPro, also got a big update today. California-based action camera GoPro today released is HERO11 Black and HERO11 Creators edition starting at $499, making the Action 3 comparatively cheaper.
Here’s everything you need to know about the new DJI Action camera, the Osmo Action 3:
The DJI Osmo Action 3 battery
When the DJI Osmo Action 2 came out around this time last year, photographers were impressed by its incredibly-high camera quality packed into a modular design. But it drew many complaints for its weak battery life: just 70 minutes on its own. You could extend it to 160 minutes when connected with the Front Touchscreen Module or 180 minutes with the power module — but that was an additional cost, and an additional piece that essentially doubled the size of the camera and removed key features like being waterproof.
DJI listened in building the successor to the Osmo Action 2. While the new DJI Osmo Action 3 has a few other improvements to aspects like its camera and video editor, the most standout improvement is to its battery.
Osmo Action 3 features a 1770mAh Extreme Battery, capable of up to 160 minutes of recording time. Compare that with the Osmo Action 3, which could only offer 70 minutes alone. That’s based off tests conducted by DJI in a 77° F laboratory environment while recording 1080p/30fps video — though note that test was conducted with EIS disabled and the screens off, which would otherwise drain the battery faster.
Beyond just the longer life, the battery can work in harsh conditions in temperatures as low as -20° C (-4° F).
And should you run down your battery, it won’t take long to charge it. DJI claims it can charge from 0-80% in as little as 18 minutes, or it can reach a full charge from 0 in 50 minutes using the DJI 30W USB-C Charger. That’s due to native fast-charging support, which you’ll more typically find in devices like some mobile phones, but is a first for action cameras.
While the Osmo Action 2 could get you to the full 160 minutes, you would need the add-on Front Touchscreen Module, which costs an additional $160 (or you could purchase Osmo 2 in bundled kits, which at launch were $519 for the dual-screen combo or $399 for the Power Combo). This time around, the Osmo Action 3 Extreme Battery comes with Osmo Action 3 by default — no separate purchase required.
DJI Osmo Action 3 camera: a fresh focus on social media
Most photos for social media these days are vertical. With that in mind, vertical — not horizontal — photos are the default on the Action 3. As far as the camera itself, here are some keys specs:
- 1/1.7-inch imaging system
- 155° super-wide FOV
- Electronic image stabilization suite (more on that below)
- D-Cinelike Color Mode (available in video, slow-motion, and timelapse modes for those looking for more room to edit in post-production).
Most DJI drones (with the exception of a few, including DJI’s newest drone, the DJI Avata) use a gimbal, which is a piece of hardware that eliminates jerky camera motion and instead provides a smooth, steady shot. Since an action camera can’t exactly fit a gimbal, DJI instead relies on image stabilization software to replicate that look.
Osmo Action 3 has three similar — yet still quite different — electronic image stabilization options. Here’s a look at what they are and what they do:
- RockSteady 3.0: This eliminates camera shake in all directions on video up to 4K/120fps, providing a stable and immersive first-person perspective.
- HorizonSteady: This not only helps to eliminate camera shake in all directions, but it corrects any tilt of the horizontally at any angle. So, perhaps you’re on a bike or surfboard that is tilting side to side. Enable this feature, and your footage remains horizontally level, even through heavy bumps and 360° rotations. Without HorizonSteady, most filmmakers in this scenario would otherwise need to turn to post-production to correct this.
- HorizonBalancing: While not available for the fall 2021 launch of the Osmo Action 2, DJI added HorizonBalancing as part of a firmware update earlier this year. This tool corrects the tilt horizontally within ±45° and supports recording stable 4K/60fps videos. Consider it basically the middle ground between RockSteady and HorizonSteady.
There are a few interesting film modes on Action 3, including:
- Timelapse: This includes preset settings for common scenarios like filming crowds, clouds or sunset. This feature also offers dynamic timelapse video stabilization, promising smoother exposure and color temperature changes.
- Digital Lens: This lets you select from Standard (Dewarp), Wide, and Ultra-Wide angles without actually having separate physical lens.
- Digital Zoom: Up to 4x (which can be adjusted while recording).
- Loop Recording: This allows for continuous recording and overwriting according to a preset time.
Using the DJI Osmo Action 3 for action sports
Unsurprisingly given its categorization as an action camera, DJI’s latest camera is best suited for action sports, like skiing, biking and even underwater action sports like swimming and surfing. Yes, Osmo Action 3 is waterproof at depths of up to 16 meters without needing any additional housing.
To minimize the chances that you lose your camera in the middle of an extreme adventure, the camera has a built-in mounting system that instantly and securely clips the camera to handlebars, helmets, and more. It’s pretty similar to the quick-release system we got in the Action 2, adding notches for a locked-in, impact-resistant hold.
But in keeping social media at the forefront, the quick-mounting technology comes in a vertical orientation via its Horizontal-Vertical Protective Frame, which is required for mounted vertical shooting.
Specific to winter sports, here’s a unique feature: InvisiStick for Skiing recognizes and digitally hides the selfie stick in snow sports. And another neat kit coming soon is a DJI diving accessory kit.
Other DJI Osmo Action 3 features and specs
There’s tons more to know about the Osmo Action 3. Here’s a quick rundown of other features you should know about:
- The microphone: Action 3 includes three-mic stereo recording. Alternatively Action 3 is compatible with the DJI Mic – a $330 wireless mic that allows you to record high-fidelity, professional audio by accurately reproducing tone across a wider frequency range — via the Type-C port. Or, use a separate external mic via a 3.5mm to Type-C cable.
- Live-streaming: Wi-Fi Livestream supports 1080p/30fps, 720p/30fps and 480p/30fps, and pausing recording during the stream.
- Using it as a webcam: Action 3 offers UAC/UVC Webcam support, so you can use it for conference calls and livestreams.
- Voice prompting and control: With Voice Prompt, you won’t need to unmount the camera to find out the current mode. And you don’t need to use your hands period, which can be useful if you’re busy actually doing your sport. Use voice control to direct Action 3 as to what to do.
- Faster setup: There are a few features designed to get you recording faster. Two buttons, Shutter/Record and Quick Switch, offers immediate recording and instant mode switching. As far as Quick Switch goes, you have access to user-created camera modes at the touch of a button.
- Drop resistance: Thanks to Corning Gorilla Glass for the touchscreens and lens cover, the Action 3 promises 1.5m Drop Resistance.
- Editing tools: DJI has two editing tools, DJI Mimo and LightCut. DJI Mimo is a smartphone app that connects via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, offering features including a live feed of the camera, various story templates and quick in-app editing, and is great if you’re working on the go. For more serious edits that are still efficiently automated, turn to the LightCut video editor app, which can automatically select clips and pair them with pre-made templates to generate ready-to-share video edits.
DJI Action 3 accessories
Along with the launch of the camera itself comes a slew of accessories to add-on for an additional cost. For me, the most standout accessory is the Osmo Action 3 Multifunctional Battery Case ($69). This case can store up to three batteries and two microSD cards, as it intelligently fast charges three batteries. Plus, it can be used as a power bank to charge other devices like your smartphone.
Here’s a full list of all the accessories for sale, and their cost at launch:
- Osmo Action 3 Waterproof Case: $69
- Osmo Action 3 Extreme Battery: $29
- Osmo Action 3 Multifunctional Battery Case: $69
- Osmo Action 3 Adhesive Base Kit: $19
- Osmo Action 3 Lens Protective Cover: $19
- Osmo Action 3 1.5m Extension Rod Kit: $49
- Osmo Action 3 Magnetic Ball-Joint Adapter Mount: $39
- Osmo Action Chest Strap Mount: $45
- Osmo Action Handlebar Mount: $45
- Osmo Action Helmet Chin Mount: $15
- Osmo Action Suction Cup Mount: $45
- Osmo Action Surfing Tether: $5
How to get your hands on the DJI Osmo Action 3
Good news: you won’t have to wait on this one. The Osmo Action 3 is already available today from DJI’s website and its authorized retail partners, which include Amazon and B&H Photo.
It’s available for purchase in a few different configurations, including:
Osmo Action 3 Standard Combo ($329): Includes Osmo Action 3, one Osmo Action 3 Extreme Battery, the Osmo Action 3 Horizontal-Vertical Protective Frame, the Osmo Action 3 Quick-Release Adapter Mount, and the Osmo Flat Adhesive Base
Osmo Action 3 Adventure Combo ($439): Includes Osmo Action 3, three Osmo Action 3 Extreme Batteries, the Osmo Action 3 Horizontal-Vertical Protective Frame, two Osmo Action 3 Quick-Release Adapter Mounts, one Osmo Flat Adhesive Base, and the Osmo Action 3 Multifunctional Battery Case.