In the wake of the launch of the new iPhone 14 Pro Max, Pro and iPhone 14 comes a fresh way to make your iPhone videography even more impressive. That’s because DJI today released its Osmo Mobile 6, which is a palm-sized, portable device designed to level up videos shot on smartphones — iPhone or otherwise.
The a palm-sized, portable DJI Osmo Mobile 6 takes the silky smooth video aesthetic commonly found in drones (popularized by 3-axis gimbals) and in turn makes your smartphone video incredibly stable and smooth. Consider it a selfie stick, a tripod and a 3-axis gimbal all in one.
And it iterates upon past models of the Osmo Mobile, which in the 4 and 5 were dubbed “the DJI OM” to give us the DJI Osmo Mobile 6 today. Like its predecessors, Osmo Mobile 6 still features DJI’s iconic 3-axis stabilization.
So what’s new in the Osmo 6 from older models? The two standouts are a brand new Quick Launch and ActiveTrack 5.0.
Other improvements between the Osmo 6 and the old DJI OM 5 are:
- enhanced smartphone stabilizer functions
- more software features
- improved editing software
- better ergonomics
- compatibility with more (primarily larger) phones
“A DJI Osmo Mobile stabilizer is the perfect companion to push the limitations of any smartphone camera and the Osmo Mobile 6 is the best we’ve ever made,” said Paul Pan, Senior Product Line Manager at DJI.
And it comes out at a time where most Americans are ditching traditional cameras in favor of smartphones. A recent study of an iPhone 13 Pro versus the $5,000 Canon R5 put that exactly to the test — and the fact that there was even a comparison at hand speaks volumes. The iPhone 14 Pro or and iPhone 14 Pro Max entail 48MP main camera sensors, and the new selfie camera has autofocus — among other big time improvements.
But Apple and other smartphone manufacturers haven’t yet figured out ways to stabilize smartphone video. That’s where the Osmo Mobile 6 works its magic.
What to know about the new Osmo Mobile 6
The last time the Osmo Mobile got a refresh was just about this time last year. In September 2021, DJI gave us the DJI OM 5, which leaned in on the selfie stick style.
Now, we have the DJI Osmo Mobile 6. Here are some quick facts:
- Weight: 300 grams
- Includes built-in extension rod
- Retail price: $159
- What’s in the box (besides the Osmo Mobile 6 itself): a magnetic clamp, tripod, power cable, and storage pouch
The Osmo is pretty compact when packed, as it folds up to be pocket-sized, which is a feature that first debuted in the Osmo Mobile 3 version of the product. That magnetic clamp evokes the design that debuted in the OM 4, which introduced a quick-snap magnetic phone attachment system making it easier to attach and balance (and detach) your phone to the contraption thanks to a high-grade, magnetic attachment design.
Who is Osmo Mobile 6 for?
Unlike drones, which come with relatively high friction (needing to register, finding a safe place to fly, feeling confident flying, etc), the DJI Osmo Mobile 6 is for a far wider range of people. Among the use cases it’s best suited for:
- Better framing selfies.
- Shooting angles that are higher than what you’d get on the ground, but lower (or more convenient, at least) than what you’d get on a drone. Consider it a stable selfie stick for video.
- Filming in unstable environments, whether it’s just you walking around a city while filming, or quickly moving across a plane such as shooting a sports match.
How DJI Osmo Mobile 6 works to stabilize smartphone video
The Osmo Mobile 6 is a fascinating piece of hardware comprised of powerful motors directed by fairly advanced algorithms, in turn keeping smartphones steady when shooting videos (and, well, photos too).
Most smartphones have some degree of internal electronic image stabilization, but it can often falter or lose video quality during more dynamic movement and low lighting situations. Apple took an extra stride to address this in the iPhone 14 with its action mode.
But even the iPhone camera’s optical image stabilization gyroscope has proven to have some problems, particularly when working with third-party apps.
DJI might just do it better with its motorized stabilization.
Just as DJI’s drones have automated shooting modes, the Mobile 6 also entails automatic shooting modes because, well, the reality is the robots are often better cinematographers than people are. There are a few modes available on the Osmo Mobile 6 (you can cycle through them by tapping the M button). The four Osmo Mobile modes are:
The camera follows the gimbal’s pan and tilt movements, remaining level during rolls.
When to use: Ideal for shooting up, down, and diagonally.
Tilt lock mode
The camera view only follows the gimbal’s pan movement and stays stable during tilts and rolls.
When to use: Ideal for shooting horizontally or moving around a subject.
All three axes of the gimbal will follow the movement of the handle.
When to use: Ideal for dynamically filming still subjects like landmarks, buildings, or statues.
Push the joystick to the left or right to control the rotation of the camera view and create dynamic footage.
When to use: Ideal for shooting push, pull, and high-angle shots.
What’s more, you can control zoom and focus with Osmo Mobile 6’s new Side Wheel, which lets you press it and switch to manual focus control. Once engaged, simply roll the wheel to adjust the focal length or to adjust the zoom in and out.
Similarly, but separately, are “intelligent features” that can improve your videos. They are:
- Timelapse: Warp time and space with Timelapse, Motionlapse and Hyperlapse in a single template.
- DynamicZoom: Move In creates a compressing visual effect, while Move Out mode provides a stretching effect.
- Gesture Control: Rather than press a button, gestures can provide simple commands like taking a selfie or group photo.
- Panorama: Three different panorama modes – 3×3, 240°, and CloneMe – help capture landscapes or other unique photo composition types.
- Story Mode: Various templates help to combine camera movements, transitions, soundtracks and more in an effort to help you build videos in one tap.
New feature: ActiveTrack 5.0.
DJI continuously iterates on its ActiveTrack software, and now we’re on to the fifth version. With it, expect more stable tracking at longer distances. Another neat feature now allows the front camera to track subjects that turn to the side or spin. You can also use it to direct the gimbal to automatically keep in the subject the center.
New feature: Quick Launch
Besides better stabilization is a new feature called Quick Launch, available now for iPhone users. This is a feature that — once you unfold Osmo and attach your iPhone to the stabilizer — automatically triggers the Mimo app alert to enter the camera view instantly. This is ideal if you need to quickly get your camera up and running.
How to edit videos shot on the DJI Osmo Mobile 6
There are a couple ways to edit videos shot on the DJI Osmo Mobile 6 that are officially endorsed by DJI (though of course once you have the video files, you could edit them in any video file you chose.
The first app that DJI recommends is DJI’s own Mimo app. By using DJI Mimo’s camera view, you can go through video tutorials that pop up when you initialize certain features for the first time to help get you up and running. Mimo’s ShotGuides feature automatically recognizes the scenario and recommends a shot sequence, along with a tutorial on how to achieve it.
Then there’s DJI’s officially recommended app, LightCut. That’s an AI-powered one-tap editing app that includes video templates, enabling you to easily process video immediately after shooting them.
How to get your hands on the DJI Osmo Mobile 6
You won’t have to wait to get your hands on this. It’s available now from DJI’s own online store for $159. Though — in an interesting business move — you can’t get it from other electronics retailers like Amazon or B&H Photo, presumably to give DJI some exclusive sales opportunities and reduce the kickback it has to pay to the middleman. DJI did say it would be available for purchase through other channels at a later date, though did not specify exactly when.
In the $159 DJI Osmo Mobile 6 pack comes a few add-ons that you’ll likely need:
- a magnetic clamp
- power cable
- storage pouch
There’s also DJI Care Refresh available for purchase at an add-on cost, which is DJI’s extended warranty program. It covers commonly forms of accidental damage such as natural wear, cracking, deformation, and water damage. To ensure you have some sin in the game, you will have to pay a partial fee for a replacement, though it’s far less than buying a complete replacement sans Care Refresh.
Adding to a slew of launches from DJI
DJI has been on a product release tear as of late. Just last week, DJI launched another non-drone camera product, the Action 3, iterating on its lineup of action cameras that compete with GoPro. What’s interesting is these two launches suggest that DJI doesn’t want to over-index on just drone products.
The Osmo Action 3 Standard Combo starts at $329.
Of course, DJI is hardly scaling back its drone development. In fact, it’s more likely scaling up. Just about a month ago, DJI released a new type of drone to its family called the Avata, which is a Cinewhoop-style FPV drone.