“The DJI OM four is beginner-friendly, but consists of some advanced-looking digital camera strikes.”

Simple to make use of

Fast magnetic attachment

Pre-programmed strikes in Tales

Good stabilization

Superior app instruments

Some modes are hidden

Comply with mode would not use full pan vary

Gimbals combine stabilization with cinematic digital camera motion, however the mixture typically creates a system that’s geared towards skilled customers. That’s not the case, nonetheless, with the DJI OM four. The three-axis gimbal that wants little balancing can have even novice customers up and operating — actually or figuratively — in just some fast tutorial movies.

Designed from an organization recognized for its drones, the DJI OM four is about greater than taking the shake out. With Story mode, the OM four will even add cinematic digital camera motion with just a few faucets, whereas modes like Dynamic Zoom mimic superior dolly zoom strategies. Gesture management with monitoring even opens up the gimbal to be used by vloggers. 

The DJI OM four creates the best mix between beginner-friendly options and superior cinematic results — but it surely’s not fairly good. As a photographer — not a videographer — I took DJI’s newest gimbal out to see simply how newbie-friendly it’s.

Specs and Options

The DJI OM four is a three-axis motorized smartphone gimbal that features a number of tweaks from the earlier model, together with a stronger motor. It’s appropriate with any telephone that’s lower than three.three inches broad and 10.23 ounces, with an app for each iOS and Android. (I examined the OM four with an iPhone 11 Professional).

The gimbal presents a very good vary of movement between roughly 333 levels to 343 levels on every of the three axes. The gimbal will cease panning as soon as it reaches all the way in which round to the entrance of the gimbal deal with, and it has a tilt vary from concerning the sky to the bottom.

Hillary Ok. Grigonis / Digital Developments

Past merely stabilizing video, the gimbal consists of a number of completely different modes to help with artistic photographs. Comply with mode will observe an individual or animal, and with gesture controls on, might be activated by placing your hand up, palm towards the digital camera. Sport mode is designed for utilizing the gimbal whereas energetic.

One among my favourite points of the gimbal is the completely different modes that simplify including professional-looking digital camera movement. Inception mode will use the joystick to spin the digital camera as an alternative of panning or tilting. Dynamic Zoom or Dolly Zoom zooms in or out however retains the topic in the identical place, altering the background as an alternative. Hyperlapses and timelapses are additionally included, in addition to panoramas, together with an choice to clone your self in a single photograph.

Design

The DJI OM four makes use of two completely different mount choices — a skinny steel plate that stays completely fastened to the gadget or a detachable smartphone clamp. DJI says that the plate is quicker and doesn’t want rebalancing, however shouldn’t be used over a case. I used the clamp possibility.

The spring-loaded clamp was impressively nonetheless capable of seize onto and steadiness my iPhone 11 Professional with its case. The clamp, nonetheless, does have to be completely aligned to get the horizon straight. I usually wanted to nudge one aspect of the clamp to get the telephone completely balanced. The app additionally homes an possibility for re-balancing the gimbal for telephones which might be skewed to 1 aspect even with a correct alignment, and can seemingly be mandatory to make use of equipment like add-on lenses.

Hillary Ok. Grigonis / Digital Developments

As soon as the clamp or plate is in place, mounting the smartphone to the gimbal is so simple as lining up the 2 dots on every magnet. I often wanted to tweak the place of the clamp as soon as mounted to get an ideal steadiness.

The deal with presents an ergonomic design that places nearly each management inside straightforward attain. The entrance homes the joystick for re-directing the gimbal, a report button, and a mode button that each switches between video and stills and from vertical to horizontal orientation. Close to the tip of the thumb sits a zoom toggle in conjunction with the deal with — I may simply barely attain this management with out adjusting my entire hand and customers with small arms could not fairly like that button placement. 

On the again is the set off to lock the gimbal in a single course. Two faucets on the set off re-centers the gimbal, whereas three faucets switches to the front-facing digital camera contained in the DJI app.

After recording, the highest arm of the gimbal folds down on itself, shortening the general peak of the gimbal. At roughly 6.5 inches tall folded, the one pocket it would slot in are outsized coat packets or cargo pants, however will solely add about 14 ounces of weight to a bag. The gimbal additionally ships with an optionally available folding tripod base for utilizing the gimbal on a tabletop.

The DJI App: A cameraman in your arms

The controls on the gimbal nonetheless carried over to the iPhone’s native digital camera app — however the gimbal’s greatest options are tucked contained in the DJI Mimo app. From in-app tutorials to automating digital camera methods, the app is impressively well-built and easy to make use of. The preliminary app set-up was easy and didn’t include the complications that some Bluetooth units trigger on the primary connection.

For essentially the most half, the app helps newbies get began shortly. Mimo launches with a built-in tutorial that walked me by the completely different controls and shortcuts. Then, once I inevitably forgot precisely the place these controls have been, I may head to the tutorial part for a fast refresher.

The principle portion of the app, nonetheless, is the digital camera mode. A lot of the choices and controls really feel similar to utilizing the essential digital camera app on my iPhone, together with a mode slider beneath the report button and the identical faucet to focus and slide to regulate publicity.

Story mode was my favourite a part of your complete app — and I very not often truly share social media Tales. The function creates completely different movement results utilizing the gimbal that I wouldn’t in any other case know how you can seize, then places every little thing collectively into an edited, simply shareable clip, full with music. The function is each a good way to create spotlight clips for simple sharing, and for placing collectively professional-looking video results with out truly realizing how you can shoot or edit them.

The Story shortcut from contained in the digital camera mode lets you shoot and edit a video on the identical time. On this mode, the app and gimbal work collectively to robotically create quick, edited movies with movement results based mostly on the template that you just select. For instance, the gimbal can create a 360 video pan, add tilt results, or create movement blur between cuts with quick gimbal motion. 

Hillary Ok. Grigonis / Digital Developments

The app will rely down till recording begins, then robotically transfer the gimbal to create the impact. The method is repeated for every clip within the template. Some templates use digital camera methods, whereas others merely add music, textual content, and filters. The customized template possibility lets you customise the digital camera motion (however, sadly, not components just like the size of the clip). Tales might be saved as drafts, so you may shoot the clips at completely different instances of the day.

Accessing the Tales from the house web page — as an alternative of the digital camera mode — edits video that you just’ve already shot with templates that embody clip transitions, music, filters, and textual content. Whereas it doesn’t add the digital camera results for you, that is the mode that you’d need to use if recording a once-in-a-lifetime shot, for the reason that capturing mode counts down and stops after just a few seconds, relying on the template that you just select.

My solely criticism on the app is that I want Tales would do much more, together with longer movies and customized clip size. When utilizing Tales in selfie mode, a few of the motions are additionally reversed in a means that doesn’t at all times make sense, like tilting the digital camera down as an alternative of up when utilizing the entrance digital camera.

Ease of Use

As a photographer and never a videographer, I can rely the variety of gimbals that I’ve tried on one hand. But, the OM four was straightforward to leap in and begin utilizing straight away. On the identical time, the OM four dumbs down extra superior digital camera methods sufficient for nearly anybody to shoot, because of the app’s built-in tutorials and completely different modes.

For fundamental operation, I used to be up and operating after just some minutes of enjoying round. The gimbal’s stabilization is great — I used the OM four rollerblading and even whereas jogging backward with wonderful outcomes. 

The OM four’s capability to observe a topic in entrance of the digital camera is sweet, although not fairly good. With a single topic staying in entrance of the gimbal, equivalent to for vlogging or creating tutorial movies, the gimbal’s efficiency is great. The gimbal has hassle following topics that transfer to the aspect of the gimbal, effectively earlier than the pan restrict is reached, nonetheless. When monitoring folks, the gimbal did generally change and observe a unique particular person.

Hillary Ok. Grigonis / Digital Developments

That’s to not say a little bit of apply and time spent with the gimbal isn’t helpful. The gimbal has completely different shortcuts utilizing the identical button and I needed to shoot with it just a few instances to recollect all of them, like that one click on of the mode button modifications the mode from photograph to video, two clicks modifications from vertical to horizontal, and three switches to standby mode.

With just a few tutorials, I used to be up and capturing with only a little bit of apply. Accessing the extra superior modes, nonetheless, took extra persistence largely as a result of they aren’t organized in a single spot. Lots of the superior capturing modes are positioned within the mode dial on the underside of the display screen within the digital camera mode. However, to activate Inception mode and spin the digital camera, for instance, it’s a must to go into the settings and alter the observe mode.

Hillary Ok. Grigonis / Digital Developments

Others aren’t even a labeled button in any respect and even a part of the unique in-app tutorials — getting into underslung mode, for capturing low angles, is activated by tipping the gimbal upside-down. Low slung mode, entered by holding the set off and tilting the gimbal ahead, didn’t work for me; I couldn’t regulate the angle of the smartphone to shoot something however the flooring.

The OM four additionally wasn’t very third-party tripod pleasant. Whereas I had no points utilizing the included tripod, once I used a full-height tripod, I bumped into just a few challenges. In Story mode, a few of the automated actions shook the digital camera, an odd error that didn’t repeat when utilizing on the included tripod. Tightening the tripod screw mount helped, however didn’t get rid of the problem. The patterned ridges on the underside of the gimbal additionally tore off a few of the grip on my tripod’s mounting plate.

Our Take

The DJI OM four isn’t only a smartphone gimbal — it’s a software that provides cinematic strikes for even novice customers. The well-designed app, straightforward mounting system, plethora of capturing modes, and moveable design makes the gimbal concurrently easy and leading edge, a mixture that’s close to inconceivable to do effectively.

Whereas the DJI OM four is eons forward of the gimbals the corporate was creating just some years in the past, it’s not good. The modes might be higher organized and some of the extra superior options require some digging. I couldn’t get the low angle capturing modes to work effectively, observe mode didn’t use the total pan vary, and the OM four didn’t play good with a third-party tripod.

Is there a greater various?

Smartphone gimbals have gotten extra widespread — and there’s a little bit of competitors. None, nonetheless, appear to be fairly as beginner-friendly because the no-balancing design and intuitive app of the OM four. The Zhiyun Easy four is slightly bit extra inexpensive however truly has extra superior controls. Superior customers will like the main focus dial in addition to the opposite bodily and app-based controls, however newbies could also be extra intimidated by the extras.

How lengthy will it final?

The DJI OM four already prompted us to obtain a firmware replace, a very good signal that the OM four will proceed to see new enhancements through software program. Barring any main mishaps, the OM four ought to final for just a few years, because of these updates, a stable design, and a mount system appropriate with quite a lot of smartphones.

Must you purchase it?

When you’ve by no means tried a gimbal earlier than however you need to get rid of the shake out of your movies and add cinematic digital camera actions with the push of some buttons, purchase the DJI OM four. The OM four is extremely beginner-friendly with no balancing, in-app tutorials, and automatic digital camera strikes with Tales.

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