Creating resources on my phone is not something I usually do, unless it’s a tweet, photo for Instagram, document for my book projects, or videos for family and friend events. I general consume on my phone, and I wish I created more. Which is why I was interested to get my hands on this little bit of kit once it arrived in the office. The DJI Osmo Mobile.
“Osmo Mobile turns your smartphone into a smart motion camera, making every moment you shoot look smooth, professional and ready to share. Shoot cinematic videos anytime, or use its intelligent functions to track your subject, capture stunning motion timelapses or even stream a moment live around the globe.”
The process to start using it is easy (you’ll need the DJI app – iOS and Android available) and a fully charged phone and Osmo Mobile. The instruction book is quite thin on the ground about ‘how’ to use it but the process of learning the process of creating good quality video is relatively easy. It’s not quite as easy as point-and-click, but it is fairly close. With most phones up to about 3 years old the ability to record high-definition video is standard, the only downside I’ve ever come across has been the user, the person holding the phone, the one swaying or jittering the footage. This gets rid of all that. The battery in the Osmo Mobile is good for a reported 4.5 hours and will probably outlast your phones if you do a lot of filming. As with all video apps the biggest issue and problem I faced when trying it out was lack of storage on my phone – I had to delete numerous apps to free up enough space, and even then I had to stop filming to view the footage and delete what I didn’t want to keep before I could continue.
Image source: CNET DJI Osmo Mobile review
Three features I love about the Osmo Mobile is the ability (not tested yet) to use the front-facing camera for selfie-style recordings (stationary or on the move) and tracking (highlight a face or object and move around it, the camera will do it’s best to focus on it and keep it in the centre of the frame). The third is the timelapse feature, the ability to create stunning (and stable) timelapse videos. Whilst these are more interesting from a personal point of view, being able to create holiday or family videos, there will no doubt be students who are clever enough to add their own take on this as part of their project files. If you’ve an example please share it with me?
What would I use this for? While the full range of features may not be applicable for creating learning resources I can easily see how it could be used by students in the kinds of videos they are being increasingly asked to they create for projects. Using the gimbal for or by staff to record guest interviews, podcasts or ‘vlogs’ could be a great use; ensuring a stable and focused film that a handheld device doesn’t usually offer (even keeping a GorillaPod handy isn’t enough when you don’t have anything the right height to fix it to) to location-based filming for case studies (office, street, warehouse, etc.). Anywhere you think you’d ever want to record something, then this can help provide stabilisation and fluidity that is often lacking from self-recorded materials.
Next would be, as I’m sure you can hear in the second video below when I’m outside, to try the RØDE VideoMic Pro. It looks like it should work, but it could prove to be difficult if it prevents the movement of the three-axis gimbal. At least DJI and RØDE look like they’re already on the case and have produced a version, it’s just not clear if it works with the OSM Mobile.
Attempt one: Internal walking
Attempt two: outside walk-and-pan
UPDATE: I took the DJI OSMO Mobile with me on a recent family outing, here’s the results. I am especially please with the phone camera itself, the clarity and colours are so rich, which only goes to highlight the movement (or lack of it) and stability the OSMO Mobile gives these home videos. My only concern, and the one downside, is the feeling of vulnerability on carrying my expensive phone like this, that the OSMO Mobile is cumbersome to carry when not being used and that it requires a bit of juggling to set up (especially if you’re out and about and don’t want to leave your phone in the cradle). Enjoy!