DJI has today unveiled the Osmo Action camera - and it has already been touted as a GoPro killer.
With this in mind, how does this new release compare to GoPro's flagship HERO7 Black, and to a lesser extent, the GoPro HERO7 Silver?
In this blog post, Heliguy Insider takes a look at the specifications of the three products and explores how they stack up against each another.
DJI Osmo Action v GOPro HERO7 Black - The Specifications
First off, let's take a look at the tale of the tape and see how some of the main specifications compare between the DJI Osmo Action and the GoPro HERO7 Black and Silver.
These are the specifications. Let's now take a look at the two products in more detail.
DJI Osmo Action v GoPro HERO7 Black v GoPro HERO7 Silver - Cost
One of the key considerations between the three cameras is the cost.
Going against the HERO7 Black, it is clear that DJI has undercut GoPro, with the Osmo Action coming out at just over £50 cheaper than the Black. With the Action having identical and in some cases, better specs, than the HERO7 Black, this could sway action-cam fans towards the DJI model, especially if they are new to the market.
The HERO7 Silver is the only one of the three to come in at under £300, but considering its lesser specifications than the Osmo Action and HERO7 Black, this is not surprising.
DJI Osmo Action v GoPro HERO7 Black v GoPro HERO7 Silver - Appearance
On initial inspection, it is apparent that the Osmo Action and the HERO7 Black are fairly similar. Both have a sensor and screen on the front, as well as a larger screen on the back. In contrast, the HERO7 Silver does not have a front screen.
When it comes to the size of the screens, the Osmo Action is the winner, with a 2.25-inch back screen, compared to the two-inch option on the HERO7 Black and Silver.
Perhaps the most important differentiator between the Action and the Black is the front screen. DJI's camera is a 1.4-inch colour screen, while the GoPro model is 0.92 inches and black and white.
The real perk is that the Action's front-screen is a front-facing selfie screen, making vlogging and selfies much easier than ever before. With this sort of production being en vogue, this is a real highlight of DJI's release.
In terms of dimensions and weight, the DJI model is the largest of the three, weighing in at 134g, compared to the Black's 116g and the Silver's 94.4g. In terms of dimensions, the Osmo Action is 65 x 42 x 35mm, while the Black is 62.3 x 44.9 x 33mm and the Silver is 62.3 x 44.9 x 28.3mm.
DJI Osmo Action v GoPro HERO7 Black v GoPro HERO7 Silver - Performance
Perhaps the most important question is how do these three pieces of kit perform in the field?
One of the most significant perks of DJI's iteration is that it can capture HDR (high dynamic range) video; something that neither the HERO 7 Black and Silver can do.
Interestingly, and as a side note, DJI's camera can't capture HDR pictures, whereas the Black can, while the Silver can shoot WDR (wide dynamic range) images.
But, considering the type of environments that these cameras will be used, there is a strong argument to say that it is more beneficial for the camera to be HDR video ready, instead of HDR image ready. After all, action cameras are designed for action!
Another highlight of the DJI Osmo Action is that it is waterproof.
DJI's pre-release advertising material certainly hinted at this and it is pleasing to see that it has delivered. And the Osmo Action trumps both the HERO7 Black and Silver - just! When the cameras are submerged without a diving house, the DJI camera can be taken to depths of 11 metres, compared to the GoPro's 10 metres.
However, both the Osmo Action and the HERO7 Black can be taken to 60 metres when kept secure in a diving house. The Silver on the other hand, cannot.
One of the key aspects in the performance category is battery life and users will see that the Osmo Action beats the HERO7 Black. Like the waterproof scenario, the differences are minimal, but nonetheless, DJI does come out on top.
The Osmo Action gives you three more minutes of battery life when shooting in 4K 60P - 64 minutes compared to 61 minutes. The Action can also achieve 110 minutes at 1080p 30p, while the Black can go for 92 minutes at 30P, but this is at 4K!
When it comes to pictures, both the Osmo Action and the HERO7 Black can shoot images at 12MP, while the Silver is capable of 10MP. It's a similar story with video, in the sense that the Action and Black are tied at the top, with 4K60 ability, while the Silver falls slightly behind, with 4K30.
One of the most important aspects of the cameras - especially for thrill-seekers and adrenaline sports enthusiasts - is the video stabilisation.
DJI has gone for RockSteady Electronic Image Stabilisation technology, which promises smooth and stable video. By comparison, GoPro HERO7 has similar technology, known as HyperSmooth, which offers incredibly still footage.
We haven't had a chance to properly test the Osmo Action, but here is some footage from DJI.
The Silver doesn't have such luxuries, with just standard video stabilisation.
In other aspects of performance, the Osmo Action and the GoPro are identical, ie both have removable batteries, voice control, slow-mo up to 8x, timewarp/hyperlapse and a rotating screen.
However, there are certain aspects in the specifications where the GoPro HERO7 Black and also the HERO7 Silver come out on top. For instance, both GoPros have a wake-on voice, the Osmo Motion doesn't, and both the Black and Silver have GPS, while the Osmo Action does not come with this feature.
One of the disappointing things about the Osmo Action is that it is not able to live stream. This seems like a missed opportunity, especially as the HERO7 Black can!
Is Timing Everything?
The release of the DJI Osmo Action follows an announcement from GoPro, declaring that 2019 has been a success, witnessing a 20 per cent increase over the first quarter compared to the same time last year. And the big reason for this was the success of the HERO7 Black.
So what does this mean for the future? Does it mean that the HERO7 Black is in an incredibly strong position, dominating its field and can withstand the pressure of the rival Osmo Action? Or does it mean that DJI has seen the huge potential of the action-cam sector and feels it can muscle in and knock GoPro off the podium?
An interesting development is that the Osmo Action launch is an inverse of what happened with GoPro’s Karma drone. With Karma, GoPro tried to enter a market that was essentially dominated by DJI - and flopped! Now, DJI will do the same - gatecrash the party where GoPro is top dog. It will certainly make for an interesting few months and it will be fascinating to see how GoPro responds.
So, will people be rushing out to purchase the DJI Osmo Action, or will they stick with the tried and tested GoPro?
What is clear is that there isn't too much difference between the Osmo Action and the HERO7 Black. Perhaps the biggest differentiator is the self-facing selfie screen on the Osmo, which is a huge bonus. The fact it shoots HDR video will also be seen as a plus point. However, these smart features are somewhat counteracted by the fact that the Osmo does not live stream.
Maybe the biggest deciding factor will be the price. Okay, the £50 difference might not be enough to make fans of the HERO7 Black rush out and swap allegiances - especially as the differences between the Osmo and the Black are somewhat minimal in many respects. But, the cheaper price tag and the quality specs of the Osmo Action might tempt those who do not currently own an action camera or who want to upgrade from an older GoPro model.
But what could be the most fascinating aspect of this whole saga is where do we go from here and is this a watershed moment for action cameras?
Manchester City and Liverpool showed what can happen when two major and quality rivals go toe to toe, pushing each other to achieve amazing and unprecedented things. The same could be true of this DJI-GoPro battle. Will the Osmo push GoPro to improve on its already impressive HERO7 Black, and if so, how would DJI respond? This could get very interesting!