A rugged action camera that can be easily attached to backpack straps and has a travel-friendly battery solution
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With the DJI Osmo Action 4 the renowned drone manufacturer makes a bid for GoPro’s crown in the action camera market. This latest iteration of the rugged action camera introduces enhanced waterproofing, a bigger camera sensor, and some useful backpacker-friendly features. It may not surpass the best GoPro offers in terms of ultimate video quality, but this camera certainly makes a splash with some unique features.
DJI Osmo Action 4 action camera review: design
The DJI Osmo Action 4, weighing 5.1oz/145g, strikes a balance between being lighter than the GoPro Hero 11 Black and heavier than the GoPro Hero 11 Black Mini. Its rugged build is designed to handle the toughest environments and boasts an improved water resistance rating of 59ft/18m without the need for a waterproof case. Either way, it surpasses the GoPro Hero 11 Black’s 10m (33ft) rating.
One of the biggest upgrades is its larger 1/1.3-inch CMOS sensor, which offers a 69% increase in sensor surface area compared to its predecessor. This sensor largely means improved performance in low-light and indoor conditions. The camera features two large LCD screens – a 1.4-inch front screen and a 2.25-inch rear screen – both of which are touchscreens and make it easy and intuitive to control. The lens provides a 155º field of view and achieves f/2.8 and ISO 12,800.
A must-have accessory for those planning extended shoots and off-grid travel is the battery case, which is capable of charging three batteries simultaneously. It can fast-charge a battery to 80% in just 18 minutes.
Mounting the camera on its various accessories – including a useful protective case (which allows easy vertical shooting) and incredibly useful backpack mount strap – are done using magnets, with clips to make things even more secure.
DJI Osmo Action 4 action camera review: performance
In terms of video, the DJI Osmo Action 4 delivers impressive footage at 4K resolution and 120 fps. While it may not outperform the very best in the market, it certainly holds its own. The built-in DJI Mimo app offers a range of editing features and shooting templates to enhance the video editing process. With a Bluetooth remote – available separately – it’s also possible to collect GPS data for creating route maps of rides and hikes within DJI’s Mimo app.
When it comes to stills and video, the DJI Osmo Action 4 impresses with its performance in both daylight and twilight conditions. The wide-angle 155º field of view is well-suited for action shots, and the camera delivers vibrant colors and a well-judged dynamic range. Its new CMOS sensor shines in low-light environments, revealing more details in dimly lit scenes. However, the camera’s low-light capabilities may be more beneficial in underwater scenarios than on land.
DJI Osmo Action 4 action camera review: verdict
For both travellers and water sports enthusiasts the DJI Osmo Action 4 makes for a compelling choice of action camera. It goes deeper underwater, thanks to improved waterproofing, while the larger CMOS sensor addresses previous limitations of the DJI Osmo Action 3. We also love its three-way battery charger for off-grid weekends and long trips and that backpack strap mount, which makes it so easy to shoot impressive POV videos in markets and when on adventures. While it may fall short of the GoPro Hero 11 Black’s 5.7K video resolution, for travel the DJI Osmo Action 4 is hard to beat.