DJI Osmo Mobile 2

What is it?

If you use your smartphone to take videos and you take images that are quite shaky, you may wish to consider the purchase of a motorized gimbal to make the footage much smoother.

DJI is a company known most for its drones. However, the Osmo Mobile 2 is their second gimbal, created to ensure that all your video footage is smooth at all times. Version 2 utilizes the best attributes of the original model but has reduced the price and made it a lighter weight gadget.

If you’re big on improving your smartphone video quality, then the Osmo Mobile 2, as the best gimbal available, is certainly worth considering as your next purchase.

The DJI Mobile 2 has plenty of pros and only a few cons.

Pros:

• Cheaper than the first version.
• Simple to use.
• It’s light in weight.
• Very smooth stabilization.
• Easily switch between portrait to landscape.
• The battery has 15 hours of life.
• App and Bluetooth controls.
• 3-axis gimbal.

Cons:

• Very fiddly when changing between landscape and portrait.
• Needs a shortcut for swiveling the gimbal a full 180 degrees so you can record selfies through your phone’s rear-facing camera.
• If you wish to change the orientation, you must unlock the phone clamp and rotate it manually. Sometimes you may also need to take the clamp off the phone. There are other smartphone gimbals that allow you to simply press a button and a motor automatically changes the orientation. So, it’s more frustrating to do it with the Osmo Mobile 2.

The design of the DJI Osmo Mobile version 2.

DJI has really played it smart and retained a lot of the original design but they made a few tweaks to improve the first version. Generally speaking, all gimbals are similar in that the smartphone is clamped to the gimbal which is held in your hand. However, the point of difference is the material used to make the device. It’s a modified, high-strength nylon, and one benefit from the original is that it weighs 16 grams less.

While this may seem like a trivial number when it comes to weight reduction, consider the amount of time you would spend holding the device and you’ll be grateful for any reduction in weight. The grip is now contoured to provide a much more ergonomic feel, beneficial when it comes to holding it for long periods.

Most of the controls and buttons are the same as the original:
• A joystick enables you to easily adjust the angle of the camera.
• An easy to use record button.
• A mode/power button that lets you alter the gimbal modes of the camera.
• On the side, you have a zoom rocker, enabling you to adjust the camera’s zoom function.

The Mobile 2 uses a spring-loaded clamp to secure the phone (instead of you having to adjust a screw, as in the original model). The Mobile 2 can be used on phones right through to a phablet size. However, for the larger devices, you’ll likely need to remove the case prior to use.

There’s a major change in the Osmo Mobile 2’s orientation ability. The original only allowed a landscape mode to be used. In previous times, portrait mode would have been regarded as ridiculous BUT, thanks to more modern apps such as Instagram Stories and Snapchat, people want to format videos to suit their platforms.

Another alteration is that the battery is now permanently fixed instead of you replacing it. Usually this is a negative because swapping a battery can easily save your work. However, with the Osmo Mobile 2, one charge will give you approx. 15 hours of life. (9600mAh battery) which is three times more than the five hours on the first version (980mAh battery).

The other good news is that there’s a USB port so you can connect the phone to the gimbal for charging. It will drain the Osmo Mobile 2’s battery quicker, but it’s handy if you’re in trouble with minimal battery life during a shoot. The Mobile 2 gets charged via a micro USB, not a USB-C, which seems illogical, given that the USB-C is rapidly becoming more universal.

Underneath the Osmo Mobile 2, you’ll find a standard thread so you can connect a tripod if preferred. This is handy if you want to use the moving time-lapse facility. It also has a flat base so the Osmo may be able to stand without assistance but it’s safer to use the screw.

DJI’s Osmo Mobile 2 – Stabilization and app quality.

The Mobile 2 can be paired with your smartphone via Bluetooth for control through the DJI Go companion app. While you can use the default video app on the phone, by using the DJI software, the quality will be much higher in every way.

Using the app means you can access moving hyper lapse and time-lapse features as well as target follow modes. Similar to DJI’s drones, you can target a subject and then the gimbal will lock it in and keep adjusting so it remains in the frame.

If you’re a solo vlogger, Active Track might be useful if you want the Mobile 2 to be still while you move around. It’s handy for locking onto any stationary target and then moving the phone around it. It’s ideal for fast product hands-on videos.

Tracking works consistently except when it came to tricky scenes with minimal contrast or if you’re heavily backlit, making it hard for the software to find you. This is also a typical drone issue.

The zoom rocker can only work with the video recorder so it’s wise to get the optional app as well. Then you can adjust various gimbal settings, alternating between sports and walking modes, tweaking the stabilization. Unlike other gimbals, you can invert these joystick controls.

Apart from the DJI Go app, the Mobile 2 is suitable as a match with FiLMiC Pro app, a more professional video-capturing program. You can take high caliber shots from phones so serious videographers should consider this option.

It does take a little practice to learn the controls of the Osmo Mobile 2 but you have a tutorial to guide you through how to use the controls at the start. The M button will toggle the locked mode with one click and, if you press twice, you’ll re-center the gimbal into the follow mode. Press it three times and it will go to the phone’s camera facing the front.

Don’t expect to take long continuous shots without some bad angles or shaky pans in the beginning. This means you’ll be doing a lot of editing. The great news is that the Mobile 2 will help you take smooth shots once you have gotten used to handling it properly. It can smooth out walking footage as well.

When used the right way, the Osmo Mobile 2 can give you terrific results. However, the quality of the images will largely depend on the phone itself.

Why buy the DJI Osmo Mobile 2?

DJI have greatly decreased the price and improved the way this device handles. This is now the best gimbal on the market today. It’s light in weight and quite comfortable when using it. It also has the increased battery life.

Remember the price has dropped a lot. This is worth repeating because it now undercuts major Chinese manufacturers who previously had undercut the original Osmo Mobile.

No device is 100% perfect but this one does come close, with only minor issues. If you’re considering the purchase of a gimbal, you simply can’t beat the DJI Osmo Mobile 2.

What’s the verdict?

This gimbal gives superlative smooth shots, is simple to use and is the best value!

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