Is DJI’s Osmo Action 3 4K Action Camera as Good as GoPro’s Hero 11?

DJI Osmo Action 3 4k camera

For videographers with a serious need for an updated and good action camera, GoPro’s recent release of its two new Hero11 models is an ideal choice for a whole host of reasons. However, if you want to budget a bit while still getting your hands on great quality, DJI also has a brand new piece of hardware for you.

The famous drone-maker has revived the Osmo name of its famous and affordable action cameras with the release of the Osmo Action 3. This is a brand spanking new 4K action camera that includes several great features such as vertical video shooting, dual touch screens and support for live streaming, According to DJI, it also delivers “extreme” battery life, though we need to see how true that turns out to be.

DJI first revealed one of its Osmo Action cameras in 2019 with a design that was quite similar to the Hero’s. Then in 2020, they ditched that name and even completely revamped the look of the device with the Action 2 camera.

Now in 2022, we’re back to “Osmo Action” and a look that’s barely different from the Hero Black’s. All of these details aren’t really important though, as long as it delivers strong, useful specs and performs well. We suspect it can handle the performance aspect, and its specs certainly do sound great for a good price.

Image Credits: DJI

The DJI Osmo Action 3 offers a simpler solution to action shooting than its competitor the Hero11. Starting with the camera’s core feature, which is its Type 1/1.7 sensor.

This sensor offers less resolution than those of the Hero11 or even the Hero10, but is still capable of delivering crisp, clean 4K video at a speedy 120fps. This frame rate also makes it ideal for slow motion recording. The sensor can also create a super-wide 155-degree field of view while having its video kept neat with the brand’s proprietary electronic image stabilization technology.

DJI claims that the power unit in its Osmo Action 3 is an “extreme battery” since it lets the camera shoot for as many as 160 minutes with a single charge. However, it allows this only as long as you do the shooting in 1080p video and deactivate the electronic image stabilization. This isn’t quite as good as what the Hero11 can handle but it’s not bad  either.

The Osmo Action 3 can also manage performance in rugged conditions, with claims by DJI that it’s built for operating in temperatures as low as -20 Celsius, or -4 Fahrenheit. It can also be recharged from dead to 80% in just 18 minutes, or to 100% in only 50 minutes with its native fast-charge port according to DJI. This latter feature would indeed be great for quick recharge breaks at random waypoints during field recording.

The Osmo Action 3 is supposedly waterproof down to depths of 16 meters without the need for an external housing unit. If so, then in this regard, the camera is superior to the GoPro Hero11, which can only boast waterproofing down to 10 meters.

DJI has also stated that it fixed an overheating issue other action cameras sometimes suffer and that because of this, the Osmo Action 3 can record 4K video at 60fps without breaks right until its battery dies.

As far as the Osmo Action 3’s video quality goes, things look good from what we’re hearing. The camera comes with a D-Cinelike Color Mode for regular video recording, slow-motion shooting and timelapse recording. For stable shoots, first there’s RockSteady 3.0, DJI’s own electronic image stabilization technology. This then couples with HorizonSteady, for level footage during bumps, or even 360 degree rotations, and HorizonBalancing, which corrects tilt horizontally with a plus/minus margin of 45 degrees during 4K 60fps shooting.

The little action camera also includes an integrated mounting system that can clip to assorted surfaces, and a horizon-vertical frame that makes it easy to shoot content for TikTok or Instagram feeds.

On a last note, the Osmo Action 3 features dual touchscreens that are easy to use and make handling the camera’s controls extremely accessible in the field. In addition to this, it supports live WiFi streaming in 1080p, 720p and 480p resolutions at 30fps with the ability to pause streams during a take. There’s even UAC/UVC Webcam support in the Osmo Action 3.

DJI has released the Osmo Action 3 for sale as of September 14th at $329 for the camera alone or $439 if you also splurge on a full kit that includes the camera with a bunch of accessories.

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Shotkit Journalist, Writer & Reviewer

Stephan Jukic is a technology and photography journalist and experimental photographer who spends his time living in both Canada and Mexico. He loves cross-cultural street photo exploration and creating fine art photo compositions.

1 Comment

  1. TG on September 15, 2022 at 5:10 pm

    The Action 3 sensor (1/1.7) is bigger than the Hero11 sensor (1/1.9).

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