DJI is on a roll in 2020. The mobile photography company recently updated its Osmo Pocket handheld camera to Pocket 2 (a slight name change). The new and improved model features a wider field-of-view, an improved sensor, and four microphones that react dynamically to the subject. It also now supports HDR and up to 8X zoom for photos and slow-motion video recording. All of this and it measures just over 5.5 inches long and weighs just 117 grams. It's a tiny, mighty camera that literally fits in your pocket. It fits perfectly with my iPhone 12 mini, of which there is an attachment that lets you connect your phone for additional video controls.
DJI Pocket 2
Bottom line: Vloggers, camera hobbyists, and people that just want to capture life in the best way possible will love this pocket-sized 4K HDR camera, not just for its portability, but also for its incredible camera quality.
- Four gimbal modes
- Charges via USB-C
- Up to 8X zoom with 64GB lens
- Up to 4K video at 60fps
- Dynamic microphone capture
- Larger camera sensor
- Onboard screen controls are terrible
- Must add memory to use
- Difficult to see what's on the viewfinder in sunlight
DJI Pocket 2 review: What I like
The Pocket 2 is aptly named. It can literally fit in my pocket. In fact, in my tight jeans, I can comfortably fit the Pocket 2 and my iPhone 12 mini. When you're out on a hike, which is exactly what I did while testing this camera, it is invaluable to have something so small it fits in your back pocket so you can keep your hands free for climbing without needing all the extra baggage of a full SLR camera. It's small, but mighty and takes amazing photos with 64GB resolution and videos in 4K HDR. While a lot of people don't really need more than what the camera on the phones in their pocket can do, the quality of Pocket 2's photos is undeniably excellent.
The Pocket 2 has an incredible amount of camera options for being such a small device. Right on the camera, you can switch between a number of different gimbal modes, including tilt lock, FPV, Follow, and the Selfie cam. This adjusts the camera's stabilizing movements in order to work best with what you're filming.
When you're filming, especially if you're capturing a specific subject, the built-in microphone will dynamically adjust to the subject and capture audio from that direction, blocking out ambient noise. It's perfect for filming walking tours or making video clips in bustling environments.
The larger camera sensor means the Pocket 2 works better at night and in environments where there is a mix of bright lights and dark shadows. This is always a feature needed most by amateur and professional photographers alike. I was most impressed with situations in which the subject was backlit by bright sunlight. It keeps the dramatic effect of a shadowed subject while balancing the bright light so the overall picture doesn't look washed out.
DJI Pocket 2 review: What I don't like
The Pocket 2 comes with a small control panel with physical buttons and a joystick. Those controls work just fine for such a small camera, but the onboard digital controls, the ones you use on the tiny screen, are pretty awful. On one of the trips I took, I forgot to pack the physical control panel, so exclusively used the touch screen controls and was constantly tapping, swiping, or scrolling to the wrong controls. The way the control menu is set up is intuitive and easy to remember, but swiping and tapping became a frustrating experience.
Because the screen is so very small, it's also nearly impossible to see what is on it, especially in very bright lighting. I filmed a lot of treetops when I meant to be filming pathways because I literally couldn't see what was on the tiny screen.
I think DJI could improve the next iteration of the Pocket by making the screen larger, maybe even have a screen that folds out from the handle, like a camcorder.
You can't take any pictures or film any clips at all, whatsoever without an SDCard. For the $349 price tag, I think a small amount of onboard memory should be included. Just in case of emergencies, maybe 16GB.
The Fimi Palm is a pocket-sized webcam that wants to compete with the Pocket 2 and cost almost half the price but is missing some of the features that make the Pocket 2 stand out. If you're on a budget, or just want to test the waters with a handheld pocket camera, the Fimi Palm will cost you a lot less and has 4K video support, a 128-degree ultra-wide camera, and a 3-axis stabilizer.
DJI Pocket 2: Should you buy
You should buy this if ...
You are a vlogger that films mobile
This is the perfect tool for video bloggers and Influencers that are always on the go. It's not just the best camera you have in your pocket at the time, it's a quality camera that produces excellent images. Oh, and yeah, it does fit in your pocket.
You do a lot of outdoor activities
If you're outdoors a lot, filming your kids' soccer games, getting shots of your friends skating a half-pipe, or maybe you make travel videos for your YouTube channel, this is an excellent camera to have by your side for wide action shots, selfies that show a lot in the background, and audio that isn't overpowered by the motorcycle in the background.
You should not buy this if ...
You rarely vlog outside of your studio
If you're more of an in-studio influencer or video blogger, your stationary camera is going to be a better option than the Pocket 2, This tiny camera is designed for people that are out and about and don't want to lug around a full camera kit every time they want to grab some footage.
You're on a budget
The Pocket 2 isn't exactly on the "cheap camera" scale. It's powerful and feature-rich, but it's not for everyone. It's designed for active people that want quality footage from a dedicated camera, but don't want to carry a big load. If you just want something to stabilize your film, consider the OM 4 with your phone's camera instead.
DJI Pocket 2 review: Conclusion
The Pocket 2 is so much fun to play with that I forgot I even had an iPhone 12 mini in my pocket, too. I love the footage I get with this dedicated camera, especially video. It excels in extreme lighting conditions and provides proper balance when dealing with bright sunlight and dark shadows. It's not for everyone. Many people are just fine with the camera they have on their phone, but if you are an influencer, or have a vlog that takes you away from your studio on a regular basis. This is the perfect pocket companion for your needs. You'll never drag your big SLR camera outside again.
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