DJI showcased its new Osmo Mobile 2 smartphone gimbal at CES, offering a wider subset of users the chance to shoot smoother video.
Known more for the drones it manufactures, DJI has also pushed the Osmo line as a handy tool for shooting photos or video. The smoother motion of the mount and motors allows for more professional-looking images, especially with video. Handheld shooting with smartphones is prone to shake and jittery results.
The new Osmo Mobile 2 is going to be less expensive than its predecessor, yet ultimately more versatile. The form factor is essentially the same, except DJI used a reinforced modified nylon material to make it more lightweight. Compared to its predecessor, this one feels nimble and feathery.
The handle and button layout is also just about identical, but that wasn’t really surprising. The grip was fine from before. DJI does keep it fairly simple though, with the power button doubling as a mode toggle, record/photo button and directional-pad joystick for maneuvering or zooming. The microUSB port is in the same place to charge the battery.
The mount can switch between landscape and portrait orientation, so those of you looking to do smoother Instagram Live Stories or Snapchat posts may like the upright ability here. The standard screw mount underneath makes it easy to attach this to a tripod for shooting a scene in timelapse mode, or capturing yourself in a shot on a timer or remote shutter.
Another benefit to the similar form factor is the Osmo Base, which you can use with the new Osmo Mobile 2.
As before, the unit works with DJI’s GO app and a Bluetooth connection with your phone to map the physical buttons to the phone’s camera. Toggling the mode is easy, and triple-tapping the power button will switch to the front-facing camera.
That battery is supposed to be a significant improvement over the previous version, which usually tapped out after about five hours of use. The one in the new unit is rated to last up to 15 hours per charge. That’s a pretty big jump. Be mindful, however, that the battery is non-removable.
In the time I tried it out, I was impressed at its stability when I changed my range of motion. An iPhone 6s was already mounted onto the unit, and the sample footage I shot with it while anchored to the table played back smoothly.
I was equally impressed with the lighter weight, which made it easier to move it, regardless of whether I was panning slow or fast. It will also better fit larger smartphones, including with cases on. I would expect this to work well with newer models like the iPhone X, iPhone 8/8 Plus, Google Pixel 2 and Samsung Galaxy Note 8.
Look for the DJI Osmo Mobile 2 to come out very soon. You probably won’t be waiting very long.