DJI Osmo Mobile 2 Gimbal Review – Is It Worth The Money?
DJI recognizes that everyone has a story to tell. Their Osmo Mobile 2 gimbal makes it easy to tell stories visually from one’s smartphone, with the stunning cinematography of much more expensive professional equipment.
With a tagline of “share your story,” DJI is signaling their understanding of how we use smartphones in today’s video-heavy social media landscape. Here is a rundown of what you can expect from this bestselling smartphone gimbal.
The magic of any gimbal is in its stabilization capability. The Osmo Mobile 2 shines here. It keeps your phone and your video steady and sharp by reducing vibrations big and small.
Even with movement as big and chaotic as you get with jumping, this gimbal keeps the picture remarkably steady.
This stability is achieved with brushless motors and powerful sensors. There are three motors, one each for panning, rolling, and tilting.
- In Free Mode, the gimbal keeps your phone still and stable no matter how you move the gimbal around. This mode is most useful when you are shooting a still subject that you are either moving towards or moving from.
- In Follow Mode, your phone moves with you as you tilt and pan. If you tilt the gimbal forward, your phone will follow and tilt with it. This mode works well when you are trying to follow a moving subject, especially when the subject’s movement is unpredictable.
- One of the most valuable modes is ActiveTrack. You simply select your subject and the gimbal will smoothly and seamlessly follow. Even when you’re moving pretty quickly, the gimbal will quickly move to stay focused on your selected subject.
- There is a slider for cinematic zoom control. This leverages your phone’s camera for extremely smooth zoom action. You can even use it to produce dolly zoom, an effect that would otherwise be impossible to get using a smartphone camera.
- Timelapse functionality on this gimbal is excellent. You just set the interval and the duration and it will smoothly capture stills to create a stunning time-lapse.
- A similar mode is Hyperlapse, where you film normally. This is then sped up to create a visually captivating timelapse-like video.
- Motionlapse mode lets you create a motion timelapse, where you set not only the interval and the duration but keyframe positions. The gimbal will move the camera through these different positions smoothly, resulting in a dynamic look at a period of time in motion.
There are a number of great panoramic photo options with the Osmo Mobile 2. These are 180° Panorama, 330° Panorama, and 9-Shot Panorama. The resulting high-definition images are great for capturing the grandeur of a scene.
Battery Life & Ease of Use
For all-day shooting adventures, battery life is of paramount importance. The Osmo Mobile 2 offers very good battery life, giving you up to 15 hours of operation on a single charge.
You charge the gimbal using an included micro-USB charging cable. Adding value, you can also use the gimbal to charge your phone, even while you’re filming.
Obviously, doing this would reduce the overall battery life of the gimbal but you’ll still get several hours of shooting time. You can also technically use the gimbal to charge anything using the USB port, so the gimbal can serve as a battery bank even when not in use for filming.
This gimbal is remarkably easy to use. The straightforward controls offer intuitive operation. There is a joystick, a simple slider for zoom, and a few buttons. It’s easy to use all of the controls with one hand while holding the gimbal.
You can hold the gimbal in a number of ways, each best suited for particular shooting styles. The available operation modes are Upright, Flashlight, Underslung, and Portrait. Switching between these different operation modes is very easy, with the exception of Portrait mode which does require a few extra steps.
The Osmo Mobile 2 is compatible with the overwhelming majority of smartphones. It will fit phones 58.6-84.8 mm wide and up to 8.4 mm thick. In some cases, you would need to remove a phone case before using this gimbal.
The total payload for the gimbal is around 240g so the phone weight would need to be under that. For reference, the iPhone 7+ weighs 188g and the Samsung S8 weighs 155g. It works perfectly fine with the IPhone X.
Even with some accessories, payload concerns aren’t likely to be an issue for most users.
To use the DJI GO app (IOS – Android), your phone needs Bluetooth 4.0.
This is the standard on most newer phones but you should check the specific specs to make sure. You can use this gimbal without using the corresponding app but that does limit functionality to an extent.
Base & Accessories
There is a standard 1/4-inch tripod mount at the bottom of the gimbal. This is compatible with Osmo Mobile 2 Base, Osmo Tripod, and other third-party accessories.
You can add even more stability to your footage with a tripod or monopod. You can also use it to attach the gimbal to an extender pole to take extreme shots. DJI offers a new kind of accessory as well, a weighted stand that functions somewhat like a tripod but comes in a much smaller size.
It’s also possible to use other accessories like external lenses, microphones, and lights. However, you need to take into account the total weight. If your accessories are too heavy, it will throw off the balance of your phone. Ideally, you’ll want to keep the total weight under around 240g. Those with the bigger and heavier phones will have to pay attention to accessory weight.
Customer Reviews & Scores
Ever since it was announced at CES 2018, the DJI Osmo Mobile 2 has garnered plenty of buzz.
Part of the excitement was about price since DJI dropped the price significantly when compared to the original DJI Osmo Mobile. The reception of this gimbal has been quite positive overall.
As of this writing, the gimbal has a 4.2-star average reviews on Amazon, quite high for its category.
Users have high praise for the stabilization capability of the Osmo Mobile 2. A number of reviewers mention people being surprised that their video footage came from a phone because of how smooth it is.
In addition to being pleased about the price and stabilization, reviewers like that it is easy to use. Customers also rave about the battery life.
The biggest thing that customers complain about is the app.
While the app offers access to some neat features that reviewers describe positively, there are complaints about the app being buggy.
Part of the problem is perhaps that DJI uses the same app for their gimbals as they do for their drones.
Making separate apps for gimbals or even specifically for the Osmo Mobile 2 would likely make users very happy.
Tom from Tom’s Tech Times describes the DJI Osmo Mobile 2 – see video below – as having some “very cool modes” like Motionlapse, Hyperlapse, and ActiveTrack.
Although his perception of the gimbal is positive overall, he does have a few complaints. Being able to charge one’s phone while using the gimbal is a great feature, according to Tom, but the placement of the port makes it practically pointless for some models of phone.
He also describes the joystick function as “unusable” because of overly jerky motion.
While the joystick controls might not produce the degree of smoothness desired, he does celebrate the Osmo Mobile 2 in general for producing smooth, cinematic stability and motion.
Is it worth your money?
In answering this question, the first important point to note is that the amount of money required is actually quite low.
Especially considering the price, this is a fantastic, high-value tool. The DJI Osmo Mobile 2 is worth your money if you film a lot of video on your smartphone.
Whether you’re just filming home movies or you’re making something more professional and public like content for YouTube, if you want your footage to look smooth and cinematic, this gimbal is worth your money.
Because it’s not a super big investment, it’s worth it for the hobbyist. For the filmmaker or someone looking to shoot really high-quality video for a professional purpose, this is a good starter gimbal that certainly can get the job done.
You may want to eventually upgrade but plenty of people are making beautiful short films or action-packed travel diaries with the DJI Osmo Mobile 2.
It’s also a great choice for those who need their gimbal to last through a long day of filming, as it has better battery life than most competing models.
The DJI Osmo Mobile 2 gimbal may have a few flaws, but all in all, it’s a fantastic tool that can instantly up your videography.
Have you ever used a gimbal with your smartphone? What did you think? Are you ready to share your story using the DJI Osmo Mobile 2? You could definitely do worse! Feel free to ask any questions you might have about this gimbal in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer.