Back to the roots for DJI with its new action camera. Bye bye the modular design of the Action 2, the DJI Osmo Action 3 takes the original design and name. Designed to withstand extreme conditions, this new sports camera has some interesting new features. But what is it really worth? What does it have that its competitors don’t? And above all, should you buy it? The answer in our full test! 😁
|Dimensions (L x W x H)||70.5 x 44.2 x 32.8 mm|
|Touchscreens||Front Screen: 1.4 inch 326 ppi 320 x 320 |
Rear Screen: 2.25 inch 326 ppi 360 x 64
Front/rear screen brightness: 750 ± 50 cd/m2
The first thing that jumps out is that the DJI Osmo Action 3 makes a 180-degree turn by taking the format of the Osmo Action 1. Gone is the modular format of the Action 2. With dimensions of 70.5 x 44.2 x 32.8 mm, it is slightly larger than the1st generation.
DJI says the weight of its new action camera is 145g. However, it is important to note that this figure does not include the protection that comes with it and which is essential to be able to fix the camera vertically. We will come back to this later.
Small tour of the owner :
Regarding the mounting system, the Osmo Action 3 uses the Action 2’s magnetic quick release system, which has been significantly improved to be more secure and reliable. This magnetic attachment system, made of a magnetic plate and two connectors on the sides, allows the camera to be fixed on different supports such as a tripod or a pole, or even to simply “stick” it on a metal surface.
We have tested the reliability of this system, and we can guarantee that it works very well. Whether it’s on a pole stretched out of the window of a car going over 60 km/h or on a drone flying at an even faster speed, the camera hasn’t moved one iota. Just make sure that the bracket is properly engaged in the connectors, sometimes this is not always the case on the first try.
The DJI Osmo Action 3 has a large 2.25-inch touchscreen on the back. So far, nothing very original. On the other hand, the little novelty is its 1.4-inch front screen, which is now also touch-sensitive. This allows you to adjust the settings of the device without having to return it.
It sounds like nothing, but when you have the camera on a tripod in front of you (for those who make vlogs for example) and you don’t have to switch to the other side all the time, it’s very nice. Especially since we have access to the same functions as on the rear screen.
Both screens are sharp and bright, which is very convenient for outdoor use.
|Number of microphones||3|
|Waterproofing||16m without the waterproof case |
60m with the waterproof case
|Drums||LiPo 1S 1770mAh|
|Operating time||160 min|
|Operating temperature||from -20 to 45 °C|
|WiFi Protocol||802.11 a/b/g/n/ac|
|Bluetooth Protocol||BLE 5.0|
The DJI Osmo Action 3 has the same interface as its predecessor, the Action 2. It is still fluid and stable, the menus are simple and the icons are large and easy to handle. You can also navigate using the handy side Quick Switch button, which allows you to switch between different modes depending on the number of times you press it.
The interface is extremely customizable. You can save up to five different custom profiles to quickly switch between shooting modes, and add these modes to the Quick Switch command.
You can also control the camera remotely using a smartphone with theDJI Mimo application, very functional. It allows you to control the camera or edit sequences, and also gives a live preview of what the camera sees. The connection with the camera is very stable, with low latency.
One of the undeniable qualities of the Osmo Action 3 is its robustness. It is capable of withstanding falls from a height of 1.5 meters, and is waterproof up to 16 meters underwater. If you add the DJI waterproof housing, it can even go down to 60 meters. Finally, it can be used in temperatures ranging from -20 to 45°, which makes it the ideal ally for skiing.
Well, we didn’t check these numbers to the extreme, but we gave it a spin in the pool and in a freezer, and the Osmo Action 3 didn’t bat an eye. A small “downside” is that the lens, which is removable, is surrounded by a rubber ring, also removable. Be careful to put it back in place and especially not to lose it.
The DJI Osmo Action 3 is equipped with a 1770mAh “extreme” battery that provides 160 minutes of autonomy, or 2 hours 40 minutes. We spent a whole afternoon walking around filming without having to change the battery. Very practical.
As the name suggests, it is also capable of withstanding extreme temperatures. DJI boasts about its resistance to cold (down to -20° Celsius) and we were able to verify their claims thanks to our freezer: where a GoPro camera ends up shutting down in less than an hour, the DJI camera lasted more than 90 minutes.
As for recharging, the camera is equipped with a fast charging system that allows to reach 80% of the total capacity of the battery in only 18 minutes. For a full charge, it takes 50 minutes.
The weak point of the DJI Action 2 was its heat management. With its small body and metal design, the camera tended to overheat, even after short periods of high-resolution recording. With the Osmo Action 3, DJI has revised its copy and greatly improved things.
DJI announces a recording time of just over 30 minutes in 4K. However, we did not reach such times in our tests, but rather around 15 minutes. But it is still an improvement compared to its predecessor.
The camera has 3 built-in microphones and we found the audio recording clean. The sound is clear and sufficiently powerful, and background and wind noise are rather well eliminated. Very practical for filming vlogs. You can get even better sound by plugging a mic into USB-C, like the DJI Mic, but on the other hand it will hurt the portability of the camera.
Other than that, in terms of features, the Osmo Action 3 supports live streaming over WiFi and can be used as a webcam. Finally, DJI also offers an InvisiStick feature that uses AI to automatically remove your selfie pole from the image. Please note that this option only works for skiing.
|Sensor||1/1.7 inch CMOS|
|Lens||FOV : 155°. |
Focusing range: 0.3 m to infinity
|Photo resolution||12 MP|
|Video resolution||4K up to 120 fps |
2.7K up to 120 fps
1080p up to 240 fps
|ISO range||Photo: 100 to 12800 |
Video: 100 to 12800
|Photo formats||JPEG / RAW|
|Video formats||MP4 (H.264 / HEVC)|
|Idle time||4K: 4x (120 fps) |
2.7K: 4x (120 fps)
1080p: 8x (240 fps), 4x (120 fps)
|Digital Zoom||Photo : 4x |
Video: 2x (> 60 fps), 3x (≤ 60 fps, HorizonSteady enabled), 4x (≤ 60 fps, HorizonSteady disabled)
|Timelapse||4K/2.7K/1080p@30 fps |
Intervals: 0.5/1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/10/13/15/20/25/30/40 s
Duration: 5/10/20/30min, 1/2/3/5 hours, ∞
|Stabilization||RockSteady 3.0 |
|Maximum bit rate||130 Mb/s|
|Storage||microSD card (up to 256 GB)|
The DJI Osmo Action 3 can film in 4K at up to 120 fps, which is less than a GoPro that can go up to 5.3K, but the images captured remain of very good quality. In fact, if you liked the image quality of the Action 2, you won’t be disappointed, as the difference is almost non-existent.
The obvious comparison when it comes to photos and videos is the latest GoPro Hero 11 Black. Compared to it, the Osmo Action 3’s image is low contrast and it doesn’t have as wide a dynamic range. However, if you judge the result without comparison, the image is still very pleasant. Videos captured by the Action 3 are crisp and detailed, and colors appear natural and accurate.
Two color profiles are available: the standard color profile, and the D-cinelike color profile which offers greater flexibility in post-processing and makes it easier to create your own look. Note also that DJI plans to release an update to shoot in 10-bit (versus 8-bit currently), which will allow for greater flexibility in color grading and make it a more viable alternative to GoPro for professional work.
The Rocksteady and Horizonsteady image stabilizations are very effective. Introduced on the Action 2, Horizonsteady keeps the horizon stable even when rotating the camera 360°. Be careful though, this function is only available in 2.7K, the rotation must be limited to 45° in 4K.
Another interesting feature is the support for vertical portrait shooting, which is new on this model. With the popularity of TikTok, Instagram storys and YouTube shorts, this feature should be very popular with content creators on these platforms.
Finally, what we also liked about the Osmo Action 3, as drone enthusiasts first and foremost, is that the look of the image produced by the Action 3 matches very well with those of other DJI products. If you capture aerial images with a Mini 3 Pro, for example, you can easily edit them with your action camera footage.
The DJI Osmo Action 3 is available in its standard package, the cheapest option, from 359€ on the DJI website. At this price, the action camera comes with the following accessories: an extreme battery, the protective frame, two rubber lens protection rings, a magnetic installation bracket, a flat adhesive base, a mounting screw and a USB-C cable.
The camera is also available in various packages covering several possible uses:
The prices of these different packages make them a much more affordable alternative to the GoPro Hero 11 Black.
Facing the competition of GoPro and other Insta360, the DJI Osmo Action 3 is an excellent action camera. It offers a more than decent image, and has some interesting advantages: a great solidity, with its protective frame, its resistance to the cold and its waterproofness to 16 meters, its impressive autonomy, its fast magnetic fixing system and its very practical touch screen front.
A simple glance at the technical specifications of the GoPro Hero 11 Black is enough to understand that the latter is superior in terms of pure image quality. But the significantly lower price of DJI’s action camera and its unique qualities compared to its competitor make it a compelling option.
… you need a super tough action camera. Waterproof without housing up to 16 meters (against 10 for the last GoPro), cold resistant up to -20 °, the DJI Osmo Action 3 is ready for any test.
… you need a quick assembly. With its magnetic attachment system, you can quickly attach your camera anywhere you need it: tripods, handles, helmets, etc. Combining a magnetic plate and hooks, DJI’s system is safe and more convenient than a traditional screwing system.
… you are a vlogger. With its front touch screen, there is no need to go around your camera to change the video settings.
… you need the best image quality. Compared to the 5.3K resolution and wider dynamic range of the latest GoPro, the Osmo Action 3 is not up to the task, especially in high contrast situations.