DJI’s Osmo Pocket 3 gimbal camera has arrived with major updates over the previous model, adding a much larger 1-inch sensor that should greatly improve quality. In addition, the new model offers 4K 120p video, the company’s latest tracking, face detection, dynamic framing and a very handy rotating display. It’s also significantly more expensive than the Pocket 2 was at launch.
The most noticeable feature is the new 2-inch display with 4.7 times the area of the last model. It offers 314 x 556 resolution, with 700 nits of brightness and 100 percent coverage of the P3 HDR color gamut. This does make the Pocket 3 larger than the previous model, though it’s still small enough to stow in, well, a pocket. It’s about the height of an iPhone 12/13, the company notes.
What’s extra nice, though, is the fact that you can rotate the display 90 degrees, which automatically shifts the camera from portrait to landscape mode. That allows you to fill the screen to see more detail, whether you’re capturing 4K widescreen video or 3K video (square or 9:16) for social media — while making it easier to switch modes, as well.
Larger sensors usually have a direct correlation with image quality, and DJI sent me a pre-production model (a full review is coming soon). The new 1-inch sensor is considerably bigger, nearly three times the area of the Pocket 2’s 1/1.7-inch sensor — the same found on Sony’s ZV-1, for instance. From what I’ve seen so far, it retains color clarity right up to the normal ISO 6400 limit, while keeping noise manageable as well. Video does get noisy at the upper ISO 16000 limit used in the low-light video mode, but it’s far better than any previous Pocket model.
The Pocket 3 now offers 4K 120p video (along with 2.7K 120p and 1080p at 240 fps), making the Pocket 3 a great option for ultra slow motion shooting. It uses DJI’s D-LogM mode found on drones like the Mini 4 Pro, which also allows for 10-bit capture with much improved dynamic range — along with 10-bit HLG HDR recording. It also offers “full-pixel fast focusing” for quick autofocus, which is more critical with a larger sensor.
DJI introduced what it calls a “face-priority strategy,” meaning it automatically fine-tunes exposure for different skin tones. And to improve those skin tones, it includes DJI’s “Glamour Effects 2” that allows smoothing, slimming, brightening, etc.
It’s also the company’s latest device using ActiveTrack 6.0 with facial recognition (following the Osmo Mobile 6), along with three-axis mechanical stabilization. The latter allows for smooth movement in all kinds of tracking scenarios, whether you’re shooting widescreen or portrait video. As such, it’s useful for tracking shots of kids and pets, timelapse shots, travel and more. As with past Pocket models, it works very well.
ActiveTrack 6.0 on the Pocket 3, meanwhile, is useful for a bunch of different scenarios. Solo vloggers can set the camera up on its mini tripod (or attach it to a regular tripod), then track themselves automatically as they move around. You could also track a subject with little effort, as the camera automatically keeps them centered in the frame. It also has a feature called dynamic framing that allows for more flexible composition, while still locking the subject in the frame.
It also has some new and very useful audio features. The stereo mic can be switched from omnidirectional to forward and backward, and it includes a windscreen to help block noise. The more interesting feature, though, is support for DJI’s upcoming wireless Mic 2 (above). The Pocket 3 has a built-in receiver for that product, so you can automatically record audio from the Mic 2’s transmitter. In fact, a DJI Mic 2 transmitter is included in the “Creative Combo” bundle, giving users a fast and high-quality way to record VO or interview subjects. (No, the Mic 2 hasn’t been officially announced yet, but it’s apparently coming soon.)
Other features include creative modes like SpinShot (a quick 180-degree flip with one hand), Motionlapse timelapse, up to a 4x digital zoom and Panorama photos. The built-in 1,300mAh battery supports 120 minutes of 4K 60fps shooting, though you can extend that with the battery handle accessory by around 70 percent.
The Osmo Pocket 3 is now available to order at DJI’s store and authorized real partners, with shipping starting today. That brings us to the not-so-good part, the price. It costs $520 in the US (£489 in the UK), which is $170 more than the Pocket 2 cost at launch. You can also get it for $669 in the Creator Combo bundle, which includes a DJI Mic 2 transmitter, Pocket 3 battery handle, mini tripod, carrying bag, wrist strip and USB-C cable. Are the larger sensor and other features worth it? I’ll find out when I review it over the next few weeks.