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OSMO - First Impressions
3901 21 2015-10-26
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billkoep
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Just received my OSMO direct from China via FedEx this morning. Nicely packaged -- almost Apple-like in the design aesthetic, and everything that was supposed to be in the box was there. I got out the battery and charger first to juice it up while I looked over the rest of the bundle. The instructions are the same as those found on the Downloads section of the support page for OSMO, minus the more detailed User Manual which is online only. Quality of the manufacturing appears to be quite good -- about what you might expect from Sony. The case is nicely padded, custom formed to the OSMO with the mobile device holder attached, but there is no space for the charger, power cable, or a spare battery.

Once the battery charger lit up green, I installed the battery into the handle, and noticed the balance of the unit improved with that lower weight. I have an iPhone 6 in a Speck case, and it easily slipped into the mobile device holder. I was worried I might have to remove the case, and relieved when I found it could stay on. Now the total weight increased to the point that I found holding it one-handed could get a little tiring after a few minutes. Supporting the phone helps. Still, it is far lighter than any of the other stabilization rigs I have tried in the past with their passive gimbals and weights.

I followed the reccommended procedure to unlock the gimbal, and found that very straightforward. Next I powered on the OSMO, and the LEDs on the handle lit up. I then went to the Wi-Fi setings on the iPhone and easily found the OSMO in the network list. The default password 12341234 worked. Launching the DJI GO app, the OSMO was already on screen. I had to follow the instructions to activate the unit through my DJI account, and all that went very smoothly. I then had picture on my iPhane, and was ready to start testing.

The smooth-tracking mode is on by default, and it worked very nicely right off the bat. However, I noticed that the picture was tilted on the iPhone screen. I went into the settings and found an adjustment for the Horizon. With a little trial and error I got the camera level with a setting of +3.8. I then tried recalibrating the gimbal, and it put itself back into the original tilt, requiring me to manually return to my +3.8 horizon adjustment. EDIT - I don't know why I was getting that initial error, but a gimbal calibration fixed the problem.

Lock mode works perfectly, keeping the camera pointed in the same direction no matter what you do (within the limits of the gimbal).

The only problem I have found with the OSMO so far is in the smooth-tracking with the roll axis (again, the horizon). If I turn around to point the camera 180º (panning with my body) the image will be skewed with the top tilting in the direction of the turn. After about 6 to 10 seconds of holding the OSMO still the image will level itself out. I can only attribute this to a torque reaction in one of the gyroscopes, and hope DJI will come up with an adjustment to help compensate for the unwanted roll, as it will make certain walk-around-an-object shots wind up canted. It wouldn't be so bad if the return to level happened in sync with the other smooth-tracking compensation with all motion settling at the same time. EDIT - This problem was also fixed by returning the horizon offset back to zero and doing a gimbal recalibration. Works perfectly now. (Thanks, mikewang!)

My first 4K video recording looked comparable to footage from my Hero Black, but it was indoors under LED lighting -- not the best way to judge. I much prefer the field of view in the OSMO lens. There was more grain that I expected in what should have been decent indoor conditions, and the AWB had a warmer cast than I would have hoped for. Moving in for a close-up under 2 feet resulted in a blurry image. Some exterior shots tomorrow should offer a better chance for analysis.

Battery life seems a little shy of the advertised 65 minutes, but I wasn't clocking it. I'm sure a spare will be a good thing to have. It does recharge in about an hour, and you will see a recharge count in the GO app.

The gimbal itself is fairly quiet -- nothing you would hear from more than a foot or two from the OSMO in a very quiet room -- but the little fan inside the camera head whirs with an audible tone that might become a problem in some situations. That was a complete surprise to me -- I didn't read anything about a fan in there -- but the electronics in that little orb seem to get pretty hot, so it must be necessary. As I will probably record separate audio for any serious projects anyway, the on-board will mic will only be used for post-production audio syncing, so it's not a big deal for me.

Intiial conclusion: I think this will be a very useful tool once a few first-version kinks get worked out. The price point seems reasonable for the quality of manufacturing. It would be nice to have some explanation of the DJI GO app's controls (as they apply to the OSMO), but most of what you see on screen is fairly intuitive. I hope DJI can tame the roll/tilt issue when moving the handle in a horizontal arc. EDIT - Not a problem after the gimbal recal. Works great! And I'm really looking forward to trying the extension handle for jib-arm shots once that and the extra battery I ordered arrive.

If other users are NOT experiencing the tilt/roll issue when moving the camera in a horizontal arc, I would appreciate hearing about it. Maybe my unit has a slight flaw. EDIT - No flaw -- user error. Thanks for all the help below!


2015-10-26
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classicalle
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Did you try keeping it level when starting up?
2015-10-26
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Calvette
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classicalle@gma Posted at 2015-10-26 14:14
Did you try keeping it level when starting up?

Now I have to buy a better computer so I can shoot in 4K.  Everything worked right out of the box after a few reboots. :-)  So far so good, will be giving it a real field test tomorrow.
2015-10-26
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skine75
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Great review!  Got mine today as well, I share all your sentiments.  It's charging now and then I'll check the roll issue.  Overall, I'm excited!
2015-10-26
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dbeck
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AWFUL audio!
2015-10-26
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skine75
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Yes, audio is totally unusable.  The hiss coming from the fan (that never stops running) overruns all audio.  I hooked up an external shotgun mic and the audio was better, but i could still hear fait sounds from the fan.  Ugh.

After running the unit for a full hour testing various movements and settings, the camera itself is HOT!...almost to the point that I don't think I can just place it in the case right away for fear of burning it.  The battery wasn't that hot though like the Phantoms battery gets after a full run.

Overall, I am not completely impressed but perhaps i just need to learn to use this better.  I will have to have an external mic on it always to get audio.  
2015-10-26
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wordsaremything
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I got mine today as well and went for a drive with it. It handled quite well at 45 mph. The only problem I am having is the camera not really panning when you turn your body. I think that is what billkoep was talking about.
2015-10-26
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ke-now
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wordsaremything Posted at 2015-10-27 10:14
I got mine today as well and went for a drive with it. It handled quite well at 45 mph. The only pro ...

What's the best way to do a 'normal' pan?
2015-10-27
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DJI Candice
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wordsaremything Posted at 2015-10-27 10:14
I got mine today as well and went for a drive with it. It handled quite well at 45 mph. The only pro ...

Hi, you can set the pan follow speed in app-setting-gimbal, choose the mode C1 or C2 , change the follow speed.
2015-10-27
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mikewang
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Hey, firstly turn the calibrated horizon value to 0 or just click reset gimbal button. Secondly, click Gimbal Auto Calibration, with your Osmo steadily standing on desk.
After gimbal auto calibration, the horizon problem can be improved.
2015-10-27
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billkoep
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Many thanks, mikewang -- your suggestion solved the problem! I had to manually return the horizon calibration to zero as the reset button doesn't do that for you, but once everything was back to defaults I clicked the calibrate gimbal button, and it levels out very nicely now. Much happier!

To the others asking about panning, I find that the smooth-tracking will try to keep up with you if you are somewhat deliberate in rotating the handle -- either by turning your body or adjusting your wrist position. Moving too slow or too fast doesn't work as well. Compared to passive stabilizers this is almost miraculous. I think with a bit of practice some wonderfully smooth tracking shots will be easily achieved.

The weather here in SC isn't cooperating, so I will have to wait for those outdoor video experiments. What a cool gizmo!
2015-10-27
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Calvette
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I took a walk and found the video to be a bit bouncy not bad but you could tell I was walking.
Any recommendation for gimbal setting to reduce the bounce?
I did the same walk while holding my Phantom 3 and it  looked like I was flying.
I must say this is a great device and I'm very happy so far.
2015-10-27
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billkoep
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Calvette Posted at 2015-10-27 13:19
I took a walk and found the video to be a bit bouncy not bad but you could tell I was walking.
Any r ...

I have a "springy" gait, myself, and find that I need to walk like I am carrying a house of cards on a platter when doing tracking shots using any of the stabilizers I have tried so far. Of course a full-blown steadi-cam would iron out the bounce, but they aren't in my price range. The OSMO is better than most, but I think you will need to adjust your walking style to get non-bouncy results. I'm surprised you got smoother footage when carrying your P3. Perhaps the difference came from the way you had to carry it? Even the Ronin and Movi rigs can't correct for bounce. One tip -- A lot of the noticeable bouncing goes away if there aren't any near-field objects to highlight the difference in motion compared to more distant objects.
2015-10-27
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petevandra
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Thanks "billkoep" for sharing your detailed description of your first impressions.
I am on the endless waiting list for mine, so the next best thing for me was to live thru your descroption of getting it going.
I am soooo envious.
2015-10-27
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Zachworrell
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I need help here.  Just got mine in the mail today.  Charged the battery completely, unlocked all three points, turned on.  My gimbal doesn't seem like it has power.  There is no movement and I can't move with the joystick at all.  Did  I miss a step or do I have a faulty Osmo
2015-10-27
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Zachworrell
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Zachworrell@gma Posted at 2015-10-27 20:18
I need help here.  Just got mine in the mail today.  Charged the battery completely, unlocked all th ...

I somehow didn't get it activated the first time.  It now functions and I have camera view but the app is super laggy.  Like a 5 to 10 second delay... Is this just me?
2015-10-27
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ghoonk
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Zachworrell@gma Posted at 2015-10-28 05:35
I somehow didn't get it activated the first time.  It now functions and I have camera view but the ...

What device/handset are you using with the OSMO?
2015-10-28
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billkoep
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Zachworrell@gma Posted at 2015-10-27 21:35
I somehow didn't get it activated the first time.  It now functions and I have camera view but the ...

Not having the problem you are -- image I see has very little lag. There are brief hiccups at times, but otherwise acceptably smooth.

You might be having Wi-Fi interference problems. Now that you have successfully activated, you could try dismissing the OSMO from your network list and establishing a fresh link. Maybe even try another mobile device like a tablet (mine works very well with iPad Air and iPad mini).

If that doesn't help, I suggest you try customer service. Sorry.
2015-10-28
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taco
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Got my OSMO today. Audio from internal mic is unusable for any purpose.
This is a serious downside.
I Think it is not only the cooling fan but also Gimball motors.
2015-10-28
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Calvette
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billkoep Posted at 2015-10-28 06:13
Not having the problem you are -- image I see has very little lag. There are brief hiccups at time ...

No lag here using iPhone plus 6s with all of the latest updates.  Did some filming around a construction site and didn't notice the fan or gimbal noise at all.  <smile>
Went back and looked at the video and I lied I do here the noise. Here are two raw videos shot as first test.    

2015-10-28
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kmyers1958
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issue with smooth tracking, sometimes it decides it will lock even without the trigger pressed. joystick works when it wants to, also bought it after being told the camera was a direct, i.e.spare, replacement for my X3.
2015-12-7
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DJI-Amy
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kmyers1958@goog Posted at 2015-12-8 03:42
issue with smooth tracking, sometimes it decides it will lock even without the trigger pressed. joys ...

Hi, the lock mode means that the camera will stay in its current position regardless of the handle movement. Can you shoot a demo video to indicate your problem? Thanks.
2015-12-7
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