Looking for a powerful modern action cam? GoPro Max vs DJI Osmo Pocket are two models that have become quite popular. They come from familiar brand names, and they both are capable of creating 4K videos with excellent image quality and smoothness. So, which one is better?
Continue reading to learn further about:
- The design and dimensions of each camera
- The comparison of their build quality and durability
- The features and capabilities of GoPro Max vs DJI Osmo Pocket
- The comparison of their image and audio quality
- Which 360-degree action cam that is generally more recommended
GoPro Max: Design
GoPro Max has inherited a few features from GoPro Hero 8, such as the rectangular overall shape and the 5m water resistance. However, there are also many new features, such as the 1.7-inch color touchscreen, recording checking, and shot framing. There are also built-in mounting fingers which will allow you to attach or detach a tripod very quickly. See also: GoPro Hero8 Black vs DJI Osmo Pocket
Being a 360-degree camera, GoPro Max is armed with two lenses. One on the front and the other on the rear. The foldable mounting fingers will make it possible to put the camera safely on a flat surface without any risk of scratching the lens.
Interestingly, GoPro Max is only about 28g heavier than GoPro Hero 8. It is still compact and lightweight, so you won’t need heavy-duty mounts or accessories. GoPro Max is able to perform video stitching in the camera, so it doesn’t need to record to two separate memory cards. There is only one MicroSD slot beside the battery and the USB charging port.
And speaking about battery, GoPro Max obviously comes with a decent one. This is a 1,660mAh battery which will allow about 50 minutes of continuous 360-degree video recording. You can stretch the battery life further if you choose a lower resolution or use a time-lapse mode. If you want to use the camera all day, bringing a few back-up batteries is recommended.
GoPro Max has experienced a tweak in its microphone placement. It now contains six microphones that are placed at different sides and heights to properly capture 3D audio. The company claims that this tweak will allow a “shotgun-mic audio performance”. In use, the audio quality is definitely good; there is very minimal wind noise. However, saying that the audio quality rivals that of a shotgun mic is a little bit of a stretch.
|GoPro Max||DJI Osmo Pocket|
|Shop now at Amazon||click here||click here|
|Product Dimensions||5 x 6.4 x 10.9 inches||1.4 x 1.1 x 4.8 inches
|Item Weight||1.1 pounds||8.5 ounces|
GoPro Max: Features
Feature-wise, GoPro Max vs DJI Osmo Pocket offer different kinds of advantages. However, in general, GoPro Max is the one that is more versatile and capable. Perhaps the biggest advantage that GoPro Max offers is the on-camera video stitching, which will allow you to get a spherical video right away without having to run a software.
GoPro Max is also equipped with an amazing image stabilization system. The powerful digital stabilization implemented on GoPro Hero 8 is also used here, but combined with a full 360-degree perspective to minimize shaking and rattling as well as to keep a flat line of horizon. When tested, it works really well, with very minimal degradation in image quality.
GoPro Max also comes with the TimeWarp feature, which will allow you to capture stabilized time-lapse photos or videos to and condense them into a concise clip. You can also shoot a 360-degree TimeWarp video and output it as a spherical video, or choose a specific part as a 2D video.
GoPro Max can also take a still image of a 270-degree panorama in 6.2MP Super Widescreen. The result is very smooth, perfectly aligned without any apparent stitching mistake.
Of course, like its bigger sibling GoPro Hero 8, this camera is equipped with a live-streaming function. Unfortunately, the mode is limited to 1080p 2D. You can live-stream to YouTube, Facebook, or a custom feed via your mobile device’s data connection or Wi-Fi.
GoPro Max: Image Quality
GoPro Max vs DJI Osmo Pocket is also superior in terms of image quality. It can shoot 360-degree videos in 5.6K, as well as 2D videos in 1440p or 1080p. Although the 360-degree mode can only use a frame rate of 24fps or 30fps, the 2D mode can shoot at 60fps.
As a note, however, while GoPro Max can deliver 360-degree still images in 16.6MP, which is very good, the 2D still images only come out in 5.5MP. This is a little disappointing, as other cameras can easily deliver 2D still images in higher resolutions.
Another issue with GoPro Max is the poor low-light performance. This seems to be the case with many 360-degree cameras. But, since GoPro Max came from a renowned action cam brand, many people expected GoPro Max to differ. Unfortunately, GoPro Max is not able to focus properly when in sub-optimal lighting, and the shot is lacking detail.
GoPro Max is only an outstanding choice when your primary use is making 360-degree content. In this case, the image quality is really good, and the camera can give you well-stitched spherical videos right away. The two lenses actually have a total resolution of 6K, but after the stitching, the resulting shot is in 5.6K.
That said, despite having a waterproof body, GoPro Max is not really good for making an underwater 360-degree video. When you are in the water, light tends to bend differently, and as a result you will get warped and mismatched 360-degree images. The waterproofing is more for protection than for actual underwater shooting.
DJI Osmo Pocket: Design
DJI Osmo Pocket comes with a unique design. It is a 4K 60-fps camera with an integrated wand-shaped gimbal handle that you can take wherever and whenever you go. Although the total weight is slightly heavier than GoPro Max, DJI Osmo Pocket is still very compact and very portable.
The design makes it possible to operate the camera single-handedly. The grip is non-slip and sweat-proof, and there is an embedded 1-inch touchscreen for cycling between settings and modes.
However, while the outside of DJI Osmo Pocket feels solid, the hinges and motors are rather delicate. You want to protect them from water, moisture, drops, bumps, and scratches. One obvious difference between GoPro Max vs DJI Osmo Pocket is that this camera is not waterproof. Therefore, equipping a protective housing is recommended, especially if you are going to a wet place or face a bad weather.
Additionally, despite having a gimbal handle, DJI Osmo Pocket doesn’t have any tripod mount. The bottom side only has a USB port for charging. So, this is designed to be hand-held. If you want to mount the camera, you need to make sure that the camera is secured properly.
DJI Osmo Pocket comes with a built-in microphone, but the sound quality is not really good. To get the best audio, you want to use an external microphone that is paired with a USB adapter to connect to the camera.
DJI Osmo Pocket: Features
One unique capability of DJI Osmo Pocket that may make it better than all GoPro cameras is its ability to connect to a smartphone and use the connected device as a viewfinder. The universal port accepts USB Type-C and Lightning connectors, so you can use Android and iPhone devices.
This will also allow you to transfer photos and videos very quickly, as the physical connection is very fast. This is incredibly useful if you prefer not to use Wi-Fi, which is sometimes unreliable. When not in use, the universal port can be slid in so that it won’t get in your way or get damaged.
Attaching your smartphone and using it as a viewfinder also brings easier access to many settings. While the one-inch touchscreen is useful for quick reference, having a bigger screen will allow you to fine-tune the shots better and read the menu screen more easily. Still, many people have been surprised that the small on-board display is actually a touchscreen.
DJI Osmo Pocket already has a three-axis gimbal to deal with vibrations. In general, the performance is good. The gimbal is effective for eliminating blur and shakiness when the footage is shot while walking. However, it does have problems with harder and more intense shakes.
DJI Osmo Pocket: Image Quality
DJI Osmo Pocket is armed with a 1.2/3-inch image sensor. It can capture 4K footage with a maximum bitrate of 100Mbps. When tested, the image quality is very good. There is almost no barrel distortion, and the edges are not warped. However, compared to GoPro Max, the colors are notably less vibrant.
Keep in mind, however, that DJI Osmo Pocket is not able to create 360-degree videos. It only has a single lens with an 80-degree FoV. This is quite limited, but it can create decent cinematic shots. Plus, it can actually record 4K footage at 60fps.
The audio quality is pretty good, but it somehow lacks clarity. This is probably because of the placement of the mic, which is facing the gimbal holder rather than the scene. Such a design can work for vlogging or narrating, but you will need an external mic for any other purpose.
GoPro Max vs DJI Osmo Pocket
In general, GoPro Max is more recommended, especially if you want to create 360-degree photos and videos. It can deliver 5.7K spherical footage, and it has better overall color quality. In addition, it has a waterproof body, so it will be able to withstand various environmental conditions.