Over the years, camera performance of smartphones have been improving at a rapid pace with increasing number of pixels being pumped out in each of the new generation’s smartphones.
While it’s undeniable that having more pixels allow smartphone cameras to shoot sharper video footage than ever, but there are still certain aspects that smartphone cameras can hardly achieve.
One of these aspects include shooting a super smooth, dynamic footage that involves a lot of strong movements when recording. For sure, the adoption of OIS and EIS stabilization system in most flagship phones do help in some extent, but they probably can’t offer you the same pro-level smoothness that you might be looking for.
That’s when a dedicated smartphone gimbal like the DJI OM 5 comes in to fill the gap – allowing even mainstream users to shoot buttery-smooth cinematic footage with just a smartphone alone.
For those who’re wondering how Gimbal works, it’s essentially a mechanism that help to compensate the tilt, pan, and roll of a camera. It’s a feature that probably rings a bell for those who owns a Vivo X50 Pro (Review) or Vivo X60 Pro (Review) smartphone.
At S$219, the DJI OM 5 is an affordable handheld motorized gimbal that smartphone content creators should definitely consider. Having spent more than two weeks with the DJI OM 5, here are some of our favorite features about it!
A Portable & Ergonomic Design
The DJI OM 5 is a motorized, three-axis gimbal built upon a foldable and lightweight design which allows you to easily slot it into any small to medium backpack. Otherwise, you can also carry it around effortlessly with it’s bundled porch which has a matching color as the device.
The overall construction of the DJI OM 5 looks and felt premium on hand – with a good mix of high-quality polycarbonate material and durable metal joints. Most importantly, it’s handle is ergonomically designed to fit comfortable in the palm of your hand – whether you have a big or small palm.
Gimbal-aside, it’s also worth noting that the DJI OM 5 serves well as a selfie stick thanks to it’s underlying extension rod that can extends up to 215mm whenever you need to put more people into the frame or get over any obstructions. This of course, makes the DJI OM 5 more useful and versatile than other competing models.
To sweeten up the deal, DJI had also threw in an attachable screw-in tripod that works reliably when we used it to record time lapse video for several hours.
To hold your smartphone, the DJI OM 5 comes with a magnetic phone clamp that’s able to provide a firm grip over the Apple iPhone 13 Pro (Review) which we used to test it out.
Even for larger phones like the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra (Review), I believe there shouldn’t be any issue snapping it onto the gimbal so long the phone’s casing is removed.
Stay in Frame with ActiveTrack 4.0
Apart from it’s impressive hardware, the DJI OM 5 also has a dedicated app known as DJI Mimo that allows you to take full advantage of it’s gimbal system. It comes with a host of features that can easily turns you into a professional videographer even if you ain’t one.
One of our favorite features is none other than the ActiveTrack 4.0 that locks on and automatically follows through the movement of the subject you’re filming to ensure it never goes out of frame.
Of course, you do need to ensure the subject isn’t too far off from the frame if you intend to get the best result. With the right distabce, this feature certainly makes recording work much easier than before.
Shoot Like A Pro with ShotGuides
Moving on, there’s also the ShotGuides feature which we really love. It’s a feature that will always come in handy whenever you find yourself lacking of ideas.
Simply point your phone’s camera on the subject and the app will recommend you useful shooting tips and creative templates based on the environment it recognises.
Most importantly, the onscreen instructions are extremely easy to follow and doesn’t involve any intricate camera movements. Therefore, you’ll probably have no issue getting a perfect shot with a couple of tries.
However, we do have to bear in mind that the overall video quality (including resolution and frame rate) relies primarily on the performance of your smartphone’s camera, since you’re essentially using your phone camera to record the video.
As such, it’s quite common to see differences in video quality even if you’re recording exactly the same footage.
Multiple Video Modes to Impress
Aside from the aforementioned features, there are also plenty other video modes like SpinShot and DynamicZoom that create super cool effects within your video which you can use for various purposes like adding transitions.
SpinShot as it’s name suggests, creates a spinning effect within the video by rotating your phone in clockwise/ anti-clockwise directions. The DynamicZoom feature on the other hand, creates a cinematic experience by making an impression that the camera moves closer/ away from the subject, even though it relies solely on the device’s zooming capabilities.
Otherwise, these features themselves are also useful in creating some attention-grabbing footage that can easily spin-up thousand or million (if it goes viral) of views on social media platforms like TikTok.
Many of us are willing to spend thousand of dollars on a smartphone for it’s advance camera system in order to click flattering photos, or shoot memorable footage that we would proudly post on social media.
However, there will always be a limit to what smartphone cameras can achieve due to it’s physical constraint owing to the compact size of a smartphone as opposed to an actual camera.
That is why the DJI OM 5 is a must-have device for all mobile content creators, be it casual or professional, as it will allow them to ripe the full potential of the smartphone camera’s capabilities and further up their game in the process.