The DJI Osmo Action was the company’s first attempt to take on GoPro in the action camera space, and now it’s re-imagining GoPro’s long-gone Hero Session camera. DJI Action 2 a. is about half the size of gopro hero 10 black And still manages to offer nearly identical features, but what really sets it apart is its magnetic locking system which opens up a lot more innovative avenues for mounting on objects. On paper, the DJI Action 2 seems like a worthy rival to the Hero 10 Black, but is it really? time to find out.
DJI Action 2 Design
The DJI Action 2 is made up of two units – the camera itself and a charging unit. The base variant, also known as the Power Combo, includes two units as well as accessories such as a lanyard mount, dual-prong mount (for attaching to GoPro accessories), and a USB Type-C cable. The bundled mount magnetically attaches to the Action 2. The second version, called the Dual-Screen Combo (which is what DJI sent me for this review), includes an additional display on the charging unit, and an additional ball-joint sticky mount in the box. ,
The DJI Action 2 camera unit is small and cube-shaped, weighing in at just 56 grams. It has an aluminum alloy housing, which gives it a premium look and feel. It is dust proof and water proof up to 10 meters, and can be extended to 60 meters with an optional cover. Along the edges, you’ll find a single microphone, power/shutter button, and contact pins for magnetically connecting to the charging unit. The front is dominated by the camera lens and one corner is dominated by a single status LED.
The DJI Action 2 sports a 1.76-inch OLED touchscreen at the back, which is responsive and quite visible on the outside. The charging unit is roughly the same size as the camera module and has three additional microphones, a USB Type-C port, a microSD card slot, a power/shutter button, a status LED, and in the dual-screen version, an additional 1.76 inch OLED screen. This module isn’t dust- or waterproof, which means you’ll need to be careful about how and where you use it. The USB port and microSD slot are left open without any protection, which I’m not a big fan of.
The charging unit’s screen faces the opposite side of the camera’s display when attached, so you can use it as a viewfinder while vlogging. You can choose to use only one screen at a time to save battery power. The magnetic force between the modules is very strong, and holds the two units firmly together. For added security, clamps on either side of the charging unit help lock the camera into position. Similar clamps can be found on bundled accessories. If necessary, you can attach the camera unit to the mount itself or to the charging unit.
In terms of design, the DJI Action 2 is very innovative as it packs a lot of technology into a very small footprint. The magnetic mounting system reminds me a lot of the Insta360’s Go 2 action camera. The build quality of the Action 2 and the bundled accessories are top-notch.
Features of DJI Action 2
The DJI Action 2 packs a 1/1.7-inch fixed-focus 12-megapixel CMOS sensor. The ultra-wide-angle lens has a 155-degree field of view and an f/2.8 aperture. One of the main features of this action camera is 4K video recording at 120fps, though only for about five minutes per clip under ideal temperatures. Other combinations include 2.7K at up to 120fps and 1080p at up to 240fps. Unlike the GoPro cameras, the DJI Action 2 has 32GB of fixed storage and you can expand that if needed, using a microSD card in the charging unit.
You can control the camera remotely using the DJI Mimo smartphone app. It’s functional and lets you do things like update the camera’s firmware, remotely check frames, switch shooting modes, and unload footage from built-in storage. It even has a native editor for trimming clips and adding text and other effects before sharing your video. It’s not as polished as GoPro’s Quicken app, but it gets the job done.
DJI Action 2 (Dual Screen) Display
The DJI Action 2 is an absolute pleasure to use mainly because of its size and how easy it is to climb things. The magnetic base of the camera and charging unit allows you to stick them to any metal surface, which can come in handy if you don’t have the right mount. The supplied mounts make it very easy to quickly attach and detach the camera when needed.
Using the Action 2 without a charging module has its advantages, as it has a smaller footprint and doesn’t get as hot. However, when you’re using the camera itself for activities like swimming, you’ll still want to keep the charging unit nearby to top up the battery. Plus, the charging unit is also very useful for loading content from the camera to a microSD card if you don’t have your own phone or laptop.
The user interface of the DJI Action 2 is quite fast and the touch response of both the displays is very good. The aspect ratio of the video switches automatically depending on how you hold or mount the camera. You can swipe left or right on the viewfinder to switch between shooting modes. All the basics are present, such as timelapse, slow-motion, photos and videos. Quick Clip mode lets you shoot 10s, 15s or 30s video clips.
While basic functionality like digital zoom is supported, and changing the field of view, frame rate, and stabilization settings is easy, there are a few features I’m missing. For example, photo mode doesn’t let you take burst shots, and there’s no night mode of any kind. For video, the Horizonsteady feature can only be used at 1080p or 2.7K at 30fps, but not at higher resolutions.
The DJI Action 2 takes great pictures and videos in a day. Still shots have a decent amount of detail, and the standard (Devarp) field of view option corrects for barrel distortion inherent in ultra-wide lenses. Videos are well stabilized and pack in good details and colors. Performance is a bit weak in low light – there’s visual noise and detail and colors aren’t the best. In comparison, the GoPro Hero 10 manages to deliver slightly better results.
There are a few things I noticed when testing the DJI Action 2. If you need good audio from your recordings, you should additionally use a camera with a charging unit to take advantage of the microphone. My unit kept showing the ‘slow memory card’ warning even with my Lexar 32GB UHS-II Speed Class 3 card, which I found strange as I have previously used the same in GoPros to record 5K footage without any problems. DJI has published a list of recommended cards on its website, so it’s probably best to stick to them to avoid compatibility issues.
Perhaps my biggest concern with the DJI Action 2 camera was the heat. If you’re shooting at 2.7K or higher and at a frame rate of over 60fps, you’ll need to make sure the ambient temperature is sufficiently cool, or the camera will overheat and stop recording. The menu system also mentions a recommended temperature of 25 degrees when you select a framerate higher than 60fps. Unfortunately, being based in Mumbai, India, I had no such luck, which meant that even in relatively mild winters, the Action 2 would overheat very easily and stop recording randomly. I still had this problem after changing the high-temperature auto-shut off threshold setting from standard to high. It’s not just me; you will know many such complaints On the Internet.
In theory, a 4K 120fps clip should be limited to four minutes, but the camera will overheat and stop recording after about two minutes. You can continue shooting until the body cools down a bit, not the video. When tested next to a GoPro Hero 10 Black under a fan, with both recording at 4K 60fps, the DJI Action 2 stopped recording in under five minutes, while the GoPro recorded for about 30 minutes , before it eventually overheated and turned off. If you’re going to use the Action 2 in a still position, you need to make sure your surroundings are cool enough, or you’ll need to record at a lower resolution.
I noticed that a 4K 30fps continuous run can be challenging for the Action 2 even when in a steady state. However, I was able to shoot in the same setting for longer periods of time while riding the bike, with wind blowing non-stop over the camera body, which helped dissipate some of the heat—that is, as long as I was at a traffic signal. Didn’t have to stop. The charging unit exacerbates this problem, as it charges the camera during recording, raising the temperature even more rapidly. The Action 2 can be very uncomfortable even after a few minutes of shooting with the base attached.
Considering its size, the battery life of the DJI Action 2 isn’t too bad. The camera’s internal storage will let you record about 25 minutes of 4K 60fps footage, and you’ll probably run out of storage space before the battery runs out. You can get more consistent runtime if you record directly to a large and fast enough microSD card (up to 256GB is supported). Long recordings are split into multiple files of varying sizes, although it’s not clear why DJI does this. The charging unit is fairly quick at topping up the camera’s battery and is good for a full top-up, and then some.
DJI Action 2 Available in India whose price starts from Rs. 31,490 for the Power Combo and Rs. 39,990 for the dual-screen combo. It’s a bit more affordable than the GoPro Hero 10 Black, but still a bit pricey for what it offers. Action 2’s biggest strengths are its size and versatility. The magnetic attachments make it very easy to mount and dismount this camera without any hassles. Other positives include the responsive display, in-built storage, and stabilization during the day along with good video quality.
Some areas in which the Action 2 can do better are low-light stills and videos, which aren’t the best. The biggest concern, however, is the problem of overheating, which sadly makes this a fairly unreliable action camera. Shooting at lower resolutions and framerates helps mitigate this, but then it defeats the purpose of paying such a premium, and will leave many buyers unsatisfied.
If the climate and weather conditions are favorable where you plan to use it, then the DJI Action 2 can serve you well. for everyone else, gopro hero 10 black Simply the more reliable option.