For DJI’s action camera line, the new DJI Osmo Action 3 returns the ‘Osmo’ name and classic action camera styling, both of which were absent from the DJI Action 2 from a year ago. As a result, the Action 3 is, at least in terms of design, the true successor to the original DJI Osmo Action. It once again features removable batteries, an SD card slot, and interchangeable lenses.
Although we adored the modular and small design of the Action 2, it had some drawbacks, particularly in terms of heat management. Thankfully, DJI has made improvements in that area this time around and brought back our favourite Action 2 feature that superior mounting system.
Price and Availability
The DJI Osmo Action 3 is currently on sale for $329 / £309 / AU$519 in its most affordable configuration. For $439/£399/AU$719, DJI has also released the Adventure Combo, which includes the camera with a variety of mounts, three batteries in total, a charging cradle for the batteries, a grip, and a mountable housing that can be mounted in portrait orientation.
In comparison to the new GoPro Hero 11 Black, which starts at $499/£499/AU$799 ($399/£399/AU$649 with a GoPro subscription), the DJI Osmo Action 3 is significantly less expensive. Interestingly, the DJI Osmo Action 3 is less expensive than the Action 2, which had a launch price of $399, £349, or AU $609. This could be a wise move on DJI’s part in hard times, providing a more affordable alternative to the pricey action camera competition.
The DJI Osmo Action 3 combines the functionality of the Action 2 with the styling of the original Action while also adding a few original updates of its own. The body appears to be a generic action camera at first glance. On the front, there is a touchscreen and a removable lens. Around the back is a larger touchscreen, and on the left and right are sliding doors that conceal the battery and SD card slot on the left and the USB-C port on the right, respectively.
In addition to the Horizontal-Vertical Protective Frame, which wraps around the camera to enable tall, TikTok-ready mounting in portrait orientation, the Action 3 has a magnetic mounting connector at its base for landscape mounting.
Overall, DJI did a fantastic job of making the Osmo Action 3 feel sturdy, despite the lens frame protruding slightly from the camera’s sides. In comparison to the GoPro Hero line, whose lenses are flush with the sides and top of the camera, this could catch in the midst of the action.
Features and Performance
The DJI Osmo Action 3 keeps the same interface we had with the Action 2; it was stable and slick last year, and it is still stable and slick this year. Interaction is intuitive thanks to big, finger-friendly icons, and the menu system is also fairly straightforward. The DJI Action 2 stumbled in terms of heat management. Even brief periods of recording high-resolution content caused its small body and exposed metal design to become uncomfortably hot. But this time, DJI has made significant advancements.
The Action 3 can record for longer periods of time than the Action 2 without overheating, and it can capture a 16 minutes and 30 second 4K clip at 60 frames per second before stopping. The camera was not uncomfortable to hold even when it did overheat. This is a vast improvement over the Action 2, but it isn’t superior to the new GoPro Hero 11 Black, which records for more than 10 minutes longer with the same resolution and frame rate.
The GoPro Hero11 Black has more software features than the Action 3, especially when it comes to photography. Your smartphone’s ultra-wide angle lens will most likely take better low-light photos than DJI’s camera because there isn’t even a night mode. The Action 3’s poor photo capture, especially in difficult scenes, is a notable flaw given how far computational photography has come in recent years and GoPro’s obvious attention to it.
Image and Video Quality
You will know what to anticipate from the Osmo Action 3 if you have used the DJI Action 2. When it comes to both photos and videos, the cameras have similar features. This indicates that the Action 3 isn’t the best in its class because it performs worse than both the GoPro Hero 11 Black from this year and the Hero 10 Black from last year in terms of performance. However, that doesn’t mean the video the Action 3 took was subpar.
The Action 3 can capture stunning, sharp video at up to 4K resolution in well-lit environments. You’d be better off choosing a less expensive action camera if you primarily shoot vlogging-style content and don’t require a super-wide 155 degrees FOV. When exposing a scene, the Action 3 doesn’t prioritise faces and also misses out on details captured by rival cameras like the GoPro Hero 10 and 11.
With its wider 155 degrees FOV, DJI brings more into focus but also makes it more difficult to expose the photo for every element. The Action 3 has to deal with a significant amount of sky as well as dark background and foreground elements in the bottom half of the scene when vlogging. The Action 3 falls short for vlogging due to its low dynamic range and the fact that it doesn’t appear to prioritise faces by default.
Considering audio quality, the DJI Osmo Action 3’s three microphones record clear sound while largely cancelling out background and wind noise. When vlogging, especially if you’re on the go, we actually prefer the GoPro Hero 11 Black’s audio quality. If you have a top-notch wireless DJI microphone, you can easily improve the audio quality by plugging the receiver directly into the Osmo Action 3’s side.
The DJI Osmo Action 3 undercuts a large portion of the competition. It may not be the best action camera on the market, but it might be the best value for you. It has a wider field of view than the competition, is waterproof up to 16 metres, and has excellent battery life. In other words, if you don’t need best-in-class image quality but still want a durable, powerful, long-lasting GoPro alternative, DJI’s latest Action could be just the thing. It reuses the same core camera hardware we saw in the Action 2, but it also impresses with its more practical body and excellent mounting system.