Review: DJI OSMO Action 4 Camera

    DJI is really well known for its drones, but also has a lineup of sports action cameras and the latest generation is the DJI Osmo Action 4. Designed to be the ultimate companion for adventure enthusiasts, the Osmo Action 4 looks to be the best competitor to the successful GoPro Hero line we’ve seen to date.

    While the DJI OSMO Action 4 has a similar form factor, there are some really important differences that can help you make the choice between the two.

    Having used the Action 4 over the past few weeks, it is time for a full review.


    The design of the OSMO Action 4 is as you’d expect, efficient in size, fairly robust and features all the necessary functions like a large display on the back another display on the front, the lens, power/record button and the magnetic mounting point at the bottom.

    Each side of the camera features a door that opens to allow access to the battery and USB-C port to charge the camera, as well as the micro SD card slot to access the storage.

    The front lens is removable which allows for upgraded and different types of lenses to be used with the camera. This is a proprietary mechanism and while I’d like to see an industry standard for this, I think it’s unlikely.

    The displays are bright, full of colour and best of all, are both touchscreens, making interacting with the camera controls, incredibly easy.

    My favourite part of the design is the magnetic connection point and included with the camera is a housing that switches the mounting point to the side of the camera, while also offering some additional protection to the camera.

    The design of this magnetic clip system makes it much easier to move the camera between camera mounts, and you’ll get a couple included in the box. This lets you have the camera mounted to something like a suction cap in the car, then bring it inside, clip it onto a tripod, connect a USB cable and use it as a webcam in sections.


    Don’t let the small size of the camera deceive you, there are lots of features on offer here.

    Magnetic Quick-Release

    With sports action camera, you will find many different use cases for it and switching between those easily is ultimately down to the mounting mechanism.

    What DJI has created with the magnetic quick release is really impressive.

    The magnetic quick-release design, you press in from each side of the mount and the camera releases without any tools at all.

    I found moving between a tripod, to suction cup or to mount for use as a webcam, this mounting is the best I’ve used. The fact there are converters between the magnetic mount and what is virtually an industry standard at this point, allows you to leverage existing investments in accessories.. smart.

    With clips at the end of this mechanism, you have the confidence necessary to ensure the camera won’t ever come off. I used the camera across a number of scenarios and never once was I worried about it disconnecting.

    360º HorizonSteady

    When you’re capturing video with the camera, you’ll want to think about your viewer, at the end of the day, sharing on social media is often what this is all about.

    A really nice feature is having the horizon to be stabilized which really helps reduce any sense of motion sickness while watching the content. Thanks to 360º HorizonSteady the action camera corrects horizontal tilts at any angle no matter how many flips, twists, or turns go down.

    Native Vertical Shooting

    While much of the world is horizontal, there are many mobile-first social networks like TikTok, Instagram Reels, YouTube Shorts and Snapchat are all vertical platforms.

    DJI support vertical shooting natively and it’s easy to lock the rotation to ensure this doesn’t change.

    In the simplest terms, just turn the camera sideways, hit record and you get vertical video. If you’re going to do a lot of this, you’ll want to use the included camera chassis which adds another magnetic clip mechanism on the side of the camera.

    This lets you mount the camera in a vertical orientation on tripods, handheld sticks etc.

    Dual Touchscreens
    One of my favourite inclusions is dual touchscreens, making it easy and convenient to not only frame the perfect shot, but adjust camera settings on the fly.

    Even the industry leader doesn’t offer touch support on the front display. Where this is most beneficial is when you have the camera mounted often with the rear screen close to a wall or in the case of the car, a glass window.

    The front screen allows you to change settings without needing to remove the camera from it’s mount, adjustments are quick and easy.

    Custom Modes & Quick Switch Button

    If you’ve done the work to customise your favourite video settings it shouldn’t be hard to switch between them for different use cases. DJI addresses this by using custom shortcuts (C1-C5) and allows you to switch between modes on the fly with the Quick Switch button and even using voice prompts.

    Low-Temperature, High Performance

    I certainly don’t plan on testing this, or pushing it to the limits, but for those in colder climates, this will be a big feature.

    A freeze-resistant battery design lets your creativity thrive, even when things get frosty. Enjoy up to 150 minutes of recording in temps as low as -20°C (-4°F). 

    Audio Recording

    Built into the Action 4 logo at the front is a microphone array, making high-quality audio easy.

    Where your subject is going to be a distance from the camera, the Action 4 also supports an external connection to DJI Mic for expanded recording options. The Vlog combo includes both the Action 4 and the DJI Mic for a portal audio/video solution.

    The Action 4 can communicate with the DJI Mic wirelessly across a transmission range of up to 250 meters. If you’ve got a legacy solution, the Action 4 can also connect to other external microphones using a Type-C to 3.5mm cable.

    Ambient Noise Reduction 

    DJI’s Action 4 is equipped with three mics for omnidirectional recording with improved audio fidelity.

    A hidden microphone at the bottom of the action camera, plus the advanced wind noise reduction software, give you clear audio even in windy or fast-moving scenarios. 

    Wi-Fi Livestreaming

    If you are out and about and want to stream what you’re seeing to the world, then you can setup a hotspot on your phone and connect to it from the camera.

    Once you have this setup, the Action 4 supports livestreaming over WiFi and you simply choose your preferred platform and resolution and connect with your world.

    Use an external power supply via USB-C will help keep your action camera charged on longer streams to ensure an uninterrupted broadcast.


    There are a number of ways to assess the performance of a sports action camera across video quality, stabilization, low-light performance, durability and battery life, so let’s take a look.

    Video quality

    I’ve been really impressed with the video quality shot with the Action 4, with many of our workflows focused on 4K at 60 frames per second, the fact this doesn’t shoot 5.3k really doesn’t feel restrictive.

    The Action 4 offers up to 4K (3840 x 2160) resolution at 60fps, or drop the quality to 2.7k and access 120fps, while the best frame rate is available at 1080p allowing you to capture in a slow motion at 240fps.

    Field of view

    With a wide 155° field of view, the camera captures more of the scene, great for smaller, or tight environments. I found inside the car is a great example of this, capturing the driver and the view out the front of the vehicle.

    You do get a digital control over this, with options for Ultrawide, Wide and Standard settings. The Wide setting is said to offer an equivalent focal length of 12mm and is where I spent most of my time. For those looking to remove the distortion caused by such a wide FOV, you can ship to Standard (dewarp) which is closer to a 15mm lens.

    Image stabilization

    This is a feature that helps to reduce blur caused by camera shake. It is important for action cameras, as they are often used in shaky environments. DJI calls it RockSteady and RockSteady+.

    With these enabled, the view does get cropped, so there’s a bit of trial and error adjusting between the FOV and RS settings. With RS disabled, you’ll appreciate just how amazing this technology really is.

    Moving the camera at speed, over bumps when you’re riding, walking, running or driving are all magically smoothed out as if this was shot on a very expensive steadicam.

    If you’re doing work on a tripod, like a timelapse, that’s the time you can disable this and maximise the field of view.

    Perhaps the most impressive part is that RockSteady works even when shooting 4K/120fps.

    Low-light performance

    I’ve shot a lot of video at night, across mobile phones, DSLRs, and other action cameras. Almost always there’s noise in the video, gains of grey ruining the darkness and what we all want is for the video captured to reflect what we see as humans.

    There is no gray noise with the naked eye and when you see this in video, it’s incredibly distracting.

    I’m happy to report the camera performs incredibly well in low-light conditions. A good test for this is my office, which at night is illuminated by the RGB from my PC case, the light from my monitors and an LED strip. The resulting light level is pretty dark and the Action 4 does an amazing job at night.

    This is chiefly achieved through a large 1/1.3″ Sensor paired with an F2.8 lens.

    Waterproof rating

    While our phones may be water resistant, this camera is actually waterproof up to 18m, allowing you to dive in with confidence and enjoy easy operation even with wet hands. Being the colder months of the year, I didn’t test this part of the camera. I do note that there’s a ‘Water ejection’ option in the menu that asks you to shake the camera to expel any liquid.

    Battery life

    Action cameras like this have a relatively small form factor to make mounting it in tight places easy, with a significant portion of the chassis allocated to the battery.

    DJI claims their camera has a battery life of 160 minutes, but I actually seen a little better than that.

    After shooting video for around 2 hours (or 120 minutes), I had 36% of my battery remaining. This means filming consumed about 64% of the battery.

    Based on this consumption, around 1% of the battery is used every 1.875 minutes of video (filming in 4K 60fps), then 64% of the battery is equal to 64 x 2 = 128 minutes of video.

    If we take the remaining 36% and multiply it by the consumption rate of 1.875, we get an additional 67.5 minutes. Add this to the consumed 120 minutes above and we reach a total to a theoretical maximum of 187.5 minutes.

    This means you can capture footage for over 2.5 hours… impressive. When you get done with that battery, it’s quite simple to switch out to a new battery, particularly if you got the Adventure Combo, you’ll have another 2 batteries you can switch to.

    When you do need to charge, rapid charging can recover up to 80% in just 18 minutes.

    It’s important to note that the actual battery life of the camera will vary depending on a number of factors, such as the shooting mode, the temperature, and the brightness of the scene.

    Example Footage

    The following videos contained footage shot with the Action 4 camera. Remember to set the quality to 4K.

    In this video, I head out to a beautiful part of the world in regional Victoria and test out the Action 4 camera, capturing the adventure. After a brief walk to a nice quiet spot, I fired up the the DJI Avata drone, lots of fun and the walk back was equally beautiful.

    The following video from a recent track day with the Tesla, contains shots from both the Action 4 camera (mounted to my helmet), and the GoPro Hero 11 (external and driver shots). This provides a good comparison between the two.

    During a weekend in August, our family took a road trip to the regional NSW city of Wagga Wagga, where they have a free Zoo.

    With a family keen to get out of the house and a new camera to review, this seemed like a great time to have some fun with the family, do something different on the weekend and try out the DJI OSMO Action 4 camera.


    Having reviewed Action 2 a couple of years ago and experiencing heat issues, I expected that this would be well and truly resolved. Unfortunately, I did have one instance when the camera turned itself off due to heat.

    I couldn’t replicate this, so seemed like a one-off, but it is worth highlighting this can happen. In my instance, it was in the car, in the sun and filming for around 10-15 minutes.

    Price & Availability

    Osmo Action 4 is available today from and authorised retail partners in a number of different configurations. Today, the biggest competition, the GoPro Hero 11 Black is discounted, down from the regular $649 to $599, likely a reduction in stock ahead of the annual refresh.

    This means the price of the DJI OSMO Action 4 starts higher than the discounted price, but is cheaper than the regular RRP. The specs, features and video quality are all very comparable to the Hero 11, so the price point is appropriate to be in the same ballpark.

    The only real difference is the resolution which is 4K on the Osmo 4, while the Hero 11 Black offers 5.3K. This is likely to be an important difference for some, but many will likely be happy with 4K60.

    DJI Osmo Action 4 Standard Combo ($629)
    This includes Osmo Action 4, one Osmo Action Extreme Battery, the Osmo Action Horizontal-Vertical Protective Frame, the Osmo Action Quick-Release Adapter Mount, the Osmo Action Curved Adhesive Base, an Osmo Locking Screw, a Type-C to Type-C PD Cable, an Osmo Action Lens Hood, and an Osmo Action Anti-Slip Pad.

    • Osmo Action 4 Surfing Combo ($668)
    • Osmo Action 4 Motorcycling/Mountain Cycling Combo ($728)
    • Osmo Action 4 Diving Combo ($738)
    • Osmo Action 4 Road Cycling Combo ($754)
    • Osmo Action 4 Hiking Combo ($792)
    • DJI Osmo Action 4 Adventure Combo ($819)
    • Osmo Action 4 Vlog Combo ($1,138)

    For more information on all the new features, accessories, and capabilities, please visit 


    As the 4th generation of the Action camera, DJI has iterated their way to a really compelling product. Last year, the 3rd gen version was the big format change, while version 4 really takes that and matures into a product I’m more than happy to recommend.

    Offering great features, great quality and a competitive price, the big differentiator is the mounting system, which I actually prefer over the GoPro offering. The compatibility with GoPro mounts makes this an easy transition for anyone who has existing accessory investments and a really smart move by DJI. This is effectively now an industry standard that allows interoperability with a range of action cameras.

    For me, the best inclusion is the Extension rod, this can be purchased separately for $75, but maybe enough to tip you over to buy the Adventure Combo. This provides you with the ability to capture the world from new and interesting angles. Having an additional 1.5m of reach either lets you get much higher, or much lower than you otherwise could. The rod and camera combined are still lightweight and maneuverable.

    I was really impressed with the dual-touchscreen on offer here when mounted in the car during a recent visit to the track, this made adjustments easy, without moving the camera to adjust using the rear screen. It’s little touches like this that show DJI engineers really understand how the camera will be used in the real world.

    Overall this is a really great product from DJI and an action cam is a natural extension of their experience with optics from their work in the drone space.

    Jason Cartwright
    Jason Cartwright
    Creator of techAU, Jason has spent the dozen+ years covering technology in Australia and around the world. Bringing a background in multimedia and passion for technology to the job, Cartwright delivers detailed product reviews, event coverage and industry news on a daily basis. Disclaimer: Tesla Shareholder from 20/01/2021

    Leave a Reply


    Latest posts


    Related articles