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DJI Osmo Action 3 review: the all-seasons action camera

The DJI Osmo Action 3 on a boulder.

DJI Osmo Action 3

MSRP $330.00

The DJI Osmo Action 3 is a good action camera that distinguishes itself with a distinctive magnetic clip system and an exceedingly rugged design.


  • Excellent image quality and video stabilization
  • Very rugged and waterproof design
  • Unique magnetic clip system is highly versatile
  • Affordable price


  • Much less compact and lightweight because the Action 2
  • Magnetic locking system susceptible to clogging in sandy conditions

When I reviewed the DJI Action 2 this past year, I applauded its innovative design, which differentiated it from the rest of the action cameras in the marketplace. The DJI Osmo Action 3 does a 180-degree reverse to basics with a far more traditional design and the resuscitation of the Osmo name. While this move initially puzzled me, given that Ive had time and energy to test the Action 3, Ive arrived at appreciate why DJI made the change. This tough, new camera was created to survive whatever you can throw at it, but does it do enough to differentiate itself from your competition?

DJI Osmo Action 3 design

The Action 3 appears remarkably like the original DJI Action camera, that was an excellent camera but was perhaps a touch too much like GoPro. The Action 3 may still carry that typical action camera appearance, nonetheless it is unique in a few key ways. Primary included in this may be the magnetic quick release system, which it has inherited from the Action 2, and which includes been significantly upgraded to become more solid and reliable.

This magnetic clip system enables you to attach and detach the camera from various mounts, as well as just stick the camera to a metal surface. While this type of system might seem concerning with regards to its stability, I could attest to the reliability of the magnetic clip, since it stayed locked and secure on an extension rod out an automobile window whilst travelling at 40 mph, and Ive flown the Action 2 along with a drone at sustained speeds than that. The thing to bear in mind is that the magnetic clip sometimes doesnt snap together perfectly the very first time, so its smart to double-check that connection.

The DJI Osmo Action 3 and magnetic mounting system.
Andy Zahn / Digital Trends

The Action 3 is exclusive for the reason that its front screen is currently touch-sensitive, which allows you to adjust settings as the camera is facing you, such as for example when shooting vlog-style videos. SINCE I HAVE frequently shoot vlog-style YouTube videos myself, I quite definitely appreciate this feature. Im also a fan of the battery door on the Action 2, that is an easy task to operate while remaining secure and waterproof.

DJI Action 3 image quality

In the event that you liked the appearance of footage captured with the Action 2, youll also appreciate the Osmo Action 3. To my eye, the difference is practically nonexistent. Thats not just a bad thing, though, because the Action 2 captures great-looking video. Details are crisp and clear, and both Rocksteady and Horizonsteady image stabilization are impressive. The typical color mode could very well be just a little oversaturated, but Personally, i just like the look of it, and the D-cinelike color profile can be acquired if you like to possess more editing latitude and craft your personal try post-processing.

The Action 3 can shoot in 4k at around 120fps, and at around 240fps in 1080p. Shooting at 1080p 240fps is really as mushy and ugly as you’ll expect, but 4k 120fps looks very good. Its limited by 4k resolution, that is fine in the event that you would like to publish straight-out camera footage without much editing. Nonetheless it doesnt measure to the GoPro Hero 11 Blacks 5.3k maximum resolution and larger sensor, that provides extra versatility in post-processing.

I came across that the Action 3 outperforms the Hero 11 slightly when it comes to video stabilization, as the Hero 11 is marginally sharper. The outcome is that with regards to pure video quality, both cameras have become evenly matched.

A very important factor I do enjoy concerning the video made by the Action 3 is that it matches up effectively with other DJI products. Which means that in the event that you fly a Mini 3 Pro, for instance, to fully capture aerial footage, it’ll pair nicely with the appearance of footage captured with the Action 3.

In the event that you fly a DJI Mini 3 Pro to fully capture aerial footage, it’ll pair nicely with the appearance of footage captured with the Action 3.

The Action 3 puts extra focus on color accuracy, with a big, dedicated sensor for detecting the right white balance for just about any given scene. While this didnt may actually make a big difference in the rather tame conditions I filmed in with the camera, it could be more ideal for deep sea diving.

DJI Action 3 display

Both front and rear displays of the Action 3 are bright with good color. The bigger rear touchscreen is very much simpler to use compared to the smaller screen of the Action 2, and the built-in front screen means you dont have to obtain a separate module to get a front-facing display.

The DJI Osmo Action 3 on a beach halfway in the water.
Andy Zahn / Digital Trends

DJI Action 3 durability and waterproofing

The Osmo Action 3 is remarkable in the extent to which it could be dropped and submerged. Its drop resistant around five feet and is waterproof completely right down to 52 feet underwater. Furthermore, its rated for use between negative four and 113 degrees Fahrenheit. Those are some truly impressive numbers, plus they are reflected in the particularly rugged feel of the camera. I like the rubber ring round the lens, which adds protection to probably the most vulnerable section of the Action 3, though I’d prefer that it lock securely into place, as possible nudged off the rim of the lens accidentally.

While I didnt chuck the camera around just like a hacky sack, and I sadly lacked enough time for deep sea diving lessons, I did so take the Action 3 out hiking and dunked it in a lake. This admittedly minor punishment didnt even faze the Action 3. If you would like extra drop protection DJI does sell a housing, that is included with the experience combo.

The DJI Osmo Action 3 in a rocky stream.
Andy Zahn / Digital Trends

There’s one major flaw, however, with regards to utilizing the camera in real life, that is that the magnetic plates of its unique mounting system have an unfortunate tendency to seize magnetic particles of sand. It doesnt hurt the camera, nonetheless it can hinder the fasten and require frequent cleaning invest the it to the beach.

DJI Action 3 battery life

The Action 3 offers similar battery life to competing action cameras, though it really is with the capacity of operating at more extreme temperatures. I could make it by way of a typical day of hiking and recording without having to swap the battery out. Still, in the event that you anticipate doing longer shoots instead of brief highlights such as for example I prefer, you’ll want spares. The camera also charges extremely fast, taking only 18 minutes to charge a battery around 80% of just how full.

The DJI Osmo Action 3 and multifunction battery case on a mossy picnic table.
Andy Zahn / Digital Trends

I tested the Action 3 with the optional Multifunctional battery case, which not merely acts as a charger and travel case for three batteries at the same time, but you may also charge your smartphone or other USB-C devices from your own Action 3 batteries by plugging them in to the case. In addition, it has extra space where to store two extra microSD cards.

DJI Action 3 performance and software

I didnt experience any problems with overheating or other performance-related issues while shooting with the Action 3. The DJI Mimo companion app can be functional for controlling the camera, along with downloading and editing footage.

Audio recording is great, and Id feel safe utilizing the Action 3 to shoot vlog-style videos alone. If you would like better still audio it is possible to plug the DJI Mic in to the Action 3 and record via that excellent wireless microphone. When I tried this out it had been a straightforward plug-and-play experience, with the only real setup hassle being unclipping the USB-C port door from the Action 3 to create method for the DJI Mic.

DJI Osmo Action 3 price and availability

The Action 3 can be acquired now, starting at a $330 price. You may even desire to consider upgrading to the $440 adventure combo, which include three batteries, the wonderful multifunctional battery case, two extra lens protectors for the Action 3, two adhesive base kits, a protective frame, and an extension rod kit. Though it adds $110 to the bottom price, the experience kit adds lots of value with really useful accessories at a discount in comparison to their individual MSRP.

An exceedingly rugged action camera

The DJI Osmo Action 3 on a sandy beach in the water.
Andy Zahn / Digital Trends

While I still skip the innovative design of the Action 2, the DJI Osmo Action 3 is a good action camera that stacks up well to fierce competition from famous brands GoPro and Insta360. While, ultimately, I dont discover that it pulls before other cameras in this genre overall, it can boast a few significant advantages.

If you want a supplementary tough camera, this is actually the someone to choose, particularly with the optional protective frame installed. And when you plan ongoing diving, the Action 3 can go completely right down to 52 feet underwater lacking any extra diving case. Another big feature may be the magnetic quick-release system, that is certainly advantageous if you want to swap mounts quickly. Though, when i found, sandy beaches are this mechanisms Achilles heel.

The Action 3 may also interest DJI drone pilots searching for a rugged camera that may easily match the aesthetic of footage captured using popular drones like the DJI Mini 3 Pro, Mavic 3, or Avata.

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