Smartphone gimbals are an essential tool for anyone who creates professional video content using a mobile device. They are also a fun toy for people who enjoy shooting videos and want them to look as smooth and stable as possible. The just-released DJI OM 4 is the newest entry in the gimbal market.
The OM 4 is the direct follow-up to last yearâ€™s DJI Osmo Mobile 3. It looks a lot like the Osmo Mobile 3, but has a brand new trick: a magnetic mounting system.
DJI OM 4: Whatâ€™s in the box
Unlike last year, there is only one version of the DJI OM 4. For the Osmo Mobile 3, DJI offered a regular kit with just the basics and then a Combo kit with a hardshell case, a tripod stand, and more. This year, however, the OM 4 comes in just one package â€” and it doesnâ€™t contain a hardshell case.
Hereâ€™s what youâ€™ll find in the DJI OM 4 box:
- DJI OM 4 smartphone gimbal
- Tripod stand
- Removable wrist strap
- USB-C to standard USB cable
- Magnetic ring to attach to your smartphone
- Tools and guides for attaching the ring
- Soft carrying bag
The lack of a hardshell case option is disappointing, though DJI probably has a reason for leaving it out. Regardless, it does simplify your purchase as you donâ€™t need to decide between a regular or deluxe package. What you see is what you get.
Most aspects remain unchanged
Overall, there arenâ€™t too many huge physical differences between the DJI OM 4 and the DJI Osmo Mobile 3. Youâ€™ll notice that thereâ€™s been a slight branding change with DJI removing â€œOsmo Mobileâ€� from the official name of the gimbal. However, this doesnâ€™t appear to be too big of a deal to DJI. The Osmo branding is all over the box, in huge letters on the bag, and even in several places on the gimbal itself.
The color is slightly different (the Osmo Mobile 3 was a darker shade of gray), but the all-plastic construction and design are pretty much the same. Ports and buttons are similar in design, although in slightly different places. Thereâ€™s still a gimbal trigger (thank goodness) and the gimbal still folds up in the same manner as the Osmo Mobile 3.
The Osmo Mobile 3 was such a seismic shift for DJIâ€™s smartphone gimbals that itâ€™s unsurprising this new version isnâ€™t dramatically different. After all, a company canâ€™t wildly change up its game every year. Although the DJI OM 4 might seem a bit boring now that itâ€™s been nearly a year since we saw the Osmo Mobile 3, that shouldnâ€™t be a detraction. DJI hit on a winning formula last year and itâ€™s not about to leave it behind.
Of course, it still found a way to introduce something new.
DJI OM 4 magnetic mount: Quick and easy
Unlike most gimbals, the DJI OM 4 does not have a permanently attached smartphone clip on the arm. Instead, youâ€™ll find a magnetic plate. You can use this to snap on the included proprietary clip whenever you need it.
This might seem overcomplicated, but it does make life easier. With most other gimbals, taking your phone off to use it normally is a bit of a pain. You need to pry your phone out of the clip. Once itâ€™s back, you need to adjust the gimbalâ€™s settings because you inevitably wonâ€™t put your phone back exactly where it had been before.
With the DJI OM 4, you won't need to reset your gimbal after removing your phone. Just snap off your phone, then snap it back on.
Using the DJI OM 4, this is no longer a problem. The slim smartphone clip stays attached to your phone when you take it off the arm. After, when you want to reattach, you just snap it back in place and youâ€™re ready to go: no re-balancing or adjustments needed. This will save pro videographers a ton of time on shoots.
If you want to take things a step further, you can use the included magnetic smartphone ring. This allows you to bypass the clip altogether â€” you can just snap your phone onto the arm all by itself. In the photo above, you can see the magnetic ring and the plastic guide DJI provides to help you in placing it.
Of course, using the magnetic ring attachment is a big commitment. Once itâ€™s on your phone (or phone case), it will stay there. Taking it off and reattaching it wonâ€™t be practical. As such, this will only work for people who like the idea of a metal ring permanently attached to their phone.
Folding up is still its best feature
The best aspect of the DJI Osmo Mobile 3 was the fact that it folded up for easy transport. Thankfully, the DJI OM 4 does the same thing. In the image above, you can see how much of a difference this makes for portability when you compare the OM 4 to a more traditional gimbal.
The OM 4 still isnâ€™t â€œpocket-sizedâ€� or anything, but it folds up small enough that it can be tossed into a backpack or purse and not be a burden. Most traditional gimbals donâ€™t have this advantage.
Ultimately, the new magnetic mount on the DJI OM 4 doesnâ€™t seem like it will be as big of a deal as the folding mechanism was on the Osmo Mobile 3.
DJI OM 4: Hands-on photo gallery
Is it worth an upgrade?
We still need to do a full review of the DJI OM 4 to determine whether or not itâ€™s a good buy or worth upgrading from the Osmo Mobile 3. However, at first glance, it doesnâ€™t appear that the value proposition is high enough to warrant an upgrade if you already love your current gimbal.
The OM 4 costs $150, which is definitely very expensive for a gimbal. In comparison, the Osmo Mobile 3 starts at $119, which is also more expensive than a lot of competitorsâ€™ products. Granted, you donâ€™t get the tripod stand for that $119 price, but a plastic stand is hardly worth $30 more.
Ultimately, the magnetic mounting system is going to be what sells this product. If you are in love with the idea of saving a few seconds each time you take your phone off the gimbal, then chances are good youâ€™re already sold on this. If not, then you might balk at spending $150 on a gimbal.
Stay tuned for our full review of the DJI OM 4, which will cover the companion app and show some video footage examples.