DJI Osmo Mobile 4: Here is why Phone Gimbals are Still Worth it?

DJI OM 4 Vs Smartphone Stabilization, are gimbals worth it in 2020?

DJI just launched its new smartphone gimbal, the DJI Osmo Mobile 4 or OM 4 in short. The OM 4 keeps the similar design as that of its predecessor, the Osmo Mobile 3. But what’s new is that it’s coming with two magnetic mounts so you can quickly attach and detach your phone without needing to clamp it down and rebalance it between shoots.

As of its size, it’s similar to Osmo mobile 3 and can be folded down to a small size and can be kept in a bag. It retains the similar intuitive button layout and 15-hour battery life. You can keep your phone topped up with it with a type C cable. The OM 4 is claimed to be slightly smaller and lighter than Osmo mobile 3 and also has new and upgraded motors.

DJI OM 4

All these features are great, its a really good gimbal with some really good specs.

But the Question is…….

Do we really need Gimbals in 2020 for smartphones? 

Smartphone cameras have gotten really good in all aspects in recent years. But what it’s really gotten good at is stabilization. The optical and Electronic stabilization has got so much better. Phones like the iPhone 11 pro, google pixel phones, Samsung S20 and the notes, One plus 8 and much more other devices have some really good stabilization.

Even if you don’t have stabilization in lower-end phones you can go to google photos and stabilize the footage easily.

So when all this is there why to buy a gimbal for your smartphone?

The answer is Yes and NO. 

Let me explain, but if you are a geek and want all the features of DJI Osmo Mobile 4 then first let’s see all the features of OM 4.

Features of the all-new DJI Osmo mobile 4

General
DimensionsUnfolded: 276×119.6×103.6 mm
Folded: 163×99.5×46.5 mm
WeightGimbal: 390 g
Magnetic Phone Clamp: 32.6 g
Magnetic Ring Holder: 11.4 g
Compatible Phone Weight230 ± 60 g
Compatible Phone Thickness6.9-10 mm
Compatible Phone Width67-84 mm
Battery
Type18650 Li-ion
Capacity2450 mAh
Energy17.64 Wh
Voltage7.2 V
Charging Temperature5 to 40 °C (41 to 104 °F)
Operating Temperature0 to 40 °C (32 to 104 °F)
Operating Time15 hrs  
* Under ideal conditions with the gimbal fully balanced.
Charging Time2.5 hrs
* Measured with a 10W charger.
Gimbal Charging PortUSB-C
External Device Charging PortUSB-A
Universal Mount1/4″ Threaded Hole
Gimbal
Consumption1.2 W
* Under ideal conditions with the gimbal fully balanced.
Mechanical rangePan: -161.2° to 171.95°
Roll: – 136.7° to 198°
Tilt:-  106.54° to 235.5°
Max Control Speed120 °/s
Wireless
ModelBluetooth Low Energy  5.0
Other
AppDJI Mimo
Tripod dimensionLength: 138 mm
Diameter: 32 mm
Tripod WeightWeight: 72 g
*Specs are from official DJI Spec page of the OM4

Software features:

  • Dynamic Zoom, formerly called dolly zoom, works by digitally zooming in on a subject while walking backwards or zooming out while walking forward.
  • Spin Shot Gimbal Movement spins the camera in a fun barrel roll effect, though the phone won’t spin a full 360 degrees since the gimbal only turns so far.
  • Clone Me Panorama lets you clone yourself or your friends so you appear multiple times in a single shot.

What type of Stabilization Smartphones provide?

Smartphone stabilization comes in 3 different categories to say, OIS, EIS & HIS. 

OIS stands for “Optical Image stabilization”, here the camera element/module itself removes the shakes by moving and compensating for all the bumps and shakes. This is a hardware solution.

EIS stands for “Electronic Image Stabilization”, here the camera module is fixed. The stabilization is done electronically, i.e with software. This is like warp stabilization in premier pro basically. This is a Software Solution.

HIS stands for “Hybrid Image Stabilization”, here you get the best of both the worlds OIS + EIS. The OIS stabilizes the Image and then the EIS smoothes it out. This is the best of both worlds, Hardware + Software.

Smartphone Stabilization has got really good!!!

Smartphones stabilization comes in a lot of different forms as explained in the previous point. And all of these in recent years and that too in 2020 is just butter smooth. 

In most of the cases, your footage will be super smooth. And the keyword here is “Most”, ill explain ahead why that’s the case & in which scenarios the stabilization might fail.

But in general everyday case, the stabilization is really good.

If Smartphone stabilization is so good then why the need for Gimbals like DJI Osmo Mobile 4?

People have this thing that they want this one product that will do it all for them, One to rule them all!!! 

But that will never be the case. Yes, products will be close to being self-sufficient, all-powerful, but that’s still a certain limit. For example, your smartphones are really powerful, but you still need a PC/Laptop to do certain tasks. Or read this weird comparison that I wrote between GoPro Hero 8 & iPhone 11 pro, that article also touches that topic.

What I am saying is, whats your intended use of the product? If you are just a casual user, not much into videos, just takes few clips here and there then the Gimbal is not for you.

But if you are a creator then Gimbals comes with some features that you can take advantage of.

The DJI Osmo Mobile 4 comes packed with these features.

  • Dynamic Zoom, formerly called dolly zoom, works by digitally zooming in on a subject while walking backwards or zooming out while walking forward.
  • Spin Shot Gimbal Movement spins the camera in a fun barrel roll effect, though the phone won’t spin a full 360 degrees since the gimbal only turns so far.
  • Clone Me Panorama lets you clone yourself or your friends so you appear multiple times in a single shot.

If you can take advantage of these awesome features to create awesome content on the OM 4 then gimbals are for you. 

Gimbals are not just for stabilization, there many different features as mentioned above which you can use creatively. 

Only Invest in gear if there’s a positive ROI (return of investment), maybe not in a monetary way but it should not be lying in a corner or in a shelf. You should be using it. If you think it’s not gonna be useful don’t buy it.

Having a Gimbal doesn’t guarantee Cinematic footage.

I’ll keep this part really short. Having fancy gear doesn’t guarantee cinematic footage. If you don’t know how to take cinematic footage you need to learn, gimbals not gonna give you that. 

And even if you get cinematic footage, if you cant put it together and stell a good story then nothings worth it. 

Let’s End it, Smartphone Stabilization Vs Gimbal Stabilization (OM 4): who wins?

Who wins? DJI Osmo 4 ( Gimbals ) or Smartphone stabilization?

This is very simple, No one wins. 

But there’s someone who wins……us, the users, the consumers. 

We don’t need expensive cameras (DSLR/Mirrorless) and then expensive gimbals for these cameras. Your smartphones are really powerful and provide really high quality stabilize footage.

But if you need a gimbal for those sleek moves that you can do with them then you have them at a really cheap price. You don’t need a gimbal, but if you want it’s really cheap. 

And Imagine the level of stabilization that you can achieve with your smartphones stabilization with the stabilization provided by a Gimbal. And if you have HIS (Hybrid Image stabilization) then with gimbal it will be a Super HIS.

So it’s a Win-Win for consumers.

Do share this article if you found it informative and comment below your opinions or takes on the topic, I am active in comments.

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