Unlock Adventure: DJI Osmo Action 4 – The Ultimate Travel Camera

Action cameras are no longer just for ‘action’ — so to speak. Though engineered for the most extreme of activities, they are now garnering popularity as pseudo-travel cameras, and it is easy to see why. They are convenient to carry around and provide some powerful specs; almost a perfect combination to capture your memories while travelling. Several names offer action cameras to consumers, but we’ll be talking about DJI, specifically its latest DJI Osmo Action 4 camera.

You may recognise DJI for their drone systems, but they also have a line of action cameras in the Osmo Action series. The Osmo Action 4 is its newest successor, bringing highlights like the new 1/1.3″ Image Sensor and 10-bit D-Log M colour recording, among other features. 

The DANAMIC team brought out the DJI Osmo Action 4 for a spin in Johor Bahru (JB), checking out some exciting activities and documenting our adventures in Malaysia. The DJI Osmo Action 4 holds up remarkably well as a travel companion; here are our favourite features about the device!

A Compact Carry

DJI Osmo Action 4: Mount Accessory

Action cameras are small — that much is obvious — but you don’t really take that into account until it matters. Mirrorless cameras, digital compact cameras, and smartphones are the usual tools for taking photos and video while overseas, but the DJI Osmo Action 4 has them all beat for size.

The device is exceptionally easy to bring around during travel. It comes in at just 145 grams and fits into the palm of a hand, which helps immensely for packing; it fits almost anywhere you want. But crucially, the small form factor is excellent when you are out and about using it. There’s less fatigue from carrying the action cam around the entire day compared to traditional cameras.

The same can be said for the accessories it comes with. The Extension Rod accessory played a major part in the team’s JB adventures, and the item itself doesn’t take up much space inside bags. Plus, the various clips and mounts were also similarly easy to pack together. 

For a quick trip like ours, convenience was one of our more essential aspects, and the DJI Osmo Action 4 eased much of that burden.

Flexible Filming

DJI Osmo Action 4: Vlogging

Even though it is such a small device, the Osmo Action 4 is capable of almost any use you want. It was used to chronicle various activities of the team’s trip and the action cam performed ably for each situation. 

Let’s start with something that most people would utilise the action camera for: as a vlogging device. I’ve already waxed lyrical about the benefits of the Osmo Action 4’s small size, which gives it an advantage as a camera for vlogging — it is infinitely easier to carry it around compared to traditional cameras while recording the sights and sounds of what you are experiencing overseas.

But beyond that, other features make it suitable for vlogging. The Osmo Action 4 has a front screen that helps us see what’s being captured, which is extremely helpful for selfie-taking or doing impromptu food vlogs. The front screen is also touch-enabled, handy for switching settings like the ISO or stabilisation mode on the fly. It’s a little bit small, which takes some getting used to, but otherwise, it is a unique feature that other action camera brands lack.

Another feature of the Osmo Action 4 that aids its versatility is the mounting system. You can pair several attachments with the device, like the aforementioned Extension Rod or the Handlebar Mount for bikes/go-karts — all of them come with a magnetic mounting system. It means quickly releasing the action cam from its mount and latching it again within seconds. This has been a big help whenever the team wants to change attachments or switch it up to have it shoot vertically.

A Tough Nut to Crack

DJI Osmo Action 4: Quad Biking

As much as we wish for the best, accidents happen when out and about. The team also encountered some oopsies with the DJI Osmo Action 4 while using it, but luckily for us, the device did great in tanking whatever it faced.

The first accident involved a bike. The action camera was not appropriately secured, and while cycling around, it fell onto the concrete pavement at speed. Aesthetically, the device couldn’t prevent the scrapping on the lens hood, but ultimately, it was fully functional and ready for another go. 

Its second test was decidedly more serious. The team used it this time during our quad bike adventures in Malaysia. The uneven terrain had the same effect on the action cam and again caused it to dislodge from its mount, where it promptly met the wheels of the buggy driving behind. The outcome was a cracked lens hood, but remarkably, the device still worked good as new! 

The team was able to use it for the duration of the JB trip, and while we were super cautious with the action cam, there was some comfort in knowing that the Osmo Action 4 is a rugged little device that we could rely on.

Powerful Photography and Videography

DJI Osmo Action 4: Videography

Let’s now talk about the performance of the DJI Osmo Action 4. Action cameras are primarily for filming videos, but the device can also take photographs. It produces 10MP stills, which does not sound like much, but the photos are of decent enough quality with good colours and sharpness — plus, the camera offers the option to save images in RAW in case you want to edit them further.

Instead, the Osmo Action 4 excels at the type of pictures you can get. The lens primarily captures images at a wide angle, making it great for landscape shots, perfect if you travel to scenic locations overseas!

But let’s get into the real meat of the device: how is videography on the Osmo Action 4? It offers a whole suite of options on how you want to film — if you want to have a cinematic feel, opt for 24 fps. There’s the slow-motion mode if you want to get an action shot. It also comes with a mode called Rocksteady to help with video stabilisation. The team had fun trying out the available settings and tinkering with it to meet our needs, just like when we used it for laser tag, where the stabilisation massively helped.

The new 1/1.3″ Image Sensor also aids filming in low-light conditions. It is a bigger sensor, which allows the device to take in more light from the surroundings. For the team, it meant that the activities they undertook at night showed up well in the footage. Now, it means that your memories aren’t reserved for the daytime!

For creatives who like to edit their footage further, the action camera also lets users record in 10-bit D-Log M. It enables a higher dynamic range to play around with during colour correction. This means that you get better-looking videos to show off from your holidays!

We loved our time with the DJI Osmo Action 4 during the team’s trip to JB, which opened up a new perspective with bringing action cameras overseas. Using traditional cameras and smartphones may get boring after a while, so why not switch things up with an action cam?

If you want to grab the DJI Osmo Action 4 for yourself, head over to any of DJI’s physical stores in Singapore, or grab them online through Shopee or Lazada.

Photos by Zenden Tan of the DANAMIC Team.

Russell Matthew Loh

Watcher of films and player of games. Dabble with writing in between.

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