DJI Osmo Mobile 5 full review
Since the original Osmo Mobile launched in 2016, DJI has released a new model almost every year. They’ve slowly but surely improved. Is the OM 5 is the best yet? Well, it’s a third smaller than the OM 4 and has a built-in telescopic ‘selfie’ pole.
This makes it more versatile. But most importantly, the more portable size means you’re more likely to use it than leave it at home.
Plus, the extra button makes it simpler to use and a new ShotGuides feature in the app means even beginners can get great-looking results.
It is, however, something of a cut-down model with a smaller battery that doesn’t last as long and can’t power your phone. It’s also more expensive than we’d like it to be, especially if you want the optional mount with an LED fill light.
Nevertheless, it still deserves a place on your shortlist if you're after a gimbal for more stable videos.
Features & Design
- 215mm extendable pole
- Magnetic clamp
- Optional clamp with fill light
The key new feature, besides being noticeably smaller than its predecessors, is the telescopic pole. This has been seen before, though not on DJI stabilisers. It can be useful for moving your phone further away from you in selfie videos (and photos), as well as in a variety of other situations.
It folds down to 174.7×74.6×37 mm, which is almost pocketable – if you have large pockets. It’s 100g lighter than the OM4 at under 300g, but once you add the magnetic clamp that attaches to your phone it’s 324g. It’s still the lightest gimble I’ve tested, though.
Though it looks the same, DJI say it has redesigned the clamp so it’s compatible with more phones. It will handle phones from 170 – 290g and between 67 and 84mm wide, which is pretty much all of them.
If you have a thin phone, such as the iPhone SE2, a sticky pad is included in the box to bring it up to the minimum thickness by padding out the existing rubber on the clamp.
A tripod is included in the box, as is a soft carry pouch. This time, there’s no Combo package, but you do get to choose between two colours: Sunset White and Athens Grey.
When inexpensive gimbals such as the Zhiyun Smooth Q3 have a built-in fill light, it’s a shame this is only possible on the OM5 if you buy the separate Fill Light Phone Clamp (left) which is very expensive at £42 / US$59.
It has its own battery (charged over USB-C), three different brightness levels and three different shades of white, from warm to cool. It does a fine job, but the LEDs can only face you: you can’t rotate them to face away from you to light a subject you’re shooting.
The reason it’s possible to have different clamps is because, like the OM 4, the OM 5 uses magnets to hold the clamp to the gimbal.
This time, though, the clamp is the only option: there’s no adhesive-backed magnet to stick directly to your phone or phone’s case. It’s probably for the best as there’s less chance of user error and trying to apply the sticky magnet to a phone or case that hasn’t been properly cleaned.
In terms of controls, DJI has kept things the same except for the fact that the Mode/power button has been moved to the side – above the zoom slider – and a new button put in its place. It has a couple of uses: a single press can swap between video and photo modes (or whatever you choose in the Mimo app) and a double press changes the orientation of your phone, from portrait to landscape or vice versa.
The smaller 1000mAh battery has around 2.5x less capacity than the OM 4’s and DJI claims a maximum runtime of 6.4 hours. That’s in ideal conditions with a properly balanced phone. If you fail to put your phone in the clamp so its weight is evenly distributed, then the motors have to work harder and, of course, the battery will run out sooner.
6.4 hours should be enough for just about everyone, but the snag is that there’s no USB port for charging your phone so you can’t divert any of the power to your phone if it’s running low as you can with the Osmo Mobile 3.
In terms of performance, the OM5 does a great job of smoothing out movement whether you’re standing, walking or even running. Overall, it’s just as effective as its predecessors, with one caveat. That’s the joystick, which isn’t analogue. That means you can’t control the pan or tilt speed by how far you push the stick in a particular direction.
Instead you have to choose in the MIMO app from Slow, Medium or Fast, and even Slow was faster than I wanted it to be. Plus, movement wasn’t even that smooth. Another issue was having to re-calibrate the OM 5 each time I removed and replaced the clamp on a phone as it wasn't quite horizontal. I hope these issues were due to the beta version of the app I was using ahead of the gimbal’s launch.
App & shooting modes
- New ShotGuides videos show you how to shoot
- Improved ActiveTrack 4.0
- Timelapse, Motionlapse & Hyperlapse
DJI’s MIMO app has been around since the Osmo Mobile 3 and has gained a new feature for the OM 5’s launch: ShotGuides. There are many categories, within which are various video examples of the types of shots you can take.
When you tap Apply, a secondary video appears showing how to get shot. As they’re as overlays on the left so you can see what you’re shooting at the same time, they’re rather small which can make it tricky to see exactly how to hold and use the gimbal.
They’re not simply videos, though: some change the gimbal’s mode and how the joystick moves the camera to get more creative effects. For example, in one shot, pushing the joystick left rotates the phone in a circular motion instead of panning left as normal.
If you tap on ShotGuides, then switch to the Story shooting mode, you can pick from various templates, TikTok-style, and be guided through shooting the various clips that are combined to form a sequence. At the time of review, these included Year of the Ox, Spring Festival, Party, Brisk, Sports, Fashion and various others.
Some, as I’ve moaned about before, have animated text which you can’t change or remove, but some don’t. Although the Story mode now includes video tutorials, these don’t currently include the shots styles and categories from the ShotGuides feature, so if you use those, you’ll have to edit your separate clips together later.
The MIMO app has an AI Editor which takes a selection of clips you choose and creates a short video of what it considers the highlights, along with music and effects. There are no settings, so it’s hit and miss whether the style matches the feel you wanted.
For more control, you can use the full editor (above), but the Templates mode remains the same as before, loaded with unwanted text and titles which you almost certainly don’t want throughout your videos, given that you can’t edit it to say what you want.
ActiveTrack has been upgraded to version 4.0 and, in my testing, it certainly worked very well regardless of whether I was using it on the front or rear camera.
The timelapse modes all work the same as ever, giving you lots control over the interval and the ability to get the gimbal to move between two or more points (while on a tripod) to create a professional-looking clip with smooth movement.
The panorama modes also need the tripod, but do a good job of stitching the images together well.
It’s worth noting that the zoom slider operates digital zoom only. If your phone has multiple cameras, you may need to use the stock camera app to select them as the Mimo app uses the main camera only – at least for the phones I used to test with.
What I did find useful was the regular hints and tips that appeared in the app that explain how to use features and how to hold the gimbal to achieve certain shots.
Price & Availability
The OM 5 costs the same as the OM 4, which means it costs £139 / $159. As mentioned, the optional clamp with fill light is £42 / $59.
You can buy an OM 5 from DJI.
It’s a shame DJI chose not to offer the usual Combo pack which could include the extra clamp and a hard carry case: the clamp feels too expensive at those prices, and takes the total price to £181 / $218. Or to put it another way, you could buy two Osmo Mobile 3s for the same cost.
At the time of writing, Amazon was selling the Osmo Mobile 3 for just £69 / $79. You can read our full review of the Osmo Mobile 3, but suffice to say, it offers similar stabilisation and a similar set of features (because it too uses the MIMO app).
The reason DJI phone gimbals are some of the best around is thanks to the fact that the companion app matches the quality of the hardware itself. The editing side of things could be improved with more text-free templates, but other than that, MIMO is great for tracking your subject, taking MotionLapse videos, as well as panoramic photos. If DJI could add support for switching between your phone's cameras, it would be truly great.
What’s disappointing about the OM 5 is the lack of an analogue joystick, which means you’ll need to move the handle itself to get the best and smoothest shots. But if you don’t mind paying a premium over alternatives such as the Osmo Mobile 3 for a smaller, lighter gimbal, it’s a great choice.
DJI Osmo Mobile 5: Specs
- 3-axis gimbal
- Battery life: up to 6.4 hours
- Charging time: 1.5 hours (10W charger)
- Mechanical range: Pan: -161.2° to 172.08°, Roll: -127.05° to 208.95°, Tilt: -101.46° to 229.54°
- Weight of Compatible Phone: 170-290g
- Width of Compatible Phones: 67-84mm wide and 6.9-10mm thick
- Bluetooth 5
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