Drone maker DJI Big and small cameras and lenses are no strangers. The company’s drones capture some of the best aerial footage of the area, which is why DJI’s first war on an action cam – Osmo Action – was a hit. It was more or less a GoPro clone, but it added a full color front screen, a feature GoPro later copied.
For its second competition in style, DJI seems to have taken a closer look at another competitor – Insta360, which launched an interchangeable lens system on the action camera. DJI’s GoPro clone has been invented in some really clever ways, but the new Action 2 is less compelling.
On paper, its specs are solid. At 120 frames per second (fps) there is a host of 4K video recordings, enhanced motion stabilization, and automatic capture methods and features that have become standard on advanced action cams. But after weeks with Action 2, I’m just not impressed. I can only think One Because I would choose it on GoPro Hero 10 or Insta360 One R: weight.
Action 2 is not strictly an Insta360 One R clone. They are both modular, but with OneR, modularity involves replacing different lenses and sensor combos. DJI takes a different approach, with the main unit being the working camera. All you can add to it is either a battery pack or a dual screen module. The latter lets you see yourself when the camera is facing your face. (The magnetic sides can also be attached to different mounts and clips so that you never have to encircle anything.)
This modular approach is welcome, but when I first opened Action2, I was taken aback with most of the camera. If there’s one thing that’s not good about the GoPro Hero 10 Black, it’s the weight. Or at least, I assume that having a 5.3-ounce weight on your head is annoying. I rarely attach a camera to my person – I don’t find the resulting footage particularly interesting – but I know a lot of people do exactly that.
If your primary use of the action camera is actually tying it to your helmet when you, as my snowboarding room mate was seriously saying, “bomb the slopes,” then DJI Action 2 might be GoPro. Will leave behind and much more in the market. It weighs just 2 ounces, which is hardly noticeable on your helmet. DJI’s camera is also smaller, which means less drag in air and water.
In addition to the featherweight design, you can add batteries and screen modules to the mix to turn it into a more traditional action cam. However, this is where the flaws and disadvantages of Action 2 begin to show.
DJI’s magnetic attachment mechanism, from a pure engineering point of view, is talented. It’s simple and reliable. You put the two cubes together and they broke in place. It’s not easy. Two clips make the magnet more secure, but you can also easily separate it with gloved hands. But you should probably not try to separate it with gloved hands, because if you are wearing gloves, you may be in the snow, and only the lensed part of the camera is completely waterproof.
Diver, don’t worry, there’s a waterproof case you can buy for an extra $ 65 that will make the entire camera waterproof up to 196 feet (60 meters). But then you lose the advantage of the rapidly changing magnetic clip system. The lack of complete waterproofing is moderately annoying, but not a deal breaker unless you are primarily planning to use your action cam in water. If so, this is definitely not what you want.