A common smartphone these days has a camera with some outstanding features. Yet while if it’s simple to press a button to start a timelapse sequence, video clip, or zoom in on a topic, the finished products sometimes lack steadiness, making them appear unpolished. The Osmo Mobile 6 ($159), the newest 3-axis smartphone gimbal from DJI, is here to steady your hand with a few new features and an updated app.
The OM 5 is replaced by the Osmo Mobile 6. (yes, DJI has changed the naming convention for this product as well). In addition to providing an extending rod for selfies and shooting more views, it also adds controls that let you zoom in on subjects, pan, and, when used with the companion app, create a hyperlapse or tale. Both Android and iOS cellphones can use it, with the latter OS offering a lightning-fast setup.
The Osmo Mobile 6 is priced the same as its predecessor when it goes on sale, but is an upgrade worthwhile? Should content producers and vloggers consider buying one? Let’s investigate.
- 3-axis stabilization
- Magnetic phone mount for quick setup
- Quick Launch (available for iOS only)
- Status bar LEDs show battery life and camera mode
- Side wheel allows focus adjustment or zoom control
- Built-in extension rod for additional angles and vantage points
- ShotGuides feature recommends camera shots based on what you’re filming and creates clips for social media
- ActiveTrack 5.0
- Numerous video modes
- Companion Mimo app includes various comprehensive tutorials
- Up to 6.5 hours battery life
The Osmo Mobile 6 was released a little over a year after its predecessor, the OM 5. At 189mm × 85mm × 44mm (7.7″ × 3.3″ × 1.7″), the Osmo Mobile 6 is slightly larger but still compact enough to fit in a small purse and carry around comfortably.
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The Osmo Mobile 6 gimbal
The built-in extension rod of the Osmo Mobile 6 is 215mm (8.5″) long when fully extended, allowing you to take pictures from a wider range of angles. The device’s front has undergone major improvement and is now easier to operate.
A little indicator on the top left of the status bar lets you know when the device is connected and ready to use; green indicates this. The state of the battery is immediately underneath it. The battery will turn red when it is 20% or less charged. An indicator indicating which of the device’s four gimbal modes is active is located directly to the right of both.
The “M” button that powers on and off the device can also be used to switch between gimbal modes automatically, or it can be pressed three times to enter standby mode. You push the red “Record” button underneath to begin recording video or, if the device is in photo mode, to snap images.
The Switch button is located underneath the Record button. To physically switch between your phone’s front and back cameras, press it once. To switch the phone’s orientation from portrait to landscape, press it twice. The phone can switch between video and photo mode by pressing three times.
The enhanced control provided by a built-in side wheel is arguably the most significant improvement. You can manually change the focus distance of the camera by pressing it once. The camera will zoom in and out more smoothly and fluidly when the button is pressed twice and the wheel is turned forward or backward.
The device has a trigger button on the back. When pressed, DJI’s Active Track 5.0 feature spins the phone to follow a selected subject and, for the most part, keeps it in the center of the picture. The camera will automatically refocus if you press the button twice. With a few clicks on the lock and unlock buttons, follow speed can also be modified.
The Osmo Mobile 6 features a 1/4″-20 UNC connector on the bottom for attaching a tripod, just as the OM 5. DJI advises using the tripod for taking timelapse or hyperlapse videos. The device’s top has an M3-0.5 screw hole that can be used to fasten an accessory, like a second camera lens or microphone. A DJI Mic Transmitter and Receiver are part of a Vlog Combo, which sells at three times the amount of the equipment alone.
A Vlog Combo was not provided to DPReview for testing. Instead, a brand-new item called the OM Fill Light Phone Clamp ($59), which was released alongside the Osmo Mobile 6, came. The LED lights on both sides of the clamp have three brightness and color temperature settings and function similarly to the magnetic smartphone mount. It should be billed separately.
The Osmo Mobile 6 kit comes with a typical smartphone clamp. The clamp, which was first used with the OM 4, is simply attached to the gimbal’s mounting plate. The DJI software will prompt you to center the smartphone clamp as tightly as you can to ensure proper operation. The most recent version supports larger devices than the previous one.
Maximum charging time for the Osmo Mobile 6 is 1 hour and 24 minutes, and under ideal circumstances, it may run for up to 6 hours and 24 minutes.v
The DJI Mimo app
DJI’s Mimo software powers the Osmo Mobile 6. The software is straightforward, but it also includes an excessive number of video guides for getting started and using functions like Stories and ShotGuides.
Moreover, DJI has released the LightCut software, which allows for more flexible video editing. LightCut is simplified and simple to use. It provides easy-to-use tools for editing, sequencing, and adding titles and music to a collection of clips. If you choose, you can utilize any of its many templates. Although you can’t do anything particularly complex with it, it’s a helpful (and free) tool for the average vlogger or content maker.
On the right-hand side of the Mimo app (or at the bottom, depending on the smartphone’s orientation), you’ll find the photography and videography shooting modes. They are:
- Video: tap to shoot a regular video.
- Photo: capture still pictures. You can start at 0.5X for a wide angle and zoom in up to 8X. Holding down the button activates burst mode.
- Hyperlapse: shoot a hyperlapse sequence while moving the mobile phone.
- Timelapse: there are four default ways to record this: fixed, sequence, right-to-left or reverse. You can also set up a custom motion with up to four positions for the gimbal to maneuver between.
- DynamicZoom: simulates a dolly zoom effect. Tap the screen to select either the Move In or Move Out mode and drag a box to select your subject. You then walk towards or away from the subject to create a video clip.
- Slow Motion: record video at either 4X or 8X slow motion.
- Pano: capture 3×3, 240°, or CloneMe. The latter creates an image in which the same subject appears in multiple places in the same photo. It counts down 5 seconds after each capture so your subject can move to the next position in the frame.
- Story: provides a multitude of templates, guides, and automated angles. After each clip is recorded, it will be stitched together for an instantly shareable story.
The numbers for ISO, shutter speed, and EV are shown at the bottom of the screen. You can use the scroll bar just above to zoom in and out between 0.5X and 8X. The screen’s bottom-left three-dot symbol leads to a menu with options for the camera, gimbal, and general settings. You have quick access to shooting modes and Glamour settings on the left side.
You can access Stories and ShotGuides from the top of the app, see the remaining battery life for the gimbal and your phone, see which mode the side wheel is in (Manual Focus or Zoom), and switch between the front and rear cameras on your phone. When video is turned on, the ActiveTrack Select Box will appear in the center of the frame. If the camera is zoomed in more than three times, ActiveTrack 5.0 will not operate.
The first time you use an Osmo Mobile device, it will require some practice to shoot images without any glitches. While connecting your smartphone and starting to use it is simple (especially if you’re using iOS), you’ll need to spend some time figuring out the settings to get the desired result. The built-in extension rod is useful for capturing unusual or difficult angles, although depending on your goals, that may also require practice. Although it is expensive for a smartphone gimbal, it can be well worth the purchase depending on how often and for what purposes you use it.