HomeDrone NewsDJI Action 2 Review Of Features And Specs

DJI Action 2 Review Of Features And Specs

With a complete overhaul from the first edition, the DJI Action 2 drops the Osmo name and picks up a modular design and magnetically attachable accessories. Shooting 4K at 120 FPS, the Action 2 is not the highest resolution action camera out there; but DJI claims the Action 2 is the most powerful action camera to date. With a design to capture your life on the go- we will see how it stacks up!

Introduction:

Looking at the DJI Action 2 camera clearly shows the very GoPro-like design of the original Osmo Action is no more. With the new aluminum body and clean lines, the Action 2 is aesthetically more akin to an Apple product than GoPro. Like if Apple made the GoPro Session, this would be it. The modular layout pulls more inspiration from the Insta360 ONE line in its own format- but enough comparison of the visual design, how does the DJI Action 2 perform? Packing a 1/1.7-inch CMOS imaging sensor, the Action 2 shoots the high-quality 4K footage one would expect from a DJI product. DJI flaunts the “magnetic versatility” in every promotional image, along with the portability factor this action camera has. Specially designed for this camera is a variety of magnetic, quick-change mounts that range from a lanyard to a ¼-inch tripod mount. 

Feature Overview of the DJI Action 2:

The DJI Action 2 ships in one of two combo packs: the DJI Action 2 Power Combo and the DJI Dual-Screen Combo. Below you can see the accessories in each to compare.

The DJI Action 2 Power Combo ships with:

  • 1x DJI Action 2
  • 1x DJI Action 2 Power Module
  • 1x DJI Action 2 Magnetic Lanyard
  • 1x DJI Action 2 Magnetic Adapter Mount
  • 1x Power Cable

You can buy the DJ Action 2 from Amazon by clicking here.

The DJI Dual-Screen Combo (at $519 on DJI.com) ships with:

  • 1x DJI Action 2
  • 1x DJI Action 2 Front Touchscreen Module
  • 1x DJI Action 2 Magnetic Lanyard
  • 1x DJI Action 2 Magnetic Ball-Joint Adapter Mount
  • 1x DJI Action 2 Magnetic Adapter Mount
  • 1x Power Cable

You can buy the DJ Action 2 Dual Screen from Amazon by clicking here.

If you are torn between the versatility of the Power Module vs the accessibility of the Front Touchscreen Module, don’t be. DJI sells all the included accessories and more separately. The Front Touchscreen Module costs $169 when bought individually. The Power Module costs $75 when purchased alone. For anyone who will want both modules for the Action 2 camera, it’ll save you $13 to buy the Action 2 Power Module separately in addition to the Action 2 Front Touchscreen Combo because of the Magnetic Ball-Joint Adapter Mount. The Magnetic Ball-Joint Adapter Mount is included with the Front Touchscreen Combo and is $39 purchased separately. Not huge savings, but about half the cost of a DJI Refresh 1-Year Plan ($25) so you can beat up the Action 2 as much as possible in the first year you have it.

DJI Action 2 Accessories:

The accessories available for the DJI Action 2 provide many ways to attach the camera to anything. Walls, tripods, cars, heads, clothes, almost everything. Currently, the complete list of accessories available are listed here:

  • DJI Action 2 Remote Control Extension Rod ($75)
  • DJI Action 2 Waterproof Case ($65)
  • DJI Action 2 Macro Lens ($79)
  • DJI Action 2 Magnetic Headband ($35)
  • DJI Action 2 Floating Handle ($39)
  • DJI Mic ($329)
  • DJI Action 2 Magnetic Ball-Joint Adapter Mount ($39)
  • DJI Action 2 Magnetic Adapter Mount ($25)
  • Osmo Action Extension Rod ($49)
  • Osmo Action Mounting Kit ($19)
  • DJI Mini Bag+ ($39)
  • DJI Refresh Plan for DJI Action 2 (1-year: $25, 2-year: $36)

Unique to the DJI Action 2 is the ability to connect a macro lens adapter over the camera. Traditionally, action cameras have had a single wide-angle lens, so it was easy to capture the world around you. Then dual-lens cameras came with 360-degree imagery. Insta360 introduced a sensor module to the ONE R line, either adding a lens or changing to a larger image sensor. A Macro Lens adds the ability to get closer to your subject(s) without losing focus and typically with a smaller field of view. I do not see macro-photography or macro-videography on action cameras becoming a common thing. However, for anyone that exclusively uses an action camera for all their creative needs, this could be an excellent addition. 

The lanyard strap is another creative insight inspired by Insta360. The Insta360 GO line uses a magnetic clip to attach the almost 20 grams camera to a shirt. The Insta360 Go is a much smaller camera, so to see this feature available in a high-resolution action camera highlights an exciting future of new action camera abilities. 

Also new to the DJI lineup is the DJI MIC. A wireless microphone system that is less an Action 2 accessory and more a new standalone product. DJI looks to push the creative boundaries of action camera (or any camera) systems by allowing the audio to be as high quality as the video. The DJI MIC allows for wireless dual-channel recording at distances of up to 250 meters. Portability and simplicity of use are the key factors in the MIC system design. The DJI MIC is compatible with phones, computers, DSLR cameras, and mirrorless cameras too.

As of November 2021, the accessories purchased separately are only available to reserve (except for the Osmo branded accessories). With the DJI Action 2 Power Combo being only available for pre-order. The DJI Action 2 Dual-Screen Combo is available now at $519 and shipping out this week. 

Video Quality and Durability:

With any action camera, two factors matter more than almost any others: video quality and durability.

Is the video quality good enough? 

The DJI action 2 uses a 1/1.7-inch CMOS sensor that shoots 4K footage at a maximum of 120 FPS. The Action 2 has a 12.7 mm equivalent lens has a 155° field of view- advertised by DJI as Super-Wide Angle. DJI asserts the custom-built aspheric lens reduces the distortion associated with wide-angle lenses. ISO ranges from 100-6400 for both the video and photo modes, which is standard for an action camera but has a large f/2.8 aperture. Going up against the genre-defining GoPro is a tough feat and GoPro has had 5K footage since its last revision (the 9 Black, now on the 10 Black), making the image quality closer to a GoPro 8 Black. The GoPro 8 Black comes in at $299 from GoPro.com, $100 less. Is that a deal-breaker? Absolutely not. The DJI Action 2 has their new RockSteady 2.0 software for image stabilization and HorizonSteady to keep your footage oriented built-in and likely influenced by their experiences with drone imagery. Still, photography mode takes 12 MP, 4000×3000 pixel images with a timer available too. Video mode has a large variety of options to choose from large files like 4K (4:3): 4096×3072 @ 24/25/30/48/50/60fps or 4K (16:9): 3840×2160 @ 100/120fps to smaller files like 1080p (16:9): 1920×1080 @ 100/120/200/240fps. More than enough resolution for the weekend warrior wanting to record adventures or the YouTuber looking to get more action shots. With 120 fps available at 4K, slow motion can be cut to 4 times speed or at 1080p at 240 fps. AKA halved again to 8 times slower than real life. The Action 2 is the same as the GoPro 10 Black with a max slow motion of 1080p at 240 fps. Timelapse mode is also available at all resolutions, 4K, 2.7K, and 1080p with intervals from 0.5 seconds up to 40 seconds and preset lengths from 5 to 30 minutes, 1 to 5 hours, or as long as you want. With a max bitrate of 130 Mbps, the footage will be saved to the 32 GB internal drive efficiently. 

Is the camera durable enough? 

The DJI Action 2 diverges from other action cameras in this field. The Action 2 has an aluminum alloy body that not only looks good but, is also more durable than plastic and acts as a heatsink to keep the camera operating safely. The built-in temperature sensor also ensures overheating does not damage the camera. Weighing in at 56 grams, it’s almost 100 grams lighter than the GoPro 10 Black. Of course, with the Power Module or the Front Touchscreen Module, the weight is more than doubled. The Power Module adds 56.6 grams for a total of 112.6 grams and the Front TouchScreen Module adds 64 grams for a total of 120 grams. Compare that to the GoPro 10 Black weight of 153 grams and you see an impressive accomplishment for a modular design weighing almost the same as the Insta360 ONE R wide-angle (121 grams). 

The lens and touchscreens use Gorilla Glass to ensure the camera is less likely to crack or break. As someone who has broken a plethora of phones, Gorilla Glass is not going to save a serious fall but is significantly better than any other glass out there. 

Adding to the durable design of the DJI Action 2 is the distinct lack of ports. No SD card slot in the main camera, no headphone port, no power port; just an array of 8 metal dots across the bottom. Both attachable modules contain microSD card slots and micro-USB slots, for those concerned about storage space and proprietary chargers. Size-wise, the Action 2 comes in at 39mm by 39mm by 22.3mm and has a 1.76-inch touchscreen on the back with a resolution of 350 PPI. The camera unit alone is drop-proof, dustproof, and waterproof up to 10 meters with an IP68 rating. When in the Waterproof Case, the Power Module or the Front Touchscreen Module can be attached, and the unit is waterproof to 60 meters depth. DJI recommends using the Waterproof Case for activities that involve higher than normal water pressures or longer periods of time of underwater exposure, specifically calling out cliff diving and diving. 

Battery Life:

The DJI Action 2 has a 580 mAh, 1S LiPo battery built-in with a maximum operating time of 70 minutes when in Power Reserve Mode (shooting 1080p at 30 fps and no image stabilization). Realistic operating times will be reduced for any other conditions. Fortunately, the Power Module is hot-swappable for use as you go. The Power Module contains a 1300 mAh 2S LiPo, increasing the Power Reserve mode to 180 minutes of usage. Similarly, the Front Touchscreen module also contains the same battery and has 160 minutes of Power Reserve usage with that front touchscreen draining 20 minutes worth of usage. I find this to be plenty of time for a device designed to record highlights of action events, but if you want to increase battery life there is the option to buy more power modules. With the ability to hot-swap batteries, this is the feature that sets the DJI Action 2 up for success in the highly competitive action camera world. 

Software Features:

As mentioned earlier, the DJI Action 2 includes some new software from DJI: the RockSteady 2.0 and the HorizonSteady. 

Upgrading the previous version of RockSteady, the new 2.0 edition should provide results in the same way as the competition. I don’t believe stabilization software will ever be as effective as a full-on gimbal, but the results look sufficient for most activities. 

HorizonSteady is DJI’s new software designed to do exactly what the name describes, keep the horizon level and steady in your shot. No matter the orientation of the Action 2, the camera will find the horizon and orient the video to match. I would assume this uses an accelerometer to calculate orientation, maybe in addition to image recognition algorithm, but details on how the software works are thin. Promotional materials make the software look superb, so a hands-on test would be the best way to find out more.

Front Touchscreen Module:

When first looking at the DJI Action 2 camera, I assumed the Front Touchscreen Module would simply be a screen attachment like the early gen 1, 2, 3 GoPro’s had. I was wrong and this is so much better. Containing a 1300 mAh battery, it is a full battery pack built into the screen. It also contains 3 microphones, a microSD card slot, and a micro-USB port. Due to these additions, the module is not waterproof. Hence the DJI Waterproof Case (sold separately). The front touchscreen is the same size as the camera’s back touchscreen; 1.76 inches and 350 PPI. Probably the exact same screen, which I find to be a nice touch. To charge the Front Touchscreen Module and the camera takes about 90 minutes. Much like other timings, this number is from a lab test and real-world results will vary by battery and environmental conditions. Like the Power Modules, the Front Touchscreen Module is hot-swappable as well.

AI Editor:

Created for the DJI Action 2 is the AI Editor in the DJI Mimo App. This artificial intelligence software scans your footage for the highlights and automatically selects clips and creates videos. The app adds transitions and music to create highlight reels with ease. Just tell the AI Editor which videos you want to pull from, and it will do its thing. Most smartphones have this ability built into their native photo apps (i.e. Apple and Google), so this technology is nothing groundbreaking, but it is a handy feature for those who don’t enjoy editing videos or want the convenience of AI creation all in one place. 

DJI Action 2 Pricing:

With two combo packages available, the price point of the DJI Action 2 Camera is not cheap. $399 for the DJI Action 2 Power Combo and $519 for the DJI Action 2 Dual-Screen Combo sets the camera at the mid to high end of the action camera market. Above the entry-level Insta360 ONE R 4K ($299 on insta360.com), with the GoPro Hero 10 Black ($499 on gopro.com), and below the top-end Insta360 ONE R 1-Inch ($549 on insta360.com); the competition is fierce. The beautiful modular design, aluminum body, and hot-swappable modules make the value of this camera well worth the cost.

You can buy the DJ Action 2 from Amazon by clicking here.

You can buy the DJ Action 2 Dual Screen from Amazon by clicking here.

Conclusion:

The stunning aluminum bodied DJI Action 2 throws out the rulebook on what an action camera is. It’s no longer just a black plastic rectangle, it’s now an aesthetically pleasing housing for a wide-angle camera lens. With the magnetically connectable, hot-swappable modules, the Action 2 pulls design cues from other manufacturers in a way that’s completely its own. A size smaller than a GoPro and magnetically connect-ability to mounts, the portability of the Action 2 is in a league of its own. Utilizing a 1/1.7-inch CMOS image sensor to shoot 4K footage at 120 frames per second, it is everything you need in an action camera and with unprecedented durability, it is everything you want in an action camera. 

Leave A Reply

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Popular posts

My favorites