Tricks and tips with the DJI Osmo
DJI market the Osmo as “Motion without blur. Action shots without shake. Perfect video even when you move.”
The DJI Osmo is undoubtedly one of the pieces of kit I use a lot, especially when a production is on a budget. It shoots lovely 4K images, has 3-axis stabilisation and rotates a full 360 degrees. It’s light and portable enough just to throw into your kit bag and use when you can. As an all in one camera and stabiliser, it’s great.
However, it has so many more uses than just a stabiliser! Below are what you can achieve with an Osmo to get the most out of your production.
1) Stabilised shots (obviously)
We’ll get the standard one out of the way first. This is a great, lightweight camera/gimbal combo. Being able to record smooth motion in 4K, boosts production value instantly. The Osmo can be operated either one handed; using the toggle to direct the camera and a phone used as a monitor, or you can have an operator to control the handle and a separate operator controlling the direction of the camera by using the app and touch responses.
2) Fake Jib shots
Fake it until you make it. Jib’s can be expensive, difficult to reposition and impractical. A cheap, quick, work around is attaching the Osmo to the end of a boom pole and recreating the jib shot manually. With the stabilised gimbal, in app monitoring and control and with a bit of practice, it’s easy to cheat an expensive jib shot on the cheap!
3) Fake Drone shots
There are times when flying a drone isn’t practical, safe or affordable. Getting the trusty boom pole out again allows the Osmo to get to an adequate height to fake a drone shot. Whether you stick it out of a sun roof of a car to recreate a tracking shot, or keep it stationary whilst controlling the gimbal from the phone to do a tilt shot or just walking it through a busy and congested city centre, this is a great alternative to getting out the drone. If you need extra height, you can buy a window washers pole online which easily get to the height of a standard house.
The picture on the left shows the Osmo on a boom pole. This shoot was with 150 Dalmatians so having a drone in the air, above the public’s head was not possible or safe. So, having my colleague run through the crowd whilst I operated the camera with my phone was a good second best.
4) Car mounting
I love my GoPro and it’s great for car mounting, but as mentioned, every camera is a tool to use in the correct way. If you want the camera to move with the car, use the GoPro, if you want a stabilised smooth looking shot, the Osmo is your go to. I’ve done a blog showing the differences in the Gopro hero 5 and the DJI Osmo here.
One of the key factors in using an Osmo for car mount scenarios is the flexibility. This can dramatically speed up filming a car sequence instead of needing to mount, record, stop and re-mount each time you need to change the shot. It also allows you to do remotely operated moves, something that the GoPro just can’t do! Watch the video to see what I mean.
5) Remote operating
So, we’ve touched on this in point 4, but it deserves its own mention. Remote operating! Being able to stick this thing in a corner, on a window or a clamp and remotely operate it from afar can give you that much needed shot without being in the mix. I’ve used this for a couple of weddings, getting the camera nice and close without impeding on the couples’ special day. Of course, you can use this set up for other lives events where having a camera operator in the mix wouldn’t be appropriate, or of course, if you’re filming on your main camera and have set the Osmo up to get B roll, being able to monitor this on your phone away from the camera and alter your shots is brilliant!
DJI Osmo on stage facing the Bride and Groom.