DJI POCKET 2 OVERVIEW
A couple of weeks ago, DJI announced a very much expected piece of image-related gear, the Pocket 2 camera. This is a state of the arte gimbal camera that continues on the Osmo tradition left behind by original DJI Pocket gimbal.
As expected, the DJI Pocket 2 is the perfect lightweight companion for the creative content creator who needs a compact solution that can easily fit on any pocket you could think of. Version 2 delivers 4K/60fps video, comes with a 64MP imaging sensor, and DJI Matrix Stereo technology for you to easily dive into film-making right away from the box.
The DJI Pocket 2 also has some built-in intelligent features like ActiveTrack 3.0 and Story Mode. It also offers a suite of compact accessories widening the creative opportunities beyond belief. It is considered a tiny wonder that lets you create magic at hand, period. ActiveTrack 3.0 helps keeping everything on the frame steady while moving like crazy, and Story Mode uses video and music templates to make exciting mini-movies in just a few taps.
Create beautiful time-lapses, turn hours into seconds! Pick between the Motion-lapse for smooth camera movements while recording or the Hyper-lapse for "travelling through time". And if you are not into editing like ourselves, the AI Editor automatically combines your clips with transitions and music to create share-worthy content.
Designed with brushless motors and built-in sensors for optimum stability during photography, the DJI Pocket 2 is the pinnacle of gimbal supported image making. And as the previous version, it comes with the very well-known and handy zoom slider that enables smartphone operation for smooth and cinematic zooming effects.
Awesome, but What Exactly is a Gimbal to Begin With?
A general definition could illustrate that a gimbal is any pivoted support allowing rotation of an object around a single axis. Therefore, it is no surprise to find them in a lot of objects involving movement; but when used in cameras, the whole imaging experience becomes insanely interesting. Cool, but how come?
In portable photography equipment like the DJI Pocket 2, gimbal heads are used to allow a balanced imaging while moving the camera. Something you could expect from cinematic productions where smooth moving recordings happen a lot rather than shaky imaging due to camera handling. Unless you want shaky images for specific feelings of course. Do spooky movies ring a bell to you?
In photography, image stabilization has turned out to be quite a standard, from stabilized telephoto lenses to IBIS on sensors. But as smartphone photography becomes increasingly popular, image stabilization hasn't quite landed there yet. That's where the DJI Pocket 2 comes into play due to its pocket and convenient size, along with its easiness for plugging into a smartphone and temporarily replacing the built-in camera they come with. This innovative camera features a lightweight, modular design which you can easily hook up to your phone.
Powered by brushless motors, the DJI Pocket 2 has the ability of keeping the camera steady on all axes as one moves the device around. Diving deeper into the mechanics of it, inertial measurement units respond to the operating movements, utilizing separate motors to keep the camera nice and steady. And if you are wondering if this threatens creativity, let yourself be at ease. Smart algorithms are capable of differentiating between wanted movement as tracking and panning opposed to unwanted shaky movements produced by our own hands.
In short terms, the DJI Pocket 2 delivers a drone-like footage experience on the tip of your hands, and with the creative benefits of a large phone screen. Which, of course, doesn't mean that it comes screenless as we might see further on.
How is it Improved from the Previous DJI Pocket?
The DJI Pocket quickly became the preferred imaging solution for several situations, especially those involving action and movement. The small pocket size opened, or even democratized, the world of content capabilities, enabling anyone with a DJI Pocket gimbal camera to produce fine and smooth cinematic-like images, especially on video where the image stabilization comes insanely useful. Now, DJI's Pocket 2 continues that tradition but with updated and upgraded design and gimbal related specs like:
- Dimensions: 124.7×38.1×30 mm
- Weight: 117 g
- Stabilization: 3-axis
- Controllable Range: Pan: -230° to +70°, Tilt: -100° to +50°, Roll: ±45°
- Mechanical Range: Pan: -250° to +90°, Tilt: -180° to +70°, Roll: ±90°
- Max Controllable Speed: 120°/s
- Angular Vibration Range: ±0.005°
- Sensor: 1/1.7" CMOS
- Effective pixels: 64
- Lens: FOV 93° f/1.8 equivalent to 20 mm
- ISO Range: Photo: 100-6400 (16MP), 100-3200 (64MP), Video: 100-6400, Slow Motion: 100-3200
- Electronic Shutter Speed: 8 seconds to 1/8000s
- Max Image Size: 9216×6912 pixels (63,700,992)
At a quick glance, it doesn't seem as much has changed from 2018's version 1, but after taking a closer look, some things become clear and evident right away. First, at the bottom of the DJI Pocket 2 you'll notice a base plate that can be removed to reveal an expansion port for attaching various accessories.
This widens the already broad imaging potential of the DJI Pocket 1. Also noticeable there is a micro-tripod accessory for enhanced stability, a wireless module, or the Do-It-All Handle that adds a tripod mount. And last but not least, support for WiFi and Bluetooth, a decent speaker & wireless micro receiver, and a standard 3.5mm audio jack.
Oh, and even if using it alone, the Matrix Audio system behaves insanely well thanks to four built- in microphones that capture surrounding 360-degree sound. Including automatic sound tuning that can adjust for directional audio, wind noise reduction, and even sound tracking from a specific subject! It also performs audio zoom-ins, improving audio experience for sure.
Side note on the Drop Aware mode: In the unfortunate case of device falling (this thing is small, it can happen, they know it, otherwise this wouldn't even exist right?), the internals on the DJI Pocket 2 senses the fall via preventative readings (we are guessing gravity related acceleration or something like that) locks up the gimbal to prevent damage. Otherwise, the mechanism allowing all that sweet stabilization would suffer some mechanical stress, impacting negatively on the factory calibrations with which this thing is built on.
What To Know Before Buying It
If you are already familiar with the previous pocket gimbal camera from DJI, then you'll feel it quite similar to be honest. Which frankly, we see as a good thing. Why messing around with something that is already perfect in the first place? The DJI Pocket 2 comes with a number of design and performance upgrades, making it in theory, DJI's most powerful and portable stabilized mini camera yet.
As mentioned above, the Pocket 2 has been designed around a lightweight modular system, and weighs just 117 grams. It literally fits in any pocket, so you have no more excuses for not shooting more. The DJI Pocket 2 will always be at hand, unless you make an extreme effort of leaving it behind. And thanks to the bottom plate, attaching it to your phone (which we believe you always have close to you) is simpler than ever. The Pocket 2 can easily be used as a standalone camera or as an extension of your beloved phone simply as that.
Depending on the selected mode, the camera is capable of capturing photos in 16MP or 64MP, along with videos in 4K/60fps. Record all the little details in vivid HDR now! Also the 3-axis gimbal offers a smooth and stable footage, and the new DJI Pocket 2 features an extended zooming capability of 8x for you to get closer than ever to your subjects on frame!
Regarding sharpness, the DJI Pocket 2 brings a freshened up focus system as well. The Hybrid 2.0 AF combines contrast and phase detection, allowing users to lock onto subjects and keep track of moving elements in their frames in a much precise way than with the previous Pocket 1. Regarding crisp audio fidelity, the Pocket 2 enhances the DJI Matrix Stereo audio system by also giving us the option of controlling noisy artifacts produced by annoying wind. A very much handy setting for outdoor shootings, especially during mountain trekking related activities.
Note for the social media heads: The camera comes with a series of preprogrammed shooting modes, designed for producing visually stunning content in a quick and easy way.
- Pro Mode, which allows total control over ISO image sensitivity, shutter speeds and exposure compensation and focus.
- ActiveTrack 3.0, which beyond the aforementioned goodies, helps in keeping a subject in frame automatically.
- Story Mode for quick social media sharing, with preset camera movements, color corrections & profiles, and background music too as mentioned before.
- Slow Motion with max settings of 8x at 1080p
- Three time-lapse settings with varying effects and camera smoothing pans and movements
- 180-degree imagery
- And last but not least, sweet 3 by 3 Panoramas
The camera also includes options for direct live streaming into Facebook, Youtube and more.
It is true that iPhone 12 Pro Max comes with impressive imaging capabilities, but the main advantages we spot for having a dedicated imaging system like the DJI Pocket 2 are:
- One third of the price
- Action camera orientation
- It doesn't carry your centralized existence in it, so if it breaks, your life can continue without too much problem.
- Even when image stabilization on the iPhone 12 Pro Max is impressive, your hands yet cannot cope with the motorized head movements of the DJI Pocket 2 for following subjects while recording video and stills.
How Does it Feels?
When used alone, the Pocket 2 feels intuitive, almost like an extension of your own body, blending together the maneuverability of your hands, with the unique perspective of your own eyes. And when paired with your phone, it makes the already familiar phone-shooting experience a much more pleasing one. It basically feels like using your phone, without anything else attached to it, but with the extreme benefit of capturing smooth and stabilized images.
One great feature that differentiates the 2 from the 1 is that this version won't clog or jam your phone. The camera used here is built-in, and simply uses your phone when you want a larger viewfinder for more granular controls. And for better grabbing control if you find it useful too. But the overall design on the Pocket 2 needs no further gripping aid or whatsoever.
The pairing is made via USB-C port on the bottom, so take that into account before buying one of these. But don't worry, you can also connect the device through a universal port adapter that sits between the screen and buttons. Inside the box, you get a Lightning and USB-C adapters that fit into this slot for easy phone attachment and video export.
Wrapping it Up
Basically, DJI listened to what their customers wanted, and adapted a very well-deserved 2021 worthy upgrade to the already iconic design of the original Pocket 1. They "simply" raised the bar, while keeping it accessible for the already existing users, as well as new adapters to the system.
The DJI Pocket 2 delivers an improved audio experience, as well as wider expandability. Whether we are out and about capturing everyday stories or, simply vlogging about anything, this camera is an excellent choice. Anyone requiring state of the art imaging technology will see the benefits of using such a still-novel system like this one. Pocket 2 cuts the middlemen, and helps anyone capturing footages like a pro. Take your visual storytelling skills to a whole new level with the DJI Pocket 2.