The Best Camera for Vlogging?
Is DJI Pocket 2 the best camera for Vlogging? I’m intrigued, I use DJI Drones and the cameras are fantastic. The DJI Osmo 3 Gimbal for iPhone is superb, put the two together and surely you have a winner?
Looking at the specs, it’s hard to fault – such a tiny device with so much functionality!
I said “Tiny”, here are the actual dimensions.
- 124.7×38.1×30 mm
- 117 g
There’s a 3 axis gimbal designed with all the expertise you’d expect from DJI. It’s a mechanical gimbal, intrinsically superior to the electronic stabilisation featured by Insta360 and GoPro,
The Camera has a larger CMOS Sensor than the original Osmo Pocket, at 1/1.7″. DJI claim an effective pixel count of 64MP, however, that needs to be unpacked. You get 8x zoom in 64MP mode or 4x lossless zoom in 16MP mode. The largest picture size you will get is 9216×6912 pixels. The camera is capable of stitching panoramas and like the drones, shoots in either JPEG or DNG
Video resolution is impressive:
- 4K Ultra HD: 3840×2160 @ 24/25/30/48/50/60fps
- 2.7K: 2720×1530 @ 24/25/30/48/50/60fps
- FHD: 1920×1080 @ 24/25/30/48/50/60fps
Video modes include Normal Video, HDR Video, Timelapse, Motionlapse and Hyperlapse.
Slow Motion is catered for at 1080p/120fps (for 4x) and 1080p/240fps (for 8x)
The battery is non-replaceable, onboard. DJI say that you can get 140 minutes of record time out of it at 1080p/24fps. That’s not 4K, but it is perfectly adequate for web video which is what this camera is designed for.
Charging time is 73 minutes, but you can use a power brick in the field. The camera is designed for Vlogging and live-streaming, You’ll need a power source for live-streaming.
It comes in two packages, Camera only at £339 and the Creator Combo at £469. The Creator Combo is probably the best camera for vlogging, it comes with wireless capability, a remote microphone, wide-angle lens adapter, mini control stick, charging cable, cover and smartphone adapters for USB-C and Lightning. On top of this, the keen Vlogger will want to add an extension pole to capture those walk and talk sequences and ND filters to deal with strong daylight. That will set you back another £114.
The main attraction is clearly the size. The only competition is a mobile phone or GoPro. To my mind, the Pocket 2 has better colour “out of the box” than GoPro and lacks the inherent wide angle distortion that is a feature of GoPros. The skin tones are pleasingly natural and although it lacks the dynamic range of the GoPro, DJI says they will implement HDR Video in a firmware update. DJI has addressed the sound issues that bedevilled the original Pocket by adding four onboard microphones and offering the option of using a different mic altogether. This is big. Bad audio demolishes good video.
Is the Pocket 2 the best camera for vlogging?
It depends is the answer – it’s not as robust as the GoPro, it’s considerably less fiddly and more robust than the Insta 360. It cannot compete with a DSLR or the ever-popular Sony and Canon cameras, but then it is a lot smaller. Don’t underestimate the advantage of tiny. I regularly carry a DSLR and three lenses on walkabouts and if I want to make videos as well as shoot photos, that’s an extra camera body and tripod. Or I can bring a friend.
Whether the Pocket 2 is actually the best camera for vlogging depends on the type of vlog you’re trying to create. For travel bloggers, It’s hard to beat as the form factor is so important. Action bloggers might want to stick with GoPro, although you can get a waterproof case for the Pocket 2.
To my mind, the single thing that is likely to swing the dial towards the Pocket 2 is the fixed aperture lens. f/1.8 means that my backgrounds will be pleasingly soft if I’m doing a “talk to the camera” video. That’s something I can only do right now with a DSLR.
As I said, I’m intrigued. Watch this space for an actual review after Christmas.
This article is part of my ongoing “Business of Photography” series which covers aspects of the industry that are slightly removed from the business of taking photographs. If this article has been useful, I’m happy. I am affiliated with a few best-in-class companies whose products I use regularly in my own work. DxO, DJI, and Adobe. Check out my recent review of DxO PhotoLab 4 here.
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