DJI Osmo Mobile 2 Simple Workflow

OK, I’ve recorded three events with the DJI Osmo Mobile 2. It’s a nice $129 stabilized mount that fits an iPhone X pretty much perfectly. There are quite a few tricks to using it, so here’s a short list of notes.

Setting up

The thing is actually pretty hard to figure out. The instructions are tiny (and it could also be because it was 15 minutes until the event and I had to charge it and read the directions). The long and short of it is that you have to download the DJI Go application (not the DJI Go 4 application which is pretty confusing). You then hold the power button down and you Bluetooth pair it.
At this point, you have to understand the controls. The button at the bottom is the mode button. One click and you switch from track a point to pan mode. Two quick clicks and you and it reverse the camera. Then there is the joystick button. The most important control in the application is whether you set it to track an object. This is really useful if the thing is moving or your hand gets tired. However, be careful, if the object is too far and it loses track, you can blow the entire cut, the Osmo will start wandering around looking for the object. So if you are shooting a still scene (like a band playing), you can to click to the mode button
They have three gimbal modes, is by default the follow mode. This means that when you move the gimbal, the phone follows smoothly. Put another way when you point towards something, then the camera follows whatever you do. This means that when you are shooting a concert, you really want a tripod or something to keep it all centered. If you lock the pitch lock in the application which puts you into a pan follow mode instead of follow mode. This means that it locks tilting up and down but does allow you to pan.
Mounting the phone is also a little tricky, you need to make sure it is centered in the spring loaded holder and you also need to know that to unlock an iPhone X, you actually have to tilt the Osmo sideways, the holder will then automatically flip into portrait mode and you can unlock, then go back to the regular phone on top/hand on bottom position.
If you click the button once, then it will flip to free mode. This means that no matter how you move the gimbal, the camera will stay steady. This is the right mode for shooting concerts. As an aside, if you click twice, the phone automatically centers itself, so for most concert, turn on the thing and then double click on the power button to center the phone and then click once to get it into free mode. It is pretty frustrating because there isn’t an indication in the application as to where you are. And also make sure you don’t tap three times, because this switches you from front facing or rear camera.
You want to set it for 4K for sure and the videos are stored in the DJI application itself. If you are just shooting action footage, then you can actually edit right there and it actually adds audio on top. This is sort of useful for sport usage, but most of the time, if you are shooting people, you need audio, so you need to export the video.
The MacOS iMovie is a decent application for this. The main trick is that the videos are so big, you have to do two transfers from DJI to Photos to iMovie. I find the Photo Library is pretty slow and super buggy. It sometimes just does not appear in iMove.
So is actually faster to to DJI save to Photos, then dock the phone to your Mac so you don’t have to wait for gigabytes to upload all the to iCloud and back down to your Mac. Import it manually and then manually export the raw files to the disk. Then import with iMovie, it’s clumsy but faster.
Finally, if you are like me and you make mistakes with panning, it’s a pain to figure out where the errors are. The trick is to fast scrub through the video and look for bobbles and then edit them out.
Finally, when you start the new imovie project, make sure that you are in 4K mode. This is completely hidden in iMovie, but if you make a mistake, the Project will lock into 1080p mode and there seems to be no way to change it. The trick is that you have to make sure the first video that you load is 4K. Then, you have to click on the Share button on the upper right and click on File and make sure 4K appears.
And yes, this seems completely ridiculous, first of all the Share button is no where on any menu and secondly, the Project resolution is buried in side of it. Sigh. When you do share it, you have a few options. If it is a short video, you can stick it into iCloud Photo Sharing and put it in an album, this down resolve it however.
Another option is to use YouTube, again the video needs to be short (15 minutes I think) and then you can mark it private.
For long videos however, you need to pay. If you have iCloud Drive and pay for say the 2TB plan, then you copy it into your Documents folder and then it lives in iCloud Drive. When you want to share it, you (unintuitively), right click on the file and choose Share and pick Add People and then you can share it. Make sure you don’t move the item though as this breaks the share.

2 responses to “DJI Osmo Mobile 2 Simple Workflow”

  1. MarkWong Avatar

    Rich, can u recommend a better product?

    1. rich Avatar

      Haven’t tried any others, it does seem to work reasonably well for the $129 price, but there are whole host of these things now.

I’m Rich & Co.

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