About a year ago DJI released a self-stabilising 4K Osmo camera that anyone could pick up and use. We liked it, but the downside was that it cost £550. This year the drone-maker is trying something else with the Osmo Mobile. It has the same self-stabilising tech, but instead of built-in camera it uses your phone.
It looks like an elaborate selfie stick at first, though it isn't really since it doesn't actually extend to annoy everyone in your immediate vicinity. You just hold it in your hands, and point it in whatever direction you want to be filming. The combination of the hardware and DJI's software will ensure that the footage is smooth and shake-free.
There are lot of typical photography features included, like panoramas, time-lapses, long shots, and the like. The most impressive, however, is active tracking, which is also available on some of the company's pricier drones. That works by having you select an object on your phone's screen, and as you move the camera will rotate to keep it in frame.
While the obvious adopters for this are vloggers and would-be YouTubers, it's the kind of thing that anyone could get a lot of use out of. Holiday videos would be improved, bootleg concert footage would be a lot less shitty, and since the phone-holding mechanism is in landscape it could put an end to terrible vertical videos that plague YouTube. It only has a four hour battery, though, so it's not going to last you a whole day, but that's much better than the hour you could get out of the original Osmo.
It's also going to be helpful for people looking to live stream, since Osmo Mobile has built-in support for streaming to YouTube and Chinese social network Weibo. Apparently Facebook was considered, but DJI blames the company's livestreaming rules for its exclusion.
The downside is that at £289 the Osmo Mobile is not a cheap purchase. But if you really, really want one, they are on sale today. Just don't expect it to arrive for a couple of weeks. [DJI via The Verge]