The Osmo Action 2 is actually made up of two modules: the top camera module with OLED touchscreen and the choice between the front-facing OLED touchscreen module (Dual-Screen) or the power module (Power Combo). Both secondary modules extend the core module’s battery life by over 50 percent while adding a microSD slot.
Modules connect with a magnetic clamp system, and they can be detached just as quickly. When two modules are connected, the bottom one keeps the top one charged up. And if you have the front touchscreen module, you can take advantage of the camera for vlogging, selfies, or other talking-head content.
Let’s get the photography mode out of the way because it’s not good. The 12-megapixel resolution isn’t enough for large images, and zooming in makes everything look blurred and streaked like impressionist art. If you need to capture stills, stick with your phone. I’m not surprised — the Action 2 is for capturing 4K video, timelapses, and slo-mo videos. And it does these so well that the bad photo mode gets a pass.
The Action 2 captures video at 1080p with framerates from 24 to 240 fps. For 2.7K or 4K, framerates run from 24 to 120 fps in 16:9 (60 fps if you use 4:3). I mostly shot videos in both 1080p and 4K at 30 fps to not burn through the storage. While longboarding around a park trail, 60 fps worked out well. For more action-y, jerky movements, a higher framerate is the better choice.
With a max framerate of 240 fps, the Action 2 is a slo-mo beast. For 1080p video, you can slow down footage by eight times. 4K footage can be slowed down by only four times. I loved using slo-mo for everything from shooting reed grass waving in the wind to leaves falling to the ground.
Timelapse and hyperlapse modes pretty cool. You can change the frequency of the shots taken for timelapse, while in hyperlapse you can adjust the speed up to 30 times faster. The hyperlapse mode especially looks good thanks to the stabilization. The Action 2 also has a QuickClip mode for recording either 10, 15, or 30-second clips for social media. In case you just want short clips.
There are a ton of accessories, but only one that’s a must-have: the remote control extension rod (available mid-November). It’s a handle, tripod, selfie stick with telescoping rod, and has buttons for recording and changing modes. The coolest part: the controller detaches so you can remote control the camera. The wireless controller alone makes this accessory worth it.
The compact design and all-metal housing has a downside: it overheats. While shooting video at a large, cool warehouse space for an art show, the camera overheated and shut down mid-video. Weirdly, it didn’t overheat when I shot an outdoor timelpase on a 70-degree day. DJI says it’s aware of overheating and recommends lowering the resolution — not exactly an ideal fix IMO. Another issue: on a windy day, the microphones pick up a ton of wind noise. DJI’s releasing a mic accessory later this year, but that doesn’t absolve the poor wind noise reduction.