Reviews

DJI's OM 5 is a must-own phone gimbal for travelers

Lighter and more compact than previous models, DJI has practically perfected its $159 OM 5 phone gimbal with a telescoping rod and more new features.

Alejandro Medellin / Input

Phone gimbals used to be bulky and expensive. Not anymore. The DJI OM 5 phone gimbal keeps all the great features from the previous model and adds a few ones, like a telescoping rod — for only $159. For a vlog, hike, or vacation, it is a damn essential gadget to have.

Alejandro Medellin / Input

30%

How much smaller the OM 5 is versus the OM 4.

Alejandro Medellin / Input

Pocket pal

The OM 5 doesn’t take up a lot of space. The compact design folds up neatly and it fits in my pockets no problem. It’s just a little larger than a 12oz Red Bull can so measure your pockets accordingly. The OM 5 is also light enough that it didn’t tire my arm out when recording a Hyperlapse around a trail.

Alejandro Medellin / Input

Sticking out

I didn’t think much of the telescoping rod at first, but I’ve come around to using the OM 5 as a selfie stick. In moments when you need to get the camera closer to a subject or shoot a video from above a crowd, it’s undoubtedly useful. You won’t catch me vlogging or FaceTiming someone with the selfie stick, but you totally could and it works great for both. The rod expands and contracts in a fluid motion, and you can continue to use the joystick to move the phone around.

Alejandro Medellin / Input

You following me?

The OM 5 has an updated tracking feature called Active Track 4.0. It tracks faces quite well, even from a distance, and was able to follow me as I walked around it from about 10 feet away. I could see it being great for vlogging, especially when you’re using the OM 5 like a selfie stick. I also used it to track my knife as I chopped ingredients to make ceviche. Pretty cool!

Alejandro Medellin / Input

Returning features

  • Joystick and trigger
  • Detachable magnetic clamp
  • Detachable tripod
  • Story mode
  • Clone me (panoramic mode)
  • Dynamic Zoom
  • Spinshot
  • Timelapse/Hyperlapse

Shutterstock

Creative freedom

All modes on the OM 4 return on the OM 5, and they’re all fun to use like the Clone Me mode under the Panoramic tab. This mode gives you time to pose in three different parts of a scene to stitch together an image that’s incredibly silly. You won’t always use it, but it’ll give you a kick when you do.

Alejandro Medellin / Input

Dynamic Zoom is another awesome shooting mode that recreates the dolly zoom effect. It makes the background gradually appear smaller or larger whenever you move closer or farther away. With the right background, it can create some sick shots. I had trouble nailing it, but once I locked onto a subject at a steady pace, it paid off. The mode does zoom in a ton to achieve the effect, which can make shots look grainy.

Alejandro Medellin / Input

Spin Shot isn’t a shooting mode, but it’s a type of movement you can do in different shooting modes using the joystick. Finding how to turn it on wasn’t easy, and it wouldn’t work until after I applied the latest firmware update using a separate phone. But, after I got it working, I liked how it could make any boring shot more dynamic. If you’re shooting a stationary subject, it’s a great way to add movement.

Alejandro Medellin / Input

The Hyperlapse and Timelapse modes are givens and neither disappoints. Both modes can compress minutes down to seconds, breaking up the pace of a video with quick action-packed shots. Hyperlapse is perfect when moving around, while the timelapse is more for stationary footage. Want to capture the setting sun? The latter is your best bet. Stick with the former if walking, hiking, skating, or on a moving vehicle.

Alejandro Medellin / Input

Intuitive design

The stabilization is the OM 5’s biggest selling point, but the shooting modes are all great bonuses. Not to mention, the folding hardware is easy to quickly set up for use. The magnetic clamp is a crucial component here and the buttons have hidden functions that make one-handed operation a breeze. Hold the trigger to lock on, double-tap the trigger to center, or double-tap the switch button to rotate the phone from vertical to landscape mode. The “M” button can also be configured to work as a quick menu.

Alejandro Medellin / Input

I mainly had gripes with the software. Too many times I had tutorials or suggestions pop up while navigating the app. I also think the settings menu is not very intuitive. For example, Spin Shot is buried under the “Tracking Mode” setting, which it has nothing to do with. My only hardware complaint is that the joystick was slightly sluggish to respond until I changed it to the “Fast” setting.

Alejandro Medellin / Input

Travel buddy

For $159, I can’t think of a better product to purchase when going on a trip. Whether you’re sharing content on Instagram or YouTube, the OM 5 is a good, affordable investment for creating memories. It’s simple to use and has tons of advanced features for more creative shots. Years after buying the original Osmo Mobile — a bulky behemoth in comparison — I think it’s finally time to upgrade to the OM 5.

Alejandro Medellin / Input