I was impressed by the DJI Osmo Pocket from the outset. I like its small size and the fact that it integrates a camera and mechanical gimbal so I can pull it from a pocket and start shooting video in a matter of seconds. In fact, it’s so easy to use, I can extract it from my pocket and shoot with it while I’m skiing or riding a bike. That means there’s no need to worry about mounting it anywhere, I can shoot from a range of angles with it handheld.
However, I’ve found adjusting the angle of the camera a bit tricky using the Osmo Pocket’s on-screen control. And actually, that only allows you to adjust the angle vertically, you need to connect your phone to adjust the horizontal angle. This makes the Controller Wheel and attractive accessory. It can be purchased by itself or a part of the DJI Osmo Pocket Expansion Kit.
In addition to the Osmo Pocket Controller Wheel, the DJI Osmo Pocket Expansion Kit includes the Osmo Pocket Wireless Module and Accessory Mount Adapter, plus a 32GB Samsung microSD card. And as usual, the kit is cheaper than the constituent parts. So how does the DJI Osmo Pocket Expansion Kit shape up?
DJI Osmo Pocket Controller Wheel Review
The Controller Wheel slots into the accessory mount just above the buttons on the Osmo Pocket. That means it can only be used when the camera isn’t connected to your smartphone. However, it makes controlling the camera easier, so there’s less need to use your phone.
The main part of the Controller Wheel is the jog wheel that makes it easy to move the camera smoothly on the gimbal. A switch just below the wheel allows you to swap between making horizontal and vertical movements.
I found it doesn’t take long to get used to the degree of pressure or movement that’s required to move the camera. Within a couple of minutes you’re able to make very slow, steady movements or faster, smooth movements as you wish.
There are also two buttons on the controller wheel. The left button enables you to toggle quickly through the gimbal control options. It takes you through Follow, Tilt locked, FPV (first person view) mode. Meanwhile, the button on the right enables you to flip the camera around with just a single press.
This means that the right button replicates the action of pressing the Osmo Pocket’s power button three times. However, it’s pretty useful to be able to do this with a single press. Nevertheless, it would be nice to be able to customise the purpose of this right button or the triple-press action of the power button.
DJI Osmo Pocket Wireless Module Review
The Wireless Module is like a little docking station for the Osmo Pocket. It has a USB-C connection that slots into the Pocket’s USB-C port.
At the front, there’s a small light which shines red when the Wireless Module is powered-up (drawing from the Pocket’s battery). This turns green when the module is connected to a smartphone.
Around the back of the Module, there’s a USB-C port. This is designed to allow you to connect the Pocket to a power supply, either during shooting or to charge the battery. I was hoping that this port might also enable a mic to be connected via the DJI Osmo Pocket 3.5mm Adapter, but it doesn’t work that way. Perhaps DJI will enable this at a later date.
It easy to pair the Wireless Module with a smartphone running the DJI Mimo app. Once that’s done, you can quickly connect the phone to the Module to control the Osmo Pocket remotely via the app. All the normal app controls are present, so you can adjust the camera angle or change settings.
Alternatively, you can also download video and stills to your phone without making a hard connection.
Interestingly, if the smartphone connector is in the Pocket’s accessory port, you get a message telling you to disconnect it. There’s no such issue with the Controller Wheel though, that can be left in place.
Accessory Mount Adapter Review
The Accessory Mount Adapter allows the DJI Osmo Pocket to be mounted in GoPro-type mounts. It clips around the Osmo Pocket’s screen. Unfortunately, this means that the accessory port cannot be used to connect the Controller Wheel.
In addition, this location limits the range of GoPro mounts that can be used. However, it helps minimise the movement that is conducted up to the camera.
In some cases, the Osmo Pocket needs to be mounted flat with the camera tilted up to view the scene ahead. As a result, the range of upward stabilisation is more restricted than normal.
The clip lock is secure and while a little tough to open, it’s not a finger-breaker.
Samsung 32GB microSD Card
The microSD card supplied in the Expansion Kit is a Samsung EVO Plus card. I have tested this extensively in the past and it’s proved a reliable performer.
While this card is fast enough to cope with capturing 4K video with the Osmo Pocket, 32GB is only enough capacity for about half an hour of footage. That may be enough on some occasions, but a second, possibly larger card would make a sensible addition to your kit.
While you can shoot without it, the Controller Wheel makes the Osmo Pocket a lot slicker to use. It’s far easier to control the movement of the gimbal so you make smooth and steady pans or reveal shots. Consequently, I keep the Controller Wheel mounted on the Osmo Pocket most of the time. I’d say, it’s close to being an essential add-on. The only downside is that you can’t store the Pocket in the case it was supplied with.
Next in the order of desirability comes the Wireless Module. This neat unit makes the Osmo Pocket a bit more stable on its base and it allows you to use the smartphone controls of the DJI Mimo app without physically connecting to the camera. It’s a great addition if you want to shoot time lapses.
It’s also very useful if you want to use the Osmo Pocket for vlogging. It means you can get a bit further away from the camera, yet still have good control. The only disappointment is that the USB-C port at the back doesn’t allow a connected mic to work. Maybe that will come?
With the Osmo Pocket Expansion Kit retailing for less than the combined separate prices of the Controller Wheel and Wireless Module, the Accessory Mount Adapter and microSD cards are nice extras. Anyone who has owned a GoPro camera or an action camera with compatible mounts is sure to find an opportunity to use the Accessory Mount. And the microSD card is a high-quality card that provides enough storage for around 30 minutes of 4K footage.
If you have the Osmo Pocket, the Expansion Kit is a great addition.