DJI Action 2, analysis and opinion | Technology

DJI Action 2, analysis and opinion |  Technology

When we talk about DJI, currently the first thing that comes to mind is drones. A few months ago we analyzed the Air 2S, a spectacular drone to ‘freak out’ making video, but we must not forget that one of the company’s strengths are the stabilizers and action cameras.

In this sense, there are several proposals, some that combine gimbal and action camera (like the Osmo Pocket) and others that are more traditional action cameras. That’s where the DJI Action 2 comes into play, which has been the GoPro Hero 10 Black’s great rival in recent months.

And, precisely, if a few days ago we told you our opinion of the latest generation of GoPro, now let’s go with the analysis of the DJI Action 2, a camera whose secret is … magnets.

DJI Action 2
Dimensions and weight39 x 39 x 22.3 mm | 56 grams
AdapterMagnetic base
Sensor12 megapixels | 1 / 1.7 “CMOS
Video capabilityUp to 4K 4: 3 at 60 fps | Up to 4K 16: 9 at 120 fps
Lens155º | f / 2.8
Screen1.76 “touch | 500 nits | 350 pixels per inch density
Battery580 mAh | 2.23 Wh | USB-C charging in one of the modules
Connectivity2.4 – 5.1 – 5.8 GHz Wi-Fi | Bluetooth 5.0
Sound1 microphone
Price399 euros with the energy combo on Amazon

DJI Action 2 Review Sections:

A magnetic cube that you can place anywhere

I anticipate that I liked the stabilization and image quality a lot, but I already anticipate that the best thing about the DJI Action 2 is, without a doubt, its design.

It is a modular design that nothing new, as the Insta360 One R is already a modular camera which, by the way, has a 1 “lens, but here the grace is in the compact size and the magnets.

The camera has dimensions of 39 x 39 mm, a depth of 22.3 mm and a weight of only 56 grams. It is made of aluminum, which favors heat dissipation, but can make it somewhat more delicate (at least as far as brands are concerned) in falls.

In it we only see the lens, the touch screen, the power button and start recording at the top, the antennas for wireless connectivity and, at the bottom, the ‘magic’.

There we have some hooks on the sides, some connection pins and some holes to pass a strap that we can tie to the wrist.

That lower area is the one that is magnetized and, as you can see, we have neither a charging port nor a slot for a microSD.

The body is sealed and can hold up to 10 meters in water without the waterproof case, an amount that increases up to 60 meters if we use the case.

All this is quite strange, but the explanation is that these elements occupy internal space that the battery, the processor and the sensor need … and that, really, the camera is not complete without at least one of its modules.

The magic is in the magnets and in the ‘cubes’ that we have to buy yes or yes

The magnet at the bottom will allow us to place the camera on a lamppostFor example, as it is quite strong and, according to our tests, it will not fall even if there is some strong wind.

However, this magnet also works to connect the modules. When buying the DJI Action 2 we have to choose between the front screen module -which costs 500 euros- or the Power Combo –which is 399 euros-.

Basically one module is a screen and the other a battery. You are going to be able to put both at the same time, but honestly, I would buy the extra battery module before the front screen, since it will be much more useful to you.

Yes, the external screen has its own battery, but the total recording capacity will be higher with the battery-only module and, if you want the second screen, you can always buy it in the future to mount all three at the same time.

If we do not take into account the extra battery of one and the screen of the other, the two modules are exactly the same. Both have in the upper part the connection modules with the camera, as well as two hooks that improve the safety of the coupling.

On the right side they have the record button, on the left side the USB-C to load both the module and the camera and on the back the slot for the microSD. The one on the screen also has three microphones.

These modules can be placed as we want, so we can put the battery under the camera and, finally, the screen, or vice versa, but what we cannot do is wet them.

They are not sealed bodies and can only get wet if we have the waterproof case, as well as submerging them to 60 meters.

And the weight is 57 grams for the battery module and 64 grams for the screen. On the other hand, we have another macro photography and video module that is simply a magnetic ‘magnifying glass’ that sticks to the lens.

Full versatility with good image quality and stabilization, but you will be turned off by overheating

But hey, let’s get to the heart of a camera, the sensor and the image quality. DJI has done its homework here and we have a noticeably larger sensor than the GoPro’s thanks to the 1 / 1.17 “CMOS sensor.

A nearly one-inch sensor with a field of view of 155º and an aperture f / 2.8 which, while not as bright as the Insta360 One R in very low light conditions, does a very good job.

It has 12 megapixels and we have a digital zoom of up to 4x for video (depending on the recording quality) and 4x for photos.

Although we have a very wide field of vision, we will be able to choose between having that fisheye effect or aspherical correction, something the camera does really well.

In good light conditions, the image and stabilization is excellent. It seems to me that the white balance is correct and the exposure is as good as it can be.

That is, when there is an area with a clear contrast due to a very pronounced Sun and shadow, when the exposure point is in the most exposed area it ‘manages’ well so that the shadow is not totally black or underexposed and, if we are moving the camera, it compensates the exposure quickly and without doing strange things.

Read:  Today the series that hopes to triumph in August opens on Prime Video | Entertainment

This digital stabilization, called RockSteady 2.0, seems to me of great quality And DJI has done a great job in this regard, also in the horizon control for more action shots on a bike, for example.

I also like photography, with a contrasting and very attractive image to upload to social networks. However, despite the size of the sensor, when the light begins to fall, the grain begins to appear and, when the conditions are very difficult, the stabilization disappears.

Nor is it a camera to use in those situations, but hey, you know.

About the recording, we will be able to capture videos with up to 130 Mb / s, we have desaturated mode to edit later or natural, professional mode to control parameters such as white balance and a series of quite varied resolutions depending on the aspect ratio.

  • At 4: 3 we will be able to capture 2.7K or 4K images at 24, 25, 30, 48, 50 and 60 fps.
  • At 16: 9 we will be able to capture 4K and 2.7K images from 24 to 100 and 120 fps to make slow motion up to four times slower.
  • At 16: 9 at 1,080p we will be able to capture up to 200 and 240 fps to make slow motion up to 8x.

We have already told you that memory cards up to 256 GB go in one of the modules, but the camera has about 22 GB usable internal that give us for about 23 minutes of recording at 4K60.

And the interface … well, it is somewhat confusing. The screen is square and has dimensions of 1.7 “. It seems small -it is-, but the truth is that you get used to it quickly.

It is tactile, it looks good outdoors and it has a very good sensitivity, but the interface seemed a bit confusing to me.

Not when adjusting parameters or changing modes, but by applying the zoom, which sometimes responds well to a certain gesture … and sometimes not. But hey, it’s like everything, it has to be done.

However, let’s talk about overheating. And it is that, I think that the image quality is fantastic and the stabilization also fulfills more than enough, but we will be able to record a short time followed either by the battery or because it turns off due to excess heat.

Outdoors we have had better or worse figures, depending on the weather, but to do the warm-up test we have resorted to a controlled environment: goofing around (so that stabilization comes into play) indoors.

At a temperature of 22º recording at 4K60 and with electronic stabilization activated, the camera tells you after 7 minutes that it stops recording due to excess heat. We can resume recording, but it soon turns off again.

Recording at 4K120, that message appears after three and a half minutes. We measured the body temperature and it was 43º. It gets to bother the hand.

We cannot say what it will be like in summer in a module on a helmet if we go with the bike through the mountains, but it is certainly not data that leaves me alone.

The battery flies without you noticing

Now, if heating is a problem, the battery is not giving us peace of mind. There are many capture variables both for recording quality and for stabilization, aspect ratio or battery saving settings.

However, outdoors at 100% brightness, with stabilization and recording at 4K60 in 16: 9 mode, after 7 minutes of recording we have 57% of the battery. Yes, at 1,080p it sure lasts longer, but the optimal resolution is 4K60 both for fluidity and possible slow cameras.

If instead of 4K60 we record at 4K120, when the battery shuts down due to overheating at 3 minutes 34 seconds, we have 65% battery left.

It’s going to seem like a beast to you, but a minute of recording eats up 11% of the battery in this mode.

Not good data, not at all. DJI claims that at 1,080p30 they can record up to 70 minutes with electronic stabilization off, but I don’t think this camera is worth it for that resolution.

The capacity of the camera itself is 530 mAh and the modules (both the screen and the charging module) have 1,300 mAh. If we go out with the cargo, for example, the problem of overheating is still there, but at least we have a buffer of time.

The camera goes from 0% to 64% battery with 15 minutes of charging with the module alone, without connecting a USB-C. It takes 28 minutes to reach 100%. I think it’s not bad, really, and after a full charge, the battery module has 48% remaining, so it almost lasts for two full charges.

The problem is that, on a long trip as we don’t have a removable battery like on GoPro, we will have to have a PowerBank yes or yes to load the modules and the camera itself, making the process of going on an excursion somewhat more cumbersome than with other cameras.

DJI knows very well what it does and wants to eat the GoPro market

And we come to the end of the analysis of this DJI Action 2 with a somewhat bittersweet taste. As a concept, it looks like a beastly action camera to me.

It is true that it is not the newest because the Insta360 One R was already modular, but the size of the DJI one is much more compact, I like the power of the magnets and the build quality.

Recording is also at a great level thanks to the size of the sensor, to the images that we can achieve and, above all, to a great stabilization.

However, there are two important ‘buts’ in this model that need to be corrected for a new generation.

On the one hand the autonomy, excessively scarce and yes, I understand that the camera is very small, but we do not have interchangeable batteries and maybe it is necessary to make it larger or heavier for excursion sessions.

The DJI Action 2 is a miniscule action camera that can record with great stabilization up to 4K120. It has a powerful magnet to place different modules such as the battery and front screen

And on the other hand, something almost more important to fix, overheating. In summer this camera will not hold up outdoors, which is where it is mainly going to be used.

But hey, polishing that, I think it will be a great product for the third generation. Right now, even with exceptional image quality, maybe you have to look at other models that allow, at least, to change batteries.