The GoPro Hero10 is by far the best action camera around. It takes impressive footage, has incredible image stabilization, and is a cinch to use. However, there's one issue I have with the camera. The Hero10 Black is 5.3 ounces — actually 0.3 ounces lighter than the Hero9 Black — but its weight is still very noticeable when the camera is mounted to your helmet.
DJI's new action cam, the DJI Action 2, not only has an innovative modular design, but it weighs just under 2 ounces, making it much more portable. Read on for how DJI is attempting to differentiate its action camera from the industry leader.
DJI Action 2: Price and availability
The DJI Action 2 is available for preorder in two bundles, and will ship by the end of November.
DJI Action 2 Power combo ($399): Includes the camera, a power module, magnetic lanyard, and magnetic adapter mount.
DJI Action 2 Dual screen combo ($519): Includes the camera, front touchscreen module, magnetic lanyard, magnetic ball-joint adapter mount, and magnetic adapter mount.
DJI Action 2: Design and modules
In some ways, the DJI Action 2 shares the same design philosophy as the Insta360 One R, an action camera that pioneered a modular design. Like the One R, the Action 2 has a main camera body, to which you can attach modules to increase its functionality.
At launch, there will be two modules available:
Power Module ($75): Basically a large battery with a microSD card slot. When attached, it can extend the runtime of the Action 2 to up to 180 minutes.
Front Touchscreen Module ($169): This module has a OLED front screen, a microSD card slot, and three microphones; similar to the front-facing display on the original DJI Osmo Action and on the GoPro Hero10, it lets you better frame your shots if you're vlogging or taking selfies. The battery in this module also extends the camera's battery life to 160 minutes.
While similar in concept to the Insta360 One R, the DJI Action 2's modules are hot-swappable, so you don't have to shut down the camera if you want to switch something out. However, the Insta360 One R has more choices when it comes to the camera itself, letting you choose from three options, including a 1-inch sensor and a 360 camera.
DJI Action 2: Specs
The main module of the DJI Action 2 measures 1.5 x 1.5 x 0.9 inches and weighs 1.97 ounces. It has a 1/1.7-inch CMOS camera on the front, and a 1.76-inch OLED touchscreen on the back. The camera has 32GB of built-in storage.
The camera itself has a 155-degree field of view and a max aperture of f/2.8. It can take still photos up to 12MP in size, and videos at a max resolution of 4K at 60 fps. It's also capable of recording 2.7K at 120 fps, and 1080p video at 240 fps.
Those specs are lower than the Hero10 Black, which has a 23MP camera, and can record 4K at 120 fps, and 2.7K at 240 fps.
As with most action cams these days, the DJI Action 2 has built-in image stabilization (here called RockSteady 2.0), as well as HorizonSteady, which can keep the horizon level even if the camera twists and turns.
The DJI Action 2 is water-resistant to 10 meters without a waterproof case; that's roughly the same as the GoPro Hero10.
DJI Action 2: Battery life
DJI says that the camera module alone will provide up to 70 minutes of battery life, though we've seen with other action cameras that when you use motion stabilization and increase the resolution, you often get less.
When paired with the front touchscreen model, the company says battery life should increase to 160 minutes, and the power module should extend battery life to 180 minutes. The fact that the modules are hot-swappable also means that you could potentially have a number of battery packs and extend the endurance even further, though DJI hasn't said what happens if you're recording a video to the microSD card and detach a module.
DJI Action 2: Outlook
I think DJI realized after it released the Osmo Action that it couldn't compete head to head with GoPro; instead, it came up with an action camera that addresses the few weaknesses that the Hero10 has.
In some ways, the DJI Action 2 is like GoPro's now-discontinued Session camera, whose small and square design made it more compact than the company's rectangular action cameras.
We hope to get our hands on the DJI Action 2 soon, so stay tuned to see how it compares with the best action cameras.