The Best Gimbal For Osmo Action Cameras!

This article is based around handheld gimbals for your DJI Osmo Action. If you are looking for a wearable gimbal for your Osmo Action then we would highly recommend that you consider the Hohem XG1 as at the time of writing, it is the only wearable gimbal on the market that will mount the camera.

There is no denying that the GoPro action camera range has dominated the action camera space over the last few years and although a few other brands have tried to take a market share from GoPro, all have unfortunately fallen short until now. Thankfully, DJI has decided to enter the arena of action cameras and their Osmo Action range looks to be a real challenger to GoPro. A number of popular action sport YouTubers have already made the switch over and say that they prefer the Osmo Action over the latest GoPro with many others doing the same.

Due to this, we have noticed a dramatic uptick in the number of people reaching out for advice on the best gimbal for DJI Osmo Action cameras so we have decided to publish this article in the hope that we are able to help any of our readers in this same situation. Now, action camera gimbals have been available for around a decade now but the main problem with the vast majority of them is that they are built for the GoPro form factor. As DJI have gone in their own direction with the dimensions of the Osmo Action, this can cause a problem for anyone looking to purchase a gimbal to fit the Osmo Action camera range.

Thankfully, we have two options that are really solid gimbals and both of them are able to support the DJI Osmo Action while providing some excellent levels of image stabilization. Now, the first gimbal is the Zhiyun Smooth 4 and although it is a gimbal that has been primarily designed for use with Smartphones, if you pick up the action camera adaptor plate you are able to mount the Osmo Action to the gimbal. In our opinion, the Smooth 4 is without a doubt the best handheld gimbal stabilizer on the market at this price point right now and is well worth picking up.

In addition to the support for your Osmo Action via the additional plate, you also get its native support for your smartphone too that increases the number of devices that you can use with the gimbal. Additionally, since its release onto the market, the Smooth 4 has managed to earn itself one of the best reputations going within the gimbal owning community.

The second gimbal that we are featuring is the Hohem iSteady Pro 2 that is also a solid option but we feel the Smooth 4 should be your primary consideration due to its superior performance, very similar price point, and additional smartphone functionality. Just like the Zhiyun gimbal, the Hohem iSteady Pro 2 also has managed to earn itself a solid reputation within the community since release too.

The Zhiyun Smooth 4

As the Smooth 4 is our primary recommended gimbal for your DJI Osmo Action we are going to be featuring it first in our article. As we mentioned, many people instantly discount the Smooth 4 due to being a smartphone gimbal but it is one of the best gimbals on the market at the time of writing and requires an easy to use adaptor plate  that costs less than $20 depending where you purchase it from.

Performance And Functionality

Zhiyun Smooth 4 3-Axis Handheld Gimbal Stabilizer YouTube Video Vlog Tripod for iPhone 11 Pro Xs Max Xr X 8 Plus 7 6 SE Android Smartphone Samsung Galaxy Note10 S10 S9 S8 S7 Q2 Smooth-Q 2019 New Black
As the Zhiyun Smooth 4 has been designed for use with smartphones of all sizes, its maximum load capacity comes in at 0.46 pounds meaning that even with the 0.16-pound adaptor plate, it still has 0.3 pounds of load capacity free. This is ideal as the vast majority of action cameras on the market right now come in at under 0.3 pounds with the Osmo Action being 0.273 pounds meaning the Smooth 4 can easily support the camera.

To date, all of the cameras in the GoPro range are also under the 0.3-pound mark too meaning that if you end up purchasing a GoPro you can use the same gimbal rig with it as you do with your Osmo Action. Additionally, due to the competition between GoPro and DJI, we only expect future action cameras from both brands to be lighter to stay as competitive as possible. If our assumption is correct then the Smooth 4 also has you future-proofed against new action camera releases from both brands in the future too for any potential future upgrades.

When it comes to battery life, the Smooth 4 offers a maximum of twelve hours of battery per full charge of its batteries. We feel confident in saying that twelve hours of battery should be plenty for the vast majority of our readers to capture all the video footage that they could ever want. On top of this, we have seen an increasing number of people carry a USB power bank with them while out and about. This allows you to charge both your DJI Osmo Action as well as your gimbal stabilizer in any downtime or breaks that you have extending your battery life much further.

Although the recharging time required via a power bank will vary depending on capacity of the power bank you choose, the Smooth 4 can be recharged back to full from empty in only three hours via a regular wall based power outlet. Zhiyun’s quick charge technology ensures that you have minimal downtime and that you are able to recharge your gear and get back out doing your action sport of choice as quickly as possible.

We feel that the cinematic sample video footage in the clips above really do a great job of showcasing exactly what you can expect from the Zhiyun Smooth 4 if you decide to add it to your action camera accessories. As you can see, it provides you with some of the best possible image stabilization that is actually better than you can get from some higher price point action camera gimbals.

This is due to Zhiyun being one of the market-leading gimbal brands in the world and having one of the best camera balancing algorithms available. They also have their own high torque gimbal motors than ensure that any movement that the algorithm detects in your camera can be quickly adjusted via the motors to provide you with the best possible image stabilization. This can really help increase the image quality of your video footage and ensure that your content stands out on social media and YouTube against the competition.

As you would expect, the Zhiyun Smooth 4 also supports a large number of gimbal motors that you are also able to use to help improve the quality of your videos too. That said, in reality, most of them will probably never be used with most people only really needing the main three. We would also like to say that the manual mode on the Smooth 4 offers some excellent natural-looking image stabilization possibilities too that are free from that robotic look that some gimbals have.

All in all, as you would expect from Zhiyun, they have smashed it when it comes to the performance of the Zhiyun Smooth 4 and that is why we always recommend it as our number one recommended gimbal for smartphones and action cameras. After seeing what the competing brands have released in the last few months to try and take a share of the market from the Smooth 4, we are confident that it is going to remain in the top spot for a long time to come.

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User Interface And Control System

Zhiyun Smooth 4 3-Axis Handheld Gimbal Stabilizer YouTube Video Vlog Tripod for iPhone 11 Pro Xs Max Xr X 8 Plus 7 6 SE Android Smartphone Samsung Galaxy Note10 S10 S9 S8 S7 Q2 Smooth-Q 2019 New Black
The Zhiyun Smooth 4 uses the standard control system used by most handheld gimbal stabilizers on the market these days shown in the image above. As you can see, it is based around a rotary dial that also offers some joystick functionality, a magic wheel, and a number of buttons. This allows you to quickly and easily get the gimbal to do what you need it to do to capture optimal video footage for your Osmo Action.

Although the control interface shown in the image above may look a little intimidating if you are new to using a gimbal stabilizer, it is much easier to use and is ideal for any first-time gimbal buyer. We are confident that most people will be able to easily get to grips with the control interface and start using the gimbal right out the box and learn as they go.

In addition to the ease of use of the system, it also offers a solid amount of customization too for any advanced gimbal user who wants to get the most out of the Smooth 4. All in all, Zhiyun have done a great job of compounding all of their knowledge and feedback they have gained from their dominance in the gimbal space over the last decade to produce a solid interface system that is very easy to use.

Smartphone App

Zhiyun Smooth 4 3-Axis Handheld Gimbal Stabilizer YouTube Video Vlog Tripod for iPhone 11 Pro Xs Max Xr X 8 Plus 7 6 SE Android Smartphone Samsung Galaxy Note10 S10 S9 S8 S7 Q2 Smooth-Q 2019 New Black
Thankfully, the Zhiyun smartphone app has been totally overhauled due to the release of the Zhiyun Weebill Lab and Zhiyun Crane 3 that require it for some of their advanced functionality. Although we would not recommend either of those gimbals for the Osmo Action, this means that the smartphone app from Zhiyun has had a ton of work done to it recently resulting in the decent app we have today.

Until the overhaul, the app was hard to navigate and had a number of issues with connectivity too. Thankfully though, these have all been fixed resulting in a solid little gimbal accessory that is well worth downloading in our opinion. The app offers a quick and easy way to tweak some key settings in seconds rather than minutes as well as some limited wireless remote control functionality too.

Build Quality And Design

Zhiyun Smooth 4 3-Axis Handheld Gimbal Stabilizer YouTube Video Vlog Tripod for iPhone 11 Pro Xs Max Xr X 8 Plus 7 6 SE Android Smartphone Samsung Galaxy Note10 S10 S9 S8 S7 Q2 Smooth-Q 2019 New Black
Coming from Zhiyun you can rest assured that you are getting the best build quality available for the price tag and in all fairness, we feel that the Smooth 4 has a better build quality that some higher price point gimbals while also being much lighter and smaller too. As many people will be using their Osmo Action as a travel camera rather than an action sports camera, it is good to know that your potential gimbal of choice is not only lightweight but also small as it makes it much easier to travel with.

Additionally, the Smooth 4 is also very robust considering how light it is and we are confident that it will be able to stand up to any bumps coming its way during use without breaking. Depending on what you are planning to use your Osmo Action for, this could also be a massive benefit to your as some action sports almost guarantee that your gear will be getting bumped and knocked during use.

In our opinion, one of the most underrated things in a handheld 3 axis gimbal stabilizer is the handle. So many people focus on other features and although we would agree that performance and the level of image stabilization is the primary concern, knowing that you are able to comfortably hold the gimbal for as long as required is also important. Thankfully, the handle on the Smooth 4 is high quality and comfort allowing you to hold it for extended periods of time if required without issue.

Our Verdict

We hope that we have done a good job of explaining why we feel that the Zhiyun Smooth 4 is the best gimbal for Osmo Action cameras currently available on the market right now. Just remember that if you do purchase the Smooth 4, you will also need to purchase the action camera adaptor plate to allow you to mount your Osmo Action to the actual gimbal.

Additionally, there are an absolute ton of third-party reviews of the Smooth 4 online that you can read if you have the time available. These offer a great insight into the performance of the gimbal from people who have used it as their goto action camera of choice for a long period of time. If you have a few minutes available, it is well worth checking some of them out.

The Hohem iSteady Pro 2

We really do feel that the Hohem iSteady Pro 2 is a solid handheld gimbal stabilizer and its flexi mounting system allows you to a large number of action camera to the gimbal when needed. This includes the DJI Osmo Action but on the flip side of this, the iSteady Pro 2 comes in at a very similar price point to the Smooth 4 covered above without the smartphone functionality.

As you would expect from such a solid stabilizer, the Hohem iSteady Pro 2 has been able to quickly establish itself within the community and earn a great reputation while its growth in the space shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon. The main advantage of the iSteady Pro 2 over the Smooth 4 is the fact that you don’t need to use a mounting plate to mount your Osmo Action to the gimbal.

If you know for a fact that you will 0only ever be needing to mount action cameras to your gimbal then this could be a solid option but just keep in mind that at the time of writing, we are not aware of any aftermarket mount for the iSteady Pro 2 that will let you mount a smartphone to it.

Performance And Functionality

Hohem GoPro Gimbal Stabilizer, iSteady Pro 2, 3 Axis Splash-Proof Gimble IP64, Handheld Stabiliser for DJI Osmo Action,GoPro Hero 7/6/5/4/3,SJCam,YI 4K Action Camera (2019 New Model)
As the Hohem iSteady Pro 2 has not been designed for use with any single action camera range like the majority of gimbals in the action camera space, it needs the highest maximum load capacity possible. This is due to many cheap GoPro alternatives using cheaper, heavier materials to reduce costs. To ensure that the gimbal can support the weight of even the heaviest action cameras on the market right now, it has a maximum load capacity of 0.61 pounds. This is more than enough for your DJI Osmo Action and ensures that its gimbal motors are able to easily support the payload weight of the camera.

When it comes to battery life, the Hohem iSteady Pro 2 is able to provide you with up to twelve hours of maximum battery life per full charge of the gimbals battery. Again, although we have not tried this ourselves, some people have used USB power banks to top up the gimbals power when needed to keep it going for as long as required. When plugged into a regular wall based power outlet, the gimbal can be charged from empty back to full in only four hours.

The sample test footage in the video above has been captured using the Hohem iSteady Pro 2 and as you can see, it has great potential and offers some excellent, budget-friendly image stabilization. The gimbals motors make effortless work of even heavier action cameras ensuring that you get the best possible image quality available.

Now, as Hohem are a relitivly new brand to the gimbal space, their balancing algorithm is not as good as the Zhiyun algorithm but in all fairness to Hohem, they have done a solid job. The gimbals motors are also solid but again, in our opinion, the Zhiyun motors on the Zhiyun Smooth 4 pulls out just ahead of what the Hohem iSteady Pro 2 is able to provide.

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User Interface And Control System

Hohem GoPro Gimbal Stabilizer, iSteady Pro 2, 3 Axis Splash-Proof Gimble IP64, Handheld Stabiliser for DJI Osmo Action,GoPro Hero 7/6/5/4/3,SJCam,YI 4K Action Camera (2019 New Model)
Now, in this day and age, the majority of handheld gimbals on the market use a very similar control interface to each other and the Hohem iSteady Pro 2 is no different. That’s why its system is very similar to the system used on the Smooth 4. Again, it is very easy to pick up and get used to if you are new to using a gimbal making it a solid option for a first-time gimbal buyer.

The control system is very responsive, even if your hand is cold or wet ensuring that you are able to use the system and tweak the performance of the gimbal as required for your session. As many people will be using their DJI Osmo Action for some form of action sports, there is a good chance that some of our reader’s hands will end up wet or cold during use.

Smartphone App

Hohem GoPro Gimbal Stabilizer, iSteady Pro 2, 3 Axis Splash-Proof Gimble IP64, Handheld Stabiliser for DJI Osmo Action,GoPro Hero 7/6/5/4/3,SJCam,YI 4K Action Camera (2019 New Model)
Considering that most smartphone gimbal apps have issues at the time of writing, Hohem has done a solid job of putting out a decent app that offers some solid functionality. Although it had an issue with connectivity with Andriod phones, it was quickly patched and now works very well. It offers the core functionality that you would expect from a gimbal app including wireless remote control functionality as well as some access to your gimbal settings.

Build Quality And Design

Hohem GoPro Gimbal Stabilizer, iSteady Pro 2, 3 Axis Splash-Proof Gimble IP64, Handheld Stabiliser for DJI Osmo Action,GoPro Hero 7/6/5/4/3,SJCam,YI 4K Action Camera (2019 New Model)
Considering that Hohem is a newcomer to the gimbal space, they really have done a solid job with the iSteady Pro 2 and it has a better build quality than some of the action cameras gimbals from more established brands on the market. Just like the Smooth 4, the iSteady Pro 2 is small, lightweight, and robust ensuring that you are able to take it with you when doing your action sport of choice without having to use much space or take up much weight.

The design of the gimbal is pretty standard when it comes to modern handheld units as most brands usually stick to the same tried and tested design. Over the last few years, it has been perfected to ensure optimum ease of use while delivering the best possible performance available. Due to this, there is not much innovation left so the Hohem iSteady Pro 2 doesn’t really stick out or fall behind the competing gimbals.

Our Verdict

Although we feel that the Zhiyun Smooth 4 is the best gimbal for Osmo Action cameras on the market right now, the Hohem iSteady Pro 2 is a close second and can make a great addition to your collection of action camera accessories. We have no doubt that the image stabilization that it is able to provide can help to improve the image quality that you are able to capture using your DJI Osmo Action.