Over the last few years, all in one gimbal unit like the DJI Osmo Pocket have become more and more popular within both the action sport and vlogging niches. Previously, the best option was to purchase an action camera like a GoPro and then pick up an action camera gimbal like the Karma Grip to capture your adventures but now, action sports enthusiasts have an option.
Both methods have their advantages over each other and arguably the DJI Osmo Pocket with its excellent reputation is the top all in one solution on the market right now and the GoPro Karma Grip with its excellent reputation is one of the best action camera gimbals right now. Due to this, we are constantly seeing people reaching out for a dedicated GoPro Karma Grip vs DJI Osmo Pocket article so we have decided to make that the focus of today’s article.
Our hope is that this article will be able to help any of our readers who are considering purchasing either of these stabilizers and adding them to their collection of camera accessories. Now, before we actually get into the article, we just want to say that both of these handheld gimbals are great bits of kit and either can make a great addition to your camera accessories. Both products have also been designed for slightly different roles within action sports too and are not actually direct competition to each other.
In our opinion, no matter what the specs of the units are the winning gimbal stabilizer for your situation will likely come down to your needs. If you want a small, very lightweight handheld gimbal that is very easy to use but not very versatile then the DJI Osmo Pocket is a solid option. On the flip side of this though, the GoPro Karma Grip offers a ton of versatility as your action camera is fully detachable. This means that you can capture footage from the Karma Grip, then capture footage holding your camera in your hands then use a wearable gimbal to meet the needs of your situation.
As the action camera is sold separately for the Karma Grip we often see that as the more popular option for people who have been involved in their action sport of choice for longer and have more of a budget available for their accessories. If you are on a tighter budget, new to your sport, or more of a vlogger then the Osmo Pocket can be considered the better option due to its lower overall price tag when you factor in the cost of the actual action camera in addition to your Karma Grip.
Performance And Functionality
Now, as the DJI Osmo Pocket camera is permanently mounted to the gimbal body, there is no need for a maximum load capacity as everything is permanently mounted to the unit. On the flip side of this, the GoPro Karma Grip has a load capacity of around 0.3 pounds allowing you to quickly and easily mount all of the current GoPro action cameras on the market to it without issue. We have noticed some people mention that future action cameras on the GoPro range may be heavier in the future but in all honesty, we doubt it, GoPro has stuck to the sub-0.3-pound weight mark and we don’t really see this changing in the future with new additions to their range.
When it comes to the maximum battery life of each unit, the GoPro Karma Grip comes in at around one and a half hours of battery per charge whereas the DJI Osmo Pocket comes in at around two and a half hours of power per charge. For battery life, we have to give it to DJI as the battery life on the Karma Grip can fall even more if you use its two-way charging system to top up the power in your action camera while mounted to your gimbal.
Although there is a very small amount of hand with a touch of lag in some of the clips, this is simply due to the age of the Karma Grip and the technology within it. Although the the tech in the Karma Grip was solid for back when it was initially released, it is a fair few years old now and starting to show its age. If you do want the best possible technology thn something like the DJI Osmo Mobile 3 with the third-party action camera mounting plate to actually mount your camera may be a better option when it comes to the performance, image stabilization, and image quality it can provide but it is not as tough and robust as the Karma Grip so there is always a trade off.
As we mentioned earlier, this is largley due to DJI putting a perminantley mounted camera sensor on the Osmo Pocket meaning that they always know the payload weight of the camera that will be mounted to the gimbal. This offers a number of advantages starting with the balancing process taking seconds and being extremley easy to do. Then we have both the gimbal sensors and gimbal motors knowing exactly what payload to expect meaning they offer some of the best detection and correction on the market right now.
Finally we have the actual DJI balancing algorithm and in all fairness, we feel that DJI, Zhiyun, and Moza are all way out ahead of the competition at the time of writing whn it comes to their balancing algorithms. They work flawlessley and the DJI algorithm on the Osmo Pocket knows the exact payload on the camera allowing it to be hard coded so the gimbal sensors don’t have to take the time to work it out.
This results in some very snappy image stabilization that is very rapid, free from lag, and has zero hang too. If your action sport of choice has a large number of short vibrations in rapid succession then this plays to your advantage as the detection and correction system on the DJI Osmo Pocket is extremley quick that the image stabilization will be flawless.
As we mentioned earlier though, the main strength of the DJI Osmo Pocket over the GoPro Karma Grip is also its main weakness. The fact that you can remove the camera from your Karma Grip and use it in other ways is just not possible with the Osmo Pocket. Additionally, say the next range of GoPro action cameras offer a massive resolution update, you are able to keep your Karma Grip and just update your actual action camera to get the improvement to the frame per second and maximum resolution.
Both of these handheld gimbals do offer solid performance but as we mentioned at the start of the article, your own personal situation and what you will be using them for is going to play a major part in the unit that is better for you and your needs. Although the fact that you can mount different action cameras to the Karma Grip does have some disadvantages, it also offers advantages over the DJI system as we have tried to explain in this section.
User Interface And Control System
Both systems are very easy to use and ensure that you are able to get the most out of the gimbal without having to invest hours into learning it. They also offer some decent manual control over the gimbal head during use too ensuring that you are also able to tweak what you are recording mid-session without having dramas or having to go through some lengthy process.
Now, we feel that the system on the DJI Osmo Pocket is ever so slightly harder to use than the system on the GoPro Karma Grip due to it being smaller and more compact. On the flip side of this though, the Osmo Pocket also has its LCD panel that shows you what you are recording. Although the GoPro action cameras have an LCD panel to their rear to do the same, once mounted to the Karma Grip this can be a bit of a pain to see.
Both interface systems on the gimbals are so close to each other that we are just going to call a tie in this area. If you are brand new to using a 3 axis gimbal stabilizer then we are sure you will be able to quickly and easily learn the systems on either gimbal without issue with minimal time needed to be invested on your part.
If you are a more advanced gimbal user with experience using gimbal stabilizers that have been designed for use with mirrorless or DSLR cameras then the simplicity of the physical control interface covered above may be a little limiting to you. This is where the app can come in and offer you some quick and easy advanced customization to tweak the performance of the gimbal to meet the needs of your session.
On the flip side of this, if you are brand new to gimbals, we just want to say that the default shipping config in both of the gimbals will be fine for the majority of our readers who choose to use them anyway. We just don’t want anyone new to using a gimbal to think that they have a whole bunch of customization that they have to do prior to use, this is totally optional and will not be needed for the vast majority of people.
Build Quality And Design
On the flip side of this though, the Osmo Pocket is smaller and much lighter than the Karma Grip offering advantages in this area. If you are involved in regular vlogging or an action sport with a low risk of you bailing on a regular basis then the lightweight and smaller size of the Osmo Pocket can be beneficial. If you have to travel around via plane a whole bunch for your sport of choice it can also help keep your gear within your luggage allowance to offering you additional benefits there over the GoPro gimbal too.
One thing that both gimbals have absolutely nailed in our opinion is the handles on their gimbals that many competing brands fall short on. Both stabilizers have a solid, easy to grip, yet very comfortable handle that allows you to hold it for hours at a time without getting any aches, cramps, or discomfort in your hand during use.
That brings our GoPro Karma Grip vs DJI Osmo Pocket comparison to a close and as we mentioned back at the start, both gimbals are excellent and can be great additions to your camera accessories. They are so similar in so many areas and we have tried to go into the sections where they differ from each other and have advantages over each other but the best gimbal is going to come down to you and what you need out of it.
If you need verstility and a tough gimbal for an action sport then the GoPro Karma Grip is probably better. If you need a small, lightweight, smooth gimbal then the DJI Osmo Pocket will probably come out on top. On top of this, you can also read independent reviews of the Karma Grip and independent reviews of the Osmo Pocket to get additional insights from people who use them as their go to gimbals of choice.