GoPro Hero 7 Black vs DJI Osmo Action: What is the Best Action Camera to Buy?
The action camera market became popular a few years ago, and since then we have seen many different changes and innovations to make using these devices easier. Even though mobile cameras are improving and nowadays they produce amazing pictures and video quality, they tend to be delicate and not suitable for extreme recordings. That is where cameras like GoPro Hero 7 Black and DJI Osmo Action come in.
Both these cameras are able to shoot brilliant quality photos or videos, and they are easy to use in extreme situations. If you ride a bike, swim, hike, or you do any sporting activity where you want to capture the moment, you should continue to read this article in order to find out what is the best 4K action camera.
GoPro introduced us to the first commercial action camera back in 2004, and it has been the favorite brand of preference for many people. However, that was because the competition was low. Nowadays, the competition for ‘the best action camera’ title is harder since some big and more serious companies like DJI have come into the game.
GoPro Hero Black was released in September 2018, and it quickly captured all the attention becoming one of the most favorite action cameras among users. Obviously, it has a 4K video capability of 60fps, HyperSmooth stabilization which will enable you to capture incredibly smooth footage even when you have a lot of camera movement and other handy apps that helps separate it from the cheaper rivals.
On the other hand, DJI’s Osmo Action 4K also brings competitive specifications such as image stabilization, and a front-facing screen etc, capable of taking GoPro’s throne. Apparently, DJI wanted a break from building drones and therefore started conquering the ‘land action camera’ market.
DJI Osmo Action
GoPro Hero 7 Black
Yes (stabilization not available)
1/2.3-inch CMOS 12-Megapixels
1/2.3-inch CMOS 12-Megapixels
Slow Motion Speed
Max Video Bitrate
Timelapse, Hyperlapse, Mimo My Stories
TimeWrap, Timelapse, QuickStories
There are a lot of different action cameras on the market, and choosing the right one could be difficult just because they might seem like a bargain, however, they usually end up producing low-quality footage that may not satisfy your needs. The first thing that you should look for is quality, since you are going to use the camera for many different outdoor activities such as biking, running, underwater activities etc, so it should be capable of withstanding all the hits that it will get.
If you want the perfect action camera that is capable of producing high-quality videos and images, you should continue with this article. Since there are a lot of key points when buying action cameras depending on how you use it, that could be easily missed, resulting in the wrong choice being made.
Action cameras are brilliant for traveling just because they are small, and the best thing is that it is capable of capturing video quality that is as good as in the movies. In this article we will go through all the advantages and disadvantages that GoPro Hero 7 Black and DJI Osmo Action have, making your decision easier than ever.
Let’s dig deeper into the specs and find out which camera is best: DJI Osmo Action or GoPro Hero 7 Black.
Design and Usability
When you are holding both cameras, the GoPro Hero 7 Black feels a bit more high-quality than the Osmo Action, but Osmo Action is a more practical and user-friendly camera, just because of the front display especially for vlogging.
Thanks to the wide-angle camera, Osmo Action can line up with the horizon on the front screen making it easier to fit multiple people.
On the other hand GoPro Hero 7 Black has a mini monochrome screen which is something similar to high-end DSLR cameras. It gives you information about important things such as battery level and duration of the clip you are recording. Both devices are very practical and easy to use, but Osmo Action has a few better characteristics including the full-color front display that makes everything easier.
Even though the GoPro Hero 7 Black comes with a completely redesigned interface which makes tweaking the settings simpler and faster than its predecessor Hero 6, the Osmo Action still comes up as a more practical one.
Navigating through Osmo Action’s touchscreen menu system is even easier than the GoPro, with its simple swipe commands you will be able to turn on the right function in no time.
Additionally, when you compare these cameras, Osmo Action comes with other small wins such as a larger rear screen than the Hero 7 Black (16:9) which means no black bars in the picture and a touchscreen interface making it easier to use.
If you want to use your action camera for vlogging, Osmo Action is the right choice since it has a front-facing display. However, it comes with the disadvantage that it does not support live streaming. This could have been the perfect camera for uploading videos online directly.
Also, you can change GoPro Hero 7 Black lenses but it turns out that it is really difficult, whereas the Osmo Action comes with the screw-on system making it easier to swap filters or new lens covers.
These two cameras are very similar, both have two microphones, almost identical in weight, and have removable batteries, but it seems like Osmo Action has extra usability features, maybe just because it is newer and more up-to-date.
Specs and Features
As we can see from the comparison table above, there is little to separate the Hero 7 Black and Osmo Action, performance-wise.
Both cameras are equipped with an almost identical sensor that enables you to shoot 4K video at up to 60 frames per second, but if you want to lower the size of the files, 2.7K, 1080p, and 7020p models are also available.
There are a few small differences between these action cameras that can affect your decision when buying, depending on what you are planning to use your new camera for.
Osmo Action is equipped with a shutter speed up to 1/8000s or down to 120 seconds in manual mode, which is very useful for more advanced videographers that want to capture high-speed action. Additionally, it also has a HDR video mode, but it turns out that it’s not that useful because you cannot turn on Rocksteady stabilization while in HDR mode.
GoPro Hero 7 Black would not give up the battle that easily and also contains some features that Osmo Action lacks. There is built-in GPS for overlaying data, like speed, over your videos, a HDMI port for connecting it to your TV and Livestream videos directly to YouTube through your phone.
Even though the GoPro Hero 7 was released nearly 9 months earlier than DJI’s Osmo Action, which in tech years seems a lot, it can still keep up with the technology and footage quality. Both devices are very capable and have extraordinary features, therefore performance-wise you will not be disappointed if you buy either of them.
Video and Image Quality
Both action cameras come with beautiful 4K video and detailed image quality, it only comes down to personal taste and which one you would prefer.
Traditionally, GoPro is set up to boost saturation and sharpening by default. This will give your videos brighter, more vivid and punchier video quality, but on some occasions it can look unrealistic. Even though they share similar specifications, they produce a different end result.
It seems like the GoPro Hero 7 Black captures 4K footage smoother just because the DJI’s Osmo Action can sometimes experience trouble in processing fine natural textures, like grass, especially at high speed.
However, when you tune down to 1080p or 720p the situation is different. Somehow the video footage on the GoPro Hero 7 Black in one of these modes feels more unrealistic and loses quality. Just because the GoPro Hero 7 enhances the contrast and saturation, you end up with less detailed footage in the distance, which isn’t the case with the Osmo Action.
There is also a small difference in their hyperlapse modes. GoPro Hero 7 Black comes with slightly more stabilized footage when you use it in ‘Timewarp’ mode compared to the Osmo Action but there isn’t any significant difference.
The still images are also very similar, the GoPro Hero 7 has a little more contrast and warmth but the image quality is almost identical. When it comes to video and image quality, they are both very good action cameras and you should choose the right one depending on your taste.
When it comes to stabilization it is worth mentioning that GoPro introduced the Hyper Smooth stabilization with the Hero 7 Black. This is next-generation electronic stabilization that uses outside data from the image that is seen in the final footage to make the movement smoother and more professional.
DJI’s Osmo Action has similar technology with their EIS and both offer incredibly smooth results.
If you use both of these cameras while running with stabilization mode turned on, it will remove the shock of footfalls, ending up with a smoother and more professional video. However, it seems like Osmo goes a little further than the Hero 7 Black, countering more directional movement making the final result even smoother.
We can still spot little micro wobbles in the footage, for example, when you are riding a bike, but it is not that annoying. However, if we break down the footage of both cameras frame-by-frame we can see that some of the frames are blurred due to rapid movement. The only thing is to scrap that frame and replace it with an interpolated one based on surrounding frames, but unfortunately, that technology is still not available for action cameras yet.
When you compare DJI Osmo Action vs GoPro Hero 7 Black in stabilization mode, you can see that both cameras are evenly matched, with a couple of minor, almost unrecognizable differences.
Both cameras are very well built and will last forever as long as they are properly maintained. They are both capable of capturing footage in extreme places, easy to use, and practical and you definitely won’t have to worry about carrying a full DSLR camera on your next trip.
DJI Osmo Action
GoPro Hero 7 Black
No battery improvement
Easier to use touchscreen UI
Can get hot when recording in 4K
Rugged, waterproof build
No stabilization in HDR mode
Struggle with voice commands
Battery life could be better
Minor hardware improvements
GoPro Hero 7 Black vs DJI Osmo Action – Verdict
Many people wanted to see how DJI would take action cameras to the next level with their new Osmo Action, but they will be surprised to find out that the competition is tough, as it is very difficult to separate them both.
Both devices share some advantages and disadvantages. Osmo Action comes with incredible features like a vlogging-friendly front screen, the most user-friendly camera on the market, great flexibility in manual mode and a lower price of $339 which is $60 more than the GoPro Hero 7 Black.
Obviously, the GoPro Hero 7 Black has its own wins such as live streaming, better companion apps, and for now a wider range of accessories.
With similar video quality and almost identical specifications, it can be hard to decide which to buy: the DJI Osmo Action or GoPro Hero 7. However, it seems like the only big difference is the price which can be a decisive factor when buying. As we stand today, the more valuable option would be to go with DJI’s Osmo Action just because it has the overall edge, but the GoPro is certainly not out of the picture.
You Can check our guide for GoPro Hero 7 Black vs GoPro Fusion and GoPro Hero 7 Black vs Hero 7 Silver vs Hero 7 White