DJI Osmo Motion 3 review: the all-seasons motion camera

DJI Osmo Motion 3

MSRP $330.00

“The DJI Osmo Motion 3 is an awesome motion camera that distinguishes itself with a novel magnetic clip system and an exceptionally rugged design.”


  • Excellent image quality and video stabilization
  • Very rugged and waterproof design
  • Unique magnetic clip system is very versatile
  • Inexpensive price


  • Not as compact and light-weight because the Motion 2
  • Magnetic locking system vulnerable to clogging in sandy conditions

Once I reviewed the DJI Motion 2 last 12 months, I applauded its revolutionary design, which differentiated it from all the opposite motion cameras available on the market. The DJI Osmo Motion 3 does a 180-degree turn back to basics with a more traditional design and the resuscitation of the Osmo name. While this move initially puzzled me, now that I’ve had time to check the Motion 3, I’ve come to understand why DJI made the change. This tough, latest camera is built to survive anything you may throw at it, but does it do enough to distinguish itself from the competition?

DJI Osmo Motion 3 design

The Motion 3 appears remarkably much like the unique DJI Motion camera, which was an awesome camera but was perhaps somewhat too much like GoPro. The Motion 3 should still carry that typical motion camera appearance, however it is exclusive in some key ways. Primary amongst them is the magnetic quick release system, which it has inherited from the Motion 2, and which has been significantly upgraded to be more solid and reliable.

This magnetic clip system means that you can attach and detach the camera from various mounts, and even just stick the camera to a metal surface. While such a system could appear concerning when it comes to its stability, I can vouch for the reliability of the magnetic clip, because it stayed locked and secure on an extension rod out a automobile window while traveling at 40 mph, and I’ve flown the Motion 2 on top of a drone at even greater speeds than that. The one thing to take into accout is that the magnetic clip sometimes doesn’t snap together perfectly the primary time, so it’s an excellent idea to double-check that connection.

The DJI Osmo Action 3 and magnetic mounting system.Andy Zahn / Digital Trends

The Motion 3 is exclusive in that its front screen is now touch-sensitive, which lets you adjust settings while the camera is facing you, reminiscent of when shooting vlog-style videos. Since I ceaselessly shoot vlog-style YouTube videos myself, I very much appreciate this feature. I’m also a fan of the battery door on the Motion 2, which is straightforward to operate while remaining secure and waterproof.

DJI Motion 3 image quality

Should you liked the look of footage captured with the Motion 2, you’ll also appreciate the Osmo Motion 3. To my eye, the difference is practically nonexistent. That’s not a foul thing, though, because the Motion 2 captures great-looking video. Details are crisp and clear, and each Rocksteady and Horizonsteady image stabilization are highly effective. The usual color mode is probably somewhat oversaturated, but I personally just like the look of it, and the D-cinelike color profile is obtainable in case you prefer to have more editing latitude and craft your individual look in post-processing.

The Motion 3 can shoot in 4k at as much as 120fps, and at as much as 240fps in 1080p. Shooting at 1080p 240fps is as mushy and ugly as you’ll expect, but 4k 120fps looks pretty good. It’s limited to 4k resolution, which is positive in case you just wish to publish straight-out camera footage without much editing. But it surely doesn’t measure as much as the GoPro Hero 11 Black’s 5.3k maximum resolution and bigger sensor, which offers extra versatility in post-processing.

I discovered that the Motion 3 outperforms the Hero 11 barely when it comes to video stabilization, while the Hero 11 is marginally sharper. The final result is that when it comes to pure video quality, the 2 cameras are very evenly matched.

One thing I do really like in regards to the video produced by the Motion 3 is that it matches up very well with other DJI products. Which means in case you fly a Mini 3 Pro, for instance, to capture aerial footage, it should pair nicely with the look of footage captured with the Motion 3.

Should you fly a DJI Mini 3 Pro to capture aerial footage, it should pair nicely with the look of footage captured with the Motion 3.

The Motion 3 puts extra emphasis on color accuracy, with a big, dedicated sensor for detecting the proper white balance for any given scene. While this didn’t appear to make an enormous difference within the fairly tame conditions I filmed in with the camera, it will likely be more useful for deep sea diving.

DJI Motion 3 display

Each the front and rear displays of the Motion 3 are shiny with good color. The larger rear touchscreen is definitely much easier to make use of than the smaller screen of the Motion 2, and the built-in front screen means you don’t must get a separate module to have a front-facing display.

The DJI Osmo Action 3 on a beach halfway in the water.Andy Zahn / Digital Trends

DJI Motion 3 durability and waterproofing

The Osmo Motion 3 is remarkable within the extent to which it will possibly be dropped and submerged. It’s drop resistant as much as five feet and is waterproof all the way in which right down to 52 feet underwater. Moreover, it’s rated to be used between negative 4 and 113 degrees Fahrenheit. Those are some truly impressive numbers, they usually are reflected within the particularly rugged feel of the camera. I actually just like the rubber ring across the lens, which adds protection to probably the most vulnerable a part of the Motion 3, though I would favor that it lock securely into place, as it will possibly be nudged off the rim of the lens unintentionally.

While I didn’t chuck the camera around like a hacky sack, and I sadly lacked the time for deep sea diving lessons, I did take the Motion 3 out mountain climbing and dunked it in a lake. This admittedly minor punishment didn’t even faze the Motion 3. Should you want extra drop protection DJI does sell a housing, which is included with the Adventure combo.

The DJI Osmo Action 3 in a rocky stream.Andy Zahn / Digital Trends

There’s one major flaw, nonetheless, on the subject of using the camera in the true world, which is that the magnetic plates of its unique mounting system have an unlucky tendency to grab magnetic particles of sand. It doesn’t hurt the camera, but it will possibly interfere with the locking mechanism and require frequent cleansing in case you take it to the beach.

DJI Motion 3 battery life

The Motion 3 offers similar battery life to competing motion cameras, though it’s able to operating at more extreme temperatures. I used to be in a position to make it through a typical day of mountain climbing and recording while not having to swap the battery out. Still, in case you plan on doing longer shoots fairly than temporary highlights reminiscent of I prefer, you will certainly wish to have spares. The camera also charges very fast, taking only 18 minutes to charge a battery as much as 80% of the way in which full.

The DJI Osmo Action 3 and multifunction battery case on a mossy picnic table.Andy Zahn / Digital Trends

I tested the Motion 3 with the optional Multifunctional battery case, which not only acts as a charger and carrying case for up to 3 batteries at a time, but you may as well charge your smartphone or other USB-C devices out of your Motion 3 batteries by plugging them into the case. It also has extra space by which to store two extra microSD cards.

DJI Motion 3 performance and software

I didn’t experience any issues with overheating or other performance-related problems while shooting with the Motion 3. The DJI Mimo companion app can be functional for controlling the camera, in addition to downloading and editing footage.

Audio recording is excellent, and I’d feel comfortable using the Motion 3 to shoot vlog-style videos by itself. Should you want even higher audio you may plug the DJI Mic into the Motion 3 and record via that excellent wireless microphone. Once I tried this out it was a straightforward plug-and-play experience, with the one setup hassle being unclipping the USB-C port door from the Motion 3 to make way for the DJI Mic.

DJI Osmo Motion 3 price and availability

The Motion 3 is obtainable now, starting at a $330 price point. You could also want to think about upgrading to the $440 adventure combo, which incorporates three batteries, the wonderful multifunctional battery case, two extra lens protectors for the Motion 3, two adhesive base kits, a protective frame, and an extension rod kit. Though it adds $110 to the bottom price, the Adventure kit adds numerous value with really useful accessories at a reduction in comparison with their individual MSRP.

An exceptionally rugged motion camera

The DJI Osmo Action 3 on a sandy beach in the water.Andy Zahn / Digital Trends

While I still miss the revolutionary design of the Motion 2, the DJI Osmo Motion 3 is an awesome motion camera that stacks up well to fierce competition from the likes of GoPro and Insta360. While, ultimately, I don’t find that it pulls ahead of other cameras on this genre overall, it does boast a pair of great benefits.

Should you need an additional tough camera, that is the one to decide on, particularly with the optional protective frame installed. And in case you plan on going diving, the Motion 3 can go all the way in which right down to 52 feet underwater without an additional diving case. The opposite big selling point is the magnetic quick-release system, which is definitely advantageous if you want to swap mounts quickly. Though, as I discovered, sandy beaches are this mechanism’s Achilles heel.

The Motion 3 may also appeal to DJI drone pilots on the lookout for a rugged camera that may easily match the aesthetic of footage captured using popular drones reminiscent of the DJI Mini 3 Pro, Mavic 3, or Avata.

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