The DJI Osmo Pocket is an amazing little camera, but the price tag can be a bit steep for some travelers. In today’s Travel Buyer Guide, I’ve compared the best DJI Osmo Pocket alternatives on the market – focusing on camera models that are less expensive than the DJI so that you can spend more of your money on experiences and less money on capturing them.
If you haven’t heard the term gimbal before, it’s a pivoted support used in camera stabilization systems that’s purpose is to eliminate vibrations and shakiness that can ruin an otherwise great photo or video sequence.
I’ve personally wanted one for a while but gimbal stabilizers have traditionally only been an option for DSLR camera and that doesn’t suit me as I like to travel light. However in the past couple of years, there have been lots of great compact options popping up to appeal to people like me who don’t like to be weighed down by their camera gear.
The DJI Osmo Pocket was the gimbal camera that originally caught my eye, but there are a couple of cheaper options available that are worth considering, too. In this article, I’m sharing a few of the best cheap DJI Osmo Pocket alternatives.
#1) Removu K1
The Removu K1 can be picked up for over $100 cheaper than the Osmo Pocket, but it doesn’t feel like a cheap option at all. The 3-axis stabilizing gimbal uses brushless DC motors which deliver ultra-smooth videos and images that will have you wondering why it’s worth spending more money on DJI. It has definitely made me think twice!
💬 Removu K1 vs DJI Osmo Pocket
There are three settings to choose from for capturing still images. Single shot is for regular photography, burst photo is great for capturing multiple images (this is handy for sports photography or those jumping poses that Instagrammers love so much), and timelapse photo. Whichever mode you choose, the 1/2.3” CMOS sensor, which is equally matched to the Osmo Pocket, captures crisp and clear images. An F2.8 aperture is the icing on the cake and provides a beautifully cinematic shallow depth of field (the Osmo Pocket’s aperture is F2.0, for comparison).
Video looks great, too, and vibrant 4K footage can be captured at 30fp. The Removu K1 can also handle super slow-motion in Full HD resolution at 120fps and 720P at 240fps. The only downside here is that there’s no option for 24fps at any resolution which could be frustrating if you were planning to incorporate the footage into a standard video workflow. The wide-angle lens is controlled by a four-way joystick for effortless one-handed panning and tilting. The inbuilt 1.5-inch LCD screen makes it easy to frame your shot without needing to pair with a smartphone.
- Removu K1 is equipped with the best 3-axis gimbal technology out there, which means you get clear...
- K1 can capture your life’s moments in 4K ultra HD with the custom designed F2.8 wide angle lens
- Thanks to the 50 centimetres focal length the K1 can perfectly focus close-up shots and the perfect...
The premium design of the Removu K1 is compact and lightweight but is over 200 grams heavier than the Osmo Pocket which might be noticeable during long shooting sessions. If you do plan on a marathon video session, the interchangeable Li-ion battery provides up to four hours of continuous shooting on a single charge which is almost double what DJI delivers. It’s also possible to take photos and shoot video while the battery is charging, so you’ll never be caught short. The camera comes with a USB charging cable and a storage pouch, so you can head out and film right away.
#2) FeiyuTech Summon+
If you thought that decent gimbal cameras couldn’t be found for less than $100 think again: FeiyuTech’s Summon+ is my favorite budget DJI Osmo Pocket alternative.
💬 FeiyuTech Summon+ vs DJI Osmo Pocket
The 3-axis stabilizer stands up well to ‘normal’ usage, but reviewers note that you’ll see some shaking in high-octane situations. If you’re planning on shooting extreme action sports you might want to stick to one of the alternatives on our list.
If you’re a beginner or a hobbyist you’re likely to love the auto mode which takes all the guesswork out of your photography. The Panasonic-made sensor in the Summon+ delivers 16MP stills which tops the Osmo Pocket’s 12MP. It’s not the best in low light though, so night shoots will mostly be off-limits with this gimbal camera. You can shoot single images or panoramas with the Summon+, but the Osmo Pocket’s five intelligent functions make it much better equipped to unleash your creativity.
- ALL IN ONE STABILIZED CAMERA:Summon+ is a 3-axis handheld gimbal stabilizer with a built-in 4K...
- Panasonic 1600MP SENSOR: Summon+ is designed to deliver better color and detail over its...
- MICROPHONE:An additional microphone to ensure dynamic, detailed and distinctive audio for your...
The Summon+ makes 4K video footage accessible and affordable, and it can even handle up to 240fps at 720P resolution. Again, there’s no option for the standard 24fps though, which is an annoying oversight for movie makers.
Sadly, the design of the Summon+ falls seriously short of the Osmo Pocket. It’s much bigger and heavier, making it significantly less portable for people that love to travel light. The larger design does allow for a larger 2-inch screen, though, which can be useful when shooting detailed scenes.
📱 Use your cell phone + a standalone gimbal stabilize
If you’d prefer to shoot with your smartphone there are some great cheap cell phone stabilizers available to buy. The following two gimbal smartphone stabilizers are, in my opinion, the best two options on the market.
#3) Zhiyun Smooth 4
For a little more than $100, Zhiyun’s Smooth 4 offers incredible stability and enough functionality to satisfy any film and photography fan. It’s actually surprising how much this relatively cheap gimbal can do!
💬 Zhiyun Smooth 4 Gimbal vs DJI Osmo Pocket Camera
The integrated control panel manages the stabilizer and your phone at the same time to give you a comprehensive set of shooting options. The ability to pull focus will seriously boost the production value of your footage, and one-handed zoom capability gives great control over the framing of your shots.
There are plenty of cool functions on board to further boost your creativity, including Slow-motion which is great for capturing detail in fast-moving scenes. PhoneGo mode is favorite feature of mine: it responds to every delicate movement and can even create smooth scene transitions without the need for post-production manipulation. I really like that two-way charging is supported when the stabilizer is in timelapse or object tracking mode to ensure that flat batteries will never stop you getting your shot. And, a runtime of 12 hours makes this stabilizer a great option for full-day shoots.
- 【Filmic Pro】The official APP for Smooth 4 is called ZY play. But Filmic Pro has best in class...
- 【Control Panel】Integrated control panel design,Focus Pull & Zoom Capability
- 【MUST KNOW】Balance the gimbal before use: Slide the smartphoone in as close as possible to...
The Smooth 4 comes with a charging cable and a storage box. You can also add other accessories like LED lights and camera lenses for enhanced cinematography. The setup works via an app and it’s worth noting that functionality differs between different cellphone models. Some reviewers also talk about issues with the app when used in conjunction with Android phones, so unless you’re an iPhone user you might want to keep an eye on app updates and recent Play Store reviews.
#4) Hohem iSteady Mobile+
You can shoot smooth footage and sharp images on your cell phone even if you’re working with a tiny budget, thanks to Hohem’s iSteady Mobile+.
💬 Hohem iSteady Mobile+ Gimbal vs DJI Osmo Pocket Camera
The compact and simple design makes this cell phone stabilizer a great lightweight travel companion. At 280 grams it’s super light, but obviously, the total weight will depend on which smartphone you plan on using it with. If you do choose to use the iSteady Mobile+ with a sizeable phone, the recently upgraded balancing arm does a great job of supporting the extra weight without the straining that reviewers report in earlier versions of this product.
Intuitive controls make operation easy no matter how much experience you have with gimbals, which appeals to people like me who are looking to buy their first stabilizer. For example, the central trigger button only requires a quick tap and the motor returns to its initial position.
- 【Perfect Compatibility】iSteady Mobile+ is the upgraded generation of iSteady Mobile. It works...
- 【Hohem Gimbal APP Support】With Hohem Gimbal App, you can make high quality videos with iSteady...
- 【Inception MODE, 3D Fantasy, Rotating Complete 360°】As it can rotate a complete 360° (Paning...
For a budget option, this stabilizer offers some awesome functionality. Sports mode enables the motor to react extra-quickly so you can capture dynamic scenes like fast-moving action sports. It also makes creating transitions easier without the need for post-production: much like the PhoneGo mode in Zhiyun’s Smooth 4. There are some fun cinematic features onboard, including Inception mode where the pan motor allows for 360° rotation to create cool cinematic effects. This stabilizer also has the ability to track faces and objects to free up your hands for other types of manual operation.
Usability is great and the app seems to be more reliable than Zhiyun’s, but setup can still be challenging as the instruction manual is seriously sparse. If you’re not particularly technical, I’d recommend checking out some YouTube videos to help you get to grips with your new toy.
#5) DJI Osmo Mobile 2 Gimbal
If you don’t mind spending slightly more on a cell phone stabilizer, the DJI Osmo Mobile 2 is definitely worth considering.
💬 DJI Osmo Mobile 2 Gimbal vs DJI Osmo Pocket Camera
This smartphone gimbal is a great all-rounder. Beginners will love how easy it is to set it up, and pro photographers will appreciate the creative features designed to deliver spectacular cinematography. ActiveTrack uses built-in sensors and brushless motors to follow the action, and the timelapse feature can be used in both static and moving setups. The inbuilt zoom slider not only creates smooth zoom effects, but also allows for dollyzoom which is a visual effect that’s usually off limits to all but professional film crews.
The design of the Osmo Mobile 2 is perfectly portable and the high strength composite material weighs 485 grams which isn’t too heavy for all-day use. The battery lasts up to 15 hours and can charge your cell phone while in use, which will help keep you shooting all day. This gimbal looks great, too, and I really like how the compact size suits my travel-light habits. One thing to note about the design is that it doesn’t account for additional weight from extras like lenses, so if you plan to use add-ons you may need to add your own counterweight to ensure proper stability.
- Share your story: The Osmo mobile 2 is a handheld smartphone gimbal made for the storyteller in all...
- Stable and smooth Moves: the Osmo mobile 2 was built to film on the go. Just select your subject and...
- Lightweight and portable: now you can take your story anywhere. The Osmo mobile 2 is made of a...
DJI’s gimbal and their accompanying app is compatible with a wide variety of smartphones and is capable of handling larger models without compromising stability. As always, though, make sure you check compatibility with your cell phone before you commit to buying the Osmo Mobile 2.
💭 Final Thoughts
As you might have read in my recent article about cheap DJI Osmo Action alternatives, I’m a huge fan of DJI. And, the brand hasn’t let me down with their gimbals – the Osmo Pocket is my clear winner when compared to its competitors.
That being said, there are some solid stabilization options for less money, and the best cheap DJI Osmo Pocket alternative for me is FeiyuTech’s Summon+. Unless you’re planning on shooting highly dynamic scenes, stabilization if faultless and there are some great features onboard that will help you produce pro-level film and imagery. If you’re leaning towards a cell phone stabilizer, Hohem’s iSteady Mobile+ is my pick of the bunch. At well under $90, this gimbal is cheap, lightweight and enjoyably intuitive.
What is your favorite DJI Osmo Pocket alternative? Or if you use a great cheap gimbal camera or cell phone stabilizer that you think I should know about, let me know in the comments.
Last update on 2020-02-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API