Yesterday DJI announced their latest product, a fully integrated handheld gimbal for their X3 and X5 cameras called Osmo. Its a neat bit of kit and is bound to be a hit with existing inspire owners as well as a new customers who don’t even fly DJI drones. However, speaking with DJI managers at the event we managed to elicit some hints of what could be announced next – perhaps before Christmas, or early next year.
We discovered that DJI engineers are currently working on extending the Osmo, or an Osmo-like device, to deliver intuitive motion control of gimbals while mounted on drones. The Osmo handle already follows hand movements precisely enough to control the gimbal, and so replacing the physical connection with a wireless one would be a simple step. This could be done via WiFi to either the gimbal mounted on the drone, or more likely via the pilots controller.
This is by no means a new idea. In April this year Freefly released their Mimic device to do just this, and although it hasn’t exactly lit the world on fire, as an intuitive way to film from the air it’s a far superior method than using transmitter joysticks.
Each remote camera operators at CineFlite were first ground camera operators and had to learn to shoot aerials without the physical feedback they get holding a camera. Giving them a device connected to a monitor that relays its movements directly to the drone-mounted gimbal would make doing things like tracking high speed moving objects a breeze, opening up an entirely new avenue of creativity.
Such an Osmo-like device would work great with the Inspire. But the real question is would it also work with DJI’s Zenmuse range of gimbals, opening up natural motion control of a Panasonic GH4 or Sony A7s! Probably unlikely, given how DJI have been ignoring their professional end products lately – but that’s the subject for my next post.