Just when I thought the DJI Osmo Action 4 had rendered the Pocket series surplus to requirements, DJI launches the Pocket 3 that delivers another level of stabilized 4K video quality from a travel-friendly camera.
The headline new feature of the new Pocket 3 is its 1-inch multi-aspect sensor, which can shoot a mix of landscape, square and portrait format videos, making it ideal for content creators on the go.
While the Osmo Action 4 introduced a larger sensor than the Pocket 2, the Pocket 3 goes bigger still and delivers better video quality especially in low light, as our in-depth DJI Pocket 3 review reveals.
The multi-aspect sensor shoots 4K video, now up to 120fps in the traditional 16:9 aspect (3840 x 2160 pixels), while the 1:1 aspect ratio delivers a 3K resolution (3072 x 3072 pixels), up to 60fps. We’re not getting the full 4K resolution in 9:16 portrait format video – it’s 1728 x 3072 pixels – but 3K is still a major boost over any other offering from DJI, keeping much of the detail from the new sensor.
It’s the kind of approach we get with the 8:7 sensor of the GoPro Hero 12 Black, a 5.3K video action camera that can shoot 4K portrait format video. The smaller sensor GoPro crams in more detail when the light is right, but the Pocket 3 performs much better in low light.
Beyond its game-changing sensor; the Pocket 3 has some unique design features that make its handling an absolute dream for creating social media videos on the fly, and it becomes one of the best YouTube cameras and the most capable choice for many people.
We get a similar design to the Pocket 2, meaning the Pocket 3 has a super-compact stick-like form factor that slides into your pocket, with a gimbal-mounted camera that boasts industry-leading image stabilization that’s a dream for shooting videos on the fly.
The Osmo Pocket 3 retails for $519 / £489 / AU$849 as a standard bundle, while the Creator Combo (see below) retails for $669 / £619 / AU$1,129, adding a DJI Mic 2 Transmitter, a DJI Mic 2 Windscreen, a DJI Mic 2 Clip Magnet, a Osmo Pocket 3 Battery Handle, a Osmo Mini Tripod, and Osmo Pocket 3 Carrying Bag. The Pocket 3 is much pricier than the Pocket 2.
A new sensor has inspired a new screen with a super-neat quick switch function between the two aspect ratios. You don’t need to dig into the menus to select the right video format, you quickly flip it to the desired format and start shooting.
Nor does the screen waste its real estate having to display the portrait format image area on a landscape format screen – you flip it 90-degrees and enjoy the full 2-inch display.
Elsewhere, we get the usual DJI video features that makes them such compelling cameras for social media content; Hyperlapse, Motionlapse, Timelapse, plus of course the Pocket 3 is compatible with the optional remote DJI Mic for significantly improved sound quality.
I’ve long rated the design of the Pocket series, being one of the most capable and fun options for videos on the fly. And now in its third generation model, we’re starting to enjoy the kind of video image quality to back up the superb design. If you're looking to make simple videos for social on the fly, the Pocket 3 should be near the top of your wishlist.
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Tim is the Cameras editor at TechRadar. He has enjoyed more than 15 years in the photo video industry with most of those in the world of tech journalism. During his time as Deputy Technical Editor with Amateur Photographer, as a freelancer and consequently editor at Tech Radar, Tim has developed a deeply technical knowledge and practical experience with cameras, educating others through news, reviews and features. He’s also worked in video production for Studio 44 with clients including Canon, and volunteers his spare time to consult a non-profit, diverse stories team based in Nairobi. Tim is curious, a keen creative, avid footballer and runner, and moderate flat white drinker who has lived in Kenya and believes we have much to enjoy and learn from each other.