This camera has now been released! Head to our DJI Action 2 review to find out what we thought of it.
DJI has today launched a new action camera, the DJI Action 2, and with its lightweight build and swappable magnetic modules, it could be both more versatile and more practical than your GoPro. Will this be the launch that knocks GoPro off the best action camera throne? We'll have a full DJI Action 2 review to follow, but here's what we know right now.
The headline feature here is the modular build. If you want to add a front-facing screen, a better mic, or more battery for instance, just pick the module for that and add it to your Camera unit. Many of the modules even connect magnetically, making them easy to swapp in and out on the fly.
DJI is best known as the brand behind pretty much all of the best drones around. It has dipped its toe into the action cam world before, with the excellent DJI Osmo Action, launched in Spring 2019. For a while it looked like we weren't getting a successor to that model, and indeed, with its modular design, the Action 2 takes a radically different approach.
- Buy the DJI Action 2 from store.dji.com
- DJI Mic review: affordable wireless mics for all kinds of content creators
Let's take a closer look at those modules. Perhaps the most interesting is the Front Touchscreen module. Designed to appeal to vloggers, this adds a second, front-facing OLED screen, to allow the user to frame themselves in shot. It also improves sound quality by adding three extra microphones, which combine with the Camera unit's mic for more immersive sound (DJI calls it 'Matrix Stereo technology').
Other modules include:
- DJI Power module: bumps up recording time to 180 minutes, and adds an extra microSD slot
- Macro Lens: attaches magnetically over the camera unit lens, with a multi-layer coating designed to improve detail in closeups
- DJI Mic: a wireless dual-channel recording system for clear, crisp audio, recording range of up to 250m
It's a similar kind of idea to the Mods designed to add features to today's best GoPros, but here DJI has put them front-and-centre. The rest of the 'modules' are really just various mounts, including a magnetic lanyard, ball-joint adapter, remote control extension rod, floating handle and magnetic headband.
Small size; versatile features
As well as GoPro, DJI looks to have drawn inspiration from another action cam brand: Insta360. With its dinky size and magnetic mounting options that enable you to wear the cam comfortably on your chest, via a lanyard, it bears some resemblance to the thumb-sized Insta360 GO 2.
With the DJI Camera unit weighing in at 56g, it's not quite as featherweight as the 27g GO 2 – but then, it does have a 1.76-inch OLED touchscreen, the absence of which is one of the main limiting aspects of the GO 2. It's also a darn sight lighter than the 153g HERO 10.
The Action 2 is also "dustproof", "drop-proof" and the Camera unit is waterproof to 10m. That matches the the current GoPro range, but if you want to go even deeper, DJI has a waterproof case, which will work up to 60m. The case will also allow you to head underwater with either the Power or Front Touchscreen module attached.
Inside, there are plenty of features that look to match what GoPro offers, including Slow-mo (4x in 4K/120fps and 8x 1080p/240fps), hyperlapse and timelapse, and livestream (up to 1080p/30fps) recording modes. There's also social media-friendly QuickClip, which records in snappy 10, 15, or 30-second bursts.
The DJI Action 2 offers RockSteady 2.0 and HorizonSteady features to smooth out shaky footage. As a drone maker, DJI has form when it comes to image stabilisation – can it compete with GoPro's incredible Hypersmooth with horizon levelling (which in the HERO 10 can deal with a tilt of up to 45 degrees)?
With its 4K/120fps shooting capabilities, enabled by a 1/1.7-inch sensor, it's not quite up there with the newest GoPros (the HERO 10 Black and HERO 9 Black can capture up to 5.3K/60FPS and 5K/30FPS respectively). However, it will record in super-wide (155° FOV) and packs a new Color Temperature Sensor designed to keep your footage looking natural and vibrant in difficult lighting conditions such as underwater.
DJI Action 2 action camera: price and release date
The DJI Action 2 launches today (27 Oct 2021) and is available to buy from store.dji.com and select stores. Pricing depends on the bundle you go for. The options are:
- DJI Action 2 Dual-Screen combo: GBP £455 / EUR €519 / USD $519 / AUD $799
Available now, includes the DJI Action 2 Camera Unit, Front Touchscreen Module, Magnetic Lanyard, Magnetic Ball-Joint Adapter Mount, and Magnetic Adapter Mount.
- DJI Action 2 Power Combo: GBP £349 / EUR €399 EUR / USD $399 USD / AUD $609
Available end of November. Includes DJI Action 2 Camera Unit, Power Module, Magnetic Lanyard, and Magnetic Adapter Mount.
All other accessories will be sold separately. Note: prices subject to local taxes.
With the modular design, it looks like DJI is focusing on versatility here – theoretically, it has the potential to suit a whole range of shooting styles, rather than being aimed mainly at adrenaline junkies, a la GoPro. The press material reflects this, with DJI showing the Action being used in a busy city and in a gym, as well as for diving and Motocross.
“We stripped our action camera down to its fundamentals and rebuilt it from the ground up to create DJI Action 2," said Paul Pan, DJI Senior Product Line Manager. " You can configure this camera for neighborhood walks, hang gliding off a cliff, music festivals, and countless other action-packed moments.”