Over the years, action cameras have come with similar designs and features. Until finally Action 2 from DJI was officially announced. This action camera is revolutionary. Not only a very small design, DJI also offers an action camera with its first modular concept. Curious about what the DJI Action 2 is capable of? Check out his review as follows.
DJI Action 2 design
DJI Action 2 comes with a very small box. Its dimensions are 39 x 39 x 22.3mm. The body material is made of aluminum alloy. Lightweight yet tough. It weighs only about 56 grams. Like action cameras in general, the design is waterproof. Can be invited to dive to a depth of 10 meters. No need for additional waterproof casing.
Not many buttons can be found on the body. At the top there is only the power button. This button also functions as a shutter button to start shooting. On the front, you can find a wide-angle lens with 155-degree coverage and an F/2.8 aperture. The main camera module is also equipped with an integrated microphone which is good enough to record sound.
To navigate completely rely on the touch on the screen. Fortunately the touch screen is very responsive to the touch of a finger. Navigation is also quite easy with a very simple interface. Or, it can be through the DJI MIMO application on a smartphone.
The screen carries an OLED panel measuring 1.76 inches. The screen brightness level is 500 nits. Good enough and still clearly visible for outdoor use. The screen has also been reinforced with a layer of Corning Gorilla Glass.
An absent feature is the microSD memory card slot. Instead, DJI provides 32GB of internal storage space. For energy intake, it relies on an integrated battery with a capacity of 580 mAh.
Innovative magnetic modular system
Then what if the storage space is less? Here the second module takes on the role. Carrying the modular concept, the DJI Action 2 main module can be connected to other modules such as the Front Touchscreen and Power Module. Or, it can also be attached to the supporting accessories. Admittedly, the DJI Action 2 accessories ecosystem is very complete. That way this action camera can be used in various scenarios according to user needs.
For what we review below is the Front Touchscreen module. As the name implies, this module brings another additional OLED screen to the front. The screen specifications are the same as in the DJI Action 2 camera module. The addition of this module is very useful for shooting independently. Like for example creating vlogging or selfie content.
The Front Touchscreen module provides one microSD slot. A microSD memory card can be installed up to a capacity of 256GB. In this module you can also find a shutter button, a USB-C port, three integrated microphones and a battery with a larger capacity of 1300 mAh. So, theoretically with the addition of the Front Touchscreen module, users can get video recordings with better audio quality and longer usage time.
The Power Module is similar to the Front Touchscreen Module. The battery it carries is the same 1300 mAh. However, the Power Module promises up to 180 minutes of usage time. Front Touchscreen module only up to 160 Minutes. Fair enough considering the Power Module is not equipped with an OLED display and microphone.
It should be noted that the Front Touchscreen and Power Module modules are not waterproof. If you want to use both, you must add a waterproof casing.
However, we are still very impressed with the modular concept of the DJI Action 2 and its complete accessories ecosystem. The magnetic system is also very strong. This ensures that the DJI Action 2 is perfectly attached and doesn’t come off easily. Even under extreme conditions of use. Another advantage we feel is that we can change accessories much more quickly and easily when compared to traditional action camera mounting systems.
Satisfactory photo and video results
The DJI Action 2 has a 1/1.7-inch CMOS sensor. The sensor size is larger than the previous DJI Osmo Action which used a 1/2.3-inch sensor size. As a result, the DJI Action 2 offers an increase in its photo and video capabilities.
The DJI Action 2 can record videos at up to 4K 60 fps resolution. Video capture is permitted with 16:9 or 4:3 ratio options. It can also record slow motion videos up to 4K/120fps resolution. For a more dramatic effect you can choose the 240fps option. However, it is only limited to Full HD resolution. Meanwhile, to take pictures this camera can take photos at a resolution of 12 megapixels.
From our testing the results of photos and videos of the DJI Action 2 are very satisfying in sufficient lighting conditions. The photos and videos look sharp. The resulting color is also quite accurate. To make video editing easier, DJI still provides the D-Cinelike color profile option with flat color settings and lower contrast. If we compare it with the first generation, the Osmo Action, the improvement is visible in the noise control. Action 2 is more reliable for shooting in low light conditions. The use of high ISOs such as ISO 800 or ISO 1600 is still relatively safe from noise with color and image sharpness that is still very well preserved.
Taking pictures with the DJI Action 2 is now also supported with the zoom feature. The lens can do digital zoom up to 4X. In practice, this feature is quite helpful to support shooting remotely. In addition, DJI also added support for the webcam feature to turn the Action 2 into a webcam when connected to a PC. So, it can be relied on for video conferencing or live broadcasts.
Another advantage is the ability to stabilize. The DJI Action 2 now supports the RockSteady 2.0 stabilizer feature. This stabilization ability is indeed very good. No need to use additional gimbals anymore. The image can be ensured to remain sharp even if you are walking, running or on uneven road conditions. Its stabilization ability can be seen in the following video which we tested on uneven asphalt roads and on foot:
Its stabilization capabilities are also supported by the HorizonSteady feature. This feature can ensure shooting is always straight along the horizon line. Even if the camera is spinning. Useful for shooting use in extreme conditions or with a lot of shock.
One compromise of its very small body design is less than optimal thermal management. The whole body will feel very hot when recording video. This makes it inadequate for continuous high-resolution video recording. From our test, video recording stops several times. This is because the camera gives a warning signal that the temperature has exceeded the maximum limit.
To address this solution, DJI has just launched a new accessory, the magnetic protective case . This case is made of heat-resistant polymer material. Its function is to protect the camera body from impact. But, it is also claimed to absorb excess heat from the camera. According to DJI, this additional case allows for longer video recording times under normal conditions. However, we can’t say for sure how effective this new protective case accessory is.
DJI Action 2 . battery
From the specification data we saw on the DJI website, the Action 2’s battery can last up to 70 minutes. With a record video recording at Full HD 30fps resolution without using the stabilizer feature. In practice, we get around 18 minutes of usage time. This is for video recording at 2.7K 60 fps resolution. Even then shooting can not be continuous. About 6 minutes of shooting the camera automatically turns off because the temperature is too hot. At a resolution of 4K 60 fps the duration is shorter. About 10 minutes.
With this relatively short battery life, it’s no wonder that DJI has introduced a Front Touchscreen module and a PowerPack Module so you can get a longer usage time.
Currently, action camera manufacturers are competing for the ability to record video at resolutions more than 4K. However, DJI chose a different path. Through a small design, innovative modular concept, and support for a complete accessories ecosystem, we think DJI looks more focused on the user experience.
During testing, with its modular concept and tiny design, we did experience a different and more enjoyable experience when compared to other action cameras. DJI Action 2 is also easier to use in a variety of scenarios. There is no need to doubt the photos and videos for the results. Moreover, its stabilization capabilities are now more sophisticated. So, it allows shooting with better results.
Battery life and the problem of overheating are indeed its limitations. We also believe that DJI will not turn a blind eye to this problem. At least, it can be seen through the magnetic protective case accessories that were released recently as a solution. Going forward, hopefully DJI will also roll out a firmware update as an additional solution.
If you don’t mind the compromise, we recommend the DJI Action 2 to anyone looking for a small and versatile action camera for traveling or content creation.
Pros of DJI Action 2:
– Ultra-small dimensions
– Modular concept with magnetic system
– Complete accessories ecosystem
– Great photo and video results
– Excellent AMOLED touch screen
– Lens with 4x digital zoom capability
– RockSteady 2.0 and HorizonSteady stabilizers are excellent
– Can be used as a webcam
Disadvantages of DJI Action 2:
– Battery life is relatively short
– Thermal management is not optimal
– Front Touchscreen and Power Module additional modules are not waterproof
– There is no microSD slot on the main DJI Action 2 module
DJI Action 2 is suitable for:
Creator content: The resulting photos and videos are very reliable for creating content.
Traveler: Its tiny design makes it easy to travel with.
Gamers and live streamers: The usb Webcam feature allows Action 2 to become a webcam for live broadcasts.
Extreme sports lovers: Thanks to the complete accessories ecosystem, Action 2 can be used in various scenarios with great ease.