DJI Osmo Pocket 3

5 things I don't like about the DJI Osmo Pocket 3

Small list of things I wish were different in the new Pocket 3 from DJI

The Osmo Pocket 3 is a big leap forward for DJI's unique, pocket-sized vlogging and travel camera. Image quality has been greatly improved with a new, one inch CMOS sensor that provides better low light performance and depth of field. The Pocket also has a new, rotatable OLED screen that displays a large, 16:9 live preview and all menu functions. And if you purchase the Creative Combo version, you get a wireless microphone, battery extender, carrying case, magnetized wide angle lens, and other accessories.

The Pocket 3 is also bigger than its predecessor, which may be a con for some users, but for me its larger form factor makes the camera easier to hold and carry. Image stabilization is smooth thanks to its mechanical gimbal, and 4K video quality is surprisingly good as well, especially when using filters.

But like any other camera, the Pocket 3 has some cons. Here are a few I've come across in my time with the camera so far.


The Osmo Pocket is not a rugged camera. I speak with experience, for I ruined my first Pocket on a trip to Iceland in 2019. I used it on a black sand beach, and somehow managed (without dropping it) to get tiny grains of sand in the gimbal motor. I tried vacuuming, air blasting, and running strips of paper through the gimbal cracks, but the Pocket's gimbal never again functioned properly.

The Pocket 3's gimbal is larger than v1 and v2, but otherwise has the same design, with the same seams and cracks where sand, dirt and grit could get lodged. The Pocket 3 is also not waterproof or weather sealed, so the entire camera is susceptible to the elements when shooting outdoors.

If I were packing the camera for an extended overseas trip, I'd consider buying a second to use as backup.

No histogram or zebras

Unlike DJI drones, the Pocket 3 doesn't offer a histogram or zebras to more accurately gauge exposure levels while shooting. Shutter speed and ISO aren't visible on the live preview either. The only exposure information displayed is a small, light gray "EV" (Exposure Value) number that is impossibly hard to see. EV is also a bit obtuse, for the number is related to exposure compensation, not f-stops. At the very least, a configurable zebra option would be helpful. Histogram even better. Perhaps DJI could add these in a future firmware upgrade.

Fixed aperture and depth of field

The Pocket 3 has a fixed aperture of f/2. This means the camera is always shooting "wide open" to create soft, slightly out of focus backgrounds behind a subject when positioned close to the camera (eg, vlogging). I like the look of f/2, but could see some situations where a smaller aperture would be preferable; most notably environments where the surrounding environment is part of the story. A fixed aperture also provides less control over exposure; leaving shutter speed, ISO and third party filters as the only means to brighten or darken an image.

Granted, a fixed aperture is normal for a small, pocket sized camera like the Pocket 3 (and smartphones for that matter), but I can't help but dream of having aperture control in a future version.

Can't power off with a filter attached

When the Pocket 3 is turned off with a magnetized filter mounted to the lens, the gimbal cannot close and collapse as usual. If the Pocket 3 gimbal had a slightly more user-friendly design, filters could be left on the Pocket 3 (including UV filters to help protect the lens). Unfortunately, the current design requires removing magnetized filters every time the Pocket 3 is powered off.

Always wide angle

The Pocket 3's camera has a focal length approximately equal to 20mm. This means it has an ultra-wide field of view, which is nice when vlogging, but for everything else the wide focal length introduces distortion. I'd love to use the Pocket 3 for b-roll footage and other use cases, but 20mm feels too wide. Optical zoom helps somewhat, but that lowers image quality. Perhaps in the future we'll see a dual lens in the Osmo Pocket, similar to DJI's Mavic 3 drones.

Wide angle lens incompatible with filters

Bonus, sixth gripe: the 0.75 15mm wide angle lens modifier included in the Pocket 3 Creative Combo is incompatible with other filters. The front of the lens is not magnetized, so it's not possible to mount any filters, including DJI's own Black Mist filter. Would love to see this redesigned in the future.