(Pocket-lint) The DJI Osmo Action 3 and GoPro Hero 11 Black both launched on the same day, with just an hour apart. It’s clear from this launch window that both are heading for the fore in the action cam game.
But while they both look quite similar, they offer different features that attract different types of users. To help you decide which one is best for you, we dig deep into the specifications as well as tested various camera features. Let’s take a look at what they offer, and where they might not be the best.
- DJI Osmo Action 3: 145g, Dual Touch Screen, 16m Water Resistant, Replaceable Waterproof Lens Cap
- GoPro Hero 11 Black: 154 grams, dual screens, 10m water resistance, replaceable waterproof lens cap
The Hero 11 and Action 3 take on the typical action camera form factor, with DJI ditching its standard ways in favor of something more traditional. This means that both cameras do pretty much every action cam mounting solution you’ll find and feel very similar in operation.
Both have replaceable lens covers, and both benefit from water-resistant coatings that help ward off unwanted water droplets. Both are waterproof without the need for additional housing, but the DJI can reach a depth of 16 metres, which is deeper than the 10 metres offered by the Hero 11.
The Osmo Action 3 is slightly lighter than the GoPro and slightly smaller in size. However, it does require one of the magnetic mounts or frame to be used with the accessories, which makes the weight difference minimal. The Hero 11 has foldable mounting tabs built in, so its weight really counts.
The Osmo Action 3’s magnetic mount system means you can switch between mounting locations quickly, while you’ll need to loosen the thumb screw every time you change mounts on your GoPro.
The Action 3 also takes advantage of the front touch screen, and you can use it to change your recording settings, while the Hero 11’s front screen is just for display. However, we’ve noticed that DJI’s front screen is more limited in its live view, disabling itself when a demanding recording format (such as 4K 120fps) is active.
Capture video and photos
- DJI Osmo Action 3: 4K 3840 x 2160 @ 24/25/30/48/50/60/100/120 fps (maximum video resolution), 12MP (maximum photo resolution)
- GoPro Hero 11 Black: 5.3K 5312×2988 @ 24/30/60 fps (maximum video resolution), 27 MP (maximum photo resolution)
When it comes to video specs, the Hero 11 Black wins on almost every front, but since it’s the most affordable option, that’s to be expected.
The Hero 11 can shoot in 5.3K, while the Action 3 beats 4K. It also supports higher frame rates and a wider field of view for slow motion. The Hero 11 can shoot at 240fps at 2.7k, while the Action 3 needs to be projected to 1080p. It can also shoot in SuperView at 4K 120fps, while DJI can only shoot in Wide or Standard in this mode.
The GoPro Hero 11 Black is currently the only action camera to offer 10-bit color in its video recording, although DJI has said it plans to add 10-bit recording in future firmware. Both cameras offer high bitrate recording, with the Action3 maxing out at 130Mbps and the Hero 11 at 120Mbps.
The Hero 11’s 8:7 sensor allows for a new full-frame shooting style that allows you to choose between 16:9, 9:16 or 4:3 cropping. In post, DJI doesn’t currently offer an equivalent feature.
When it comes to image quality, both cameras perform excellently. We preferred the GoPro picture in good lighting, as the warmer, more vibrant colors were more pleasing to our eyes and the dynamic range was better. However, in low-light scenarios, DJI performs better, producing a brighter, more detailed image with better stability.
Stability, features and battery
- DJI Osmo Action 3: 1770mAh Super Battery with Fast Charging Support
- GoPro Hero 11 Black: Enduro Battery 1,720mAh
- Both offer 360 degree horizon lock
Both cameras offer 360-degree horizontal locking, the Hero 11 can do so at 5.3K 30fps, while the DJI is limited to 2.7K 60fps. Both also offer excellent image stabilization, and it’s hard to say which system is the best, although it’s worth noting that GoPro is compatible with ReelSteady and GyroFlow to add stabilization in post-production, while Action 3 isn’t.
DJI and GoPro both include a long-life, cold-weather-resistant battery in the box. DJI calls it the Extreme battery, while the GoPro calls it Enduro. The DJI option gives you an extra 50mAh, but there’s not much difference in battery life between the two cameras. However, when it comes to weather resistance, DJI has the advantage, with an operating temperature as low as minus 20 degrees Celsius, compared to the GoPro’s minus 10 rating.
The Osmo Action 3 also charges faster than the Hero 11, delivering an 80 percent charge in just 18 minutes thanks to its fast charging technology. Comparatively, the Hero 11 will need about 2 hours to fully charge.
Both cameras have a variety of time-lapse and time-lapse presets available in the camera, but the GoPro options are more precise and adjustable. The same is true of its app features, but some of them are locked behind the company’s paywall, which is definitely worth keeping in mind.
The DJI Osmo Action 3 and GoPro Hero 11 Black are some of the best action cameras on the market, and chances are, you won’t be disappointed with either option.
In most scenarios, we feel the Hero 11 is the better camera, but it comes at a hefty price as well. The DJI Osmo Action 3 offers much of the same experience at a much lower price and has a lot of advantages of its own.
If you’re likely to shoot indoors and in low light a lot of the time, you’ll be better served with Action 3. If you’re shooting in good lighting and want to tone-deep and edit your shots, you’ll need to go for the Hero 11 Black.
Regardless of your choice, we have no doubt that it will enable you to capture some epic action shots.
Written by Luke Baker. Editing by Britta Opwell.