This is not a review. This is a…I’m going to call it a daydream right now.
I was chatting with Enforzer this morning on Discord about the newly released DJI Mavic Mini video drone. This thing will record 2.7k/30 video or video up to 1080p/60, and its claim to fame is that it weighs only 249g. That’s significant because at 250g and over, we here in the US must register our drones with the FAA.
Enforzer has a DJI Spark, and while we were talking about this drone business I was waffling on the prospect. I have a nightlight burning in the back of my mind that I want something that can film decent footage, but a drone — being something that flys around, is noisy, and has a buttload of restrictions — might not be right for me. Besides, Enforzer has one if I really need one.
So he mentioned the OSMO Pocket. After watching some videos and reviews on this, I am kind of blown away. As you can see from the image above, the OSMO Pocket (aka ‘Pocket’) is small. Real small. Cellphone size, in fact, so if taking photos and video with your phone is comfortable, this should be as good if not better in terms of comfort and precision. The major selling point is that the camera is on a motorized gimbal, which feeds into the camera’s ability to record stable video while on the move. It does 4K/60 or 1080p/120 video and can take still photos in RAW format. With the included kit you can hook it up to a smartphone and use the larger screen as a better control center/viewfinder, which also means that you could use a very long cable, mount this on the end of a pole, and use it with a “camera boom”. For a really good example of how this can be used with a little elbow grease and some imagination, check out this video:
The only major issue with the Pocket that I could discern is that the auto-focus is contrast-based, so it has a habit of wanting to focus on the background even when your face is front and center.
I’m leaning really hard into this. I don’t have a pressing need for it, but I really don’t have any kind of video equipment beyond my cellphone. I don’t really need video equipment, but I feel mentally stuck in some kind of no man’s land between “I could do cool stuff if I had the right equipment” and “if I had actual equipment, the ideas would follow”. That it can shoot stills in RAW is a plus, as this opens up more options for photo cleanup, 1080p/120 means that post-production slo-mo is totally an option (the device does have built-in slo-mo features, but having post control seems like the better option to me), and the 4k/60 is pretty nice. My phone will only do 4k/30, so at 60FPS, I could still do some slo-mo and produce a 4k/30 video. Something to think about. Mainly, that this is the size of a cellphone, it can operate as both a still and video camera, which means that when on vacation, I could use this as my main camera. So even if I don’t come up with some kind of cinematographic use, I could use it as an everyday camera.
Barring this, my next goal would be to go full-on digital camera, but that’s a whole other can of worms. A very expensive can of worms.
 Registering or not registering a drone does not free you from the legal restrictions inherent in flying a drone. Even if you don't register, you're still bound by what you can and cannot do with the thing.
 The Pocket comes with 2 adapters, but I'm not sure if one of the adapters will fit my Pixel 3, or if one adapter is for iOS and the other mini USB for the 98% of other smartphones out there.