GoPro Hero 9 vs DJI Osmo Action: Head to Head Comparison


Actions cameras are one of the best ways of capturing your most thrilling moments. There are many action cameras in the market and among them, GoPro 9 and Osmo Action are in the top tier of that list. GoPro Hero 9 was released in September 2020, while DJI Osmo Action was launched in May 2019. So how do these two high-performing action cameras stand against each other and which one performs best?

Previously, we have seen that the newer releases of GoPro did not come with significant changes in spec. But all that changed with the release of GoPro Hero 9 in 2020. Since it has a significant jump in terms of its specs. For example, the previous release had 4k capability while GoPro 9 can shoot at 5k 30fps. So it is undoubtedly one of the best action cameras of GoPro that brings many unique features compared to its previous releases. However, DJI Osmo tried to compete with GoPro by entering the action camera market in 2019. And that was an astounding entry of DJI Osmo with a 4k resolution action camera sensor! It was an outstanding step for DJI Osmo Action camera as a newcomer in the action camera industry with many features like capturing 4k videos at 60fps. As a result, consumers highly appreciated the DJI Osmo Action camera.

Now let’s take a look at how these two feature-packed action cameras stack up. As we have already talked about the max video resolution of both the cameras, let’s take a look at other features. GoPro 9 features the same 1/2.3″ CMOS sensor but with 23.6-megapixel. It also offers an impressive 155° field of view with max lens mode. On the contrary, Osmo Action has a 1/2.3″ 12-megapixel CMOS Sensor. It also provides a 145° field of view. Then comes the ISO range. And both the cameras have similar ISO that ranges from 100-3200.

Additionally, GoPro 9 has a 1720 mAh Lithium-ion battery which lasts for around 72 minutes if you are recording 4k videos at 60fps. On the other hand, Osmo Action contains a LiPo 1300 mAh battery and lasts for around 63 minutes while shooting on 4k 60fps. Apart from this, both the cameras feature Electrical image stabilization in disguise of their brand name. For example, DJI calls it rocksteady, while for GoPro, it’s HyperSmooth. Besides, you can take GoPro hero 9 underwater up to 10 meters. On the other hand, Osmo Action is capable of going 11 meters underwater. On top of that, its lens filter contains a protective coating to prevent fingerprints, dust, smudges, and other small particles.

As for Price, you can buy a GoPro hero 9 for around $399. Meanwhile, Osmo Action costs around $199. We have put forth a detail about our hands-on comparison by keeping them side by side. We have captured shots with GoPro 9 at 5k 30fps and DJI Osmo Action at 4k 60fps. Though clearly, GoPro 9 is ahead with its written video specs, we wanted to see how both of these cameras perform in the real world. Well, we found out both of these cameras perform really well and the output looked almost the same. We even did freeze-frame and zoom in to find out how well these two cameras can capture details. And, the image quality gave us clarification that the GoPro 9 has gone really far with its video specs by capturing tack sharp images with an incredible amount of details. Meanwhile, Osmo Action also does good but the details are not as sharp as the GoPro 9. Both the cameras offer slightly different levels of Dynamic range. GoPro produces more natural and vibrant looking colors while the colors of the footage from Osmo Action looks a little flat. The skin tone turned out a bit different as GoPro produces a little orangey-looking tone while Osmo creates a whitish effect on the skin which looks sort of fake and edited. However, as GoPro has the tendency of over-saturating things, it sometimes loses detail in shadow when in fact, Osmo Action is able to preserve much of the shadow elements.

Both Osmo Action and GoPro produce a little cropped in the footage because of their Electronic image stabilization. However, the crop factor is less noticeable on GoPro because of the higher resolution 5k sensor. In terms of stabilization, both the cameras perform exceptionally well in smoothing out shaky situations. But with the horizon leveling, GoPro 9 gives you more smooth footage by keeping balance with the horizon even when you are harshly tilting the camera. And there’s more stabilization option with horizon lock mode, which keeps your vertical level while camera rotation. In this case, as you can see, the performance of Osmo Action is not up to par with GoPro hero 9. However, when it comes to slow-motion videos, both perform incredibly well.

We tried to check and hear the sound both of these cameras’ produce. So, GoPro 9 clearly outperforms Osmo Action here. Next, in low-light situations, GoPro Hero 9 shines with more luminant footage using night mode in comparison to the DJI Osmo Action camera. And this is expected with Osmo Action as it doesn’t come with a night mode. In extreme cases, Osmo Action produces pitch-black footage. While on the contrary, GoPro was able to take some detail of the scene.

Apart from that, both have dual screens, one on the front and the other on the rear portion. GoPro 9 incorporates a 1.4-inch screen on the front and you can use both screens simultaneously. About display brightness, both the front and rear screen of GoPro Hero 9 is more clear, more visible and brighter than Osmo Action, even outside on a sunny day. Meanwhile, Osmo comes with a 1.4 inches front screen with 300 ppi and a back screen of 2.25 inches with 325 ppi. However, you can only use one screen at a time which is a big upset when going for selfie mode. You won’t face any problems with the screen while using Osmo Action. But if you compare it, GoPro is the clear winner here.

Both cameras have exceedingly well configuration compared to other available action cameras in the market. GoPro stands in the front line with its 5k and other unique features like horizon level, more vibrant dynamic range and higher megapixel sensor. However, all these come at a higher price tag. And DJI Osmo Action also performs really well and also has an affordable price range, making it the truly best budget camera in the market. Moreover, there are rumors that DJI is going to launch its Osmo Action 2 very soon and if that happens, we are going to make a review on it as soon as we get our hands on it.

Joe Pfeffer

Joe Pfeffer

What started off as just a dream for Joe Pfeffer, turned into his passion and livelihood. He started his career as a wildlife photographer and then transitioned into becoming a cinematographer. With a decade of raw on-the-field experience, Joe Pfeffer has all the technical knowledge about the ins and outs of cameras. Now, he uses his vast experience to educate others about photography.