The DJI Osmo is a little camcorder integrated with a gimbal- and a favorite among videographers all over the world. It is so popular because it was the first of its kind at the time of release. Despite its great features, it is commonly observed that people who own the Osmo complain about their gimbal overheating during use. This mostly may be due to small mistakes on the user’s part and we shall discuss those and how to correct them.
What Is The DJI Osmo?
If you’ve come here looking for ways to stop your Osmo overheating, you probably own one and are already familiar with what the DJI Osmo actually is, but if not, here’s a little intro to the device and its features.
The DJI Osmo is a popular, handheld camera gimbal device manufactured by DJI for shooting cinematic videos (and taking pictures). The gimbal allows you to move the camera around however you want, and the video camera’s super-smooth stabilization allows you to take great action shots without shaking or blurring. It is a must-have for videographers, especially if you are looking for a travel-size companion.
The camera configuration is controlled via an app on your smartphone. The DJI Osmo does not have its own display, but because it connects to your phone, you view the video through the same app.
Osmo Pocket vs Osmo Mobile
DJI manufactures both, the Osmo Pocket and Osmo Mobile. Although their purpose is the same- to shoot high-quality cinematic videos, and they are both handheld camera gimbals, there are some differences.
The Osmo Pocket, true to its name, is much smaller and portable- pocket-size, literally. The Osmo Pocket can even be operated without a smartphone as it features a tiny touchscreen, however, you can still connect it to your phone (via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or the universal port) for a bigger view and other editing and sharing options. It is also very fast and easy to power on and set up.
The Osmo Mobile is a bit heavier but still portable and good for traveling. You cannot use it as a standalone device and must connect it to your smartphone (via Bluetooth) to control it. It also starts up very easily but has to be balanced before you start shooting.
If you’re wondering which device this article is written for, the answer is both. We’ll be addressing the overheating issue in both of these versions of the Osmo.
What Causes The Osmo To Overheat?
The Osmo can overheat for a number of reasons:
- The load on the motor can cause the device to overheat. Even if there is no additional load attached to it, after long hours of shooting the motor is bound to start heating up, like any device.
- Maxing out the camera settings: If you are recording videos at very high resolutions, bitrates, and framerates, that means a lot of data is being recorded, processed, and transmitted. Naturally, more processing means the device will heat up faster.
- The batteries may heat up. And if you are using sub-standard ones, then they will heat up more than they should.
- Atmospheric conditions: This does not require a genius to figure out either. If you are recording on a very hot and humid day, your gizmo will heat up more- in contrast to a chilly, windy day.
8 Ways To Stop Your Osmo Overheating
Don’t Skip Initialization
When your DJI Osmo is initializing or starting up, that is a great time to check if it’s functioning properly. When you switch it on, the Osmo pocket goes through initialization where it rotates through the maximum range around its axes. If it does that without any hiccups, then you’re ready to go.
In case of the Osmo mobile you also have to balance your phone correctly before you start filming, so do that properly. Many people like to skip this balancing step, but that will do you no good. If there’s any other initialization procedures or instructions to follow with your specific Osmo device too, don’t skip them! They’re there for a reason and it hardly takes a minute if you know what to do.
There are tutorials available online on how to set up your DJI Osmo, so watch those first to ensure you’ve got the steps right.
Reduce The Load On The Motor
The DJI Osmo is designed to be connected to a smartphone, so it can definitely take that weight. However, if you add too many other accessories, that will put more load on the motors in the gimbal, causing more friction and hence more heat.
People often attach wide-angle lenses to the Osmo to get a larger field of view, however that has a significant weight. You can try removing any accessories and then check to see if it still heats up as much. If you require them for filming, do not keep them on continuously for long durations.
Don’t Always Max-Out
You may not always need to film at the highest resolutions or bit rates, depending on what you are filming for. So if your specific application does not require (or even support) such high-quality videos, you can consider switching to lower settings which go easier on the device.
It also depends on what type of venue, weather, and time of day you are filming in. If you are filming in broad daylight, you do not even need such high settings, at least for usual applications (like simple vlogging). In low light conditions you’ll have to go higher of course, but the point is to avoid maxing out when you don’t need it.
I mean, if you’re a YouTube vlogger, 1080p (or HD) is always good enough. You don’t need to film at 4k (UHD), especially if your video is eventually going to be compressed anyway. Filming in 4k means very large files, heavy processing, and overall more time consumed in editing and uploading. And all of that means a lot more heat!
Use High-Quality Batteries
Although it is normal for the battery to warm up a little, if it’s doing that too much then that might be because you are using third-party or sub-standard batteries. Make sure you only use the ones that come with the device- the official DJI ones. If you have to buy spare ones, get some from DJI that are okay to use with the device.
Do not use just any other battery- it does more damage than you think- and especially not sub-standard ones!
Regularly Clean Your Device
If you do not regularly clean and maintain your devices, any of them would start to malfunction. If there’s a lot of dirt on your gimbal, it would actually lead to it heating up more by not letting the heat escape to the environment as easily. Another reason is that dust would cause much more friction between the parts, again generating more heat.
Remember to clean your device regularly, and you can also watch tutorials online on how to do it thoroughly.
Don’t Move Around Unnecessarily
Of course the DJI Osmo is meant to be moved around, but don’t do it unnecessarily. Practice keeping the camera steady and moving it smoothly instead of doing fast jerky movements. And restrict changing your orientation too much, because obviously, the more work your gimbal does, the more it heats up.
Do not record for hours at a time. Give the device some time to breathe and cool down in between. This one is quite obvious and again goes for any other machine or electronic device too. If you use it continuously for long periods of time, it will overheat, definitely. And you can’t blame it! The simple solution is to take breaks while shooting.
Get Your Device Fixed
If none of the above helps, and you notice that your gimbal heats up too much, too fast, then yes, there may even be a problem with the gimbal itself. It may have been broken or damaged somehow while using or maybe it was faulty to begin with. Either way, you will need to get it checked with the manufacturer (DJI) or whatever maintenance support they have.
They will let you know what the real problem is, if there even is one, and hopefully fix it.
All that being said, since the DJI Osmo was the first of its kind when it was launched, despite its great features, it does have some shortcomings and areas for improvement such as its heat-handling capacity. As with all new technology, subsequent versions are always improved and have fixes for problems with older devices. Moreover, other manufacturers have also released many similar devices and certainly ones with better capabilities too.
That does not take away from the fact, however, that the DJI Osmo was a big revolution in the field of casual videography and the most popular device at the time. It still remains popular today, owing to its great package of features and amazing stabilization technology for shooting action-packed videos. It’s a great gimbal to have, and if you use it carefully enough, hopefully you won’t have the overheating problem to begin with.