2019 is going to be an exciting year for action cameras. DJI announced their first action camera on May 15th, the DJI OSMO Action. And SJCAM released their first action camera being waterproof without case and included a nice gimmick: wireless charging. The specs are pretty close to the competitors while the price is way below. GoPro is currently working on an updated 360° camera (Fusion 2) their top of the line action camera is expected at the end of the year, if they decide to update. So which is the best action camera 2019 to go for?

DJI OSMO Action vs GoPro Hero7 black vs SJCAM SJ9 Strike - best action camera 2019

DJI OSMO Action vs GoPro Hero7 black vs SJCAM SJ9 Strike

 

DJI OSMO Action vs GoPro Hero7 black vs SJCAM SJ9 Strike

Let’s start with a spec comparison, you can find video reviews on the bottom of this article!

* not confirmed

 

DJI OSMO Action – GoPro Hero7 black – SJCAM SJ9 Strike

Sensor & Processor

All three action cameras rely on a 12MP 1/2.3″ CMOS sensor in 4:3 format. SJCAM SJ9 Strike is confirmed to use the Sony IMX377 sensor. GoPro is reported to use the Sony IMX277 sensor, which has a bit higher performance being capable of higher frame rates, although it is undisclosed by GoPro. DJI OSMO Action is most likely using the same sensor as GoPro as it also offers the same frame rates and resolution settings.

GoPro Hero7 black is using their on processor called GP1 (M9M), they developed together with Qualcomm. SJCAM is relying on the imaging processors of Ambarella using their H22 processor.

 

Lens

GoPro Hero7 black is using a 170° wide angle lens, same does SJCAM SJ9 Strike. Although this wide angle lens is characteristic for most action cameras, many users oppose it due to the fisheye effect. DJI OSMO Action camera is using a little narrower field of view lens: 145°. That will result in a less fisheye like image. GoPro has electronic distortion correction (called linear mode), but be aware it is not available in 4K. Besides having a narrower FOV lens, DJI also got a distortion correction which is available in 4K!

With the release of DJI OSMO Action a lot of filters will be offered (I was already approached by several manufacturers). Great that DJI figured out a way to easily mount and change them.

 

Video Resolutions

All cameras offer 4K resolution with a maximum of 60fps (frames per second). You can choose NTSC with 30fps and a multiple of that or PAL with 25fps and a multiple of that. GoPro hero7 black and DJI OSMO Action offer also a 24fps mode and a multiple of that, I’m currently not sure if that is planned for SJCAM SJ9 Strike.

In 1080p resolution DJI OSMO Action and GoPro Hero7 black can be set up to 240fps for super slow-motion videos. I’m not aware of the max. setting with SJCAM SJ9 Strike, due to their sensor it’s most likely that only 120fps will be available.

DJI OSMO Action Camera - 1080p 240fps Super Slowmotion

DJI OSMO Action Camera – 1080p 240fps Super Slowmotion

 

Video Resolutions by DJI OSMO Action:

  • 4K (16:9) – 60, 50, 48, 30, 25, 24 fps
  • 4K (4:3) – 30, 25, 24 fps
  • 2,7K (16:9) – 60, 50, 48, 30, 25, 24 fps
  • 2,7K (4:3) – 30, 25, 24 fps
  • 1080p – 240, 200, 120, 100, 60, 50, 48, 30, 25, 24 fps
  • 720p – 240, 200 fps

Video Resolutions & Frame Rates by GoPro Hero7 black:

  • 4K (16:9) – 60, 50, 30, 25, 24 fps
  • 4K (4:3) – 30, 25, 24 fps
  • 2,7K (16:9) – 120, 100, 60, 50, 30, 25, 24 fps
  • 2,7K (4:3) – 60, 50, 30, 25, 24 fps
  • 1440p – 60, 50, 30, 25, 24 fps
  • 1080p – 240, 200, 120, 100, 60, 50, 30, 25, 24 fps
  • 960p – 240, 200, 120, 100 fps
  • 720p – 240, 200, 60, 50 fps

 

Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS)

All cameras offer Electronic Image Stabilization supported by a 6-axis gyro sensor. Each of them uses a different brand name. On GoPro Hero7 black the feature is called “Hypersmooth”, DJI OSMO Action calls it “RockStead” and SJCAM SJ9 Strike just calls it “SuperSmooth”. With GoPro and DJI electronic image stabilization is available up to 4K 60fps, with SJCAM it is only available up to 4K 30fps. How good these systems actually work can only be determined by side by side tests which I plan to do soon. RockSteady on DJI performs amazingly compared to GoPro’s Hypersmooth, check out the video at the bottom.

 

Photo Resolution

All cameras offer a 12MP 4:3 sensor, therefore the max. native resolution will be 12MP in 4:3 format. All camera offer the possibility to shoot .jpg or RAW photos. GoPro Hero7 black offers a HDR photo mode, but not video mode. Interestingly DJI Osmo Action offers HDR video mode, but not HDR photo mode.

 

Display

All cameras offer a touchscreen on the backside of the camera and all of them offer a display on the front. Whereas GoPro Hero7 black and SJCAM SJ9 Strike only offer a data display to check recording and time, DJI OSMO Action offers a screen that is capable of showing images to do selfies or vlogs for example.

 

Body, Buttons & Ports

All cameras are waterproof without the need of additional housing for up to 10m (DJI actually 11m). All cameras offer an USB-C port that can be used for an external microphone.

 

Features

GoPro Hero7 black has some nice features included. Voice Control is very convenient to take selfies; no need to connect the camera to a smartphone or remote controller. Just shout “GoPro take a photo” and it captures one with a little delay. Another great feature for sports activities is GPS Recording. The camera records speed, acceleration, height, g-force,… which can be displayed in your videos:

GoPro displaying GPS data in video

GoPro displaying GPS data in video

 

SJCAM SJ9 Strike – to my knowledge – is the first camera to offer wireless charging. With action cams having small batteries that run out fast, this could be an interesting feature. During my last trip I charged my GoPro on the go in my car which was quite painful. You have to take it out of the frame to open the battery door and you have to plug it in. Would have been nice to keep the wireless charger in the armrest.

SJCAM-SJ9-Strike-wireless-charging

SJCAM SJ9 Strike – wireless charging

 

DJI OSMO Action camera will offer HDR video, the only cam among those three. With HDR you can enhance the dynamic range of your videos which delivers natural transitions between light and dark areas in your image. That’s an important feature in complex lighting situations. HDR video is only available up to 30fps and not in combination with RockSteady image stabilization. OSMO Action also offers Voice Control similar to GoPro.

DJI OSMO Action Camera - HDR video

DJI OSMO Action Camera – HDR video

 

Price & Availability

GoPro Hero7 black is available since fall 2018. I bought it on Amazon where I saw the best prices and discounts given. Seems due to the launch of DJI Osmo Action the price is currently lower than usual.




 

Best chances to get DJI OSMO Action as fast as possible is ordering it via DJI Website.

  • DJI Website: The camera is already available & shipped for 349 USD.

 

  • DJI OSMO Action is also available on Banggood:  345.99 USD / 310 EUR – Coupon Code: BGOSMOACTION

 

SJCAM SJ9 Strike will be available at the beginning of June 2019. The announced price of 209 USD makes it the cheapest action camera among them – also the cheapest to be waterproof without housing!

SJCAM-SJ9-Strike-Price

 

Review Video

Here are 2 comparison reviews of DJI OSMO Action vs GoPro Hero7 black from 2 YouTubers I often watch. I’ll add my review video once I get the DJI OSMO Action I ordered:

iPhonedo does a very in depth review comparing both cameras with Sony FDR-X3000 action camera and displaying all features. Definitely recommended to watch:

 

Here’s a second video for you with tons of side by side video:

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