Known for its consumer drones, China’s DJI is also a dab hand at photo and video technology. Its latest gizmo, the Pocket 2, is an ultraportable 4K camera with built-in stabiliser.
First impressions: the small form factor is definitely part of its appeal. The Pocket 2 lives up to its name, being shorter than my hand, making it an attractive prospect for content creators on the go who don’t want to lug around bulky equipment. It’s cute, too – and as an aside, when you turn it on, the camera swivels to face you and gives a little “nod”. Frankly, and at the risk of editorialising: awwwww.
Video quality on the Pocket 2 is excellent – crisp and clear in 4K, which is impressive for such a small device. You can use it by itself, with the tiny screen attached to the main body of the camera, or connect it (physically) to your phone to link it up with the DJI Mimo app, which makes it much easier to operate if a bit more unwieldy.
Audio with the built-in microphone is fine, but you’ll probably want to get the Creator Combo with its wireless mic rather than the base package for the best sound. The gimbal works well too, keeping the camera steady as a rock while you move; it also has excellent face tracking capabilities that will follow a subject even with a face mask on (which is important, these days).
Bundled with the camera itself comes several attachments and accessories: a carry case, smartphone connectors for Lightning and USB-C, a tripod mount, a wrist strap, a mini-joystick. For an extra $200 you can pick up the Creator Combo, which replaces the standard power cable with a splitter charging cable and adds a wireless microphone with windscreen; a “Do-It-All Handle”; a micro-tripod; and a wide-angle lens.
Here, we ran into our biggest issue with the Pocket 2, and it’s an issue with the device’s construction rather than its operation: when you detach the normal base and attach the tripod mount, it’s all but impossible to remove afterwards (and the Power button placed on the side constantly turning the camera on as we tried was not helpful). In the end, we only managed to remove it by pulling on an attached tripod, which is probably not good for the tripod. Points for making it secure, taken off for making it too secure.
Overall, the DJI Pocket 2 is a nifty little device that packs more in than its size would suggest, though the more expensive Creator Combo bundle includes several things that should really have been in the base package. If you’re an influencer on the move, it’s a gadget to consider.
- Great video quality
- Can connect to phone for expanded functionality
- Gimbal works well and has face tracking
- Small, portable form factor
- Some important accessories withheld from base package
- Attachments can be difficult to switch