GoPro Hero 12 vs DJI Osmo Action 4: Which is the Best Action Camera?

GoPro Hero 12 vs DJI Osmo Action 4: Which is the Best Action Camera?

GoPro Hero 12 and DJI Osmo Action 4 are the best action cameras of 2023. I know many of you are waiting for the comparison, but I want to test both products and see how both companies enhance their devices with software updates. So, here is the software and hardware comparison of both devices in this 10-round battle.

Let’s Inspect! Which is the best fit for you?

  GoPro Hero 12 DJI Osmo Action 4
Chipset GoPro GP2 Processor N/A
Image Sensor IMX 677L, 27MP, 1/1.9 CMOS image sensor N/A
Optics Wide 156° Field of View in 8:7 Aspect Ratio, 177° FOV with Max Lens Mod 2.0 FOV 155°, Aperture f/2.8

 

Resolution 5.3K up to 60 FPS, 4K 120 FPS and 2.7K at 240 FPS 4K 120FPS and 1080p 240FPS
Battery 1720mAh 1770mAh
Display Dual Colored Touch Screen Dual Colored Touch Screen
Smartphone App Quik App DJI MIMO
Weight 154 grams 145 grams

 

GoPro Hero 12 vs DJI Osmo Action 4 – Build Quality 

The first round is about the design and build quality of the action cameras. Both devices are very well-designed and have supreme build quality. So, let’s get into the details. 

GoPro Hero 12 Build Quality GoPro Hero 12 has gone with its signature design. It has been pretty much the same since the very start, with one significant change over the year: the front screen. The generation also has two fundamental changes over the previous generation. The first thing is the different texture, the other is the ¼-inch mounting hole on the bottom. The body continues to be highly durable and functional. The ports, battery, and SD card are easily accessible, and the body is highly water-resistant without the case. 

DJI Osmo Action 4 Build Quality DJI Osmo Action 4 has also preserved the design elegantly; they were the first to introduce a colorful display on the front. We can also see the front touch screen on the DJI Osmo Action 4. Some of the elements are metal-made. So, it may seem heavier, but Hero 12 is actually a few grams heavier. One of the best features of Osmo Action 4’s body is the quick-release mount; I think it is great, and I have modified my Hero 12 to support the same. 

Other than that, both have exchangeable lenses. To conclude, both devices have the ability to survive in extremely challenging conditions. However, Osmo Action 4 handles the impacts better and has the best mounting mechanism, making it a winner of this round. 

Internal Hardware

Internal hardware is an essential aspect of every action camera. While GoPro is very open about its image sensor and chipset, things are not the same with DJI Osmo Action 4. 

GoPro has the same components they used in Hero 11. They are using their homegrown GP2 SoC and have a Sony-made CMOS image sensor. The wide image sensor and capable chipset offer up to 5.2k at 60FPS and a stunning 2.7K at 240FPS. The numbers are unreal, but as soon as the light drops, the image quality drops too. The display is good, it is visible in daylight, and the battery lasts longer than most people need. 

On the other hand, I don’t know what processor DJI Osmo Action 4 is using, and according to my research, the image sensor is OV48C from Omni Vision. It is also unconfirmed. However, for image quality, it can shoot 4K video and deliver excellent lowlight performance. Battery endurance is also a strong aspect of DJI. 

So, it is hard to pick a winner, so I will go for a tie. 

Daytime Performance

The round is not just about the image quality. We will also analyze the image stabilization of both cameras. 

GoPro Hero 12 vs DJI Osmo Action 4 Image Quality The video quality of GoPro Hero 12 is good; the colors, contrast, dynamic range, and everything look great and blend perfectly. However, you will see that the lens is less wide than DJI Osmo Action 4, but with Max Lens Mod 2.0, GoPro provides a stunning 177 FOV.

DJI Osmo Action 4 DLog MOn the other hand, DJI Osmo Action 4 does hold much more details and colors. The D-Log M profile of DJI cameras bonded with impressive bitrate delivers footage that is great for color grading. Yes, GoPro also has a LOG mode, but it is far from ideal. 

Image stabilization is fabulous on both. GoPro uses its Hypersmooth 6.0, and DJI relies on Rocksteady to deliver super smooth videos no matter how rugged the terrain is. 

Another clear victory for DJI Osmo Action 4. 

Lowlight Video Quality 

GoPro Hero 12 vs DJI Osmo Action 4 Low Light Performance When it comes to lowlight performance, GoPro Hero 12 does not even come close to the DJI Osmo Action 4. You can see in the image that the DJI on the right has a better dynamic range, clarity, colors, and details. In fact, if you watch our YouTube video, the footage with Osmo Action 4 is significantly smoother. 

I don’t think I have to say much about the winner because the results clearly tell the story. 

GoPro Hero 12 vs DJI Osmo Action 4 – Battery Life

GoPro Hero 12 vs DJI Osmo Action 4 Battery Performance The battery life is an important factor. I have tested both cameras in identical conditions

  • 4K recording 
  • 30 minutes video
  • Maximum bitrate 
  • Same frame rates 

GoPro Hero 12 consumed 35% of the battery, while DJI Osmo Action 4 used 28% of the battery to film the same thing. So, I think we have a clear winner for this round as well. A Fun Fact: DJI Osmo Action 4 supports quick charging and can charge the battery up to 80% in just 18 minutes, and it is fully charged in 49 minutes. On the contrary, GoPro Hero 12 takes almost 2 hours to fully charge. 

GoPro Hero 12 vs DJI Osmo Action 4 – Microphone 

The next big thing is the microphone. GoPro has always been great with its microphone tuning. You might sense a few ups and downs, but overall, it sounds great. DJI Osmo Action 4 also has more than just an OK microphone. 

Both cameras support external microphones. GoPro tries to lock you in their ecosystem with a Media Mod and mic adapter, while DJI is more open to 3rd party connections. 

I will let you decide the winner of this round through our YouTube video

User Interface and Touch Screen 

GoPro Hero 12 InterfaceBoth action cameras have two touch screens. GoPro has gone with a newer user interface, which is slightly annoying to me. It has scrolling functionality, but features are not grouped well, and it also freezes at times. 

DJI Osmo Action 4 InterfaceOn the contrary, DJI’s user interface is tidy, functional, and super responsive. So, I will give this round to DJI because of the complicated GoPro Hero 12’s interface and lack of consistency in the UI. 

GoPro Hero 12 vs DJI Osmo Action 4 – Accessories

The accessories topic is very subjective because every person has different preferences depending on how they use their action cameras. So, we will divide the accessories into two groups. First from the manufacturer or the official one and the second group is for aftermarket alternatives that are often cheaper.

One of the great features of Osmo Action 4 is that it comes with a lot of accessories. They also have official ND filters that you can quickly install and detach. GoPro Hero Action 12 does not come with many accessories, but they have a variety of products on their website. They don’t have their own ND filters, but PolarPro’s filters are on their website. 

So, I will call it a tie because there is no accessory that makes one a clear winner. 

Smartphone Apps

Smartphone apps are a major category as they are an essential part of the action camera ecosystem. 

GoPro Hero 12 has the Quik app. It is a great app to create videos on the go, and the company has been very consistent through the years. It provides cloud backup, which is a strong selling point for the app. Moreover, if you have a GoPro Cloud subscription, you can also avail special discounts on many accessories. You can also preview the video in real-time on the Quik App. 

DJI MIMO also has a similarly good smartphone app that is unavailable on the Google Play Store due to weird sanctions on DJI. But you can install it from the DJI’s website. It has an optimal video editor that is simple, powerful, and provides excellent user experience. 

GoPro Hero 12 vs DJI Osmo Action 4 – Price

Hero 12 has tried to catch DJI Osmo Action 4 by cutting a big chunk of the price. Both of them cost $399, but if you choose Mods, then DJI cameras are significantly cheaper. Moreover, DJI usually has many accessories that add more value to the package.

Conclusion

So, in the end, the winner is obvious, and honestly, I am not surprised because the GoPro Hero 12 feels like a Hero 11 with a software update. The major additions to the action camera are ¼ mounting hole and the removal of GPS. At the same time, DJI has significantly improved its performance with better SoC and image sensors. Moreover, the built-in features and video quality are significantly better. 

The best deal for both action cameras is found in the links below. I would personally recommend DJI Osmo Action 4 as a worthwhile upgrade or better investment. 

DJI Osmo Action 4 is a worthy upgrade or better investment.

GoPro Hero 12                                DJI Osmo Action 4