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How to shoot timelapse with the DJI Osmo Pocket

Learn how to shoot the best timelapse footage possible on the DJI Osmo Pocket

The DJI Osmo Pocket is the latest high tech gadget from Chinese manufacturer DJI.
It is a pocket sized camera and gimbal with a small touch screen.
It can record DNG photos, videos, slow motion, timelapse, motion timelapse and hyperlapse footage. 
This article will go over how to shoot timelapse videos with the Osmo Pocket.
Disclaimer: DJI sent me the Osmo Pocket in return for me writing this guide. 

The DJI Osmo Pocket shooting a timelapse mounted on a mini gorillapod.

Let’s have a look at the key hardware specifications of the Osmo Pocket first:

  • 1/2.3” sensor size
  • Up to 4k60 video resolution and frame rate at 100Mbps
  • 140 minute battery life
  • 12 megapixel DNG (RAW) and JPEG photos
  • f2 aperture lens
  • 80 degree field of view
  • Touch screen and two physical buttons
  • Paired with DJI Mimo smartphone app

You can use the Osmo Pocket as a standalone device or pair it with your phone either through a hardware connection (plug the device in to your phone’s USB-C or Lightning connection port) or use the wireless module that is part of the $109 expansion kit.

How to shoot timelapse on the DJI Osmo Pocket without a smartphone.

  • Swipe from the right side of the screen and scroll to Timelapse mode (see below).
  • Swipe right again to select Motionlapse or Hyperlapse shooting modes.
  • Select Timelapse then tap the top left corner of the screen and select M for Manual exposure.
  • Set your white balance, shutter speed and iso.
  • Place the Osmo Pocket on a level surface and frame up your shot.
  • Tap the lower left corner to select your shooting parameters.
  • The minimum interval is 2 seconds (the max is 60s), the minimum length of shooting is 5 minutes (maximum is infinity).
  • Place the gimbal on a level surface (or use the tripod expansion mount) and manually point the camera and gimbal in the right direction. 
  • Hit record and the camera will start recording using your desired settings.
  • The camera will render a 1080p video file (sadly no 4K).
  • If you want the device store the video as well as a series of JPEG photos (sadly no DNG photos are stored in timelapse mode) you need to enable this by swiping down on the main camera screen and tapping the video icon all the way to the left. The icon will change to a video and photo icon. The minimum interval is now 3 seconds.
  • You can use these JPEGs to create a higher resolution video file using After Effects or Photoshop or any other software that creates video files from image sequences.
Enabling timelapse mode on the DJI Osmo Pocket

How to shoot timelapse on the DJI Osmo Pocket with a smartphone.

  • Install and open up the DJI Mimo phone app.
  • Connect to your DJI Osmo Pocket using the wireless module or the wired/plug connection.
  • Swipe through the shooting modes to the right to select Timelapse.
  • Click the three dots on the lower left and select the video icon on the top left to enable Pro settings.
  • Select either JPEG+VIDEO (3 sec minimum interval) or VIDEO (2 sec minimum interval).
  • Choose your desired White Balance.
  • Enabling grid lines will help you frame up your composition.
  • Select AFS (Auto Focus Single) to lock your focus on a subject. AFC (Auto Focus Continuous will change focus to whatever is in front of the square or try and detect faces).
  • Make sure you are in Manual shooting mode by tapping on the Auto button on the left and switching to Manual. Select the appropriate exposure settings (shutter speed and iso).
  • At the top of the screen select your desired interval and shooting length. With a 3 second interval I recommend shooting at least for 15 minutes (you will have to choose between 10 and 20 minutes though).
  • If you select the Path button to the right you will enable Motion Lapse. (covered below)
Setting up a timelapse in the DJI Mimo smartphone app

How to shoot Motion Timelapse on the DJI Osmo Pocket.

Motion timelapse is a great addition to the DJI Osmo Pocket which allows you to cover more than just a single static scene. Following your chosen keyframes, the camera will slowly move over time, giving you a moving or motion controlled shot. I've added a few examples below.

Motion Timelapse on the DJI Osmo Pocket

Usually you need a big motion control device to get your camera to shoot a moving timelapse, check out my review of the Syrp Genie II here: https://www.matjoez.com/2018/10/01/syrp-genie-ii-pan-tilt-and-linear-motion-control-device-review/

Setting up a motion timelapse without a smartphone:

  • Swipe right on the timelapse mode to select Motion Timelapse.
  • Put the camera on a level surface and select the first keyframe by manually adjusting the camera angle then touching the screen, locking in the first keyframe.
  • Change the camera's framing by gently adjusting the gimbal until you have your desired frame, tap the screen to lock in the second keyframe.
  • Confirm your shooting settings (exposure, interval, length of shooting) and hit record.
  • Let the camera run until completion.

Setting up a motion timelapse with your smartphone:

  • The great thing about using your smartphone to set up the motion control shot is that it allows you to add more than two keyframes (max is 4). I do recommend using the Wireless Module over the wired connection as it is easier to put the device down to shoot when it's not connected to your phone.
  • Select Timelapse mode, then select Motion Timelapse on the left side of the screen. Alternatively you can hit the Path button when in Timelapse mode and then the device will switch to Motion Timelapse automatically.
  • Set your first keyframe by using the joystick on the lower right side of the screen followed by hitting the + button to confirm the keyframe.
  • Use the joystick to position your next keyframe and repeat if necessary. A maximum of 4 keyframes are possible.
  • Confirm your shooting settings (exposure, interval, length of shooting) and hit record.
  • Let the camera run until completion.

A few thoughts about shooting timelapse on the DJI Osmo Pocket.

Overall I think the Osmo Pocket is a great bang for buck device.

You get a ton of value for your money. It's very small and lightweight to carry around and it's very fast to set up.

The image quality is right around what you'd expect for the price point and the fact that you have a mini timelapse motion control device that fits in your pants pocket is quite frankly amazing.

That being said, here are a few issues I wish to see resolved:

  • Faster intervals. A minimum interval of 1 second would be great.
  • RAW or DNG photos in timelapse mode. JPEG is too limiting for further editing. Read on for a solution to this problem!
  • 4K video render for the timelapse videos. 1920×1080 is too small a resolution.
  • Smoothing for keyframes. As you can see in the GIF above, the keyframes can feel quite bouncy without any smoothing.

Luckily, these could all be resolved with firmware upgrades. There are quite a few requests about these issues on the DJI forums, hopefully this all gets sent to the engineers.

How to shoot a RAW timelapse with the DJI Osmo Pocket using an Android device

Someone on my instagram contacted me about this workaround on how to shoot RAW timelapse photos with the Osmo Pocket using and Android device. Sadly I couldn't find the conversation anymore so I can't credit the person properly for sending me this solution.

Here's how to shoot a RAW timelapse with the DJI Osmo Pocket:

  • On Android, download the app called Intervalometer by MobilePhoton.
  • This app adds a virtual button on the screen that triggers on your desired interval. You will use this shutter button to virtually tap the camera shutter button in the DJI Mimo app when in photo mode.
  • In photo mode the app can save RAW / DNG files so effectively you will save a sequence of RAW / DNG photos.
  • Finish shooting your sequence and use After Effects or Photoshop to render your image sequence into a video file.

If you'd like to learn how I shoot all of my professional timelapse footage, have a look at my timelapse guides here: The Ultimate Timelapse Guide

Get your own DJI Osmo Pocket by clicking this link here.

Thanks for reading!

Matt

Check out the rest of my timelapse camera gear here.

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