With an incredibly diverse eco-system of snap-on modules that let you practically attach the camera anywhere you want, the DJI Action 2 is what you get when you create a camera after intense research and design-thinking… not by simply copying what the rest of the market is doing.
Drone and gimbal makers extraordinaire, DJI seems to be completely disrupting the non-smartphone consumer camera market. The OM, Osmo, and Pocket give you a set of really powerful stabilized on-ground recording capabilities, while DJI’s drones really speak for themselves… With the Action 2, however, the company hopes to conquer yet another market that was up until now dominated by GoPro.
“The blueprint of an action cam is a familiar one – tough, waterproof, in a compact body”, says the narrator in the video above… and in doing so, perfectly describes the pit into which most tech companies fall – the pit of the ‘template’. It’s easy to be the second or the third best company in any domain… simply follow your biggest competitor and provide ‘the next best option’ for consumers to consider. This is something most action cameras have been doing by simply recreating what the GoPro pushed out. Once you hacked the template, you could make your action camera cheaper, have more memory, have a better battery, or cloud storage, and voila… your product was a worthy competitor to the GoPro. What the Action 2 aims at doing is redrawing that template by asking itself “If the GoPro didn’t exist, what would an action camera in 2021 look like?”
What the Action 2 gets right with its design isn’t just the camera (after all, DJI’s cameras are pretty fantastic to begin with) but rather how the camera is operated. The company designed an exhaustive list of modules, holders, and even accessories to go with their camera, all of which affix themselves to the Action 2 using an incredibly powerful set of magnets (a la MagSafe). The modules simply snap on or snap off, and give you a variety of use-cases, from being able to hold the camera in your hand, fix it to your chest/arm/head, attach it to your helmet, handlebar, or dashboard, place it on a steady surface, or even go underwater with it. If there’s a place you could take your Action 2, or an activity you could conduct with your Action 2… DJI’s thought of it and designed a module/accessory for it.
In many ways, this holistic approach is GoPro’s undoing. The way DJI’s modules just magnetically snap on or snap off the Action 2 make it really easy to use the camera anywhere and anyhow… and the camera’s all-terrain + waterproof design, 155° Super-Wide lens, powerful digital stabilization algorithm, and the 4-microphone recording setup make the Action 2 an incredibly compelling purchase.
Perhaps the Action 2’s most defining feature (and you’ll see it practically all their images) is the snap-on touchscreen module. Traditionally, all action cameras have lenses on the front and displays on the rear… and that’s great for filming everything except yourself. DJI’s Front Touchscreen Module basically lets you turn the action camera into a wide-angle vlogging camera. The module snaps right on and lets you attach other accessories like the tripod, selfie stick, car-mount, etc. Moreover, snapping it on doesn’t just give you a front-facing extra screen… it gives you an extra battery pack too, doubling the Action 2’s recording time to 160 minutes, and also adds extra mics for crisper audio recording – a feature that vastly benefits vloggers and influencers who want to be in the spotlight.