Central features of the DJI Pocket 3 are of course the possibility of video recording up to 4K at 60 FPS or 120 FPS in Slow Motion mode. With a maximum bitrate of up to 130 Mbps, there is, on paper, the possibility of really good recordings.
A tour around the DJI Pocket 3
As the name suggests, the DJI Pocket 3 is in a size that can be kept in your pocket. It is all assembled in a unit with a weight of only 179 grams and a length of just under 14 cm.
At the top we find the star of the show with the small f/2.0 camera, with a large 1” CMOS sensor corresponding to a 20 mm lens.
It is mounted in a motorized Three-Axis Gimbal that stabilizes the images and can be used to automatically follow people or objects via DJI's Active Tracking.
Under the camera and gimbal we find a touch screen, which has been cleverly upgraded compared to the Pocket 2. It is a 2" OLED touch screen that can be quickly flipped out, so that you get a wider format.
Via the screen, you can operate your Pocket 3 and adjust settings, select shooting modes or control your Active Tracking and focus. Very practical, the Pocket 3 turns on automatically when you tilt the screen out.
Below the screen is a small joystick for adjusting the gimbal and zoom, along with a record button
On the side there is room for a MicroSD card, and since there is no internal storage on the Pocket 3, you have to go out and get hold of one. Here it is important to choose one that is fast enough if you want to take advantage of the possibility of high-quality video or slow motion recordings. It requires that a lot of data can be moved quickly. DJI has a list of recommended MicroSD cards on their website.
Finally, at the bottom of the device there is a USB C connector that can be used for charging or connecting some of the accessories that you can use with the Pocket 3.
We have received the DJI Pocket 3 in a Creator Combo version, which includes a selection of extra accessories that do not come with the normal version.
In this version, in addition to the Pocket 3 itself, a small tripod is also included, together with an accessory that can be attached to the bottom of the Pocket 3 unit, so that your tripod or other accessory with standard 1/4″-20 screw mounting can be used.
You can also mount the battery handle in the same place. It comes with a built-in 950 mAh battery, which can provide about 62% longer battery life, compared to the normal battery in the Pocket 3.
A really nice addition in the Creator Combo package is also the DJI Mic 2 that comes with it and which is paired with the Pocket 3. I have previously looked at the DJI Mic, which worked really well. In this set, a wind hood is also included, so you can use it outdoors.
There is also a Wide Angle Lens included, which expands the field of view on the Pocket 3 to 108°. It is made so that it is magnetically easy to attach just above the lens. It is also possible to purchase ND filters that are mounted in the same way. However, they are not included in the Creator Combo package.
Finally, there is an option to take better care of everything, with a cover that you can click on your Pocket 3. That way, it is protected a little better if you have it in your pocket or bag. Very practical, there is a magnetic space in it for your Wide Angle accessories.
Everything that comes with the Creator Combo set can be collected in the included transport bag, so you have everything in one place.
There is of course also an app that comes with the DJI Pocket 3. In fact, it cannot be avoided, as you can only start up your device a few times before it has to be registered through DJI's Mimo app.
However, the challenge with the app is that it is not available in the Google Play Store. So you have to download it from DJI's own website and then sideload it if you have an Android phone.
Not exactly the most user-friendly, for people who are not completely familiar with this sort of thing.
However, there are a lot of good things to download in the app. Among other things, it is here that you can check if there are firmware updates and manage the update automatically if there is anything new.
DJI Mimo is the combined app for several devices from DJI. So this is also the entry point if you have other DJI devices. This means that it is not targeted at the Pocket 3, and therefore there is a lot of content in the app that is not relevant if you do not have the corresponding devices.
In addition to the individual shooting modes and the settings for them, there are generally many instructions and guides baked into the app. Then you can use them as a step-by-step recipe, or just as inspiration, to get the most out of your Pocket 3. It's pretty well put together with tips and a complete list of shots that fit into the different templates.
All in all, there are a lot of good features built into the app, in addition to the usual video and image options. Another practical option is to use your phone as a Viewfinder, and thus can remotely control the Pocket 3.
When you are ready to cut it all together, there is also an editing function in the app. Here, it is possible on the phone to combine several clips, trim them and add music, graphics and much more. This can either be done via various templates, or without help from anything other than your own creativity.
There is even an option to let the app do it automatically. You can choose a selection of clips, and then let the app come up with an offer for a combined clip with music, color grading and all. It doesn't always hit the spot, but it can, if not others, be a good starting point that you can correct yourself afterwards.
Via the app, it is possible to transfer recordings and images to the phone and use them in your editing immediately. They can also be combined with all other images that you have on your phone.
However, the export options when using the phone for editing are immediately limited to 720p or 1080p. So you will not be able to get the best out of your 4K 120 fps recordings. There you have to pass your computer.
I've been testing the DJI Pocket 3 over a few days and, despite the incredibly dull weather we've had, I've done what I could to test the video quality and not least the capabilities of the little gimbal.
If we have to start with the built-in gimbal, I am once again impressed by DJI's stabilization. It is an area where they are really good both in their drones, action cams and here in Pocket 3.
Even when I directly tried to next sling around me with the Pocket 3, I got reasonable results out of it. The Pocket 3 is not a device meant to be taken with you on your mountain bike or off piste snowboard trip, so based on my tests I would think that the Pocket 3 can handle all kinds of "run and gun" shooting with reasonably stable results .
In terms of video quality, I would also call the Pocket 3 a winner. The possibility of recording up to 4k at 60 FPS with a bitrate of 130 Mbps and the possibility of 10-bit HLG Video and D-Log recording, there is plenty of leeway to do well with in terms of editing and color matching.
I will say, however, that the camera manages to give some really nice pictures right out of the box, without necessarily having to do much other than pressing the record button.
Just as I have touched on in other of my DJI reviews, DJI also surprisingly manages to maintain a very consistent color profile across their devices. So it is very easy to combine recordings from, for example, their drones or action cams with recordings from the Pocket 3.
Watch the test video on YouTube right here, but of course remember that it is subject to YouTube compression :)
The automatic tracking options with the Pocket 3 are also reasonable, but not quite as strong as I've seen elsewhere. It may well have difficulty keeping animals and children in focus if it moves a bit quickly.
In selfie mode, however, it works like a dream with tracking faces, so if you are the vlog type, Pocket 3 will be a good choice. In that context, the DJI Mic 2 accessory in the Creator Combo package also comes in handy if you want to be sure of good sound.
DJI Pocket 3 in the Creator Combo version that we have visited for testing can at the time of writing be found with an online price of just under 800$. If you can manage without the accessories, the Pocket 3 alone can be found for just under 700$.
DJI is on a good streak in terms of solid products with a high degree of ease of use. DJI Pocket is easy to use and provides super stable and beautiful images and video quickly and without too much effort.
There are good functions to download, such as solid auto focus and tracking, and via the app there is the possibility to edit videos quickly and easily.
In terms of ease of use, however, Android users are less than happy, as the DJI Mimo app is not officially available on the Google Play Store. You therefore have to start independent downloads, which might deter someone from jumping on.
The price might also be what can deter someone from choosing the Pocket 3. Actually, I don't think the price is unreasonable, considering the quality and the list of features. Having said that, you have to want a little more than just having fun filming, when over 700$ is on the table for the basic model.
We end up with a final grade of 9 and an Enthusiast Award, for a super good product with lots of options but also a price after that.