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I have been trying to find the perfect vlogging camera for a while now. For me, that means good video quality, extra points for good still photos, good audio, easy workflow, and perhaps most importantly, a size and form factor that makes me actually WANT to carry it everywhere I go.
Most everything I have tried so far has fallen down in at least one of these areas.
The GoPro Hero 8 Black (I didn’t buy a Hero 9, I was waiting for the Pocket 2) was very good at being compact and easy to carry, but the image quality was not great, especially in low light, and the sound quality was lacking, even when using the Media Mod microphone.
The Insta360 One R was small and easy to carry, and the image quality with the One inch sensor mod was very good, but the workflow was convoluted and the audio was absolutely hot garbage, even when using an external mic. Also, the minimal focal distance of roughly 3 feet meant that to actually take advantage of that One Inch mod, you needed a long telescoping stick, which is annoying to carry and only made the shit audio even shittier.
The Sony ZV-1 takes great quality pictures and video, and I’m definitely keeping it, but it’s also large and heavy to carry around. Paired with that fact that it’s lens is pretty tight, you really need some kind of extension for vlogging on it. It’s great for sitting at a desk at home, and that’s what I’ll continue to use it for, but it’s an ass ache to carry around. At that point you honestly might as well get an interchangeable lens APS-C camera.
The DJI Pocket 2 is the first camera I’ve found that hits ALL the marks. It’s legitimately small, easily fitting in my pocket even with the optional “Do it all handle” attached. The video quality is fantastic, even in relatively low light (I mean, it’s never gonna be a full frame camera, but footage in a bar will still look decent. Assuming we can ever go to bars again). It shoots 64mp stills that area honestly pretty damn impressive, even in low light. Hell especially in low light. The workflow is easy with either wired or wireless transfer to a smartphone or plug in a USB C cable to a computer or pop the SD card and put it into a computer. Audio quality is much improved with the now 4 built-in microphones and isolation in particular is further improved with the use of their trick new wireless mic that connects to the Do It All handle instead of requiring an external receiver.
I ended up getting the Creator Combo with comes with a bunch of extras. The Do It All Handle is the new version of their wireless adapter. It allows you to connect to your smartphone wirelessly instead of using the little hardware adapters to connect the camera. This is useful for two reasons. First off, you can use your phone as a remote viewfinder and change settings and shooting modes. Second, you can transfer your pictures and videos wirelessly which is pretty nice when you’re on the go.
Also included in the Creator Combo is a magnetic wide angle lens. It pops over the built-in lens and gives you a wider field of view. The original Osmo Pocket had a field of view that most people, myself included, considered way too tight. The built in lens has a much wider field of view this time around, making the wide angle adapter less of a necessity, but it’s still nice to have, especially if you’re somewhere particularly scenic and want to get a lot of the background in.
Here’s a photo with the built in lens on the left, then a photo with the wide angle adapter on the right to give you an idea of the field of view with both. I also cover this in the video above.
You also get the wireless mic. It connects to the camera via the Do It All Handle and doesn’t require you to stick a receiver and cable to the camera, which is a massive benefit to me. The wireless mic does a great job of isolating your voice in a noisy environment, and I plan to use it for those situations, but the improved built-in mics are so good I don’t think the wireless mic will be my default choice.
Overall, this is the most happy I’ve been with a vlogging camera in a long time. Now I just need to go do some interesting stuff.
Here are some stills, and check out the YouTube video above for sample videos.