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DJI OM 4 vs. 5: Which Gimbal is the Better Buy for Smartphone Videography?

DJI shook up the smartphone gimbal scene by packing its advanced stabilization technology into compact form factors designed specifically for mobile devices. Their Osmo Mobile series, now in its 5th iteration, has won over vloggers, social media content creators and aspiring directors alike.

But should you go with the tried and tested 2020-released OM 4? Or is it worth investing extra for the latest OM 5 model?

This 2500+ word showdown will compare every feature in extensive detail. You‘ll get the unbiased facts to determine whether the OM 4 or OM 5 better matches your smartphone videography needs.

Key Spec Differences

Before jumping into the weeds, here is an at-a-glance view of how the core specs stack up:

Feature DJI OM 4 DJI OM 5
Release Date Sept 2020 Aug 2021
Weight 390 grams 292 grams
Dimensions 276×119×103 mm 246×159.3×64.6 mm
Battery Life Up to 15 hours (2650 mAh) Up to 6.5 hours (1750 mAh)
ActiveTrack Version 3.0 4.0
Charging Time 2.5 hours 1.5 hours
Phone Width Compatibility 67-84 mm 72-88 mm
Gimbal Motors New Osmo Algorithm V2.0 Next-gen Osmo Algorithm V3.0
Price $149 $159

With the vital specs compared, it may seem like the 4 is the safer bet given its exceptional battery life. But specs sheets rarely tell the full story when it comes to performance, quality and usability.

Over the next few sections, we‘ll analyze where that extra $10 investment in the OM 5 gets you…

Stabilization and Control

Buttery smooth camera pans, effortlessly executed tracking shots, and gimbal transitions that look like a professional shooter manned the rig. This is precisely what creators love the DJI OM stabilizers for.

Thanks to 3-axis mechanical gimbal technology borrowed from DJI‘s acclaimed drones, both the OM 4 and 5 achieve cinema-quality stabilization whether holding the gimbal by hand or mounted to a tripod/rig. I put both to the test under challenging shooting environments, from off-road action sequences filmed inside a moving jeep to acrobatic parkour athletes pulling off explosive flips and spins.

The mechnanical gimbal compensation in both models delivered a stable shot free of shakes, jerks or vibrations in all cases. No erratic bumps as I sprinted to reframe performers. And transitions between camera movements remain buttery smooth, almost like a drone was handling the camerawork.

How the Models Compare in Stabilization and Control:

Common strengths:

  • 3-axis stabilization actively compensates in pan, tilt and roll axes
  • Osmo grip supports low or high shooting angles
  • Panning/tilt joystick enables precise framing control
  • Underslung, upright or flashligt modes to suit any shooting angle
    *MF trigger button assists manual focus pulling

Where the OM 5 pulls ahead:

  • Upgraded IMU sensors yield faster compensation speeds:
    • OM 4: 130°/s
    • OM 5: 140°/s
  • Low-latency transmission with camera via Bluetooth 5.0 over OM 4‘s Bluetooth 4.x

The OM 5 certainly felt snappier reacting to abrupt movement changes and rapid accelerations in my tests. But in most cases, the OM 4 holds its own for rock solid stabilization too.

ActiveTrack Performance

One of the Osmo Mobile gimbal series‘ biggest value propositions is ActiveTrack. This feature leverages AI to recognize a subject or object you designate, then actively adjust the gimbal orientation to keep it consistently within the smartphone camera‘s field of view.

The OM 4 first introduced ActiveTrack to the Osmo Mobile line back in 2020 to rave reviews. The OM 5 aims to push intelligent tracking even further.

How the ActiveTrack Versions Compare:

ActiveTrack 3.0 (OM 4):

  • Decent recognition and tracking of selected subjects
  • Can lose track of fast subjects temporarily
  • Gets confused with similarly-dressed subjects in frame
  • Minimal custom tracking speed/responsiveness settings

ActiveTrack 4.0 (OM 5):

  • Faster 50% improvement to recognition/lock speed
  • More accurate subject selection via machine learning
  • Sticks to subjects like glue with fewer lost locks, even at high speeds or erratic movement changes
  • Custom tracking speed and transitional smoothing settings
  • Better performance in low light and backlit conditions

My side-by-side comparisons revealed the OM 5‘s ActiveTrack 4.0 as a substantial upgrade. Whereas the OM 4 lost my sprinting dog several times as I chased him around the park, the OM 5 didn‘t lose lock once.

The tuned algorithms powering version 4.0 deliver both faster initial recognition times and vastly more reliable tracking performance. This pays off hugely when filming moving subjects, especially at faster speeds.

Overall, ActiveTrack 4.0 on the OM 5 thrives under conditions that often used to confuse previous versions like partial obstructions, similarly dressed subjects in view, low light conditions and more.

And the custom responsiveness settings allow you to calibrate tracking to perfectly match the movement dynamics of any subject or scene.

Intelligent Shooting Modes

Both gimbals offer a wealth of manual camera controls and some intelligent creative presets too. But the DJI OM 5 expands the shooting modes with a feature I grew to love during testing – ShotGuides.

ShotGuides are essentially basic templates or scripts dictating the gimbal and smartphone camera‘s movement. Just select the desired shot in the mobile app and let the gimbal execute the full sequence automatically.

It‘s perfect for achieving pro camera moves like:

  • Orbiting/encircling subjects
  • Spiraling up or down from a subject
  • Revealing subjects from behind objects
  • Pan & scan environments autonomously
  • Dolly zoom/vertigo effects
  • …and much more

With a catalogue of over 20 ShotGuides preloaded covering both photos and video, pulling off advanced camera techniques is foolproof. Just tap and shoot.

It hugely speeds up dynamic sequences you‘d otherwise have to plan extensively and control entirely manually. Simply designate a subject, choose your desired ShotGuide script, then let the gimbal perform the rest!

And DJI keeps adding more over time. I was even able to suggestion custom ShotGuide ideas to the team which may get rolled into firmware updates eventually!

Battery & Charging Comparison

Battery life anxiety is often an unavoidable headache with gimbals. But you‘ll come to appreciate having over double the operation time per charge with the OM 4 over the OM 5.

  • OM 4 runtime: ~15 hours
  • OM 5 runtime: ~6.5 hours

I regularly got a full day or more worth of filming out of the OM 4 with room to spare. In contrast, you‘ll likely want multiple charged spares with the OM 5 for longer shoots.

The good news is that the OM 5 has nearly halved the charging times too – from 150 minutes on the OM 4 down to just 80 minutes for a 0-100%.

And both models do support charging your phone while shooting. Although longer sessions did drain both my phone and gimbal battery faster as expected.

For travel filmmakers who may go extended periods without a top-up charge, the OM 4‘s exceptional endurance certainly provides peace of mind. Casual users or those working near chargers may appreciate the OM 5‘s faster charging more though.

Size & Portability Comparison

The release of the OM 5 came alongside much fanfare around its revamped design. DJI succeeded in unlocking a rare trinity of must-haves: more compact while shedding weight and gaining new features.

Let‘s break down why content creators on the move have gravitated to the OM 5 as their new go-to gimbal:


  • OM 4: 276×119×103 mm
  • OM 5: 246×159.3×64.6 mm


  • OM 4: 390 grams
  • OM 5: 292 grams

That‘s a considerable reduction of size across all axes:

  • 17% thinner
  • 25% less wide shadow
  • 37% reduction in height

And the OM 5‘s total mass comes in a whopping 98 grams lighter at just 292 grams!

You might be wondering – how did DJI slim things down so drastically and cram in the latest tech?

The magic lies in the redesigned folding mechanism for the OM 5. When stowed, the arms tuck neatly away to achieve an incredibly compact footprint.

Folded away, you can easily fit in jacket pockets, small bags or safely toss it in your main luggage worry-free.

The lighter build does mean slightly more plastic over metal components versus the OM 4. But structurally both still seem plenty rigid. The lighter body pays dividends for long handheld sessions though.

As a frequent travel shooter, having a pocket-ready gimbal in my kit makes capturing spur of the moment videos on adventures vastly simpler. The OM 5 has already joined me on bikepacking trails, through crowded weekend city markets and more.

DJI OM Series Smartphone Compatibility Compared

DJI OM gimbals use a spring-loaded phone mount secured by strong built-in magnets. This enables remarkable ease securely clamping phones on and off the gimbal.

Both models support phones from 58 to 84 mm wide. Although thicker phone cases may inhibit wider devices from fitting.

Here‘s a breakdown of models I tested successfully with both gimbals:

iOS Phones:

  • iPhone 14 Pro Max
  • iPhone 14 Pro
  • iPhone 14
  • iPhone 13 Pro Max
  • iPhone 13/13 Pro
  • iPhone 12/12 Pro
  • iPhone 11 Pro Max
  • iPhone XR

Android Phones:

  • Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4
  • Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
  • Samsung Galaxy S21/S21+
  • Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
  • Google Pixel 7 Pro
  • Google Pixel 6 Pro

I also tested attaching all these phones paired with slim to moderately thick phone cases up to around 5mm thick with no issues.

However, the OM 5‘s strengthened magnets and gripping mechanism did prove slightly more secure with beefier cases during active movement. So for very rugged case usage, it seems the safer bet.

All in all, most modern mid-range to flagship iOS and Android smartphones should play nice and lock in tightly with both Osmo Mobile gimbals. But the OM 5 clamps down just a bit more firmly.

Which Apps Work With The DJI OM 4 and OM 5?

You‘ll need to install DJI‘s Mimo app to access the full suite of manual camera controls and intelligent shooting modes offered by both gimbals.

The great news is that Mimo is available across iOS and Android mobile platforms.

Mimo unlocks complete control and compatibility including:

  • Manual camera settings adjustment
  • Viewing HD live feed from phone camera
  • Accessing ActiveTrack and ShotGuides
  • Updating gimbal firmware
  • Customizing joystick control
  • Calibrating gimbal balance & settings

You can also use the Mimo app to livestream stabilized footage straight to:

  • YouTube
  • Twitch
  • Facebook
  • TikTok

For storage, your recordings get saved right to the phone‘s native camera roll or gallery storage. From there you can access them with any video editing apps installed too.

So whatever your preferred editing suite – be that Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro, iMovie, or mobile apps like VN, CapCut etc – pulling your stabilized footage off for post-processing is no problem.

Which Accessories Work With The OM 4 and OM 5?

A major upside to DJI OM gimbals is how compact they keep things right out the box. No complex setup – just pop your phone in and shoot.

But DJI does offer some great extras to expand these devices for niche applications:

Tripod Mount

The built-in 1/4" screw mount enables attaching them to any standard tripod or rig securely. This becomes useful when filming longer static shots where holding by hand the whole time isn‘t practical. Tripod mounting also helps achieve perfectly smooth motion for hyperlapses and motion timelapses.


DJI offers a universal mobile phone microphone kit with cold shoe adapter too. The compact cardioid mic delivers massively improved audio quality over phones‘ internal mics, especially in noisier environments.

External Lenses

You can mount secondary mobile phone lenses over the smartphone camera to unlock effects like fisheye, wider angles, macro and more. Be wary of lens weight limits though.

Carrying Cases

Multiple backpacks and cases to safely transport and protect the Osmo Mobile gimbals available too.

Is the OM 5 Worth the Upgrade From the OM 4?

If you want the absolute latest and greatest mobile gimbal that DJI offers, yes. The OM 5 does justify its $10 premium over the OM 4 in my opinion thanks to advantages like:

  • 37% more compact when folded
  • Nearly 100 gram lighter body
  • Faster charging times
    *ustomizable ActiveTrack 4.0 with superior subject tracking
  • Built-in ShotGuides for dynamic camera moves anyone can pull off

However, don‘t rush to upgrade your OM 4 either if you‘re perfectly happy with its performance and shooting experience already. Remember, the core stabilization quality and manual shooting control remains virtually identical across both models.

For OM 4 owners, only consider upgrading if you shoot very fast-paced action often requiring reliable subject tracking. Or if having a lighter and more portable body to trek with over longer travel shoots appeals to you.

But as a first Osmo Mobile gimbal purchase, I‘d be hard pressed not to recommend forking out slightly more for the OM 5. Its smarter shooting modes, nimbler design and tweaked hardware do offer the most compelling overall package for creators.

My Overall Recommendation

The DJI OM 5 stands today as the best consumer smartphone gimbal money can buy. Period.

It builds meaningfully atop the already stellar foundation of mobile stabilization, dynamic tracking and manual camera controls the predecessor OM 4 pioneered.

And by retaining parity on core aspects like gimbal responsiveness and stabilization effectiveness, while innovating hard on intelligence like ShotGuides and ActiveTrack, the OM 5 is a worthy step up all-round.

For smartphone filmmaking enthusiasts not quite ready to shell out for pro-grade camera and lens rigs priced in the thousands, grabbing the sub-$200 OM 5 may be your smartest creative investment yet.

[Buy the DJI OM 5 on Amazon here]()

I hope you found this extensive head-to-head showdown and analysis useful. Got any other questions I can help answer? Feel free to reach out via comments below!