Hey DJI, Fix These Issues Please

When it comes to cameras released in 2023, most would find it hard to argue that the DJI OSMO Pocket 3 was not only the most anticipated but also delivered on almost all of its hype upon release. However, several fixes need to happen to make this the best camera for video content creators.

I was not alone when searching all of the forums and boards looking for details of when the release of this camera would be, what it would look like, and moreover, what features it would have that I could use to elevate my video content creation, and when the rumor mills started showing leaked images of what it was supposed to look like then the frenzies kicked into overdrive. What could make it better than its previous iterations, what was this wide screen that we saw on these leaked images, would the features we all used and mostly loved be improved, and most of all where would it sit regarding its price point?

When it was finally confirmed the specs looked amazing, 1 1-inch CMOS sensor recording at 4k/120fps, Active Track 6.0, D-Log M and 10bit, and that screen was a 2-inch rotatable screen that could also record in portrait at 3k. All amazing innovations and I like many was looking forward to getting my hands on one. So on the day of release, I clicked that buy now button minutes after it became available, and to my surprise, it was with me by noon the following day. Amazing!

Upon using this camera I quickly relayed that it was indeed a huge step up from previous iterations and I was excited to start using it, so excited in fact that I made 3 videos about it, an unboxing, a menu walkthrough, and sample footage of some of its main features. It was impressive to say the least, however over time I started to notice some small challenges which while not deal breakers were more annoyances that I feel could have been early fixed.

So what are these annoyances and how do I believe these could be improved?

SD Card Slot

DJI is known for being able to pack quite a lot of tech into small units and as a seasoned user of DJI gear I was always impressed by how they managed to do it, in particular how they managed to fit the SD card slot and reader into such a small area of each unit, however when I tried to put my SD card into the Pocket 3, I immediately saw a problem. Now at first, I thought it was a fault with my SD card, as I coolant managed to get it to click into place, it would go in and then bounce back up again, even with my limited nail size I was unable to manage to get it to stay in, so I took another micro SD card and used this to push it in and to my surprise, I felt and heard that click I had been looking for.

The card was now in, however, I quickly realized that I was going to have a similar issue when it came to removing it, no matter what I tried I wasn’t able to get it to click back out unless I used that other micro SD card to once again push in and feel the release. I also got messages from other users who were experiencing the same challenge as me, so at least I knew it wasn’t my device, but it was a design flaw in all units. One user sent me a video of his wife’s well-manicured nails trying to get the SD card into his unit, but only to experience the same challenge that I had encountered. A very strange issue with a unit I would have expected not to have this challenge, nonetheless it wasn’t a deal breaker, more of an annoyance than entering but surprising all the same.


DJI is also known for producing some incredible gimbals for their camera, all stemming from drone innovations, however, one flaw I encountered was the range of rotation, it doesn’t allow you to rotate the gimbal fully 360 degrees, instead it stops at what I think is 270 degrees. What’s the issue with this you may ask? Well, when using the camera’s tracking modes, it won’t follow you if you move to the right, instead, it will follow you until it reaches this endpoint and will then stop. Meanwhile, I would continue to move in that direction only to walk out of frame. It has tracking software which works most of the time (more on this below) however when you need to consider which direction you can move, it doesn’t exactly make it easy to talk. Why it can’t rotate a full 360 degrees is beyond me, perhaps mechanical limitations, but surely this would have been sorted that was tested and if it couldn’t be resolved should be highlighted by DJI themselves.

Mic 2

Sound in a video is a very important thing, as many others before me will tell you. It’s ok to have bad video if you have good sound and the new Mic 2 most definitely ticks that box with crystal clear audio connected wirelessly directly to the camera without the need for adapters. There are two challenges however: firstly, if you already have a wireless mic for DJI, then you can forget about using it directly with the Pocket 3, it doesn’t work. Secondly, which is my main gripe, is the way it tells you that the mic is connected. You see the 2-inch screen is small enough already, however when you turn on the camera and the mic, you get a dialogue box that fills 50% of the screen telling you that the mic is connected and this stays there for 10 seconds. Why 10 seconds and why take up so much of the screen? It’s annoying as I cannot frame up a shot unless I swipe it away and when you have a camera that is advertised as quick to start up and record; it seems like an unnecessary barrier to be honest. Why not just have a small icon, or even have the same dialogue box but for 2 seconds perhaps?

ActiveTrack 6.0

The advances that DJI has made with this technology have been great throughout all iterations, however, I have found that it isn’t as good as advertised, as it still loses me in the frame even in uncomplicated scenarios and I have had to do several takes for it to work on occasion. Additionally, ActiveTrack doesn’t seem to work in low-light mode, which is one of the main times I want to have it so I can ensure I am in focus and frame. Additionally, you cannot track in slow-motion 4K but can track in slow-motion 2.7K, the reason for this I am not sure. Finally where it positions your face in the frame is right in the middle. This is ok when you are using it from a distance however when it is being used handheld, then it becomes annoying. There is a feature that you can set up where it puts your face for sure, but this has to be done manually each time. I would hope that all of these can be quick fixes with software updates. The joystick on the front of the camera is very handy, however, there is one challenge with it that is very annoying, it keeps defaulting to zoom, despite having a setting that allows you to decide if it zooms or pans. This also should be a quick fix I believe to make the overall experience a better one.

USB Connectivity

The issue I mentioned above regarding the SD card can be overcome by not removing it but instead connecting the camera to your computer via the USB, however, to be able to download the files, you need to turn the camera on and this then initiates the gimbal which will get damage if you have it in the case or have the unit lying down. Instead, you need to have the camera standing up to allow the freedom of movement of the gimbal when it turns on to then download the files. This is counterproductive I feel.


Finally, there was talk of overheating and I ran some tests to see if I could replicate it. While I was able to record for 20 minutes at 4K, I did encounter an overheating issue and the camera shut down. It’s not a big challenge for me as I normally record short clips, however, if I wanted to record an interview then this would be a barrier to this.

All of these fixes would make this camera the best for not only me but I feel for many others also and I would hope that DJI would take note and resolve them, there doesn’t seem to be a form to use to communicate these directly to DJI, so I made a video about then with examples to back each up, which you can watch above if you like. It doesn’t take away from the fact that I love this camera and I would still recommend it to many and if these are resolved then it will indeed be that game changer it was advertised as.

Darren Spoonley's picture

Darren J. Spoonley, is an Ireland-based outdoor photographer, Podcaster, Videographer & Educator with a passion for capturing the beauty of our world.

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You have answered few of your own questions Darren. Active tracking in night mode is not possible because of 2 frames are avreged in order to get clean output ( it work similarly as if you stack images of milky way on top of each other to get pixel avreged and cleaner image with no noise). If you active track and yet stack images due to heavy image processing it may have overheating effect. And same is for slow motion 4K vs 2.7K. Slow motion is achieved by capturing higher amount of frames in a second which needs to be processed. If there is a overheating issue with 4K30 after 20 minutes there will be some overheating in much shorter period of time when shooting 120fps or 240fps.

We may get DJI pocket 3 Pro with active cooling 😉🤣

Pocket3 pro.. sign me up😂😂