GoPro has made the best action cameras you can buy for a long time. Every year, they surprise us with a new model that has higher resolution, better battery life, and more. One of its biggest rivals is DJI, the company known for its outstanding drones. In this in-depth comparison guide, we will have a closer look at the GoPro 12 and the DJI Osmo Action 4, both released in summer 2023. As both cameras have an MSRP of $399, you should check every feature of these two contenders to be sure that it is truly what you want.
The DJI Action 4 was officially released on 02 August 2023, and we already compared it to the GoPro 11, which was a bit unfair because it is a 2022 model. GoPro’s twelve-generation Hero Black action camera was released on 06 September 2023 and will be the main subject of this article. Besides the much better battery life, the GoPro 12 has only a few minor improvements compared to its predecessor.
A larger image sensor is the key feature of the DJI Action 4 over the GoPro 12 Black. It has a 1/1.3-inch sensor, one significantly larger than the 1/1.9-inch GoPro Hero 12’s sensor. Usually, a bigger sensor means better low-light performance, allowing shooting during the night without adding too much ISO noise. On the contrary, the GoPro 12 has a 27MP sensor, just like its predecessor, and the DJI Osmo Action 4 has a much lower resolution 10MP one.
The GoPro Hero 12 Black wins regarding video resolutions and frame rates, allowing you to shoot at up to 5.3K@60fps and up to 240fps in 2.7K. By comparison, the DJI Action 4 stops at 4K@120fps, and you’ll need to drop down to 1080p for 8x slow-motion recording. The OA4 has 130 Mbps video bitrate on paper, and the HB12 only 120 Mbps. Both cameras feature electronic image stabilization -DJI names it RockSteady 3.0 and GoPro HyperSmooth 6.0.
DJI promises a higher case-free water resistance for the Action 4 than GoPro does for the Hero 12 Black. GoPro’s latest action camera is rated at 10m water, and the DJI at 18m. If you like snorkeling and open-water diving, this should be an important detail for you.
DJI OMSO Action 4 versus GoPro 12 comparison table
In the table below, I compared the most important specs of these two top action cameras. I highlighted blue where the DJI Action 4 excels and red where the new GoPro 12 shines.
|DJI Action 4||GoPro 12|
|Image sensor size||1/1.3-inch||1/1.9-inch|
|Field of view (FOV)||155°||Wide|
|Video resolutions||4K: 3840×2160@120fps
|8:7 aspect ratio||No||Yes|
|Max video bitrate||130 Mbps||120 Mbps|
|10-bit video mode||Yes||Yes|
|Slow Motion||8x at FHD 1080p||8x at FHD 1080p|
|Digital zoom||Up to 4x||Up to 4x|
|Waterproof||18 meters||10 meters|
|Battery||1770 mAh||1720 mAh|
|Operation time||160 mins||155 mins|
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi + Bluetooth||Wi-Fi + Bluetooth|
|Dimensions||70.5×44.2×32.8 mm||71.8 x 50.8 x 33.6 mm|
|Release date||02 August 2023||06 September 2023|
|Price||USD $399||USD $399|
DJI has significantly improved one of the weakest areas of the action camera market segment, the low light performance. The OSMO Action 4’s larger image sensor should provide better video quality in dark conditions.
On the other hand, if shot mainly in daylight, the GoPro 12’s higher-resolution capture, 8:7 image format, and better extreme slo-mo modes may be more useful for you.
Battery life-wise, both provide about 3 hours of continuous recording when 1080p@30fps is selected. When you switch to 4K mode, both action cams will offer much less recording time.