DJI released its newest action camera, the Osmo Action 4, in August 2023. This was followed by GoPro’s current flagship model, the Hero 12 Black, in September.
If you’re stuck between these two great action cams, you’ve come to the right place. Keep reading to learn how the two cameras compare when it comes to design, performance, waterproofing and more.
The GoPro Hero 12 Black delivers the best performance in good lighting
When it comes to performance, GoPro’s come out on top in the action camera market.
While we have yet to share our final thoughts on the GoPro Hero 12 Black, the GoPro Hero 11 Black has been our number one choice for filming in good lighting, beating the newer DJI Osmo Action 4 and Insta360 Ace Pro with its realistic, punchy and detailed results.
GoPro also has the higher image quality on paper, with its 5.3K/60fps or 4K/120fps resolution beating out the 4K/120fps available on the Osmo Action 4.
The DJI Osmo Action 4 offers better low-light performance
Where the DJI Osmo Action 4 really comes into its own is during low-light recording.
The Osmo Action 4 has a larger 1/1.3-inch sensor than the GoPro’s 1/1.9-inch sensor, enabling it to perform better in less-than-optimal conditions such as evenings and dark settings.
We found that the Osmo Action 4 was able to produce a surprising about of detail and contrast when used correctly, making it the best action camera our reviewer had tried in low-light settings.
The GoPro Hero 12 Black makes it easier to shoot vertical video
Both the GoPro Hero 12 Black and the DJI Osmo Action 4 can be used to shoot vertical and horizontal video, but GoPro has provided a more seamless solution for doing so.
The Hero 12 Black features a square-shaped sensor on which all footage can be shot and later cropped to fit your preferred format, whether that be horizontal for YouTube or vertical for TikTok and Instagram Reels.
If you want to change the orientation on the Osmo Action 4, you need to release the magnetic clips, flip the camera 90-degrees and re-mount it. This is still a good solution, but we didn’t find it quite as elegant as GoPro’s.
The DJI Osmo Action 4 has a second touchscreen
While both the DJI Osmo Action 4 and the GoPro Hero 12 Black feature two screens, a large 2.25/2.27-inch rear display and a smaller 1.4-inch front one for monitoring vlogs and selfies, only the Osmo Action 4 offers the convenience of a touchscreen on the front display.
This means you can easily access the menu and tweak settings while recording yourself.
The DJI Osmo Action 4 is more waterproof
One of the most important qualities of an action camera is ruggedness and both the GoPro Hero 12 Black and DJI Osmo Action 4 are sturdy, waterproof cameras.
However, the Osmo Action 4 comes out on top in this category with waterproofing up to 18m and batteries that are designed to function in temperatures as low as -20ºC all the way up to 45ºC.
The Hero 12 Black, meanwhile, is waterproof up to 10m and can function in temperatures from -10ºC up to 35ºC.
That said, this is all without any additional case or protective housing. The waterproofing can be increased to 60m across both cameras with the addition of a waterproof case.