DJI Action 2 Review: A cut above the rest

The DJI Action 2 is a modular action camera with a compact camera unit and a front touchscreen module. You might be interested in the Action 2, if you are an adrenaline junkie or if you just want to capture your hikes and cycling rides around our tiny island.

The DJI Action 2 action camera. (Photo: DJI)

SPECS
PRICE: S$639 (Power Combo Pack), available in Lazada and Shopee
IMAGE SENSOR: 1/1.17-inch CMOS
LENS: 155 degrees field of view, f/2.8
DISPLAY: 1.76-inch OLED touchscreen
CONNECTIVITY: Bluetooth, Wi-Fi
WATER RESISTANCE: 10m (without case); 60m (with case)
WEIGHT: 56g (camera module only)

DESIGN
The design of Action 2 is sleek, stylish and handy. Measuring The compact size means you could carry it everywhere you go. Its aluminium alloy body feels smooth to the touch but yet has a solid feel. It also gives you a good grip when operating the camera.

The highlight is the magnetic locking design that lets you interchange accessories easily and securely. In addition, you can attach it on most metallic magnet-friendly surfaces.

DJI Action 2’s magnetic locking design that lets you interchange accessories easily and securely. (Photo: DJI)

This magnetic adapter comes in handy especially when you want multiple camera angles. For instance, if you can have multiple magnetic adapter mounts on your bike and helmet, you can change camera angle quickly by pulling out the camera and mounting it elsewhere.

You can also wear it on your chest by attaching it to magnetic lanyard. So, you can record your three-point exploits on the basketball court. For young parents, you can also attach it on any magnetic surface at home and record tons of cute footage of your growing baby.

You can wear the DJI Action 2 on your chest with a magnetic lanyard. (Photo: DJI)

PERFORMANCE
In this pandemic times where your action might be limited, you can even use the webcam for your video conferences. We tried Google Meet video conferences on it, and it worked perfectly.

FOR
+ Lightweight main camera body
+ Ultra-wide field of view
+ Great stabilisation performance
+ Records audio sharply
+ Strong magnets let you attach it anywhere

AGAINST
– Front touchscreen module not waterproof
– Aluminium body prone to scratches
– Only 32GB internal memory
– Mounts required for main camera body

But of course, it is the great outdoors that the Action 2 is designed for. For that, we went up high in the Andaz hotel and deep down under Marsiling Tunnel to test the camera.

As you can see from the footage below, the Action 2’s in-camera stabilisation is fantastic whether you are riding a bicycle or hiking. And you will not have to worry much about giving your viewers a major headache.

(Video: Dennis Teh)

The video looks sharp out of the camera for an everyday adventure enthusiast. In low light, the video quality is also decent and looks better compared to phone cameras. The still images are of high quality too, as long as you avoid the digital zoom.

(Video: Dennis Teh)

Furthermore, water droplets do not remain on the lens when the camera goes in and out of the water. So, you do not need to worry about water blocking the lens.

A photo taken with the DJI Action 2. (Photo: Chiang Ling Yi)

In addition, the built-in microphone is excellent with crisp audio recording. It was able to pick up the light breathing from resting during the hikes. And when testing it underwater in the pool of Andaz hotel, you can even hear the light music that was playing in its pool.

Dipping it in and out of water, there are slight muffled sounds in the beginning. But it becomes better within moments of taking it out of water.

(Video: Chiang Ling Yi)

The built-in microphone does pick up some wind noise at high speed during bicycle rides. But this wind noise can be reduced with the touchscreen front touchscreen module mounted, as it adds two microphones to your setup.

Another downer is the camera tends to heat up quite a bit when recording 4K video for around 10 minutes. However, the camera still works. Plus, the internal memory is paltry at only 32GB. And only 22GB is usable.

BATTERY LIFE
The battery performance of Action 2 is excellent. DJI rates its battery life at around 70 minutes of 1080p video recording with electronic image stabilisation disabled.

In our battery test whereby we record 4K video, we found that the battery went flat at the 60-minute mark. Not to mention, the camera will automatically cut off the last footage before the battery went flat, thereby ensuring your last footage would be protected.

One thing to note is the camera unit would not charge when the front touchscreen module is mounted during recording.

VERDICT
The DJI Action 2 price comes at a premium price for an action camera. However, it outperforms most of the competition in many ways with its versatile magnetic attachment system, great stabilisation performance, superb image quality and sharp audio recording.

RATINGS
FEATURES: 9/10
DESIGN: 8/10
PERFORMANCE: 9/10
BATTERY LIFE: 10/10
VALUE FOR MONEY: 8/10
OVERALL: 8.5/10

Additional reporting by Dennis Teh