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DJI Action 4 In-Depth Review Video

For those not subscribed on YouTube, I’ve posted my complete DJI Action 4 In-Depth review video up there, including tons of comparison footage to the GoPro Hero 11 Black. The Action 4 is mostly a minor upgrade compared to the previous Action 3 (which was a major upgrade), however, it does include a new image sensor (1/1.3”), which can offer better low-light performance in some areas. I dive into whether or not it actually does that in the video (spoiler: It depends). Further, I go into detail on all the other new software features on the Action 4, including expanded Invisistick support to basically any mode you want (it allows you to use a 1.5m long selfie-stick, and then removes the stick in post-processing, sorta like how 360 cameras work).

Further, there’s also a new remote control that can start/stop recording on the camera, as well as feed back GPS data to the video file.


From there you can do overlay tags/stickers of: Speed, Route, Direction, Total Distance, Elevation, G-Force, and Inclination Angle. Those can be individually turned on, and moved around as you see fit. I turned them all on below. I’ll be doing a separate review on that in the next few days.


In the review I cover four main areas, with the clickable timestamps below:

0:54 What’s New/Different Compared to Action 3
8:10 Side-by-side comparisons to Hero 11 Black
12:10 Overheating Considerations
13:48 Final Thoughts/Recommendations

I’m also working on a written review, though, it’s been a very busy week and next week is promising to be the same, so trying to slot it in (especially since written reviews of drones/action cams seems to be going out of style).

For those that want to look at the raw/original/unedited comparison footage, you’ll find it here. This includes a number of comparisons sets, and I’m adding a few more here and there into it. In total there’s I think some 30GB+ of footage samples there, across a number of different scenarios.

With that – thanks for watching!

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Hopefully you found this review useful. At the end of the day, I’m an athlete just like you looking for the most detail possible on a new purchase – so my review is written from the standpoint of how I used the device. The reviews generally take a lot of hours to put together, so it’s a fair bit of work (and labor of love). As you probably noticed by looking below, I also take time to answer all the questions posted in the comments – and there’s quite a bit of detail in there as well.

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Thanks for reading! And as always, feel free to post comments or questions in the comments section below, I’ll be happy to try and answer them as quickly as possible. And lastly, if you felt this review was useful – I always appreciate feedback in the comments below. Thanks!

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  1. Fabio

    Ray i have a question !

    When i’m outside i love takin pics more than videos (ok i take both but i love photos). i need something smaller than the typical smartphone with 1k megapixels so i’m wondering if one of these action cams could be a good idea (also because both are a lot more rugged than the typical smartphone with some sort of IP certification).

    Do u think it s a waste of money using a gopro/dji mainly for photos?

    Thx a lto

    • That’s tough, generally speaking, I’ll get far better photos out of my phone than an action cam. Mostly because the computational photography done in phones is just so good today.

      That said, there are cases where phone’s just don’t work well logistically for certain shots (like downhill MTB).

      The DJI Action 4 actually reduced the megapixels on the camera from 12MP down to 10MP. The Hero 11 is 27MP. Both do make perfectly good photos.

      The general trend though in the industry is actually shifting towards taking stills from video. Because a GoPro is shooting at 5.3K and 60FPS, your still shots are now just as crisp as most photos. GoPro has the option to take a still from video quickly and save to your phone, oddly, DJI does not have said option.

      Overall, I think only using the camera for photos is probably a waste, but it really just depends on the scenario you’re trying to capture.

    • gingerneil

      This is 95% my use case – photos while running. I do the very odd video (during an ultra for example, or for a quick strava clip), but virtually no editing.
      I find the gopro format so much more convenient vs a phone. I never carry a phone while running (unless its packed deep down as mandatory during an event). Using a phone for a quick photo while running is a pain – the size (pixel 6), need to unlock, find the app etc. If I didnt use the gopro, I simply wouldn’t ever take any photos when I’m out on the trails! That, to me, is worth the cost of the camera.
      The quality is generally pretty good – superphoto is broadly good straight out the camera, with a little editing on the phone before posting or using anywhere. The gopro usually does a great job with motion blur and exposure, even when running.
      I did used to use the ‘extract a still from a video’ option, but its now not possible to do this on the camera itself, so I dont bother. Superphoto tends to be far better than the still anyway. I’d love to see the Mini firmware updated to enable the shutter to be used to take a burst of photos rather than a video.. but I dont expect that to ever happen.
      Are there any alternative smaller action cams available for photos, that give a similar quality? My Gopro 8 is great, but I could be tempted to change to something smaller.

  2. Rodd Palmer


    What is the magic to have the camera 1 month before the release date and at the same time not be affiliated or sponsored by DJI?
    And I honestly believe you aren’t.

    Best regards,
    George Palm

    • Hello-

      Here’s the comment I pinned to the top of the YouTube video, covering this a bit more:


      Hi folks! Some have asked how I have access to the camera early. Thus, I’ll explain in-depth press embargoes in-depth here, sponsorships/etc… Press embargos allow companies (e.g. GoPro/DJI/Apple/Samsung/etc…) to send out units early to reviewers, as long as they don’t disclose the product until a certain date/time. However, within that there are two camps: Normal press/media entities that have strict rules on ensuring content is unsponsored (which is what I do), and the second camp is paid coverage. This second camp is what you think of as sponsored content (they get paid usually, ranging from $1,000 for a small channel, to many tens of thousands for a larger channel). These videos have specific things that must be in the coverage, specific approval processes, and usually won’t say anything meaningfully bad about the product. You’ll see lots of that type of content for certain brands, less so for other brands. There’s also another camp of people that just get free products as ‘partners’ or ‘ambassadors’, that functionally act the same way.

      Virtually every single piece of tech news today is sent under embargo to media outlets. Even the most useless announcements are sent that way. In fact, it’s well beyond tech. Policy announcements, government announcements, etc are generally sent under embargo. It started in the 1920’s with medical/scientific journals. The idea is to allow news outlets to put together thoughtful pieces on ‘news’, rather than copy/paste marketing junk. Embargo does not mean sponsored, it simply means agreeing to a specific date/time to release the content.

      In any case, for the press side (me), one could argue that access to a product early means you get a ‘benefit’. And thus would be tempted to pay favor to that by giving better coverage. And some entities certainly do. But ultimately I think I’ve gotten to nearly half a million subscribers by demonstrating that’s not how I work. Every company that sends me products early for review (Apple, DJI, GoPro, Garmin, Google, Samsung, and on and on), understands this. They know if I like a product, I’ll say that. And if I don’t, I’ll say that too. Are they sometimes upset at what I say? Sure. Could they withhold next time? Sure. But history has shown them that doesn’t really work for me. I just go out and buy it, and do a review then. Thus, it’s in their interest to at least engage with me ahead of time and maybe fix issues before it gets to production (and, they do…very often).

      Note that in my case, *I do not keep these products*. They get picked up by DHL/UPS/etc after the review, and then I go out and re-purchase most of them at normal retail outlets. I spend many tens of thousands of dollars a year re-purchasing products to keep on-hand for future updates/etc.

      Obviously, there’s much more detail I could get in to. But, if you appreciate content like this that’s not sponsored, consider subscribing – or becoming a Member (hit the ‘Join’ button up above, sorta like Patreon). Or simply share the review (arguably the most useful thing). I appreciate it!

    • Loi

      Thanks for your work Ray!
      Virtually unparalleled quality stuff here and on YouTube.

    • Fabio

      i know..somewhere in that cave, there’s a gopro hero 12 in the dark… :)

  3. Tom

    Hi! Can you share where this amazing mountain bike landscape is?

    • Most of it is around the Tourmelet in the Pyrenees in France, with some tidbits in/around Chamonix and Courmayeur in the French Alps.

      I shoot lots of random stuff over the course of the month, but tend to ‘cram’ comparison shots stuff into the last few days prior to a camera announcing to ensure it’s on final firmware/etc…Most of that was during a say around the Tourmelet.

  4. Hey Ray, wanna talk about this? ;)

    • It’s the GoPro Bones. Basically, their camera for FPV flying.

    • plingboot

      dammit… thought you’d been given the ok to hide something new in plain sight.
      At that angle, with the light reflection, the left hand side looked like it might be a detachable screen module… on a new camera.
      But now I can see it’s just the bones. :(

    • Haha, nope. I purposefully try and never put anything on that back bench except for tools – for fear of doing something exactly like that.

      The only time (to my knowledge) I’ve ever secretly shown an unreleased product in a public setting was the recent Garmin Epix Pro and Fenix 7 Pro watches, wearing them in an Ironman 70.3 in France.

      I asked Garmin first, knowing it was useful for both me to capture data, and them to see how they performed in a race (one very minor bug came out of it). They agreed, mostly because the two watches were near visually identical to any quick glance to the previous Epix/Fenix 7 watches. Even on the race photos, it’d be nearly impossible to see the differences.

      Outside of an event like that, sometimes people will see me testing out and about and say Hi, but I’m usually pretty sly about hiding things and such. If someone wants to take a selfie or such with me, the moment they reach for their camera I can remove a watch or bike computer and have it in a pocket. Nobody even realizes how efficient I am at it, still filling with their phone camera app. ;)

  5. Eugene Nine

    The big compared to gopro questions. Battery life and overheating?

  6. Great review. I have found no way to disable the front display. Id this possible?

  7. Miroslav

    is it possible, that they have just polished Action 3 – like out of focus issue, overheating especially in Europe?

    If so, it’s not a bad update…


  8. Andrea Crema

    Did you experience any of the jitter issues with stabilization in shaded light that GPLama experienced in his review? It basically renders Osmo 4 incapable as an action camera.

    Strange that I didn’t see it in your video.

    • You can see it towards the end where I show some MTB clips and talk about stabilization.

      Also, I show a ton of it here in my low-light footage: link to youtube.com

    • Andrea Crema

      Thanks, will need to re-watch again to refresh my memory.. Though what was concerning in GPLama’s video was that it was present in normal day light when hitting shadow or dappled light

    • Yup, I can pretty easliy repro his low-light forest scenario on some of my ride (it’s a bit harder for me right now given it’s bright summer, and him in dim winter, so I have to MTB later in evening to see it). The microjitters are real there, and a bit of what you can see especially on the earlier section of the low-light video.

    • Andrea Crema

      Do you think this is fixable in firmware? It may have been present in Osmo 3 and for some it could have a big impact

    • It’s always really hard to know to be honest. So many factors at play. Sometimes things are fixed, and sometimes not.

    • Cypher

      Interestingly I didn’t see something like this in other reviews besides Shane and Ray.
      Maybe this is a special use case for us cyclist but I agree: for us this disqualifies the DJI.

  9. Cypher

    Hello everybody,

    I am relying on the feature to limit the recorded clips to 15s or 30s on my GoPro.
    As far as I know there never was such an option for the DJI action cams.
    Can somebody tell me if the Action now has an option to set maximum recorded clip length?