Here at Hot Bike, we probably cover and attend more events than any other motorcycle publication in the world. From Europe, Japan, Canada, Mexico, and all across the United States, part of staying at the forefront of the V-twin scene is to be everywhere, all the time. Face it: Taking pictures on your digital camera, going home, sorting through the best ones, putting them in the next issue, and waiting a month for it to come out is no longer the way to cover an event. That time and era has come and gone. Today’s consumer wants to feel a part of the scene no matter when and where, as it is happening. It’s this need for immediate gratification that so many social media applications have introduced live streaming over the past year.
One of the biggest problems we encountered with going live on a smartphone happened while walking around (especially after a rough night—ha!), which produced a very shaky and bumpy view of the action. No one wants to watch an event filmed in Blair Witch status. There are large, boxy apparatuses called gimbals that allow you to mount an SLR camera and get some amazingly smooth, cinematic-like footage. But then you become “that guy” that gets in everybody’s way, and there’s still the issue of transferring what you’ve shot to the World Wide Web. GoPro offers a small camera attached to a gimbal that also has to go through the phone and then transferred online. When I travel, I like to carry as little equipment as possible, and I wanted something that stabilized my phone so I didn’t have to carry any extra cameras. The Osmo Mobile was the perfect solution.
Using it couldn’t be any simpler. Just open up the grips and slide your smartphone in, adjust the sliding levers, and turn it on. I currently use an iPhone 6s Plus, and it fits perfectly. The construction is made from a magnesium alloy, and it has already survived multiple overhead compartment crushes while stored in my backpack. There is an available application from DJI that you can install to do some really cool stuff like slow motion, time lapse, active tracking, and even edit movies. To be honest, that application was just another “thing” to deal with, so I prefer to use just the basic camera on the phone.
Where the beauty really shines is when going live, especially on Facebook. Simply slide the phone in, log into the app, and go live exactly as you normally would. Now the action takes on a totally different vibe and feel and looks much more like a cinematic movie than a guy holding a phone. Battery life is pretty good, and more than likely the battery on your phone will give out before the Osmo. My only complaint is you can’t film stabilized in portrait mode, which is more suitable for Instagram live. Also, without a doubt, as you’re covering an event somebody will inevitably walk up to you to ask what it is you’re holding. Aside from that, if going live or making videos from your phone is something you do regularly, it is by far worth the $300 price tag for the improvements in the footage you will capture.