DJI posted a teaser for what looks like the new Action 4, with the tagline, “Time to Shine.” Will it be enough to beat GoPro? Here’s what we know so far.
DJI posted a teaser photo for its next release on August 2. The photo shows a portion of a camera emerging from the sand that looks similar to the Osmo Action and Action 3.
It looks like it will indeed be the Action 4, which is rumored to have a much larger 1/1.3 inch sensor (compared to the 1/1.7 inch sensor of Action 3). Here is a comparison of the lens size between the Action 3 and the new camera. Of course a larger lens might be due to a larger field of view, or simply a different lens design, or just a larger front element. But for what it’s worth, the teaser image seems to back up the theory.
Advantages of a larger sensor
A larger sensor has several advantages: better dynamic range, better bit depth, less noise. A larger sensor generally has better quality than a smaller sensor even if the smaller sensor has higher resolution. See here.
Will it be enough for people to switch from GoPro?
Notwithstanding the many advantages of a larger sensor, I think by themselves they would not be sufficient to enable DJI to beat GoPro. Here’s why.
Good processing can make a small processor seem just as good to untrained eyes. Most laypersons for example have a hard time differentiating between an iPhone photo from that of a DSLR or mirrorless camera.
While Action 4 may have better image quality, a GoPro Hero 11 will look pretty similar to consumers so I don’t think a larger sensor would be enough for people to switch. After all, the Insta360 One R with 1-inch sensor (and Leica lens) has an even larger sensor, yet the GoPro Hero 11 is much more popular.
What would be more likely to make people switch are features that are more easily noticeable. For example, a scratchproof lens and screen or even a much lower price. Whether Action 4 has any such clear advantages remains to be seen. If they don’t, I think GoPro will continue to dominate action cams.