Tennessee Whiskey and Its Effect on the iPhone 6 Video Performance, Featuring Malaena and Duke Robillard!

DJI Osmo Pocket Gimbal
DJI OM-5 with iPhone 6

Here we have a fine local group in Connecticut that goes by the name “Malaena.” It’s a six-piece act and you’ll see they have a team of strong vocalists, including a bass player who sounds just like Van Morrison!

This was a casual outing, where I tested a DJI OM-5 gimbal arm that holds an iPhone. As a result, I was shooting this video in 1080p with my iPhone 6, which is actually software upgraded to an iPhone 7.

But that didn’t help!

The video performance of the older iPhones is poor in comparison to the DJI Osmo camera, and the Osmo will go to 4k and do even better. The iPhone footage is grainy, with no color depth to speak of, making editing a quick task, because there’s no tolerance for adjustments. The iPhone 6 is not suitable for professional-looking results.

Bob Straub – Vocals, Saxophones, Flute, Percussion
… (Bob plays bass on this song)
Bernie Santore – Vocals, Guitar
Steve Belgrade – Lead Guitar, Vocals
Rich Kornacki – Drums, Percussion
Hilary Carboni – Keyboards, Vocals
Charlie Hedding – Bass, Vocals
… (Charlie sings this song, hands his bass to Bob)

The band did a great job. I guess I’ll have to circle back soon for better footage! The OM-5 gimbal arm performed well. The learning curve is not the same as for the Osmo selfie-stick, while they are similar.

DJI OM 5 Gimbal Arm

The OM-5, unlike the Osmo stick, allows slowing down the up/down toggle feature, which is critical. Out of the box, level adjusting goes too fast pressing the toggle. The arm on the OM-5 is much shorter than the Osmo “extension rod,” because with the Osmo kit you use your phone (only) as a screen and it stays down low on the rod, while if you use the OM-5, your phone can only go so high and you can’t see the screen anymore!

DJI Osmo Pocket Extension Rod

The design of the Pocket stick is better-suited for live performances, and the quality of the Osmo camera is no comparison to my (older) iPhone. With both systems, batteries need to be charged, and iPhones are required. For my purposes, the Pocket wins hands down!

Malaena was shot at the Phoenix in Pawcatuck, CT. Nearby in New London, Duke Robillard played the Hygienic. Here’s an original you won’t hear anywhere else, called “I’m Gonna Buy Me a Dog to Take the Place of You!”

Shot with a DJI Osmo Pocket on a DJI extension rod.

I talked with Duke for quite awhile before his show. At 73, he seems to be undergoing a youthful resurgence, a renewed sense of excitement about his career. He was happy to tell me about the Epiphone guitar he had on stage, which he painted himself! I explained to him we saw him play at the Knick in Westerly (RI) recently, and my friend Chris was disappointed because the show was not rowdy (at all), but rather a selection of fine, mellowish jazzy tunes impeccably performed; but Chris wanted some Roomful rock and roll, which we’ve all gotten used to during our childhoods! Robillard seemed unphased. It seems he’s upping the energy on his shows anyway, and that’s something I think many of us young-at-heart will truly appreciate!

In conclusion, the OM-5 takes a firm back seat to my favorite kit, the Osmo Pocket with its extension rod, just based on the quality of the camera. If you have a better iPhone, you may get much better results. The OM-5 is said to be able to handle the new iPhone 12s and 13s in the large size, but barely (motor stress). If you want a camera that really zooms, be sure to consider real glass lenses. You can’t beat the Canon camcorders for quality glass!

Stay safe, and see you out there!


Mark Urso

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