The Battle of the Drones
GoPro Karma vs. DJI Mavic Pro
Two new drones are going to set a new benchmark in the best photo drones category. As both are going to hit the market around the same time, we compared the specs of these two high-tech drones or “quadcopters”. We examined the brand new GoPro Karma vs. the DJI Mavic Pro before they will be available for sale by since October 2016.
Related Post: Best Drones under $1,000
It seems that there is no end to GoPro’s run of bad lucks. The timing of DJI’s new drone couldn’t have been worse (or better if you are DJI).
GoPro Karma Video Review by Casy Neistat, NY
Video Review of the DJI Mavic Pro by Jon Olsson
The DJI Mavic Pro is a small foldable and highly portable quadcopter that is aimed straight at rival GoPro’s newly launched Karma. Both the DJI Mavic Pro and the GoPro Karma are small portable quadcopters.
They are both aimed at the same enthusiast segment of the drone market and they are both feature loaded. Let’s pit the two together and find out which one is likely to rule the segment for the immediate future.
Tech Specs: GoPro Karma vs. DJI Mavic Pro
- Karma Captures amazingly smooth GoPro footage in the Air, handheld or body mounted
- The Karma Drone folds to fit into the included lightweight case. Take it anywhere. When you're ready to fly, just...
- The Karma stabilizer Captures breathtaking shake-free video both in the Air and on the ground
- Remove the Karma stabilizer and attach it to Karma grip for ultra steady, professional-looking handheld shots
- Karma grip works with GoPro mounts, including the built-in shoulder mount on the Karma case, to deliver ultra steady...
- Fly for miles. From your pocket.Inside the Mavic's pocket-sized remote controller is DJI's brand new OcuSync...
- No bumps and scrapesWhen you know what's in front of you, you won't bump into it. The same is true of the Mavic. Using...
- Absolute Precision Flight Autonomy technology means the Mavic can hover precisely in more environments, and...
- Stay flying longerWhy fly for 10 or 15 minutes when you can fly for up to 27? With the Mavic you can. Finely tuned...
- Use every single pixelThe Mavic is the only drone of its size to carry an integrated high-precision 3-axis mechanical...
Ability to Fold and Transport
As both the quadcopters are yet to be shipped, this comparison is based on the specs that have been released by both manufacturers.
The newly unveiled Mavic Pro addresses a long-standing complaint against DJI quadcopters – they are neither small nor foldable.
The unibody structure of the DJI Phantom quadcopters gave them great rigidity but not the flexibility that was promised by the GoPro Karma. This was a major USP when it was announced a few days ago. That hurrah, however, was short-lived.
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With the DJI Mavic Pro, the Karma now has a solid rival that can also fold down to a small size. As a matter of fact when folded not only the landing gear but also the rotors fold. They fold snugly against the body of the quadcopter. That means the Mavic Pro assumes a smaller form compared to the Karma.
The GoPro Karma has its own camera system. It comes with a camera holder that accepts:
- the newly launched Hero 5 Black (coming soon),
- and the Hero 5 Session (available now on Amazon).
The DJI Mavic Pro, on the other hand, comes with a built-in camera. Both cameras (comparing the Hero 5 with the built-in camera of the Mavic Pro) are capable of shooting 12-megapixel stills.
But, while the GoPro Karma shoots only UHD (3840 x 2160) videos at up to 30 fps, the Mavic Pro shoots true 4K at 4096 x 2160 and at 24p. Both have the capabilities to capture RAW frames.
The GoPro Karma is powered by a 5100 mAh rechargeable Li-Ion polymer battery. That gives it a flight time of 20 minutes on a full charge. A full charge requires 1 hour. Maximum speed attainable on the Karma is 35 mph (15 m/s). Maximum wind resistance by the quadcopter is about 22 mph.
Comparatively, the Mavic Pro is powered by a 3830 mAh Li-ion polymer battery that gives it a maximum flight time of 27 minutes (with no wind and at a steady flight speed of 15.5 mph).
It appears thus, on paper at least, that the Mavic Pro has a longer flight time than the GoPro Karma.
Controller and Display
The controls of the GoPro Karma are inspired by popular video game controls. Twin joysticks make flying the GoPro fun. The display on the Karma is a fixed 2” touchscreen LCD.
Compared to that the Mavic Pro also has an integrated display. But you have the option to pair any smartphone or tablet to stream live view feed from the camera. The quality of your display is basically limited by the device that you pair.
The control distance of the Mavic Pro is a maximum of 7 km. Comparatively, that on the GoPro Karma is up to 3 km. Thus the Mavic Pro is better for further line-of-sight reach.
Both the Karma and the Mavic Pro uses a 3-axis gimbal stabilizer for stabilizing the camera during flight.
The advantage with the GoPro is that the camera stabilizer is detachable. That allows you to mount it to an optional handgrip for shooting handheld stabilized videos and stills.
GoPro also has a number of other mounts, including one that allows you to wear a camera on your body. The stabilizer works with all those mounts.
The stabilizer on the Mavic Pro has a better pitch and control range pitch -90 ˚ to +30 ˚ and Roll 0 ˚ to 90 ˚ horizontally and vertically.
Navigation and Collision Avoidance System
A notable feature of the Mavic Pro is the Collision Avoidance System. A system that we have already seen on the Phantom 4 before. This advanced Collision Avoidance system can continuously scan the environment while it flies. The system can accurately ‘see’ 98′ in front and measure distances up to 49′ in front.
Mavic Pro Feature: “Follow Me Home Mode”
The system is extremely useful when flying the quadcopter in the follow-me-home mode where it basically retraces itself to its starting point. Automated flying requires some sort of collision avoidance system. Using this system if the Mavic Pro runs into any obstacles it will try to plot out an alternate route to its destination, if it can, and follow that route.
If it cannot chalk out an alternate route it will keep hovering in front of the obstacle until you assume command.
The GoPro Karma seriously lacks this important feature. It, however, packs a built-in No-Fly zone to keep irresponsible quadcopter flyers from zooming in and out of designated no-fly zones. The Karma also has a series of auto modes including Drones, Cable Cam, Orbit, and Reveal.
One would imagine that despite the interesting auto flight modes, the lack of a similar collision avoidance system on the GoPro Karma makes it less attractive.
Overall weight is a major factor for easier lift, zippier maneuver as well as the convenience of transporting it to a location for use.
The Mavic Pro has the edge over the GoPro Karma in this. The Karma weighs 1006 grams compared to the Mavic Pro’s 743 grams.
Just a 100 dollars separate the DJI Mavic Pro and the GoPro Karma. The Karma has been priced at $1099 with the Hero 5 Black.
The DJI Mavic Pro is priced at $999 together with its built-in camera. Based on all the features that we have discussed thus far, the DJI Mavic Pro is a better buy, at least on paper.
It has better flight control, an advanced collision avoidance system, the same resolution camera, better portability and of course better price.
If you already own a Hero 4 or another compatible Hero camera, then the GoPro Karma with just the quadcopter and harness will cost you under $800. A savings of $300 compared to the price of the Mavic Pro. But if you don’t then the Mavic Pro is a much better choice compared to the GoPro.
Final Verdict: GoPro vs. DJI Mavic Pro
PhotoWorkout.com recommends the DJI Mavic Pro.
Even Casy Neistat who reviewed the GoPro Karma in the intro of this post got really excited when he got his hands on the DJI Mavic Pro.Watch Casy’s review of the DJI Mavic Pro below:
Watch Casy’s review of the DJI Mavic Pro below:
Video: Introducing the DJI Mavic Pro by DJI
Video: Introducing the GoPro Karam by GoPro
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