Two drone models announced a week apart and it looks like their fate is intertwined moving forward. The obvious question: DJI Mavic vs GoPro Karma – Who Wins?
Basing on how my Facebook feed went and monitoring discussions on drone groups, it looks like majority is leaning into purchasing the DJI Mavic. Is it the right decision? Let’s try to break it down.
DJI Mavic vs GoPro Karma Details:
On paper, the DJI Mavic Pro seems to have the edge over the GoPro Karma in several categories. It is faster at 40 mph versus 35 mph for the Karma and has a longer battery life. The GoPro Karma, while considered small and is foldable requires a backpack to be transported. On the other hand, the Mavic Pro is also small enough to fit into a pair of jean pockets, though uncomfortably.
The first major difference you’ll notice between DJI Mavic vs GoPro Karma are the controllers. The Mavic Pro can work without the control as you can operate the device from your phone but you can also purchase the optional controller which can be paired with any phone if you want to see video preview while you’re flying. The GoPro Karma on the other hand ships with a controller with a built-in a built-in display which fits nicely into the little backpack that comes with Karma.
The Mavic Pro is equipped with a five-camera obstacle avoidance system similar to the Phantom 4 while the GoPro Karma sadly doesn’t have any obstacle avoidance. DJI Mavic’s camera system als supports gesture controls which I do not find any practical use, but it looks/sounds cool. It is still unclear what are the final automated flight modes on the Karma while the Mavic has ‘Trace’ , ‘Profile’ and ‘Spotlight’ as the flight modes.
The difference maker for the 2 foldable drones will be their camera systems. Cameras on both drones are capable of shooting 4K but for pixel-peepers, we have to await side-by-side comparisons for both drone’s output. DigitalRev’s side-by-side comparison of the Mavic and Phantom 4’s video and stills give us a lot of information that the Mavic’s image quality is near what the Phantom 4 can take.
The Mavic Pro’s camera is but it’s attached to the drone, while the GoPro Karma’s camera and gimbal is detachable and can be used with the grip for shooting nice clean shots on or off the drone. When it comes to versatility of video recording, this is where GoPro Karma beats the DJI Mavic and personally.
For the DJI Mavic vs GoPro Karma pricing, the DJI Mavic Pro sells for $749 without the remote control (which means you’d have to use your phone or tablet to control it) or $1,200 with the all the add-ons. The GoPro Karma sells for a flat price of $800 and comes with a controller that uses a built-in display. The total cost depends on what camera you strap to it. It costs $1000 with a GoPro Hero 5 Session, and $1100 with a GoPro Hero 5 Black.
So have you decided on which one you will possibly purchase? These 2 foldable drones just set the bar high for other drones’ future release and which one is perfect for you will be a matter of preference. I’ve seen a number of people leaning towards the DJI Mavic because of the ‘features’ presented (which they have not really tested personally).
My decision on which to buy actually falls on my current issues with my Yuneec Typhoon Q500 4K – it is bulky and I had to labor carrying it into 7 countries the past 7 months! So the DJI Mavic or GoPro Karma are definitely the best options. The reason why I bought Q500 4k over the Phantom 4K? The detachable camera and gimbal which can be used as a ground camera. Can you now guess which between DJI Mavic vs GoPro Karma I would possibly buy if I had the funds?