When GoPro announced the Karma drone and stabilisation system it seemed a clear “your move DJI” – well, they’ve responded and it’s not good news for GoPro.
The DJI Mavic Pro is a small, portable drone with flight capabilities beyond that of GoPro Karma and some cool in-built tech that again is nowhere to be seen on the Karma.
I put these two side by side in discussing the launch because it’s a clear battle, The DJI Mavic Pro is priced at $1699 while the Karma from DJI is $1649 with a camera.
Even DJI’s own announcement takes a pot shot at GoPro “without carrying around a bulky add-on camera”. And that really is the clear choice and difference, with a GoPro Karma you are buying a “system” of image stabilisation that works on the ground and in the air, with DJI you’re buying an advanced aerial camera.
Mavic Pro has a staggering range of 7km – though anyone who knows the regulations knows that’s going to be illegal to fly given you must have visual line of sight at all times.
The Mavic folds up for easy portability (as does the Karma) and while GoPro have gone for a complete controller and screen combination solution, DJI have a new smaller controller which still uses a smart device for screen if you want it.
Sitting in the mid-high range price wise the Mavic Pro is still $400 cheaper than the Phantom 4, while your entry-level Phantom 3 Standard is almost half the price of the Mavic.
Probably the key feature of the Mavic Pro worth taking into account on comparison is the collision avoidance technology. Using dual cameras on the front either side of the main camera the Mavic Pro gets Phantom 4’s ability to avoid obstacles, flying above or around them – and it does this at up to 36km/h so it’s really thinking on its feet. This feature is not perfect, but it’s already miles ahead of the competition, and if DJI continue to innovate in this space it will be where they continue to hold advantage.
DJI have put two of every sensor on board for in-flight redundancy, and the camera up front is a miniature version of that on the Phantom 4 with 4K fully stabilised vision.
Having been keen as mustard on a GoPro Karma for the last week, I’m now just as keen if not more keen to see and fly the Mavic Pro.
While the removable camera stabilisation system of the GoPro Karma might be the winning feature for people who film a lot and can make use of the GoPro Hero 5 camera in many more ways, for those looking for a pure drone flight and video experience, on face value I think given the range and advanced features of the Mavic Pro this one stacks up to be DJI 1 – GoPro 0.
Trev is a Technology Commentator, Dad, Speaker and Rev Head.
He produces and hosts two popular podcasts, EFTM and Two Blokes Talking Tech. He also appears on over 50 radio stations across Australia weekly, and is the resident Tech Expert on Channel 9’s Today Show each day and appears regularly on A Current Affair.
Father of three, he is often found down in his Man Cave.