Compare Mavic PRO with GoPro Karma Drone
Drones are yet to fully cross over into the mainstream, but GoPro and DJI have both helped push things in that direction with their latest offerings.
GoPro’s Karma and DJI’s Mavic Pro are both compact, portable drones, but while the latter has a built-in camera, the former is designed to work with several GoPro cameras.
It seems the battle is on for the best portable camera drone, then, but which of these two is looking like the best offering at this early stage? Read on to find out.
Size and folding
The obvious point of having a folding drone is that you can easily take it on adventures. Then, when you’re on a remote trail or a distant beach and want to grab some quick footage of that stunning sunset, you pull the drone out of your bag and get it aloft before the perfect moment has passed. Imagining this kind of scenario, you’ll realise that there are two components to any drone’s portability: how easy it is to carry around and how easy it is to get in the air quickly.
Between the DJI and the GoPro folding drone models, there’s a very clear winner here: the Mavic Pro. The Mavic Pro folds down to a tight compact block that’s roughly the size of a hearty Italian sandwich and the weight of a thick novel. The propellers also feature a clever design that lets them fold up too, so that you don’t have to install them and uninstall them every time you move locations. Consequently it takes just 86 seconds to get the Mavic Pro ready to be in the air.
The Mavic Pro can fly 40 mph (65 kph) while in Sport mode. The Karma has a maximum speed of 35 mph (56.3 kph).
Winner: DJI Mavic Pro.
Max Flight Time
When it comes to flight time, the Karma will stay airborne for 20 minutes, which isn’t all that great in the grand scheme of things. And, once again, the Mavic has it beat, although only very slightly, with a max flight time of 21 minutes. It can, however, last up to 27 minutes according to DJI. Of course, you can bring extra batteries along for both of these drones, which looks like it’s going to be a necessity given the paltry flying times.
Winner: DJI Mavic Pro.
The Karma will top out at 35mph and has a maximum range of 3km. It’s also capable of flying at an altitude of 4,500m. The Mavic Pro, on the other hand, has the edge on the Karma in this respect, as it can hit 40mph and can travel up to a rather impressive 7km before it loses transmission. That’s 6km further than the GoPro.
The Mavic can also reach a height of 5,000m, beating the Karma by 500m. DJI says this is 5,000m above sea level, however, while GoPro simply states a max flight altitude of 4,500m.
The Karma is not fun to fly. As the large size and weight would suggest, it’s sluggish in the air and not graceful when avoiding obstacles. That’s because it doesn’t have any obstacle avoidance technology, so you’re probably going to crash it at some point, and when you do, every single one of those hard-to-install rotors will break. God, and as if it couldn’t get any worse, the Karma’s GPS doesn’t work as well as the Mavic’s does. That means if you lose a GPS signal, the drone will float around the air aimlessly.
GoPro Karma vs DJI Mavic Pro – Controllers
So how do you control these beasts? Well, the Karma comes with its own controller, which looks a tad outdated if you ask us. It takes the form of a clamshell-style remote control with a 5-inch touchscreen that shows real-time views from the drone’s camera in 720p resolution.
DJI also has another trick up its sleeve. It’s offering a pair of goggles that look much like a VR headset and allow you to see what the drone’s camera sees. When wearing the goggles, your head movements will control the drone’s movements, which may or may not land you in a spot of legal trouble when it comes to laws that require you to keep the drone within sight, etc.
Intelligent Flight Modes
The Mavic Pro uses a host of sensors and cameras for its FlightAutonomy obstacle avoidance system, object tracking system, and gesture control system. The Karma lacks obstacle avoidance and “Follow Me” features.
Mavic Pro’s auto-flight features are geared towards people who want to operate a drone without necessarily having the skills to fly a drone. Karma has some automated features, including the ability to travel between two points, but it’s geared much more towards manual controlled flight.
Winner: DJI Mavic Pro.
This Karma drone is unreal. I have never flown a drone before and I was a little frightened because on every thing I\’ve read 80% of drones have crashed one or more times. I found a big field to start with and no wind. I let it take off by its self being a little afraid of doing myself. With the hand hold controller I could do no wrong it seemed like, it was so easy. That controller is worth its weight in gold its so easy to use. That was one of my reasons for getting a Karma, you don\’t NEED a smart phone. Although I did hook up my iPhone to the drone and my helper used it to take pictures while I flew it. Out of the box without changing any settings it took beautiful movies jitter free and even better photos. The only thing I added was a polarizer, it protects the lens and gives you a beautiful full deep color picture. The second time I took it out to fly there was gusty winds of 5 to 15mph and in movie mode which you can change anytime from photo mode the drone held its place and didn\’t move a inch. You could hear the motors picking up speed when a gust came.
There are no Pros with this drone. That is a shame on GoPro.
I bought the Karma via Best Buy initially thinking of just getting the Grip. But heck for $500 more why not get drone with it. I played with the Karma for 3 months. Took it to Mexico, flew it around all over my hometown here in US. I thought it was good in that its a complete package for the GoPro users. You want aerial vids, you got the karma. You want ground vids, you got the grip. Life was alright with the Karma for the 3 months, until I tried the DJI Mavic Pro and realized life was much much greener on the other side.
First, let me clarify something. The official safe maximum range on the Karma drone is 3200 ish feet. However, there is a setting in the Karma remote that allows you to disable the \”safe\” distance option.
I have personally flown the Karma successfully about 5600 feet (a mile is 5280 feet) before it decided to automatically return to the take-off point. And by the way, it was very cool to see it autopilot itself the entire way back to me. Once the drone is back in range there is an option on the remote to regain control.
The Karma drone package is by far the best deal for the majority of people. For $1100, you get the drone itself, battery, backpack, gopro hero 5 black camera ($399 value), gopro stabilizing stick (actually very cool in and of itself, $299 value), and a few other attachments.