Recently, the world of drone flying got its hands on two new models. The recently announced GoPro Karma, set for release on October 23, is GoPro's attempt to break into the market. And today, DJI announced its response with their Mavic drone. Both drones come from companies widely respected for quality and innovation. There is one question, though. How do these two drones measure up?
Both the Karma and Mavic are foldable drones meant for portability and ease of use. The first difference between the two is that DJI has been in the drone market for a while now while GoPro is just breaking in. GoPro is known for their action cameras, but how does their upcoming debut drone compete against DJI's Mavic?
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Table of Contents:
GoPro Karma – Specs
The first point of notice is that the GoPro Karma does not include a camera. Instead, it focuses on being compatible with a few different GoPro model cameras. Aside from that, the Karma boasts a maximum flight time of 20 minutes. That's pretty impressive, especially seeing how it weighs over 2 pounds. Below, we've included a preliminary spec list for comparison.
All specs assume perfect flying conditions, including no wind.
Max Flight Time
Max Flight Distance
Max Flight Speed
1.8 miles (3 km)
35 mph (56.3 kph)
Verastile – GoPro Hero 4 and 5 and Session
DJI Mavic – Specs
The newly revealed DJI Mavic brings a lot to the table. In fact, this foldable model outperforms the Karma every step of the way. Given, it does include a much higher price tag to match. On the other hand, the Mavic comes with its own camera. Go ahead and take a look at the specs below, and feel free to compare them with the GoPro Karma.
Keep in mind, all specs assume perfect flying conditions with no wind.
Max Flight Time
Max Flight Distance
Max Flight Speed
4 miles (6.5 km)
40 mph (65 kph)
1/2.3″ (CMOS) 4K Camera
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GoPro Karma – Breakdown
GoPro's Karma is all about versatility and ease of use. The drone is capable of equipping a few different cameras on it. Specifically, users can swap out between the Hero series 4 and 5 (as well as the upcoming 5 Session).
However, this means consumers who do not already own one of those cameras have to fork over the money for one. As an example, the Hero 5 Black retails at $399.99. That already pushes the cost above the Mavic.
There is a silver lining to GoPro's camera system, though. For one, users can easily use their GoPro camera for many other things besides flying a drone. Second, GoPro most likely intends to have all future cameras have compatibility with the Karma. So when the next big camera hits the scene, Karma owners won't even have to consider buying a new drone.
GoPro's Karma is advertised to be versatile in other ways too. The company refers to the drone as specifically beginner friendly. That's good news for budding fliers, but ease of use often makes the software rely on preplanned flight paths instead of custom control.
This also means that it implements already existing features. In the case of the Karma, users can activate dronie, reveal, orbit, and 2 point cam modes, but there is no follow feature.
A final concern with GoPro's Karma is that it does not include sensors on the bottom. Traditionally, these sensors help the drone find its place and remain stable when GPS isn't available (such as indoors). This oversight can limit the Karma's functionality in sub-optimal environments.
DJI Mavic – Breakdown
The first notable feature of the Mavic is its size and weight. It is spectacularly mobile and light, especially while folded. It can easily fit practically any bag. In contrary, the Karma relies on its case regardless of being folded up. There is more to the Mavic than it's size, though.
DJI's recent products have focused on ease-of-use as well. The Mavic itself is advertised as a personal drone that anyone can use. Just like other DJI drones, it requires your phone for use. However, you can use either with or without the included controller.
As far as features go, the Mavic outperforms the Karma by a large margin. Unlike GoPro's drone, the Mavic includes a slew of sensors to help with positioning and object avoidance. It includes several follow modes, and none of them require the subject to carry any kind of sensor. On top of that, there's a fully functional app called DJI Go as well as compatibility with VR-style goggles to get a first hand, real-time look at what the drone sees.
The only real drawback to the Mavic is that the camera isn't going anywhere. The drone saves on weight by having all of the camera hardware installed directly into the drone itself.
So customers looking forward to snapping the camera off for some ground shots, this may turn them off to the Mavic.
This decision doesn't come without benefits, though. Saving weight and space this way helps keep the Mavic portable, light, fast, and energy efficient.
The biggest draw for the GoPro Karma is if you already own a compatible camera and are new to the drone scene. In this case, the Karma saves money and gives you complete use of your own camera. It helps that the Karma does appear to be a solid drone with a lot to be excited about.
However, the DJI Mavic has the most potential of the two. The included features and functionality blow the Karma out of the water. If you're already a drone pilot, then you probably won't want to settle for the GoPro Karma. When you look at the entire package, dollar for feature, the Mavic is the better choice.
Thank you so much for reading! What do you think about the GoPro Karma? What about the DJI Mavic? However you feel, let us know what you think in the comments below or on the Facebook page.
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