Initial Drone Review: GoPro Karma vs DJI Mavic
DJI have played a huge part in pioneering the camera drone industry and as a result have become the market leader for consumer aerial camera platforms. But what will happen when industry leading action camera company GoPro release their own drone? We’re about to find out! On Monday the 19th September 2016 GoPro announced their first quadcopter. The GoPro Karma.
GoPro Joins the Drone Market
Over the past year GoPro have been losing money as rivals gain market share and continue to innovate. Although they leaked their first teaser almost 18 months ago, this substantial delay will undoubtedly have a negative effect on sales but hopefully their well-established brand and reputation will position them nicely to compete against rival manufacturers like DJI and Yuneec.
The Karma meets GoPros target market perfectly. It’s a small, compact, lightweight drone that comes with a backpack, making it very easy to carry around. As well as this, the gimbal is removable and can be placed on the Karma Handheld Grip which allows you to turn the gimbal into a hand held stabaliser for getting super smooth ground shots – very similar to what DJI did with the Osmo Handle Kit and the Zenmuse X3 camera from the Inspire 1. The difference with this is that the Grip is included when you purchase the drone.
GoPro Karma Bundles
So talking about purchasing the drone, lets talk money. GoPro have a few bundle offers to suit you various peoples requirements.
- Karma without a GoPro camera for £719 (great for if you own a Hero 4 already)
- Karma + Hero 5 Black for £999.99
- Karma + Hero 5 Session (estimated £769.99 – available from early 2017)
Other than that, I’m afraid they’re the only positive points I have.
The rest of it just seems underwhelming and doesn’t offer anything more or even match what some of its competitors are offering for example the follow me feature or collision avoidance.
Rumours of the DJI Mavic
Seemingly in response to seeing this, DJI will be announcing their new quadcopter called the Mavic on the 27th September, which, judging from leaks and teasers, is going be aimed at the same consumer market as GoPro and has very similar, if not better features, mainly being the portability.
It’s easy to speculate and get excited about rumoured releases, but from what we can see so far it seems that the Mavic will have folding arms to increase portability, may have a collision avoidance system like the Phantom 4 and may also merge the idea cinematography and FPV racing. Just check out some of the low and fast flying in their teaser advert!
After the official release we will update this blog with our thoughts on the new release.
Final Thoughts on these Drones
It’s hard to say which drone will be ‘better’ at this stage, as we don’t know the full details of the Mavic yet and it depends on what you’re looking for in a drone. But as stoked as I am for GoPro to be releasing their own drone, I have a feeling DJI’s Mavic will dominate the Karma. That’s not to say that the Karma will flop. I think it will be a huge hit with existing GoPro fans and will recoup some of their market share but they definitely have a lot of room for improvement with regards to features in order to compete with their rivals.
Keep your eyes peeled for our next blog on the DJI Mavic once it has been officially announced…
The Mavic has now been announced and having done some research and seeing some of the results, the Mavic has taken has taken the Karma by storm, out-doing it in almost every area!
We will do a hands-on review of the Mavic once we have them in stock but until then, here are some photos that Tom took when visiting the DJI Store in Hong Kong.