DJI Announces the Mavic, A True Competitor to the GoPro Karma

In the past week or so we have seen a lot of big things happening in the drone industry. It seems that there is almost a battle for portability, where drones should be able to be used anywhere by anyone. That being said, GoPro came out with an awesome new system that packs into one slim bag and can be brought and flown just about anywhere. The GoPro Karma folds up and packs into one small bag fitting the drone with the props on, the batteries, the remote, and the camera attached to the gimbal. On top of their drone idea, they decided a consumer may not always want to fly, but might still want to film some stable footage. In this case, they made the gimbal on the Karma removable so it can also be hand held and steady.

I don't want to say that GoPro stole any ideas from DJI but it does seem like they did a better job appealing to the consumer market in the drone industry making a more portable and user friendly drone. DJI offers a similar feature with their Osmo, but in this case you would need to have the Inspire 1 with an x3 or x5 camera and maybe a few adapters to attach it to their Osmo. The price point of the DJI products would reach around $2500 which in this case is much higher than what GoPro has to offer for $800 or $1100 with the GoPro Hero 5.

GoPro offers some neat features on their new Karma that DJI does not yet offer. The carrying case/backpack allows you to store the gimbal for hands free use while biking, snowboarding, hiking, etc. Another neat feature allows the pilot to share what he or she sees with a friend by streaming the screen of their controller to another's phone. This is an interesting feature because it pushes the ease of use for filming by allowing that person to control the camera, just like a dual operator on the Inspire 1. On top of that, the remote or controller for the Karma is almost like a Gameboy where it flips open and has the controls and screen ready to go; there are no wires, phones or tablets involved, making the set up that much quicker. Aside from those features, the bag that holds the drone is super thin and compact allowing anyone to literally take this drone anywhere.

Today However, DJI announced their new Mavic Pro, another easy to use, portable, and ready to fly drone. While the Mavic may not allow for the camera to be removed and used on a gimbal, the drone is made with every feature a pilot needs when flying. The Mavic can follow you without a controller or bracelet, has obstacle avoidance and tracking modes like the Phantom 4, films in 4k, and also allows for up to 27 minutes of flight time. This completely redesigned model has better computers, sensors, satellite connectivity, and range. The controller has also been made into a smaller design where the phone can just be clipped right in on the bottom; however, if you do not want to use the controller, the drone can be controlled with on screen joysticks right from your smartphone. If that isn't enough, DJI took it to the next level with their DJI Goggles to create a new flying experience for pilots whether they are flying professionally or recreationally.

All in all, it looks like DJI took this away as far as the drone goes by having all their features packed into one compact system. GoPro also takes a win for versatility by allowing the camera operator to use their GoPro on the Karma or on the gimbal when it is off of the drone. I would say that these two products are both awesome and will target different audiences because of the fact that one may be safer and easier to fly, while the other offers a little bit more use. The GoPro Karma again starts at $800 while the Mavic starts at $749.

For more about the DJI Mavic Click Here.

For More About the Go Pro Karma Click Here.

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34 Comments

Joost van Baars's picture

Just when I goth the Phantom 4...

How would these 2 stack up against eachother in terms of quality etc?

Gabe Border's picture

I am sure they are both really good. The go pro has always had a good sensor...it was just held back by no raw capabilities and a crazy wide angle lens. I have really liked to quality of my phantom 4. For me its the lens on the go pro that has always been a deal breaker for me.

Joost van Baars's picture

Thanks for the reply, but I meant the DJI P4 vs this new model.

If they're similar, I'll try to sell of the P4 asap to get this one. Much more portable and will with in a suitcase on my travels much better...

Gabe Border's picture

Ah yes. I am curious too. Might come down to windy conditions performance.

Ty Poland's picture

camera quality seems like it would be pretty similar, I'm just waiting to see some more videos and photos from it so they can be compared

David Bengtsson's picture

To me it seems like its the same image sensor on the Mavic as the Phantom 4. At least the specs are the same except for a the Phantom 4 having a slightly wider FOV

Jon Roberts's picture

Love the concept of something truly portable that you can throw in a bag...but curious as to why the 'actual footage' in this video is in 720p and doesn't look as good as I'd expect....hopefully just an encoding/filesize issue? would be great to see more 4k or 1080 footage that isn't so compressed

David Bengtsson's picture

Watch this video. They have done a pretty decent job on colorgrading it good. To me the footage looks awesome compared to DJI's official video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4i9Uo_szlqU

Ty Poland's picture

I posted the video when it first came out so they quality may not be that good because it is not the official video, thats my bad

Jon Roberts's picture

Ah yes...just seen the official DJI video has now updated to higher res/quality versions...

That's what you get for being first to the party Ty!

Ty Poland's picture

haha well it's fixed now!

Leigh Miller's picture

And it's on...ready to trade in my Inspire 1 if the camera on the Mavic is any good.

Edward Porter's picture

The phantom already has a terrible time with moderate winds. Cut that weight down even further and this will be one drunken bird.

Ty Poland's picture

I'm hoping it isn't too bad in the wind, guess we will find out soon

The website says $999 for the Mavic, not $749.

Ty Poland's picture

$749 without the controller $999 with the controller and $1299 for everything and some extra accessories

Where does it start @ $750?
I see the starting point is $1000 for Mavic Pro.

Alexander Slanger's picture

$750 is the cost without the controller......leaving you to navigate with your cell phone.

Ty Poland's picture

pretty much $1000 for it, extra batteries are $90

Jason Vinson's picture

whats with that glass dome on the front? Seems like it would cause flaring/fogging issues...

Bert McLendon's picture

That's for going underwater. They forgot to mention it's water proof like the Go Pro 5.... =P

Jason Vinson's picture

now that would be epic!!

Jon Roberts's picture

If you watch a few of the sample videos (like the one in the comments above) you'll see that the dome is actually causing some flaring issues (look for small dots near the center in the shots with low sun). I've seen this on a couple of the videos now. I suspect the gimbal isn't strong enough to deal with wind buffeting which is why they added it, but flare could be the compromise

Jason Vinson's picture

ya, i saw one where it just pops off, so im wondering if its just for transport protection?

Ty Poland's picture

could be an issue, wonder if that is going to be a downside

I don't know about IQ, but it sure beats the GoPro's exposed camera in the front IMO...

Patrick Hall's picture

Gotta love the song at 1:13! Makes me want to travel already :)

Ty Poland's picture

haha is that the fstoppers soundtrack??

Anthony Cayetano's picture

Why the Karma didn't include even a simple follow mode nor a Cinema 4K is baffling. I'm still rooting for GoPro to up its game though...

Ty Poland's picture

the GoPro is a bit different with the fact it can do a little more if you need it to

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