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.