RIGHT NOW IS A CRAZY TIME FOR DRONES!
With the recent release of GoPro’s Karma drone and the future release of the DJI Mavic, these next few weeks are going to be an extremely busy time for the drone industry. This also brings up the question “what drone should I buy, Karma or Mavic?”. Since the DJI Mavic isn’t out yet, we don’t really know what features it will have, but we know exactly what the Karma has and how it works, so just know that this article will be a work in progress until the Mavic release.
THE TRUTH ABOUT KARMA
So what is the GoPro Karma and what makes it different from all of the other drones out there today? From what I understand, the advantage that GoPro is advertising is how easy it is to use, and the versatility of being able to use the GoPro Hero 4, Hero 5 or Session cameras with it.
GoPro says you should be able to fly the Karma with little to no experience with drones, and capture amazing shots with some of it’s preprogramed flight modes. My question is, what exactly are these flight modes? They didn’t mention any specifics about what flight modes it has, which leads me to believe that they are the same features that every other drone manufacture has had for the past year. Another thing that I thought was strange about the Karma is that there are no sensors on the bottom of the drone. Sensors like cameras and ultrasonics are what make drones more stable when hovering or when GPS isn’t available and the Karma doesn’t have any of these things. This means that the Karma is not going to be a good choice if you ever want to fly it indoors.
The technical specs for the Karma are pretty average. The max controlling range is about 1000 meters, flight time is 20 minutes (in best conditions), max speed is 35mph and the weight is about 1000g (2.2 pounds). The video quality should be really nice, but that will also depend on what GoPro you buy, and there’s always going to be that famous GoPro fisheye effect whether you like it or not.
When you think about the Karma and what it’s actually capable of, It seems like the main advantage that you get is a drone that works with the camera that you already have. whether you have the GoPro Hero 4, Hero 5 or Session, the fact that you can take the camera and gimbal off of the drone and use it for other things is a great feature and I’m sure it’s going to help them sell more GoPros. The question that you should be asking yourself is, will that versatility be worth it?
WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT MAVIC
So far, the general leaked info and pictures floating around about the Mavic indicates that It will be a foldable drone just like the Karma. It’s another drone that’s made to be taken with you everywhere you go. Considering that all of DJI’s drones since the Phantom 3 have been really easy to use, there’s no reason to think that the Karma will beat the Mavic in this area, but I guess we won’t know until both drones are released.
What we do know based on pictures is that the Mavic will have obstacle avoidance just like the Phantom 4, so it will probably have all of the same flight modes like tap fly and active track. If it still uses the DJI Go app, then it should also work with third party apps for additional functionality. in other words, it’s probably going to be much more feature rich than the Karma.
I don’t think that the Mavic will have a removable camera, so this will most likely be it’s main drawback. If you want to shoot videos on the ground, then you will have to carry the Mavic in your hands, or buy another camera. This could be a deal breaker for people on a tight budget, but on the other hand if you have two cameras, you could then capture ground footage and aerial footage at the same time.
WHICH DRONE SHOULD YOU BUY?
Based on everything we know, I would say that the DJI Mavic is going to be the better choice because of how many additional features it will have. I’m not saying that the GoPro Karma is going to be a bad drone at all. I think all of the GoPro owners out there are going to love it. In a way, it’s almost like the 3DR Solo drone, but made by GoPro. I just think GoPro should’ve added more features to the Karma.
Pricing for the GoPro Karma is $700 and it will be available to order on October 23rd. Pricing for the mavic is unknown, but based on all of the features that it has, I’m expecting it to be around $1,200 (which is what the GoPro Karma costs after buying the Hero 5 Black edition). You should be able to buy the DJI Mavic on September 27th when it’s announced.