DJI Mavic vs GoPro Karma – Which is the better foldable drone?

DJI Mavic Pro vs GoPro Karma

Now that DJI has released the Mavic Pro, it’s time for a new comparison; DJI Mavic vs GoPro Karma. The comparison that makes a lot more sense to us than the

The comparison that makes a lot more sense to us than the GoPro Karma vs DJI Phantom comparison. That did show us one thing though, the Karma did a lot better than we expected.

Besides, at the time, the DJI Mavic Pro hadn’t been released yet. So we couldn’t compare them anyway.

Now that the DJI Mavic Pro has been released we can go ahead. And as the Karma has more in common with the Mavic than it does with the Phantom, t makes sense to do so. So let’s compare these 2 drones now.

Like the GoPro Karma, the DJI Mavic Pro is a foldable drone. And like GoPro did with the Karma, DJI designed the Mavic to be easy to fly. Anybody should be able to pick up either of these 2 drones and to fly it. Even if they’ve never flown a quadcopter before. It’s been made that simple.

Btw, if you’re not sure you know everything you should know about the Mavic, you can read all about the DJI Mavic Pro here. And if you’re interested in it, we have included the launch presentation at the bottom of that article as well.

But back to the topic of the day, Mavic vs Karma.

To see how the GoPro Karma vs DJI Mavic comparison ends up, we’ll use a table that’s very similar to the one we used in the comparison of the Karma to the Phantom.

So let’s see get to it right now. Let’s see how to DJI Mavic and the GoPro Karma compare!

GoPro KarmaDJI Mavic Pro
Speed15 m/s18 m/s in Sport mode
Flight TimeUp to 20 minutesUp to 27 minutes
Weight35.5oz (1006g)1.64 lbs (743 g) (include gimbal cover)
Size (height X width X length)89.9mm X 224.3mm X 365.2mm83mm X 83mm X 198mm
Visual Positioning SystemNoYes
Handheld GimballYesNo (Osmo available separately)
FoldableYesYes
Range0.6m /1km4.3M / 7KM
CameraHero 4, Hero 5, Hero 5 Session - 4K4K
Fish EyeNo on Hero/Session 5. Yes on Hero 4No
Obstacle AvoidanceNoYes
OrbitYesYes
Active Track / Follow meNoYes, multiple versions
Cable cam / Course lockCable CamSpotlight
SelfieDronieYes. Gesture controlled so no controller needed.
RevealYesNo
Return-To-HomeYesYes, accurate to less than an inch
Home LockUnknownUnknown
Backpack/CaseBackpackAvailable separately
ControllerGoPro Karma ControllerNot in Basic Version, use only smartphone instead
Handheld StabilizerIncludedDJI Osmo available separately
Price basic version * $799 - No Camera $749 - No remote controller
Price complete version$999 - Session 5$999 - Incl remote controller
$1099 - Hero 5$999 - Incl remote controller

 

Pre-order your DJI Mavic from the DJI store or from Amazon.com

One thing becomes clear, the DJI Mavic vs GoPro Karma comparison is less balanced than the Karma comparison against the DJI Phantom was.

But let’s not get ahead of ourself. Instead we’ll go through the same points to be sure we’re not jumping to conclusions.

DJI Mavic vs GoPro Karma – Handheld stabilizer

GoPro Karma vs DJI Mavic GoPro Karma GripAs you probably know by now, the GoPro Karma drone comes with the GoPro Karma Grip (GoPro’s handheld stabilizer). This means that you get a complete set for both aerial and handheld stabilized footage when you buy the Karma.

Don’t expect the same thing when you get the DJI Mavic ProThere is no indication that DJI will start selling them as a set.

So, like the other DJI drones, the DJI Mavic Pro doesn’t come with a handheld stabilizer.

You probably know that DJI offers it’s own line of handheld stabilizers (like the DJI Osmo Mobile) but these are sold separately. So if you want stabilized handheld video, you’ll have to order an Osmo (or a 3rd party stabilizer) as well.

And yes, if you’re anything like most other people we know, you’ll probably want a stabilizer at some point in the future.

So, once again, this point of the comparison goes to the GoPro Karma.

DJI Mavic vs GoPro Karma, 0 – 1

GoPro Karma vs DJI Mavic – Special modes

DJI Mavic wave dronieWhen we compared the Karma to the Phantom the GoPro drone just couldn’t compete on this point. The only special mode that the Karma has and the DJI Phantom didn’t have was a “selfie mode”. A mode that we don’t attribute much value to.

So how does the GoPro Karma stack up against the Mavic Pro?

The DJI Mavic Pro has a selfie mode as well. Aside from that, the Mavic has more special modes (intelligent flight modes) than the Phantom 4 does. This obviously swings the balance even further towards DJI’s side.

Let’s have a quick look at them.

ActiveTrack on the DJI Mavic

DJI improved ActiveTrack and the Mavic Pro has several different versions of ActiveTrack:

In Trace mode, the DJI Mavic Pro follows the subject from the front or from behind. In Profile mode the Mavic flies alongside the subject while tracking it. This is the mode that will help you get those cool profile shots.

Then there is Spotlight mode. In this mode, the DJI Mavic always keeps the camera pointed at the subject. So regardless of the direction you’re flying, the camera will be pointed at the subject. This will make a lot of shot much easier for many people.

And it does all of this based on ActiveTrack technology. That means the subject doesn’t need to hold a controller, have a bracelet, a GPS device, etc. Instead, the DJI Mavic recognizes the subject and follows it automatically.

As if that’s not enough, the DJI Mavic also has another great feature.

Terrain tracking on the DJI Mavic

dji-mavic-prolevelThe DJI Mavic knows exactly how high above the ground it is and it can keep it’s distance to the ground, regardless of the terrain.

This means that when you go over terrain that has different heights, the Mavic will always stay at the same relative height. If the terrain goes up, so does the Mavic. If the terrain goes down, same thing.

So the DJI Mavic can f.i. fly downhill alongside a skier or uphill alongside a runner without you having to make it go up and down. I does that all by itself.

An awesome feature that will bring a lot of consistency to your video footage.

As you can see this means that the  “GoPro Karma drone vs DJI Mavic Pro special mode comparison” really isn’t a comparison at all.

DJI owns this.

And yes, as somebody said in response to our previous comparison, GoPro might add some similar features in future updates.

But we don’t buy products based on things that may or may not be added some day. So we don’t compare them on that either. We only look at the 2 drones as they are now.

So, we’re back where we were. At this point in time, the DJI Mavic special modes are far superior to those of the GoPro Karma.

DJI Mavic vs GoPro Karma, 1 – 1

DJI Phantom vs GoPro Karma – Maximum distance, flight time and speed

Distance

DJI Mavic Pro Max distanceBye bye, Karma. Unfortunately, it doesn’t even get to compete here. When the Karma stops going, the DJI Mavic hasn’t even warmed up yet.

7!

That’s how many times further the DJI Mavic can go. It can go 7 times as far as the GoPro Karma can.

So, similar to the intelligent flight modes comparison, there really is no “GoPro Karma vs DJI Mavic” comparison here either. The Mavic can fly very large circles around the Karma.

We have to say though, this point comes with a side note. If you’re only allowed to fly Visual Line of Sight where you live distance obviously doesn’t really matter.

If you live somewhere that only allows you to fly Visual Line of Sight, distance obviously doesn’t really matter. You’ll lose sight of the drone before either of them maxes out it’s distance.

Speed

The DJI Mavic Pro isn’t as fast as the DJI Phantom 4. But then, that doesn’t matter for this comparison. What matters is how it stacks up against the Karma

And when we look at that, the DJI Mavic Pro is quite a lot faster than the Karma. So this is another point where the Karma loses out to the Mavic Pro.

The points are starting to stack up in favor of the new contender.

Flight time

The Mavic claims up to 1/3rd more flight time than the GoPro Karma. And we all know that it will be hard to actually get the advertised flight time in real life situations. But then, that’s the same for both drones. So there is absolutely no doubt that, when it comes to flight time, the Mavic has the edge over the GoPro Karma drone as well.

Another 3 points to DJI which drastically changes the score:

DJI Mavic vs GoPro Karma face-off, 4-1

GoPro Karma vs DJI Phantom – Portability

GoPro Karma vs DJI Phantom- Full Karma setThis is one of the points that the GoPro Karma drone won when we comapred it to the Phantoms.

Being foldable made a big difference and that alone makes the Karma a lot more portable than the DJI Phantom.

But, as we know, the DJI Mavic Pro is foldable as well. So how does that affect the comparison?

Compared to the Mavic the GoPro Karma is this huge cumbersome giant.

It’s both bigger and heavier than the DJI Mavic Pro. So the Karma is definitely not the more portable drone one of these 2 drones.

And although last week we still liked how thin the GoPro was, this week that doesn’t really matter anymore. The Mavic Pro is just as thin. And as we already mentioned, it’s smaller in all other regards as well. Aside from that it’s also lighter than the Karma.

So GoPro loses another point to the DJI Mavic. The Karma is starting to fall behind further and further in the DJI Mavic vs GoPro Karma comparison.

DJI Mavic vs GoPro Karma comparison: 5-1 in favor of the Mavic

DJI Mavic vs GoPro Karma – Price

Another thing we’ll have to look at again is the price. The DJI Mavic is cheaper than the Phantom 4. So let’s see how that influences the GoPro Karma vs DJI Mavic comparison.

The DJI Mavic is cheaper than the Phantom 4. So let’s see how that influences the GoPro Karma vs DJI Mavic comparison.

Just like when comparing to the Phantom 4, it becomes a lot more complicated though as soon as we look at prices. Partially because the Karma includes a handheld stabilizer and partially because the Mavic has a lot more features.

In part this is because the Karma includes a handheld stabilizer. But, it’s also partially because the Mavic offers a lot more features.

Yes, the Karma is still cheaper than the DJI Mavic. But the difference isn’t as big as it was with the Phantom.

And although the price difference became smaller, the difference in features that the drones offer became bigger.

The Mavic has intelligent flight modes that the Phantom 4 doesn’t even have. This makes operating the Mavic Pro a lot easier. And that also means that you’re getting more value for your money, especially those people that are looking for their first drone.

But we can’t really put a monetary value on those differences.

The GoPRo on the other hands includes a handheld stabilizer.  It’s easier to put a value on that. We just have to look at the Osmo series to do so. Based on that, we’re going to give this round to GoPro. Mainly because we think the majority of people will eventually get a handheld stabilizer anyway. IF you are 100% sure you’ll never want to shoot handheld video it’s a different story.

DJI Mavic vs GoPro Karma: 5-2 

GoPro Karma vs DJI Mavic – Conclusion

DJI Mavic vs GoPro Karma winner

It’s clear to us who the winner is.

Although the Karma could still score some points against the Phantom thanks to its smaller size, it loses those same points to the DJI Mavic Pro.

Does that mean the Karma is a bad drone?

Not at all.

But, when we compare it to the DJI products, it does seem like it’s ‘too little, too late” for GoPro.

The Karma may still appeal to people just based on brand popularity. After all, to people who never flew a quadcopter before GoPro is a known name and DJI likely isn’t. But if anybody starts comparing specs they’ll soon enough see that the Mavic Pro is the better choice.

That also means there is only one situation in which we might recommend the GoPro Karma.

If you already own all the accessories GoPro ever made, consider getting the Karma. You’ll be able to use it with all those accessories you already own.

If you don’t own all those accessories, forget about GoPro. Just stick with DJI.

They’re the world’s leading drone manufacturer and, with the release of the DJI Mavic Pro, they have once again proven why they are in first place.

To us, the DJI Mavic Pro is the best consumer drone on the market right now. And it will take a lot for manufacturers to change that.

 

Pre-order your DJI Mavic from the DJI store or from Amazon.com

So for the foreseeable future, getting the DJI Mavic Pro is your best choice.

Not only does it offer a lot more features than the Karma, it’s also a lot more portable.

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