With GoPro having just released the Karma drone for all to see and DJI just about to release the DJI Mavic on September 27th ( 5PM UK Time ), which drone will you buy?
THE GoPro KARMA:
The Karma’s release was a little disappointing as although they talked about what karma can bring to the table, GoPro was a little sketchy on the details. Their main message was that it will be easy for ANYONE to fly it with no experience at all using their built-in smart features. They didn’t go into what these smart features are but something like follow-me is likely one of them. We know that for it to have video capability you will need to buy a new GoPro Hero 5. the GoPro Session 5 or Gopro Hero 4 ( Black/Silver ).
We also have some tech specs, it weight 1006g, capable of 35mph and fly to a distance of 1000m from the RC ( operates on 2.4GHz ). The battery will give you 20 minutes of flight ( ideal conditions ) with the battery taking an hour to charge. RC has a built in screen of 5in and capable of 720p and has a battery life of 4 hours and takes 2.5 hours to charge. There is also the GoPro Passenger App. This allows you to pair a mobile phone to the RC and have a second operator.
The Gimbal is a 3 axis one weighing 230g and accommodates the HERO5 Black, HERO5 Session, HERO4 Black/Silver. It also comes with the handle that allows the gimbal/camera to be used handheld ( similar to the DJI Osmo ). The handle has a built in battery that will last 1.75 hours.
It comes with a case that houses the karma and its accessories.
Price wise it is not too bad but does come close to the cost of the DJI Phantom 4 when you have the best option.:
$799: Drone, gimbal, and backpack (no camera)
$999: Base kit plus the Hero5 Session camera (saves $100)
$1099: Base kit plus the Hero5 Black camera (saves $100)
THE DJI MAVIC:
DJI are yets to announce the Mavic officially ( that glorious day happens on the 27th September ) but we have sen leaked images of it and have some idea what it will feature.
The DJI Mavic will be about 200mm long when folded and fit in your palm nicely and weigh about 650g with no battery. The battery itself will be 3,850MA 11.4v and 20+ minutes of flight time ( ideal conditions ).
Feature wise it is likely to have ActiveTrack similar to what the Phantom 4 has but will some added features like POI ActiveTrack. We know it has front object avoidance like the Phantom 4. It has two downward facing sonar sensors just like the Phantom 4 as well as two vision positioning cameras.
It will have a prop design like that seen on the E1200 series motors.
The RC looks a bit like a car stereo and displays telemetry like speed, RPM, distance, height, status, vision sensor info and battery level. It will likely be able to accommodate a mobile device ( possibly even a model with built in screen ) for FPV.
We don’t know the actual spec of the gimbal/camera it it will likely be a 3 axis gimbal with a 4k camera.
It is thought to come as three different versions ranging upward in price. The Mavic S, Mavic X and Flagship edition ( that costing about $1200 ). The differences in model will likely be camera quality and range possible as with the Phantom 3 series had.
WHAT SHOULD I BUY:
This is the hard one and it will all depend on what you want. DJI’s Mavic will likely be the BEST one on paper and with their history in making drones that cannot be questioned. GoPro will push the simplicity aspect of the Karma but until it has been in the wild for some time I will reserve judgement as we have seen with many entering the scene with a lot of hype falling at the knees of DJI.
Me personally will have the mavic ordered on release. I have a GoPro 4 Black so the price of the karma does interest me so might have to give it a go once it’s be shaken down but real people.
My verdict for now, buy the DJI Mavic when it comes out or wait and see how it pans out for a month or two. Whatever drone you buy, enjoy it’s capability and just fly on..