DJI has dealt a blow to GoPro by releasing a new drone that is potentially superior to the action-cam manufacturers offering. GoPro caused a stir when they announced their debut drone – the GoPro Karma Drone. The drone is pretty nifty in its own right, offering 4k video recording in a neat small package. The Karma has another trick up its sleeve which is brilliant for video creators. You are able to take the gimbal head off of the drone and mount it on a handle for a fully image stabilised hand-held camera. This could be great for vloggers and video creators trying to maximise their gear uses. It is limited in features though compared to the DJI Mavic Pro. Just when everyone thought GoPro had gained a foothold into the drone industry DJI bitch-slapped them right back down again by revealing their winning hand drone.
Drones just got smaller!
The DJI Mavic is extremely portable just like the Karma. Drone veterans are used to having to lug around a large case to protect their beloved drone, but now you could probably fit it into part of a camera bag or ruck sack. Once folded the Mavic measures just H83mm x W83mm x L198mm. It also has a maximum flight time of 27 minutes, which could be significantly more air time for current Phantom 4 users. The Mavic does pretty much everything the Phantom 4 does in a much smaller package. For high end video productions, the older, larger drone offers slightly better image quality. For most people though the quality vs portability issue will be a no-brainer. The Mavic now allows video creators to carry the drone all the time, rather than for dedicated video missions.
Which should you buy?
If you are wondering which drone you should buy, it depends on what you want to achieve. IF you have less budget or are slightly less serious about video; only wanting to make simple videos the Karma will do the trick just nicely. If you want to make serious videos where production and usability is key the Mavic is probably the way to go. It has a lot more in its capabilities repertoire including the tap flying, active tracking, cameras for 3D vision positioning and obstacle avoidance. If you want to wonder around with an action camera on your noggin the Karma will suffice. Any serious creator will have high end cameras for video and photography, and will thus not need the GoPro.
Here are some of the key specs for the DJI Mavic:
- Max Speed 40 mph (65 kph) in Sport mode without wind
- Sensor 1/2.3” (CMOS), Effective pixels:12.35 M (Total pixels:12.71M)
- Lens FOV 78.8° 28 mm (35 mm format equivalent) f/2.2
- ISO Range 100-3200 (video)
- 100-1600 (photo)
- Shutter Speed 8s -1/8000s
- Image Max Size 4000×3000
- Still Photography Modes Single shot, Burst shooting: 3/5/7 frames
- Auto Exposure Bracketing (AEB): 3/5 bracketed frames at 0.7 EV Bias
- Video Recording Modes C4K: 4096×2160 24p, 4K: 3840×2160 24/25/30p, 2.7K: 2704×1520 24/25/30p, FHD: 1920×1080 24/25/30/48/50/60/96p, HD: 1280×720 24/25/30/48/50/60/120p
- Max Video Bitrate 60 Mbps
- Supported File Formats FAT32 ( ≤ 32 GB );
- exFAT ( > 32 GB )
- Photo JPEG, DNG
- Video MP4, MOV (MPEG-4 AVC/H.264)
- Supported SD Card Types Micro SD™
- Max capacity: 64 GB. Class 10 or UHS-1 rating required
Here is DJI’s promotional video for the Mavic Pro.