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GoPro Karma vs DJI Mavic – What are you paying for?




GoPro Karma vs DJI Mavic

Finally, the moment we’ve all been waiting for! It’s time to compare the GoPro Karma vs DJI Mavic. Let’s make this comparison category by category and figure out which one should you buy. Since the main selling point of the two competitors is portability, let’s start there.


Let’s take a look at the size and weight of these drones:

GoPro Karma vs DJI Mavic size comparison

GoPro Karma (folded)                             Length: 365.2mm
Width: 224.3mm
Height: 89.9mm
Dimensions = 36.5×22.4×9 = 7358.4 cm3

Weight: 1008+230+96=1334 g

DJI Mavic (folded)                                   Length: 198mm
Width: 83mm
Height: 83mm
Dimensions = 19.8×8.3×8.3 = 1364.022 cm

Weight: 734 g

The Karma appears to be 5 times bigger and almost 2 times heavier than the Mavic


The main purpose of having a drone is aerial photography and videography so what can both drone offer us? Both of cameras are capable of providing 4K video and 12MP photos.  GoPro cameras offers wide-angle lenses that produces distorted images, while the Mavic’s lens is narrower but also gives less distortion. However GoPro Camera can shoot a flat (not distorted video) but only in 2.7K. To figure it out which one gives better image quality, we will make a head to head GoPro Karma vs DJI Mavic camera comparison very soon. Like our Facebook Page and follow us on Twitter so you won’t miss it!

Flight Time and Range

Be careful here and never trust a manufacture’s promoted flight time or fight range. In reality, you will always get less.  Some folks will be like -“Hey, it’s illegal to fly out of sight range, who needs 7KM?!”  I would say that here we are talking about drone capabilities. Where and how far to fly is a choice and responsibility of every pilot. In most parts of our small world, there speed limits of 120kmh. So according to this logic, should we have to buy “legal” cars with maximum speeds of 120kmh? Think about it.

GoPro Karma
20 min
1000 m (3300 ft)

DJI Mavic
27 min
7000m (23000ft)

Not only is the Mavic’s flight time 35% more, but also it’s RC range is 700% greater than GoPro Karma’s

Indoor flight

Who said the GoPro Karma can’t fly indoors without GPS? Of course it can, but it will require quite a bit of a skill, because any drone without a VPS (vision positioning system) and sonar sensors will be drifting all over the place, and sometimes even drop or gain altitude by itself. I’m pretty sure people who have experience flying 3D helicopters or multirotors in full manual mode will be able to control Karma, even without GPS. Meanwhile, a person who has never flown a drone can control the DJI Mavic safely, thanks to its VPS and sonar. That was a funny moment in the presentation Michael Perry said, “We are not just showing a drone, we actually fly it!” Obviously, it was a swipe at GoPro, because Nick Woodman didn’t fly the drone at Karma’s presentation. He just showed us how it looks.

Nick Woodman

Fancy Features

1. The Mavic has obstacle avoidance, which is an important safety feature. But we’ve seen this before on Phantom 4, so it’s not something that’s a surprise. However, what surprises is the fact that GoPro Karma doesn’t have any kind of obstacle avoidance at all.

DJI mavic obstacle avoidance

2. Another thing that surprises (and not in a good way) is that Karma doesn’t have a follow me mode. A drone camera that’s oriented towards travelers and extreme sports athletes not having a follow me mode means you will always need someone else to film you skiing, surfing, skating or biking. We hope GoPro will release a GPS tracker or some kind of accessory that will enable some kind of following mode. The DJI Mavic not only has a follow me mode, it also has what they call ActiveTrack, which can follow an object without extra dongles, bracelets or remotes. It also can follow the person from behind while climbing up the hill, stairs or any other inclined surface with a feature called TerrainFollow.

terrain follow me

3. A very useful feature of Karma that it’s “so much more than a drone”. It has a gimbal handle included in the kit. The drone gimbal can be easily detached and set on the handle, so with the GoPro Karma you will be able to get silky smooth footage not only in the air but also on the ground. You also can take camera from the drone and go diving with it straight away. This is amazing how the same camera can be used in the air, on the ground and underwater. Mavic has just has a built-in camera, so it’s not as versatile as the Karma.

Karma detachable gimbal GoPro Handheld gimbal

4. Gesture control on a Mavic doesn’t look like a very useful feature, but it is definitely fancy. With the Mavic in the air pointing at you, a gesture is all it takes to snap a photo.

5. Tapfly mode is coming from P4 to Mavic. All you need to do is tap the direction you want to fly in on screen and set a speed. The DJI Mavic will fly there at the pre-set speed, and if it meets any obstacles on the way, it will avoid them, while you can focus on framing your shot. Also both of the drones feature Orbit/Point of interest mode and waypoints for autonomous flight


6. An SDK Software development kit is available for the Mavic, as well as for the all other DJI Products. Very good thing for nerds brilliant minds. For those guys, the choice between the Gopro Karma vs DJI Mavic will be obvious.

Advanced Technology or Simplicity? What are you paying for?

Now let’s take a look at the comparison chart:

DJI Mavic vs GoPro Karma comparison chart


GoPro Karma vs DJI Mavic- Which drone wins??

It’s hard to imagine that these 2 drones are being sold at almost the same price. If you are looking for the most technically advanced drone on the market today that will fit in any bag, then you have to go with the DJI Mavic. If you are not much into drones and you’re just looking for something simple to fly, then you’ll have a lot of great choices, like GoPro Karma, Yuneec Breeze, a bamboo-copter, or even a kite.

It’s all up to you!

Thanks for reading!




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