Both DJI and GoPro released new and innovative drones. You are probably wondering which is better. Some Phantom 4 owners are wondering if they should make the switch. Here at Half Chrome, we decided we’d take a look at these three drones so that you can decide which is best for you.
Spoiler alert: Mavic is the best compact drone and probably all-around the best for most people. The Phantom 4 is the best for top notch videos and photography, it is bigger, faster and can stand up better in strong winds. The GoPro Karma is the most versatile and the best choice for anyone that wants to do more than just video from their drone. DJI is undoubtedly the industry leader in drones and they are not resting on their laurels. The Mavic steps it up with a compact design and new features. There is not much a Phantom 4 can do that a Mavic can’t – and it’s smaller. We figure DJI has about a 2 year lead on competitors in terms of features and software. Given their rate of innovation, the gap will be challenging to bridge for competitors like GoPro.
Mavic vs. Karma vs. Phantom 4 Specs
Need some more camera specifications? We have what you need. Unfortunately, GoPro is pretty hush hush about their camera details and we have not had success finding any additional details that we trust online.
We suspect that GoPro Hero5 is still the sharpest of the cameras and has by far the widest field of view (FOV). The wide field of view makes it the best for first person view aviation but it does have one significant drawback – image distortion. The distortion in GoPro cameras can be very distracting, particularly for people who are taking video of buildings or have a flat horizon in the background. What’s image distortion? Well, the picture below should speak for itself. For more details, check out our page about camera terminology.
The DJI Mavic Pro is a fantastic machine. They have basically taken the industry’s best drone in the Phantom 4 and made it more portable, given it a longer range and made it more affordable. If you can afford it, buy it. If you can’t, then buy it anyway – your friends will envy you for having the coolest piece of technology in 2016. The technology on this drone is impressive. It has a multitude of cameras and sensors that allow it to avoid obstacles in flight, track people and objects and return to its take-off point within inches. You can fly the Mavic using their game pad style transmitter or you can forgo the controller all together and fly using your smartphone. This becomes one of the best smartphone-controlled drones. The remoter transmitter was designed to be compact, has an LCD display and can hold your smartphone. The Mavic will transmit clear 1080p to your smartphone and can even stream live to Facebook and other apps. Each drone that DJI releases seem to be easier to fly and an overall a better machine, and the Mavic Pro is no exception. Overall this is an impressive machine. Read our full review on the Mavic here.
GoPro’s first drone is a good one. Karma was designed for the action junkie and they’ve done a nice job. It is a portable, lightweight drone that is easy to fly. The Karma does not come with a camera, which can save you money if you already own one. If you don’t own a GoPro then the Karma can come packaged with either the GoPro Hero 5 or Session 5. You can also use a GoPro Hero 4. Their remote is compact and simple. The thing that makes Karma unique is that the gimbal, called the Karma Grip, is removable. You are not limited to a camera that is fixed on your drone. You can mount your GoPro to the Karma Grip and use it without having to launch the Karma drone. Another unique feature of the Karma is the Passenger App. You can have someone else view or control the camera independently of the drone. The 3-in-one nature of the Karma comes at some cost. There are three batteries instead of one, three sets of electronics, and 3 sets of rugged housings. That means extra cost and weight, and this may be affecting the flight time of the Karma drone. In contrast, DJI makes highly tuned machines that are 100% optimized for providing you with the best drone experience possible. Overall the Karma is a quality drone and a great option if you already have a GoPro, or want to use your camera to capture shots without using a drone.
The Phantom 4 is a full sized, full featured drone. It is the best choice when you do not want to compromise. It may not be as portable as the Karma or the Mavic, but it one ups both of them in terms of flight time, speed and ability to handle windy days. The biggest competition for the Phantom 4 is now DJI’s own Mavic Pro. We have done a full review of the Phantom 4 and you can read about it here.
Our recommendation would be to go with the industry leader DJI and pick up the Mavic. It is better than the Karma in almost every way. That isn’t a knock on the Karma. The Karma would have been one of the best drones out there if it wasn’t competing with DJI. It is a very good drone, and if you want like to use your camera independently of the drone then it is a great option. It is hard to go wrong with either of these drones. The Half Chrome Drone recommendation is The DJI Mavic Pro.
Stay tuned for more information, pictures and videos of the Mavic, Phantom 4 and Karma. Half Chrome is hard at work…
Not sure if one of these is the drone for you???
No worries Half Chrome Drones has you covered. We’ve developed an advanced system to match you to the right drone. We call it our Half Chrome Drone Cipher™. Check it out. We also are constantly updating our Best Drones Now page to help you stay current.
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