Why GoPro should be scared of the new DJI Mavic Pro drone

Image: lance ulanoff/ masahble

What a difference a few weeks makes.

It was only a week ago when GoPro hurled its epic launch party in Squaw Valley, California to formally insert its Karma monotone( together with the Hero 5 Black and Hero 5 Session action cameras ).

GoPro CEO Nick Woodman boisterously proclaimed the Karma was the only drone that folded up and fit into a knapsack. Beyond that, the Karma is more than just a drone, he told. Its a life-transforming event, apparently.

With all the camera equipment that’s included, the Karma is an impressive box with an even more attractive $800 price tag. Thats without a GoPro camera, but even the $1,000 sheaf with a Hero 5 Session is a good value, and its half the price of DJIs $ 1,200 Phantom 4.

GoPro should be worried. Really worried.

But that was last week. On Monday, DJI announced its new Mavic Pro, a foldable drone thats even smaller than the Karma and fits in your hand( sorta ). Itll fit in your knapsack fine with tons of room to spare or in a medium- to large-sized purse.

DJIs ranking the Mavic Pro as having almost all the features of its Phantom 4, but in a collapsible design.

GoPro should be worried. Really worried.

I havent considered the Mavic Pro in person, but Ive read enough hands-on photographs and videos to get a sense of its facets and what its capable of doing.

DigitalRevs mitts on is a good plaza to start 😛 TAGEND

As learned from the video, the Mavic Pro is slightly slower than the Phantom 4 and the 4K persona character isnt quite as sharp due to its smaller image sensor, but certain differences are inconsequential unless youre genuinely picking over the details.

The big differentiator, though, is the Mavic Pro got the same computer vision-powered obstacle shunning and subject-tracking/ follow-me advantages that construct the Phantom 4 so compelling. That articulated, the new monotone also has all the shortcomings of those methods like the facts of the case they are unable to detect whats instantly in front of the cameras and not behind.

Battery life is longer than the Phantom 4 with up to 26 instants of flight age. Thats also longer than the Karmas battery, which is only lasts 20 minutes.

FIGHT: GoPro Karma vs. DJI Mavic Pro

Image: raymond wong/ mashable

Image: lance ulanoff/ mashable

Im not trying to bash GoPro and the Karma, but when DJI, the leading consumer drone maker can build a more compact foldable droning thats just as fast( up to 40 km / hour ), includes a built-in 4K camera and has onboard computer eyesight, I have to wonder if GoPro can keep up with its competition.

Obviously, the Karma is larger because it needs to accommodate the Karma Grip handle, so perhaps flight age will never have parity, but not having any of the intelligence the DJI dronings is extremely disappointing and could eventually doom the Karma.

Artificial intelligence is the only thing impeding drones from exiting charlatan when their flyers lose control of them.

Going forward, the kind of artificial intelligence that exists in DJI’s drones is gonna be a key lane that monotones remain safe when their flyers lose control of them.

Karma wont launch with object shunning or subject tracking/ follow me knows because we made the decision to focus on other features and stir Karma more versatile in other styles because, candidly, we dont were of the view that object avoidance or subject-tracking/ “re coming with me” technologies are in place where we are really deliver on what “consumers interests” expects, Woodman said at the Karmas launch incident. “[ The] follow-me[ aspect] in “consumers interests” sentiment got a lot different than what current follow-me experiences are from dwelling monotones. As I mentioned, we are serious about excess customer expectation , not lead them astray.”

I disagree.

I reckon although there are personal computers vision on drones like DJIs Phantom 4 and the new Mavic Po can be iffy, theyre still pretty good, and, as a fall-back refuge device, I’d instead have it than not.

So what does Woodman think is the big differentiator for the Karma?

“We decided to focus on basically what Karma is: the most compact, portable, convenient stabilization solution that had never been, ” Woodman did. “Whether thats aerial footage you want to capture, handheld or body- or gear-mounted, its all in that knapsack. And that backpack is on your back, while youre hiking, biking, skiing, going to the beach Ive gone on two mountain bike goes where I forgot that I had Karma on my back until I pulled up at a beautiful vista and literally, I visualized, ‘Dude, this would be so sick if I had a Karma on my back ! ‘ For two hours I was journeying, I wholly forgot that I had it.

“And we just felt thats where were gonna spend our time, thats where were gonna expend our vigor and thats what were going to ask our customers to expend their fund. On that ordeal which we repute will outdo their anticipations as opposed to other products.”

And for what’s its merit, several GoPro product people told me the software updates could enable follow-me and obstacle-avoidance features. But they stopped at detailing how that would work or if updated information would come to future GoPros. The drone itself, after all, doesn’t have any physical hardware that’s dedicated to avoiding objects.

What that amounts to is GoPros Karma will already be far behind DJI when it propels on Oct. 23.

There are still tons of diehard GoPro customers who are shot for the Karma. But Im willing to bet many of them will see the Mavic Pro and should be noted that has peculiarities like the follow-me that will let them focus on doing happens, extreme or not, and let the drone focus on doing what it does best: recording you from the air.

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