This GoPro Karma vs DJI Mavic review is incredibly painful for GoPro

Nov 1, 2016

Udi Tirosh

Udi Tirosh is an entrepreneur, photography inventor, journalist, educator, and writer based in Israel. With over 25 years of experience in the photo-video industry, Udi has built and sold several photography-related brands. Udi has a double degree in mass media communications and computer science.

This GoPro Karma vs DJI Mavic review is incredibly painful for GoPro

Nov 1, 2016

Udi Tirosh

Udi Tirosh is an entrepreneur, photography inventor, journalist, educator, and writer based in Israel. With over 25 years of experience in the photo-video industry, Udi has built and sold several photography-related brands. Udi has a double degree in mass media communications and computer science.

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GoPro Karma vs DJI Mavic has been a heated discussion. But I think that this review will end the debate. Forever. Youtuber iPhonedo took the Karma for a test drive. (or rather a crash-test drive). In a 40 minutes review he finds just about every possible bug, blip and glitch with the system. And frankly it does not seem like he is trying that hard.

Here are some of the issues that iPhonado had with the Karma ( I picked the top three, but there are more):

Horizon Tilt

The horizon get tilted and there is no calibration method to undo it

gopro-karma-tilt

Drift

Unlike the Mavic which stays put in position, the Karma constantly drifts, sometimes to the point of landing itself automatically

gopro-karma-drift

Battery Drain

Occasionally, Karma will decide to run the battery meter about 10 times faster than the real-world clock. This behaviour drastically shortens the 20 minutes battery times.

gopro-karma-battery

Stability

This is comparisson between the Karma and Mavic trying to shoot steadily, no explenation is needed.

gopro-karma-stability

Among the other issues iPhonnedo counts are boot time, noise, inconvenient calibration, auto landing, lack of obstacle avoidance, and quite a few others.

One possible explanation is that somehow the firmware on iPhonedo’s Karma was not the latest version. Another option is that he somehow got a defective unit. But if the comparisson is accurate, it practically puts Karma outside of the pro (and semi-pro) league of drones.

[GoPro Karma vs DJI Mavic & Osmo Mobile — In Depth Review and Complete Comparison | iPhonedo]

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Udi Tirosh

Udi Tirosh

Udi Tirosh is an entrepreneur, photography inventor, journalist, educator, and writer based in Israel. With over 25 years of experience in the photo-video industry, Udi has built and sold several photography-related brands. Udi has a double degree in mass media communications and computer science.

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15 responses to “This GoPro Karma vs DJI Mavic review is incredibly painful for GoPro”

  1. Renato Murakami Avatar
    Renato Murakami

    The real worst part of the whole GoPro Karma thing was… that DJI released Mavic just there, right after it. If the Karma was the only solution for a slightly more portable drone for at least some months, it wouldn’t look this bad.

    It’s barebones and with it’s own faults, but it’d sell well with the independent grip and added portability. It’s pretty amazing for a first attempt on building a drone. It’s a nice setup to sell a GoPro Hero 5 with it – this was the point as I see it, to sell for newcomers to the whole drone thing tied to the main GoPro Hero line. It’s plenty ok for a first drone experience for most people. And storing stuff in the cloud also adds to the package. All the problems would be kinda excusable for added features and the new portability approach. And if it took longer for another company to come up with a portable solution, it could even be seen as a move to copy the trend the Karma started.

    But then, DJI with years of experience and an ever more incredible product came out right next to it – no room for copycat accusations. All of it’s mechanics are better, it draws from the experience of all previous models, the platform is plenty mature including hardware and software, they knew what the right materials were, they have better Q&A, etc etc etc. All of the stuff the Mavic does better could be bluntly attributed to the experience DJI got from all their other previous drones.

    I don’t even hear people talking much about that Karma anymore… I’ve read complaints from people still waiting for their Mavic Pro to arrive, but not a peep more about Karma. :P It’s like, so dead in the water…

    I just hope GoPro doesn’t drop out of the market because of that. The company could mature and make the next version better. The competition will be welcome.

    But yeah, what can I say… maybe it’s karma from creating too much hype coming back to bite Nick on the ass. :P The cherry on top was naming it Karma. Ouch.

    The whole marketing move was kinda beautiful to see. GoPro made teasers, made grand promises (remember that library video that seemed all but impossible? Yeah…), talked how this was going to change everything, got all this secrecy going on, timed the whole thing to be slowly revealed, got a bunch of the press in the hype train, and it was all this grand piece with press conference and all that I’ll fully admit to being impressed. And then DJI quietly springed the Mavic Pro like… next day (was it?) without a peep, right in the middle of the media frenzy around the Karma. xD

    There were still videographers talking about Karma for a day or two after the Mavic Pro was announced. Then it hit and the switch was extremely drastic. :P

    GoPro still has the main line cameras and the grip to sell independently I guess… but perhaps the next drone should be name “take it easy DJI” or something. >:D

  2. Alaska Avatar
    Alaska

    get rid of your gopro stock!!
    i hate that company for killing autopano anyway.
    since gopro bought kolor they don´t work anymore on autopano.

    now they released a drone in 2016 with 2013 technology.
    no object avoidance… really gopro? try again.

  3. Michiel Mos Avatar
    Michiel Mos

    Was there a competition anyway?!?

  4. Jackson Antony Avatar
    Jackson Antony

    Expected

  5. Salim Waguila Avatar
    Salim Waguila

    Come on people. Dji phantom vision wasnt that great. It had a lot of problem worse than carma. Keep in mind that this is their first drone and ur feedback will help them make it better and improve it.

  6. Joseph Garcia Avatar
    Joseph Garcia

    David Garcia looks like it’s GoPro for the win bro!

    1. David Garcia Avatar
      David Garcia

      You mean the Mavic for the win. This review made the Karma look like a cheap toy.

  7. David Garcia Avatar
    David Garcia

    You mean the Mavic for the win. This review made the Karma look like a cheap toy.

  8. Tweakie Avatar
    Tweakie

    but DJI has been in the game for years, well done to gopro for trying…

    1. Eyal Avatar
      Eyal

      This isn’t little league. You don’t get a trophy for trying. When you enter a market which you already have pros in it, and with a somewhat pro price, you better be prepared.

  9. David Garcia Avatar
    David Garcia

    Yes sir I know what you mean. This review only confirmed what I already knew. I was trying to convince myself that the karma was the way to go. In the end, I’ll be asking, myself, Why shouldn’t I take Mavic with me today?

  10. SB Avatar
    SB

    I think out of everything, GoPro’s issue was marketing/pricing themselves in the same class as DJI for a first generation product. If this isn’t a financial disaster for GoPro I can see the possibility of GoPro competing with DJI in 1-2 generations. Did they put too many eggs in one basket?

    All that said, From personal experience I was so disappointed with the quality of the Hero 4 line and GoPro’s support that I will not be buying GoPro again unless I hear about major improvements in quality.

  11. Dz Avatar
    Dz

    Sorry GoPro Karma, you are not more than a drone, you are not even a good drone, or a good hand held gymbal, we patiently waited for years for this promise of a better drone and now here you are to disappoint everyone, a day to late, a dollar to short. NO SOUP FOR YOU!

  12. William Keating Avatar
    William Keating

    Come on, people. Doesn’t this guy, whoever he is, seem to be trying to make Karma look as bad as he says? This isn’t a complete review. He doesn’t do any side by side image comparisons. In fact, he doesn’t even have the latest Hero5 Black. He is using the two year old Hero4. I really doubt that that dinky little Mavic camera can match the new Hero5, which has been getting nothing but the strongest praise in all reviews.

  13. Darkuba Avatar
    Darkuba

    The guy is also paid to promote DJI products, so no surprises here.