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From real estate to weddings to tourism, aerial drones are now impacting dozens of industries and providing filmmakers, creators, and social media influencers alike with exciting new ways to create breathtaking videos. Once only available to the wealthy or to “pilots” with specialized training, today’s drones are affordable, easy to operate, and extremely convenient—one new model is even small enough to fit in one’s pocket (see the video below).
To help both brands and seasoned content creators decide which drone is best for their next video project, we—along with a little help from top YouTuber Casey Niestat—offer a comparative guide to the GoPro Karma and the DJI Mavic Pro.
While both the GoPro Karma and the DJI Mavic Pro are innovative in a number of ways, the DJI Mavic Pro appears to be the consensus winner when comparing flight speed (40 mph vs. 35 mph), battery life (27 minutes to 20 minutes), and overall size (the DJI Mavic Pro can literally fit in one’s pocket when folded; not so for the GoPro Karma, according to Tech Times).
Top YouTube star Casey Neistat also weighed in on the GoPro Karma vs DJI Mavic Pro debate by creating a series of videos in which he reviewed the GoPro Karma, the DJI Mavic Pro, and compared the DJI Mavic Pro to the drone he has used (and broken) in previous videos, the DJI Phantom 4. An avid filmmaker, Neistat explained what he looks for when choosing the right drone:
“For someone like me, as a YouTuber, I make a video every day. Convenience is a huge priority. I always want the very best image possible, so long as it doesn’t get in the way of me living my life or doing my thing. The story is king. Whatever [camera or drone] can tell your story best is the best camera.”
Based on Neistat’s review of the DJI Mavic Pro, this drone is by far the most convenient when it comes to transporting/carrying the drone from place to place. Because it doesn’t rely on GPS positioning, the Mavic Pro can also fly and hover indoors. Neistat also says he favors the flight responsiveness of the Mavic Pro compared to the Phantom 4, but claims the wide-angle shot of the GoPro is preferable when making videos.
Unlike the DJI Mavic Pro, which utilizes one’s smartphone to show the operator what the drone “sees,” the GoPro Karma comes with an all-in-one controller which Neistat compares to “a gigantic GameBoy.” Neistat also raves about the Karma’s camera gimbal, which can be detached from the drone and used as a handheld gimbal, as well as how fast it can fly, its range, and its ability to follow the operator.
For both YouTubers who rely on video footage to create engaging content and for the brands that partner with them, aerial drones are rapidly changing the ways videos are made in unbelievable ways. Now, instead of renting a helicopter to capture aerial footage of events or experiences, content creators can achieve the same (4K) quality using a device that costs less than $1,000 and fits in the palm of their hand.
After sharing these drone video reviews, many remarked at DJI’s Mavic Pro’s subpar video quality as captured in Neistat’s video. Shortly afterwards, Neistat Tweeted the following:
In response, videographer Michael Shainblum shared the following in-focus drone video footage from the DJI Mavic Pro to better illustrate the soon-to-be-released drone’s capabilities (PetaPixel).