DJI Mavic Pro vs GoPro Karma

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By Andy Willmott

DJI and GoPro have both released new portable compact drones in the past month. Andy Willmott, technical editor of our sister brand, Drone, compares the features of the Mavic Pro and Karma. In a pure comparison of specs we have a clear winner.

Hot on the heels of GoPro’s launch of the Karma portable drone last month, DJI quickly announced the Mavic Pro, a compact drone that shares many of the features of the Phantom 4, in a much smaller design.

Both companies are aiming squarely at portability here. The Karma comes with a relatively large durable hard case backpack, compared to the Mavic’s shoulder bag.

Spec for spec let’s look at a comparison. Note: these are advertised specs.

GoPro Karma (left) and DJI Mavic Pro.
GoPro Karma (left) and DJI Mavic Pro.

Top Speed

• Karma 56kph
• Mavic 65kph (36kph with obstacle avoidance)


• Karma 3km
• Mavic 7km with a new ‘Ocusync’ transmission technology

Flight time

• Karma 20 minutes
• Mavic 27 minutes


• Karma – GoPro Hero 5 or 4 compatibility. You can buy the drone without a camera and add your own Hero.
• Mavic – Built in camera, 4K video

Autonomous functions

• Karma has has a ‘dronie’ (selfie) shot, an ‘orbital’ (360) shot, a ‘cable-cam’ shot and a ‘reveal’ shot.
• Mavic boasts cutting edge sense-and-avoid (obstacle avoidance) sensors and software, it allows you to ‘TapFly’, meaning you can tap in a direction on your screen and it will fly that way, and it also has ‘ActiveTrack’, letting you identify a moving object and track it in various ways to allow creative camera movements. Think Follow Me but you can follow anything that’s moving!

The Transmitter

• Karma’s transmitter comes with a built-in screen, meaning no messy wires and no need to have your phone connected to it, unless you want to have a friend watch on, who can connect with their phone to the Karma’s transmitter for live video feed and control of the GoPro’s functions.

• Mavic has a new transmitter for DJI which is small and compact and has a handy built-in LED screen that displays all your vital flight information. You connect your own phone to it to display video.

The Winner

On paper the Mavic hands-down kills the Karma. With autonomous features alone the Karma can’t compare. I have flown the Karma myself and found it a little slow and docile. Good for beginners but not much fun if you’re comfortable with a drone.

I look forward to taking  the Mavic out in the next couple of weeks as I write a complete hands-on review for Issue 4 of Drone Magazine. CLICK HERE to secure your copy now.

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