Drones have become an integral part of our lives, serving various purposes from capturing stunning aerial photos and videos to enhancing the way we experience the world.
Two renowned drone manufacturers, GoPro and DJI, have recently released their latest models: the GoPro Karma and the DJI Phantom 4 Pro.
While DJI holds a prominent position in the drone industry, not everyone can invest in their products due to budget constraints. Consequently, some individuals opt for more affordable alternatives. Nevertheless, investing in a high-quality drone, even if it requires a higher upfront cost, is generally a more advantageous choice than purchasing a low-cost substitute.
If you find yourself in a dilemma trying to decide between GoPro Karma and DJI Phantom 4 Pro, this comparison guide will help you make an informed choice.
GoPro Karma vs. DJI Phantom 4 Pro
1. Design and Portability
The design of a drone plays a significant role in its usability and convenience.
- The GoPro Karma is a featherweight drone that has been thoughtfully designed to be incredibly portable. It can be folded up and conveniently carried in its included backpack, which offers ample space for the drone, charger, camera, and controller.
- DJI’s Phantom, in contrast, doesn’t include a backpack and is relatively heavier than the GoPro Karma. To carry the necessary accessories for the Phantom, you may need to spend an additional $200 to purchase a separate backpack.
The GoPro Karma features a foldable design, making it noticeably smaller than the DJI Phantom 4. However, this size advantage doesn’t necessarily make the Phantom inferior, even when considering that an extra backpack is required to transport the drone. While the GoPro Karma is smaller, you still need to purchase an additional case for safe drone transportation.
2. Ease of Control
Controlling a drone should be a seamless experience, and the design of the controller can greatly affect this.
- The GoPro Karma offers a user-friendly controller with integrated propeller arms and landing gear. Operating the Karma is a breeze with the remote controller, making it an excellent choice for both beginners and professionals.
- The Phantom 4, on the other hand, requires a smartphone connection for operation, which can make drone control more complex.
3. Camera Compatibility
A drone’s camera capabilities are a critical consideration when choosing a drone.
The GoPro Karma comes with a camera mounting system that supports GoPro’s latest cameras, such as the Hero 4, Hero 5 Black, and Hero 5 Session. GoPro offers a wide range of camera options, but keep in mind that upgrading to a Hero 5 Black or similar camera will come at an additional cost, ranging from $200 to $300.
- The primary benefit of the GoPro Karma lies in its camera system, making it a favored choice among some customers due to its versatility. This drone provides the option to either attach a camera for creating stunning aerial videos or detach the stabilizer for ground-level video production. The typical price for the drone and camera bundle is approximately $1,100.
- On the other hand, the Phantom 4 boasts a 4K camera capable of recording 4K video at 30 frames per second and smooth 1080p slow-motion footage at 120 frames per second. This feature simplifies the process of capturing remarkable video content. Unlike the GoPro Karma, the Phantom 4’s camera is integrated into the drone. The average cost for the Phantom 4 is around $1,000.
- Karma is versatile and comes with a grip that makes handling more comfortable. The grip can be attached to the drone’s head and many GoPro accessories.
- DJI’s Osmo grip can also be used for similar tasks but costs an additional $560 and includes an integrated 4K camera.
5. Additional Features
- The GoPro Karma stands out for its multitasking capabilities. It comes with a grip that enhances handling and can be attached to the drone’s head or various GoPro accessories.
- If you opt for the DJI Phantom 4 Pro, you can use the Osmo grip to perform similar tasks, but this adds an extra $560 to your budget. The DJI Phantom 4 Pro offers unique features like a “follow me” mode and advanced collision avoidance that are not found in the Karma.
In terms of functionality, the DJI Phantom 4 takes the lead. This drone is equipped with a wide range of features, including an obstacle avoidance system and user-friendly flight modes, making it suitable for both beginners and experienced pilots. The Phantom 4’s capabilities are further enhanced in the hands of skilled pilots.
On the other hand, the GoPro Karma lacks many of the features found in the Phantom 4, and it also lacks a “follow me” feature. When it comes to the number of pre-programmed flight paths, the Phantom 4 once again outperforms the Karma, as it offers a greater variety of options. The Karma, while smaller and suitable for those seeking a portable and compact drone, may not provide the additional features that some users are looking for. However, Karma is an excellent choice for individuals who already own a GoPro camera and are seeking to diversify their adventures.
If your primary goal is to create professional aerial footage, then the Phantom 4, available in various versions such as Phantom 4 Advanced and Phantom 4 Professional, would be the ideal choice. This way, users can select the version that best suits their specific requirements.
DJI Phantom 4 Pro tends to be more expensive than the GoPro Karma. Pricing can be a significant factor when making your decision, so be sure to consider your budget and weigh the features offered by each drone against the cost.
Choosing between the GoPro Karma and the DJI Phantom 4 Pro depends on your specific needs and priorities.
If portability and ease of control are crucial for you, the GoPro Karma may be the better option. However, if camera capabilities and advanced features are your primary concerns, the DJI Phantom 4 Pro could be the right choice.
It’s essential to carefully evaluate your requirements and budget to make an informed decision that best suits your drone-flying ambitions.