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Member Since 20 Jun 2009
Offline Last Active Jun 15 2017 11:25 AM

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GoPro Karma v. DJI Mavic - opinions from the perspective of the underwater photographer

24 October 2016 - 06:54 AM

I am torn on which direction to go.  The general consensus seems to be that the DJI Mavic is superior, but there are additional factors unique to the underwater photographer, which make the decision tougher, in my opinion.  I'm wondering what others think?


Here are two of the main considerations I think are unique for UW photogs:


1.  The GoPro camera does double duty for us.  This is a big one. The DJI Mavic is much more compact, and on its own, will pack better for travel.  However, like many underwater photographers, I generally pack a GoPro rig.  I mount mine on top of my DSLR housing so I can capture video quickly while shooting still photos.  And sometimes, I feel like a "light" dive, and only take the gopro down with me (and I have a tray and handles packed for this).  So, if I go with a Mavic, I'll still be packing a GoPro.  This means with the DJI route, I'll be traveling with three types of cameras, instead of two.  Thus, some of the portability advantage of the Mavic is lost for those of us who will still be using a GoPro underwater.


2.  There are lots of above-ground shots the GoPro gimbal and handheld will be great for - rides on dive boats, filming dolphins accompanying your boat, etc.  If I get the Mavic, I would have to bring the GoPro and a gimbal, or the DJI osmo, which means more gear to pack, and an extra $300-600 in costs.


An additional factor --  some of us who are ready to upgrade our GoPro for underwater purposes (I'm currently on GoPro hero 3), the cost of GoPro upgrade + drone makes the Karma the much better value.


So what do people think?  Mavic or Karma for underwater photographer who is using a GoPro underwater already?