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mcliffy2

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

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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?

Edited by mcliffy2

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I've got a P3Pro. Had real good intentions to take it away with me on trips, take it to the beach etc etc.

 

I've hardly used it. Flown it I would honestly say 7 or 8 times since Jan.

 

It's just too big for causal use.

 

I can't justify a Mavic due to having an almost new P3 sat here. But I'm sorely tempted. This thing can be taken anywhere. If/when it drops below €900. I'll get one and off load the P3 at a massive loss.

 

Mavic. No question.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Basically, decide if the go pro + gimbal (less the drone) is worth the price of the Karma to you. Especially since you already have another gopro. Sure, it all fits in one backpack, but that's one extra backpack to travel with. I have a Phantom 4 now, and I pre-ordered the Mavic after playing around with it a bit. The size makes a substantial difference in terms of where you'll bring it with you. I can fit the Mavic + my dslr rig (A7RII + 70-200, 16-35, 55mm and 90mm) in one carryon backpack. Heck, I can even throw some clothes in there for a weekend trip. With the phantom or the Karma, you'll need a second bag.

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Get the Mavic! I brought my Phantom 3 4K from US to South East Asia, travel and lay over with a big drone in the bag is not fun, you get discriminated at the airport security. The Karma is still too big so you would have the same problem that you need a dedicated bag for it. The Mavic fold up small enough just like a power bank. And remember, the Mavic is a better drone. I don't even know how the Karma camera work, like do you set the goPro to start recording then take off the drone? If you can set the goPro to start record in mid air, what technology it uses for the remote to talk to the goPro? If it's Wifi, then the range is too short.

 

If you want video for boat ride or for land use, get the gimbal for your phone (around $300 for DJI Osmo mobile), the camera on the phone is just as good as a goPro and camera on the phone lets you do more, like timelapse/hyperlapse, white balance etc. Camera on the phone do not have fisheye problem as well.

 

If you still want to bring something small into the water, get a Xiaomi Yi 4K action cam, it's much cheaper than a goPro.

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Ouch:

 

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Its DOA. end of. Should of half the price to get an traction against the Mavic.

 

Will be getting a Mavic.... alas DJI haven't been plan sailing with the delays getting them out. So might be 2017

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Just sold (at under 50% what I paid :fool: ) my Phantom3 Professional with all the accessories.

 

Felt a bit weird handing it over - hardly used it, but better to have some money for it now, than almost nothing come say next summer...

 

I see DJI have been a bit naughty with the Mavic, maybe due to the massive demand but it appears they rushed the release, quite considerably to poor cold water on the Karma launch and steal a lot of preorders - on the pretence you would have one at the end of Oct. Looks like there won't be many out even for the holiday season, let alone end of January.

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I sold my P3 4K shortly after they they release the P4. I lost around $350, so it's not too bad. I saw the trend that DJI release new product almost every 8 months so I'm holding off buying drone until a few months before I need it. Besides, in the US, drone get discriminated a lot so I wouldn't be able to use it domestically. Hopefully the Mavic would make international travel more manageable. Often time pre-order means paying full price. When I bought my P3 4K, I spend extra money to buy the $170 battery. Three months after I bought mine, I start to see seller have package of extra battery for the price of the drone itself. So yeah, I'm going to hold off on the Mavic.

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In process of booking two Siren trips for next year. They now also seem to have implemented a "no drones" policy. Somewhat understandable. Jsut imagine out of 18 guests 10 want to fly a drone....

 

I was thinking about getting the Mavic as in terms of portability and camera its way ahead of the Karma in my view. But I will think again about getting any drone.

Edited by bubffm

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Now I've actually had one, albeit for not long. The initial excitement has worn off completely.

 

It wasn't as amazing as I thought, the constant 'will it crash', in the back of my mind and actually apart from a few very specific things I can't think where I would now use one. So I flew around the area I lived and the beach. But not exactly 'amazing' footage...

 

I will have a look at the Mavic for next year, as it fits in your current bag and should be easier to travel with, and can be pulled out if there is cool shot. But I was real excited when I got the P3, but i feel they are still very niche.

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If there is one thing I have seen/learned is that drone footage for diving video could be limited, most of the time it's about footage of orbiting around the boat or hovering above the dive boat. That's why I'm beginning to incorporate some top side video to make a "trip video" more cohesive, but depends on the nature of the trip, it could be very hard to pull off both top side and UW, unless I have the luxury to spend more than 3 weeks in one place.

 

Flying drone around the sea could be very stressful and take the creativity away because I have to fly conservatively. I guess it will get better with experience just like everything else.

 

This is a good video of utilize drone footage to compliment the video, it's very subtle but some of the shots do look like a jib shot. I don't know who shot the video but nice to see there are some talented videographers in Sabah (beside ScubaZoo)

 

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Just as I suspected, DJI seems to release new product every few months. The Phantom 4 Pro just announce, the spec looks good, but it's still a Phantom size:

 

http://store.dji.com/product/phantom-4-pro?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=edm&utm_campaign=p4p-rest-1116&sc_src=email_964806&sc_eh=14a81fd88ec50c7c1&sc_llid=377992&sc_lid=23378454&sc_uid=eHRkb3k9PB#/?_k=8uwagd

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At this rate. How do they do it? Every model has different batteries, different props, different shells. Their return on investment must be low with having to retool everything, every 4 months.

 

The Inspire2 looks utterly amazing. It's even bigger than the 1. But from the footage and the info video. Wow.

 

As to Phantoms. Not sure who they are aiming them at now. Okay So they were the first QC to market and that was the size they went for due to battery and motor design. But now anybody like us who use them occasionally, for travel etc would be Mavic customers? Who would really want a Phantom sized drone anymore ?

 

Impressed with DJI progress.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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The way I look at it is: the Inspire is for Hollywood production type of work, where they would have budget to transport bulky stuff like that.

The Phantom 4 Pro is probably target for independent business, like real estate, insurance companies, advance photographer/video people who produce stock images, event video/photo shootor, so travel internationally is not being consider.

The Marvic, well, is for travelers, people who hike/camping.

 

At this rate, by next summer or fall, there would be a Marvic Pro 2 come out, probably with rear obstetrical avoidance sensor. :D

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Just returned from the Philippines. Oh how I wished for a drone when I was in Coron. As usual, my carry-on bag was filled to the brim with gear. After a nice stopover in Hong Kong on the way back, I visited the DJI store at the airport. I almost cried when they let me hold the Mavic.

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At this rate. How do they do it? Every model has different batteries, different props, different shells. Their return on investment must be low with having to retool everything, every 4 months.

 

The Inspire2 looks utterly amazing. It's even bigger than the 1. But from the footage and the info video. Wow.

 

As to Phantoms. Not sure who they are aiming them at now. Okay So they were the first QC to market and that was the size they went for due to battery and motor design. But now anybody like us who use them occasionally, for travel etc would be Mavic customers? Who would really want a Phantom sized drone anymore ?

 

Impressed with DJI progress.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

I have a Mavic on pre-order (STILL!) that I'm considering converting into a Phantom 4 Pro. And now a P4 and Inspire Raw that I need to put on the market.. :)

 

Agree that hobbyists who travel on a few trips a year are best served by the Mavic, but the camera upgrade on the P4P is quite significant. Sensor size, 4k/60p, 100Mb/s in h.265, professional quality 24mm equivalent lens? Those should produce notable improvements in final image quality.

 

As for who it's aimed for, it's people who are selling the images in one fashion or another, though more so at the lower end of the market. Independent event/wedding/corporate videographers/photographers who need better image quality then the Mavic/P4 can offer and don't mind the size, and even higher end customers (TV news, production houses, etc) who may be able to afford the Inspire/Inspire 2 but don't want to deal with the extra size, etc. I've seen BBC crews using Phantom 4s for 1080p output even where they had access to Inspires/etc because they're much easier to travel with and operate.

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A little bit of shameless self-promotion in the form of an aerial showreel from the last 6 months. Pretty much all of it was shot using a Phantom 4.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xcWraYGtTh4

 

I was able to get my hands on a Phantom 4 Pro just in time for a Komodo-Raja Ampat crossing trip. Super excited to see what this thing can do!

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Do let us know how is your experience of travel/flying drone in Indonesia. I thought I read that some places do not let tourist fly drone anymore.

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It's never been an issue for me anywhere in Indonesia Moses, but I mostly fly off dive boats where it's hard for anyone to take issue...

 

Perhaps in crowded tourist attractions (where it's not a good idea to fly anyway) someone may say something, but Indonesia in general is an incredibly lax place.

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a5aReo-2w00

 

Here's a promising system: YI (Young Innovators) from Xiaomi (the 4th largest cellphone maker) just introduced the fastest drone Erida that can reach 120 km/h (75 mph) and the first 4Kp60 action camera with an optional underwater housing. The flight time is 40 minutes.

Edited by A.Y.

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Hmm.. interesting. Looks like a similar concept to the now-defunct Karma.

 

However, two things severely limit it's usefulness as a drone imo, based on the footage in the video. First, the camera has the same fisheye angle of view as a gopro, which doesn't work well for a drone. Second, the stabilization seems quite bad compared to DJI drones.

 

Not really sure why they went with just three propellers.

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Yeah, the fisheye image on Yi just ruin it. As for 3 propellers, I'm sure by not need to power one more motor (to make it a quad), they can extend the battery life longer.

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