If you’ve ever used a drone, no matter what you used it for, there’s a good chance you enjoyed the experience. So if you’re on the market for a new one, 2016 has been a great year for them, with two interestingly different devices on the market. They are the GoPro Karma drone and the DJI Phantom 4; let’s have a look at how the two compare.
GoPro Karma drone vs. DJI Phantom 4
Both of these 21st Century pieces of kit enable you to fly with a bird’s-eye view over places and terrain which would be impossible to view without them. So great is the human need to explore that this drone technology has exploded into life over the last few years. Once upon a time, you needed to book tickets to soar in the sky, but all that’s needed now is a quick trip to the store or Amazon, and you can fly almost wherever you like, as long as your device has enough charge to do so. But what is the difference between the Karma drone and the DJI Phantom 4?
The Karma drone is the first one produced by the legendary action camera manufacturer. Less expensive than the DJI Phantom 4, it starts at around $800 without a camera. However, if you want to add a camera, you’re looking at $1,100 with the Hero 5 included.
The Phantom 4 starts at around $1,200, making it $100 more than the Karma. However, this comes without a means to carry it, so a backpack may be in order. The DJI backpack designed for the Phantom will set you back another $200.
When it comes to features, it’s clear to see why the Phantom 4 is more expensive than the Karma. For instance, the Phantom has a “Follow Me” mode and Collision Avoidance, which the GoPro Karma Drone does not. Also there are many flight modes which give the user more options; however, they could render a novice user bamboozled.
The Karma is relatively simple by comparison; it doesn’t require the attachment of a mobile device to control it. GoPro has included a controller in the box, and compared to the Phantom, it’s a point-and-fly device aimed at the novice.
Portability and versatility
One of the reasons the engineers at GoPro are so proud of their drone is its portability. Many critics of the Phantom 4 suggest this is one reason drone enthusiasts chose the Karma over the Phantom. It’s even possible that GoPro saw this problem and addressed it with their device.
Of the two, it is the Phantom 4 which takes up the most space when packing away. In fact, it’s so bulky that it requires its own designed backpack, which, as we touched on earlier, isn’t cheap. One other bonus for the GoPro Karma drone is that it comes packed with a handheld grip. This can be attached to the drone or other accessories and makes them more portable.
If buzzing around the sky at breakneck speeds is a wish of yours, then either of these drones will do. However, in a flat-out race to the finish line, the Phantom 4 will leave the GoPro Karma drone in its slipstream. This is because the Karma has a top speed of 35mph, while the Phantom 4 has a top speed of 45mph, which makes all the difference in a near frictionless environment.
Here’s how each device compares side by side in specifications.
In some ways, it’s hard to compare these two drones. Doing so is a little like comparing a point-and-shoot camera to a modern DSLR. Both the GoPro Karma drone and the Phantom have their good and bad points. However, each points to a different consumer.
The GoPro is aimed at those who want something simple, probably someone who likes adventures, whereas the Phantom is more suited to someone who likes feature-laden gadgets and/ or wants to shoot quality airborne photos.