DJI Mavic-Pro – Phantom-4 – GoPro Karma
We all know that the DJI Mavic-Pro is one of the best aerial filming drones given that it produces a great picture, flies a long time and is extremely portable.
However, if you own one, or plan to, here is a list of the best accessories you should consider adding to get the most out of your DJI Mavic-Pro.
If you plan to fly your DJI Mavic-Pro indoors, or in close proximity to objects like trees or buildings then you definitely want to get a set of DJI Mavic-Pro prop guards. This not only allows you to literally bounce off walls, but it also saves your propellers from snapping on impact. The prop guards add minimal weight to your drone, so your flight times will not be affected very much.
Where to Buy
Take safety to the next level with the prop cage which completely isolates the propellers from the sides and the top/bottom. This essentially allows you to fly in close proximity to people (get their permission first) in indoor situations. Given the rock solid indoor hover performance this is a logical upgrade should you need to fly in close proximity to objects. The major downside is you also need to use smaller propellers (included with the kit), and this coupled with the extra weight and inefficiency of the cage, reduces the flight time to just 12 minutes. But this is well worth the extra safety.
The propeller cage kit also includes a set of the smaller quick release 7728 propellers that need to be used with the cage so you dont need to buy them separately.
Where to Buy
Our favourite selection of charging accessories for your DJI Mavic-Pro drone
DJI Mavic-Pro Car Charger
Since you are likely to be travelling around with the DJI Mavic-Pro, whats better than being able to charge your batteries as you travel between locations? Thanks to the official mavic pro car charger you can charge your Mavic batteries via the 12V cigarette lighter in your car. It takes about 54 minutes to fully charge an empty battery with this charger.
The car charger is also compatible with the advanced DJI Mavic-Pro charging hub as discussed below
Where to Buy
Cheaper third party mavic car charger that still works well
Mavic Charging Hub
The number of batteries to take with you each time you go out to fly gives an indication of the seriousness of your #droneaddiction. But if you are anything like me, having the ability to charge more than one battery without your intervention is a great bonus. There are a few third party chargers available, but DJI also have an official solution in the form of the charging hub.
The charging hub comes in two flavors, the regular charging hub, and the advanced charging hub. The main difference is just the charging time. With the basic hub you are looking at about 5 hours to fully charge 4 batteries from empty. The advanced cuts this time down by 1 hour using the standard power supply. But if you also own a phantom 4 charger you can connect both your mavic and phantom 4 charger to charge 4 batteries in as little as 2h30m!
So if you want to charge multiple batteries I highly suggest you go for the advanced version as the time it saves you is well worth the initial extra cost.
Where to Buy
Make Your Mavic Yours
One of the cheapest mods for your DJI Mavic-Pro is to add some custom decal stickers to give it some personality. There is a huge selection of third party decals available on Amazon. And the best part is because the top of the DJI Mavic-Pro is largely flat, it makes applying the stickers way easier than other drones like the phantom.
If you fly outdoors and your smartphone is not particularly bright then it’s a great idea to add a sun hood to your remote control. This blocks direct sunlight and makes it so much easier to view the live video feed from your DJI Mavic-Pro drone. The cheapest alternative is just try to find some shade to stand/sit under while you fly. But if there is no shade around there are two options currently available. I personally find the bulkiness and assembly hassles of a sun hood not worth it as it is far easier finding some shade. I wish there was some sort of integrated hood but sadly these are your only options
If you have any suggestions of things you like to add to your mavic to make using it easier like a great backpack, join our community and add your suggestion below! The reason why I did not include any backpack is because of the size of the DJI Mavic-Pro. It just fits into my regular backpack so nicely already.
The new wave of consumer drones is here, in a smaller and more convenient way. Until now there has been nothing on the market that is convenient enough to carry around with you and take on holiday, without compromising image quality. We take a look at DJI Mavic-Pro and the Go Pro Karma as well as the staple DJI Phantom to see who will be the king of the personal flying camera.
The Short Answer
Overall when you consider the portability, ease of use and features the DJI Mavic is the winner, but if you are already invested in the GoPro ecosystem the Karma is still a capable drone with some intuitive design features such as the removable gimbal that can be used on the ground. Read on for mode details.
Era of Portable Camera Drones
The chances are, if you have seen a photography drone, it has been a DJI. Their iconic phantom range changed the landscape of consumer aerial cameras as well as catering for the professional market with the Inspire range, and now they have introduced the new personal drone, the DJI Mavic-Pro. With a stabilized 4K camera, an impressive 27 minute flying time, a top speed of 64km(40mph) per hour, and a flying range of 7km (4.3 miles) the Mavic certainly does not compromise on quality. Many of the features of the Inspire and Phantom are also present in the much more portable DJI Mavic-Pro, including 24 high performance computing cores, subject tracking and obstacle avoidance, but by far the most impressive element of the Mavic is it’s size. With fold-able arms and propellers, the DJI Mavic-Pro can easily be transported, making it perfect to take anywhere. Other nifty features also include geo-fencing software, which prevents you from accidentally flying into any restricted zones as well as gesture recognition for the all important selfies.
Whilst DJI have done an incredibly impressive job there are a few drawbacks. The DJI Mavic-Pro lacks the ability to detach it’s camera, which brings us to GoPros come back product, the GoPro Karma. The Karma comes in a kit, including everything you need to get into the air, as well as a backpack for portability and the Karma grip, which allows you to detach the GoPro from the unit and use it as a handheld gimbal, something that is not possible with the DJI Mavic-Pro.
The karma can be purchased as either a stand alone if you already have a GoPro, or there will the option to purchase with a GoPro camera included. Another fantastic feature of the Karma, is its simple and easy to use “game like” controller, boasting that beginners will have no trouble controlling the drone, whilst advanced fliers will enjoy the features ease of use. The karma can reach speeds of 56km(35mph) and has a range of 3km(1.8miles) and a stated battery life of 20mins.
Any good drone comparison would not be complete with the DJI Phantom, a product that as maintained a majority of the market until now. The impressive drone is in its 4th installment with the Phantom 4, a zippy flight speed of 71km (44.7 mph) and a range of 5km (3.1miles)combined with 4k camera and 12.4mp stills, super easy to use flight modes and an almost fail proof return to home function its not hard to see why the Phantom has made its place in Drone piloting and aerial photography.
- Phantom 4 – about £1000 on amazon
- Mavic Pro – £999 from DJI directly, or Amazon. You can get the DJI Mavic-Pro cheaper without the remote (£750), but it is fairly pointless as you will only get about 80m of range in open areas via WiFi.
- Karma – from £719 without a GoPro, or £1000 with GoPro’s new Hero5 Black, which is available to pre order.
Winner: Mavic If you were already set up with a GoPro, the cheapest option would be the Karma, otherwise the Mavic takes the prize on affordability.
Size, Weight and Convenience
- DJI Phantom 4: 1380g and measure 381 x 220 x 325mm.
- GoPro Karma: 1,006g and measures 117 x 224.3 x 365.2mm.
- DJI Mavic-Pro: 734g and measures 83 x 83 x 198mm when folded.
Winner: Mavic With convenience being the direction in which consumer drones are headed, the Mavic is the obvious option in this category, able to be almost pocket size, and carried around in everyday situations to capture spontaneous photos and video.
Flight Speed and Distance
- Karma has a flight speed of 56km (35mph) and has a range of 3km (1.8miles).
- The Mavic has a top speed of 64km(40mph) per hour, and a flying range of 7km (4.3 miles).
- The DJI Phantom 4 has a flight speed of 71km (44.7 mph) and a range of 5km (3.1miles).
Winner: Mavic DJI take this category out, again neck and neck, whilst the phantom has a slightly higher top speed, the new Mavic has a 2km further range to explore your surroundings.
Battery / Flight Time
- Phantom 4 boasts a 28 minute flight time
- Mavic Pro has a 27 minute flight time
- Karma falls well short with a 20 minute flight time.
Winner: Phantom 4 Phantom 4 tops the pack by one minute, although the Mavic is ever so close behind. Also remember that these flight times are under ideal lab situations so probably in real life you will get abit less.
The Phantom boasts return to home, GPS and obstacle avoidance technology. The app lets you connect your smart phone to the control and fly with ease even as a beginner, all of these features have also been passed onto the Mavic, although you can also choose to fly the Mavic with your smart phone alone. There are plenty of flight modes with both DJIs.
The GoPro Karma is controlled through a dedicated remote, and offers flight features such as point to point flight and a feature to let others watch your flight live on a smartphone, however lacks features like obstacle avoidance and tracking. The stand out feature of the Karma is the compatible hand held gimbal that comes with it.
Winner: Mavic Whilst the removable hand held gimbal of the karma is a very intuitive feature, overall the convenience and features of the DJI Mavic, in particular its built in obstacle avoidance and impressive flight range, make this our winner.
The Phantom, the Mavic and the GoPro Hero5 Black all have pretty similar specs when it comes down to arguably the most important feature, the camera.
They all use 1/2.3-inch, 12-megapixel CMOS sensors, all three are capable of shooting JPEG and RAW as well as 4k Video. The difference in the camera is the FOV(Feild of View), with the Mavic having an equivalent field of view of 28°, the Phantom with a 20° and the GoPro Hero5 with the distinguished GoPro “Fish Eye” look, SuferView.
Winner: Phantom 4, Mavic In my opinion, the optically true rectilinear image that you get on the DJIs surpasses that in quality of the GoPro, although that is preference in style. The Phantom side to side with the Mavic will look more stable and crisp due to the larger FOV, and therefore wins this round.
For a great in depth look at the imaging quality between the phantom 4 and mavic check this video:
And the overall winner is…
Whilst the phantom slightly outdoes the Mavic in image quality and and speed, the convenience of the newcomers is unparalleled. Our recommendation for any budding ariel photographer, first time drone pilot or anyone just looking for a cool new “toy” would be the DJI Mavic. We will give a special mention to an extremely good effort by GoPro, the Karma, which is not a bad drone at all, appears to be just undercut by DJI in almost every aspect, although we are excited to see where GoPro take the product next.
Best places to buy Mavic Pro
- Official DJI Store
- Amazon (not reccomended if you plan to ask for any help after 30 days, but otherwise great if you have prime
- Unmanned Tech UK , a small UK based hobby shop who offer full support and advice