Friday, November 4, 2016

GoPro's Most Exciting Drone-Mounted Camera

GoPro Mounted Camera
Since its release a few years ago, people have attached GoPro cameras to everything. Thanks to an enormous variety of mounting brackets, they've attached this tiny cubical camera to helmets, handlebars, surfboards, skateboards, violin bows, dog collars, ceiling fans, tennis racquets—and a few unusual places, too.

In September 2016, the company introduced the most exciting GoPro mount yet: A drone. It’s called the Karma: US$ 800 for the drone alone, or US$ 1100 with a new GoPro Black 5 camera.

For about a week, the world of athletes, filmmakers, and gadget freaks were truly excited. The Karma seemed to have a world of groundbreaking features: Arms that fold up. A backpack that holds everything. A remote with a brilliant touchscreen, so users don’t have to use their phone as a screen. A companion app that lets a second person operate the camera while they operate the drone. And a stabilizer that pops out of the drone and attaches to a handheld electronic stick, so that users can get equally steady footage on foot.

And then — the Mavic Pro happened.

That would be the new DJI Mavic Pro: a far smaller folding drone—that’s nonetheless more sophisticated, more powerful, and more intelligent than the Karma. (The Mavic is US$ 750 if used with phone as a screen; US$ 1,000 with controller.)

The Mavic flies much longer on a charge than the Karma (27 minutes vs. 19). It can fly much farther from you without losing signal (4 miles vs. a puny 0.6 miles). It can fly faster (40 mph vs. 35). It’s much lighter (1.6 pounds vs. 2.2).

And the Mavic’s intelligence features make the Karma look like a relic from 2014. It has front-facing sensors that prevent collisions. It has down-facing sensors that let it hold position indoors, where GPS is unavailable. (You do not want to fly the Karma indoors.)

And the Mavic has "follow-me" mode. How on earth could GoPro release a drone without "follow me" mode?! Seems that like that would be the single most important feature to the target audience of skiers, skaters, bikers, runners, and other active types.

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