With the unveiling of DJI's new Mavic Pro, it's obvious that the Chinese company has GoPro's new Karma drone clearly in its sights. Both have foldable propeller arms and can fit most backpacks, and they both connect to 4K cameras, but the Mavic has a built-in camera and retails for $1,000. GoPro's Karma is priced at $799, but the camera is sold separately.
Notwithstanding its compact size, the Mavic Pro is filled with cutting-edge flight features similar to those found on the DJI Phantom 4. There are sensors that allow the drone to avoid trees, buildings and other obstacles, and a new "terrain mode" maintains a specified height above the terrain. And whereas the Phantom 4 could only follow the user, the Mavic can lead up front, and fly around in circles as the user moves. In terms of hardware, there's a five-camera vision system, GPS, a 4K 12-megapixel camera on a 3-axis gimbal, and battery life rated at 27 minutes.
Included with the kit is a wireless remote control that can be paired with a smartphone, allowing users to receive a live video feed. The drone can also be fully controlled from an iPhone or Android device. Or you can dispense with the controller altogether and try gesture control, which allows you to simply move your arms to engage follow mode or to capture a quick selfie.
The DJI Mavic Pro is available for preorder now at amazon.com, with delivery set for Oct. 15.
Release Date: 10/15/16 (Saturday)