Mavic Pro is DJI’s first personal drone designed to be taken just about anywhere. Small enough to toss in a bag and easy enough to launch quickly whenever the time and place are right.

This is a little bit like the Detroit AutoShow with the heavyweights doing back to back product launches. The GoPro and DJI events are a study in contrasts with remarkably similar messages about simplicity and spontaneity and storytelling from the sky.

DJI led off their morning with a startling statistic – they have calculated that 560,000,000 stills and videos have been shot on their platforms over the past 12 months – a 200% increase over the previous 12 months. We can certainly appreciate that reflects their market share – but it also suggests that this is something more and more people want to do.

As you can read in the press release, the Mavic Pro is one sweet package that will appeal to a lot of people. For one thing it is seriously, waist pack small but it doesn’t sacrifice any of the gee whiz technology DJI has developed. This is a state of the art drone and with the controller it’s priced $100 below the Karma with a Hero 5 camera.

It took a little over a day for the first side-by-side review of the Mavic and the GoPro Karma to appear. It is more than a bit lopsided, though the reviewers are withholding final opinions until production cameras can be tested. If you want to see the reaction south of the wall, take a look at this.

And here is a hysterical very Asian cross-cultural “bad boy” press sneak on YouTube. It includes a fly-off between the Mavic and the P4.

The Mali Mish Travel Vlog put it in perspective saying that these were really the same company. Say what? Well a few years ago GoPro and DJI worked together as camera and drone makers. With the DJI P2, DJI struck off on their own building their own cameras. Now GoPro is building their own drones. Author Dada Dan and I share the opinion that the GoPro will do fine with a different crowd.

So does The Verge boiling it down to “So in one corner you’ve got a superior drone, and in the other a superior ecosystem. Which would you choose?” As you can see from the online poll results Verge readers prefer the Mavic.

Online poll results comparing preference for DJI Mavic and GoPro Karma online poll results 9/30/16

Contrary to public opinion, the Street held steady on the GPRO stock price which closed today holding the gains from last weeks launch.

Which begs the question is it better to go first – or second. As in other debates, it comes down to what one does with the opportunity. Clearly DJI had the blogosphere ready with comparisons and analysis. Safe to say DJI wasn’t worried. But they did have to share the news… essentially I will argue that by going first GoPro “drafted” and got a second look courtesy of the DJI PR machine.

In the tradition of great tech demos, Perry deserves a tip of the hat for flying the Mavic inside to demonstrate gesture control which several reviewers made clear wasn’t exactly ready for prime time. He also did a tease of their editing app which seemed to be very similar to the GoPro app.

For me as an event marketer, the difference was the passion. One was a story that had an arc, the other covered the content in a monotone that never went up or down. I gave up looking for the name of the host of the DJI event – it certainly wasn’t Frank Wang. I finally found it in sUAS News – it was Michael Perry, DJI’s PR Manager. On the other hand, there is no doubt whose baby the Karma is. Nick Woodman’s. And he took 10 minutes less to say a lot more.

Was it an intentional slight? No, of course not. Was it an oversight? I don’t think so either. It’s just a difference in the cultures. Category leader versus company on the rebound. Technology versus heart.

You’ll see it in the launch video as well. The Mavic Pro launch video is much more product oriented. It is also international. Perry had a nice line saying that  “Amazing images being captured around the world, from Hong Kong Island to Easter Island.” Both are featured in the video. It’s nowhere near as pretty, but it’s a better sales piece – and they introduced their own FPV goggles too.

Once again, my take is marvel at the value.



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