Dji Mavic Pro or GoPro Karma – who will be Top Gun?

This is a repost of a blog originally written by Matthew Allard ACS and published on website. See the original post here.

If this was the Miramar air station, Mavic and Karma would be battling head to head for the title of Top Gun. Just like Maverick and Ice Man, DJI and GoPro are the two new hot shots on the block, both trying to out do each other. So which one will come out on top? If you were going into a dog fight, or in this case a video shoot, which one would you want in your corner? While this is impossible to answer until someone does a direct flying comparison, we can at least look at the specifications and features and come to an analytical conclusion just like “Charlie” would.

Size and Speed
The DJI Mavic Pro has folded dimensions of H83mm x W83mm x L198mm and weighs 743g.

The GoPro Karma is H89.3mm x W224.3mm x L365.2mm and weighs 1006g. The Mavic has a claimed top speed of 40mph (no wind), while the Karma can fly up to 35mph.

Winner: DJI Mavic. It is smaller and faster, but how that actually translates to real world flying conditions we will have to see.

Flight Time and Range
The DJI Mavic has a claimed flight time of up to 27 minutes and a maximum flying distance of 8 miles (13km). OcuSync long-range-transmission technology is capable of relaying a signal up to 4.3 miles line-of-sight while supporting 720p HD video (1080p HD transmission in short-range mode). Every time you fly, OcuSync scans a range of available frequencies to find and use the one with the least interference to give you more reliability and control, OcuSync transfers vital statistics of the Mavic to you in real time, and can also be used to download photos and videos at up to 40 Mbps while flying. It can be controlled using the DJI Go app over shorter ranges. If you to want to fly further the you can add a tiny remote controller which increases the range to a claimed 7km. The remote can link to a mobile device and view a live feed from the copter in 1080P.

The GoPro Karma has a claimed flight time of 20 minutes and the control range is limited to 0.6 miles (0.97km).

Winner: DJI Mavic. Not only does it have a longer flight time, but it can also be operated up to 4.3 miles away, which gives it a huge advantage over the Karma.

Camera and Gimbal
The DJI Mavic Pro uses a DCI 4K (4096 x 2160) capable 1/2.3” CMOS camera with a 28 mm f/2.2 lens that has a field of view 78.8°. The minimum focus distance is 50cm (1.6ft). It records up to 60 Mbps in MP4, MOV (MPEG-4 AVC/H.264), and can capture up to 96fps in Full HD. In DCI 4K you are limited to 24fps.

The GoPro Karma can use a GoPro 5 with a 12MP CMOS sensor that is capable of capturing UHD (3840 x 2160) and comes with a range of FOV (Field Of View) options. The widest being 17.2mm and the narrowest is 34.4mm, with a medium FOV setting of 21.9mm also available. The camera has a f stop of 2.8. In 2.7K widescreen and lower resolutions you can use narrower FOV options including Medium, Narrow, and the new Linear mode (only available in 2.7K and 1080p settings), which corrects the lens’s barrel distortion. The Karma has the ability to manually control the ISO and shutter speeds. GoPro also allows you to shoot in the Protune mode which gives you more flexibility when it comes to grading your footage. The GoPro 5 can capture up to 120fps in Full HD. The GoPro 5 like the Mavic records at up to 60 Mbps.

The Mavic along with having a fixed, non removable camera, uses the smallest high-precision 3-axis gimbal that DJI has ever made. With brushless motors on all three axes, the gimbal is claimed to eliminate shake caused by the movements of the Mavic. The GoPro Karma has a detachable gimbal that can be used with the Karma Grip to allow you to capture stabalised material in the air and on the ground. You can also have full manual camera controls for photos and videos, including ISO, shutter speed , and the file format.

Winner: GoPro Karma. With the ability to change the field of view, Protune and a detachable gimbal, the Karma looks like the winner.

The DJI Mavic is loaded with features for such a small drone. including a collision avoidance system, ultrasound, GPS, dual redundant IMUs, and ActiveTrack Subject Tracking Modes. There is also a Selfie Mode with Gestures and a Tripod Mode that caps the Mavic’s maximum speed at 2.2 mph, while the control stick sensitivity of the remote controller is dulled for more accurate framing. It is also great for flying indoors or other small spaces where the Mavic’s normal speed may make it more challenging to fly. Also included is Terrain Follow that uses height information gathered by the on-board ultrasonic system, and its downward-facing cameras to keep you flying at the same height above the ground even as the ground moves.

The GoPro Karma has no collision avoidance system, but it does include the GoPro Passenger App, where one person can pilot via the controller while a second uses the app to monitor the camera and change settings as needed. The Karma definitely offers far fewer features, but for more advanced drone flyers, the ability to have one person flying the drone, while another one controls the camera could be a huge selling point with filmmakers. There is also a Automatic Takeoff and Landing function using a single button on the controller, and Automatic Return Home that lets Karma safely flies back to you when out of range, if there’s a lost connection, or when the battery runs low. GoPro also have a Built-In Auto Shot Paths function that includes a Dronies, Cable Cam, Orbit, and Reveal Modes.

Winner: Jury still out Both companies pack a lot of features into the respective drones, the Mavic definitely has more features built-in and the automation is great for regular users out for fun. Karma may have the edge for filmmakers if the dual operator function works well.

Control System
The GoPro Karma uses a video gamepad-style controller with a flip-up touchscreen that lets you remotely control all camera modes and capture settings. Unlike the Mavic, the Karma has a built in screen. With the Mavic you need to use your smart phone to see what your camera is seeing. The range for the Karma controller is some what limited at just 3280’ / 1000m.

The Karma Controller: designed with Generation X-Box in mind.

DJI GO is what you use to control your Mavic. When your phone or device is connected to the Mavic, it shows you everything the camera sees in near real-time. The Mavic also supports flying on your phone with virtual joysticks, and also gives you full access to all of its Intelligent Flight Modes: TapFly, Trace, Spotlight, Profile, and Circle. The Mavic has a control range of 4.3 miles / 7 km (line-of-sight).

Winner: Tie

The DJI Mavic Pro is $999 US, and includes:

DJI Mavic Pro
Remote Controller
Intelligent Flight Battery for Mavic Quadcopter
3 x 8330 Quick-Release Folding Propellers for Mavic Drone
Gimbal Clamp
AC Power Cable for Charger
16GB microSD Card
Micro-USB Cable
RC Cable with Lightning Connector
RC Cable with Micro-USB Connector
2 x RC Cable Slider

The GoPro Karma is $1099.99 US, and that price does include:
Karma Quadcopter with Harness for HERO5 Black
Karma Harness for GoPro HERO5 Black
Karma Controller with Touch Display
Karma Stabilizer
Karma Grip Handle
Karma Charger
Karma Battery
6 x Propellers
Karma Mounting Ring
Karma Case
Limited 1-Year Warranty
HERO5 Black
The Frame for HERO5 Black
Rechargeable Battery for HERO5 Black
Curved Adhesive Mount
Flat Adhesive Mount
Mounting Buckle
USB Cable

Winner: GoPro Karma. The GoPro Karma definetely looks like the better value for money option for shooters, with a removable camera and gimbal that can be used for other application.

So who is the Top Gun? On paper the DJI Mavic looks to be the winner, but the dog flight is pretty close. Just like in the movie, the under dog can never be written off. Specifications and features are one thing, but the only way to officially see who is the Top Gun will be once they take to the skies. As Goose once said, “I feel the need for speed.”

Source: Dji Mavic Pro or GoPro Karma – who will be Top Gun?

Panasonic Releases 2 New 4K Professional Camcorders

Two new Panasonic models are currently scheduled for release in the Spring of 2016: the UX Premium Model AG-UX180, with a 1-inch (effective size) MOS sensor, optical 20x zoom and UHD 60p recording capability; and the UX Standard Model AG-UX90, featuring a 1-inch (effective size) MOS sensor, optical 15x zoom and UHD 30p recording.

“With an increasing demand for 4K video content, Panasonic is introducing the UX series to make 4K acquisition even more accessible to video professionals,” said Steven Cooperman, Senior Product Manager, Panasonic System Communication Company. “UX camcorders will provide high-mobility shooting and workflow equivalent to our existing professional integrated-lens handhelds.”


The UX series will support recording up to 4K (4096×2160, 24p only) and UHD (3840×2160). (The AVCCAM series allowed recording up to FHD/1920×1080.) UX camcorders will use the SD Memory Card1 as recording media. The UX Premium Model AG-UX180 supports, in addition to 4K and UHD, dual codec recording (UHD *2/FHD), IR recording in low light, and 3G SDI/HDMI2.0 output. The UX camcorders’ 1-inch (effective size) MOS sensor ensures sensitivity equivalent to that of conventional handheld cameras. Variable frame rate (VFR) recording functionality (2-60 fps) is planned in FHD mode.

The availability of these new UX models later this year will bring the company’s line-up of professional 4K cameras to five, including the flagship VariCam 35 and VariCam LT cinema cameras for HDR production in 4K resolution, and the AG-DVX200 4K, 4/3″ large-sensor camcorder.


Australian pricing for both models has yet to be announced, availability is expected late October.

Download the PDF for full specification & product details here.

*1: Video-shooting at 100Mbps or higher requires an SD Card compatible with UHS Speed Class 3 (U3).
*2: Excludes UHD 60p, 4K


Orange Is The New Black – Season 4 Shot On VariCam

Season 4 of Netflix’s top rating series ‘Orange is the New Black’ is airing in Australia on Netflix and Foxtel. Season 4 was shot using Varicam cameras in beautiful 4K imagery, supplied by Panavision.

The series is also close to many Australian’s hearts because one of its stars is fellow Australian actress and DJ Ruby Rose, who plays the role of Stella Carlin. Stella has quite a fan base in Australia and there is one giant question around whether Stella will return for Season 4.

Netflix and chill

A photo posted by Ruby Rose (@rubyrose) on

American Cinematographer recently published a great article  – Behind the Bars – with Cinematographer Ludovic Littee. This article emphasizes the planning, communication and efficiency of the crew while filming.

Read ‘Behind the Bars’ by Patricia Thompson for American Cinematographer

To see the latest goings on at Litchfield Penitentiary check out the trailer:

The new Panasonic VariCam LT 4K has arrived at John Barry Sales

This camera is a game changer!

With more customers wanting 4K origination, the new Panasonic VariCam LT provides exceptional results and it has some great features.

The Varicam LT has the same specs and uses the same Super 35 image sensor as the Varicam 35 cinema camera.

While the Varicam has many features, as you would expect from a camera at this level, one of the best features is the Dual ISO recording.

The camera has a native ISO of 800 and 5000, which is also adjustable and with 14+ stops of wide latitude, picture quality is exceptional. The native 5000 ISO lets you capture images in very low light situations.

Since the camera features dual codec recording, it means the user can record a “Primary” codec as well as a smaller “Proxy” file. There is also in in-camera colour grading function and it supports AVC Intra, Apple Pro Res & 4K codecs.  Consider what this means from a workflow perspective, as Panasonic say, it’s a revolution!

Another exciting feature is the changeable lens mount, not an adaptor! The camera ships as standard with an EF mount, however, this can be removed & replaced with the optional  PL mount, the PL mount will be selling for $2,000.00 inc. GST, the PL lens mount is also now in stock.

For our Gimbal and Drone users, the Varicam has a small body size and weight of 2.7kg (body only)

We will be setting up the camera for demo sessions with the Shape Wooden Handle and the Small HD 502 with Side Finder and lens options for demo from Xeen and Tokina.

For customers wanting more information or to book a demo time, please contact Josh Papp on 1800 717 710  or email

Varicam LT Rig at John Barry Sales

Panasonic Announces Compact 4K Super 35 Varicam LT Cinema Camcorder

Panasonic today unveiled the VariCam LT, representing the next generation of 4K cinema cameras. The VariCam LT camcorder  inherits the same super 35mm sensor and superb imaging capabilities that distinguish the award-winning VariCam 35, but with significant reductions in size, weight and price. Continue reading “Panasonic Announces Compact 4K Super 35 Varicam LT Cinema Camcorder”

Canon Debuts Its New Wunderkind, The C300 HD Camera

The Canon EOS C300 EF Mount body shown here with a CN-E85mm lens

Owning a quality Canon camera never fails to inspire and bring out the best in your shots, whether stills or video. On the 3rd of December in Hollywood, this famous Japanese brand raised the curtains on its all-new EOS C300 Digital Cinema Camera line. Is it time for you to upgrade, now that it joins the ranks of high performance, high-resolution digital movie capable devices? Here at John Barry, we are certainly looking forward to its imminent release.
Continue reading “Canon Debuts Its New Wunderkind, The C300 HD Camera”

Go Pro – The world's most handy HD camera

The Go Pro Hero is the world's highest performance wearable video & still camera
The Go Pro Hero is the world's highest performance wearable video & still camera

Wearable digital cameras or point of view (PoV) consumer cameras have been around for some time.  So far I’ve seen ear-mounted, headgear mounted and eye glass mounted PoV cameras.  Today, many are in high definition video resolution and one model that caught my fancy when it arrived here in the showroom at John Barry’s was the Go Pro Hero HD. Immediately it was apparent that although small, for the money the Hero was simply jaw dropping and was sure to have a big impact on the market.

The uber-geeks at Go Pro have designed their Hero for the sportsman in us all and regardless of what you are into, be it skating or snowboarding, surfing, mountain biking or even bungee jumping, there is a Go Pro outfit designed to go where ever the action is.
Continue reading “Go Pro – The world's most handy HD camera”