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DJI Technology's new drone can fit into backpack

By
Allen Cone
The Mavic Pro can fold into the size of a water bottle and will sell for $1,000. Photo by DJI Technology Co.
The Mavic Pro can fold into the size of a water bottle and will sell for $1,000. Photo by DJI Technology Co.

SHENZHEN, China, Sept. 28 (UPI) -- As drones gain in popularity, manufacturers are racing to make the devices smaller.

Two companies announced quadcopters with foldable arms that fit in backpacks and collapse into the size of a water bottle: GoPro unveiled on Sept. 19 its Karma drone and eight days later on Tuesday, DJI Technology Co., a Chinese company, revealed the Mavic Pro.

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The Mavic Pro has a built-in 4K camera and will sell for $1,000. The Karma will cost $800 and GoPro will bundle a Hero 5 Black 4K camera with the drone for $1,100. Also in 2017, GoPro will sell a $1,000 Karma bundle that includes the smaller Hero 5 Session camera.

Mavic Pro, at 1.65 pounds, is a smaller version of the more expensive DJI Phantom 4. They both use data from cameras and sensors to avoid objects, including trees, buildings and other moving things. Both DJI drones also can follow users around in a circle.

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GoPro's Karma drone, which weighs 2.2 pounds, doesn't have an object avoidance system but it does have an image-stabilization grip that can be handheld or mounted, including to vehicles.

The Mavic Pro can fly up to 40 mph from as far away as 4.3 miles from the person controlling it. Its battery will last 27 minutes.

GoPro says the Karma will run for 20 minutes on a battery and fly up to 35 mph at a distance of 3,280 feet.

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The Mavic Pro has a 12-megapixel camera with a 78-degree field of view. It also plans to sell a pair of goggles later this year that display a "drone's eye view" streamed from the Mavic Pro.

Karma's camera attachments are 12 megapixels with the Hero 5 and 10 megapixels with the Hero 5 Session.

The Mavic Pro kit includes a wireless remote control that can be paired with a smartphone.

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Both companies offer insurance plans if they are damaged.

The Mavic Pro is available for preorder and will ship on Oct. 15.

The Karma drone sold starting Oct. 23 and doesn't have a preorder option.

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