GoPro Karma, GoPro’s foldable drone

GoPro Karma Release
News

It’s finally here!! GoPro has finally released the long awaited GoPro Karma!

Or rather, revealed it at a press conference today.

The press conference covered new products like the GoPro Hero 5 and the Hero 5 Session (with voice control), and after several delays earlier this year, the GoPro Karma finally came to the market today!

Fans all over the globe have been waiting for this announcement for months now so let’s see what exactly the new GoPro Karma is.

GoPro Karma, drone + stabilizer

GoPro Karma Grip ReleaseAs we expected, the GoPro Karma is a foldable drone and, as we predicted, it comes with a stabilizer like some of the Yuneec models. But with a twist!

The stabilizer is actually part of the GoPro Karma and it helps keep the propellers out of the shots by moving the camera further forwards.

When you’re not flying the drone you can take that stabilizer out and stick it into a handgrip to turn it into a handheld stabilizer. And yes, you can take the GoPro Karma grip and mount it on any GoPro accessory you already own!

So it’s easy to connect to your chest harness or helmet mount which allows you to get amazing stabilized footage in various situations.

GoPro Karma Controller

 

The GoPro Karma comes with a remote controller that has a display, which is optimized for use with polarized sunglasses, integrated. But, it also has a function called “passenger app”. Using this it allows you you to connect a second device to the controller so somebody else can watch the footage as well. But there’s even more, you can also allow that second device can to control the camera. So you can have one person operate the drone while another operates the camera. A feature that you normally only find in much more expensive dones like the Yuneec Typhoon H or the DJI Inspire.

On the GoPro Karma Controller you’ll find buttons for automatic taking off and landing and Return Home. Inspired by game controllers, the GoPro Karma controller has been kept simple and buttons have been kept to a minimum. But, the GoPro Karma Cotroller still has controls to change photo and video modes, and to control the camera.

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Another nice feature on the GoPro Karma controller is the ability  to review your videos while you’re flying. You can easily see if you got the shot you wanted without having to land the drone first.

GoPro Karma Grip

 

The GoPro Karma Grip Base is holds the GoPro Karma gimbal when it’s not attached to the drone. It is what turns the GoPro Karma gimbal into a handheld stabilizer. And although it is included in the GoPro Karma drone set, you can also buy he GoPro Karma Grip (with gimbal) separately. At $299 it’s priced the same as the DJI Osmo mobile and some other 3rd party stabilizers. And like those other products, it comes without the camera so you’re not forced to buy product combinations if you already own them.

And like I already said, you can mount the GoPro Karma Grip to any accessory you have.

Next, you can then mount the grip to any GoPro compatible mount.  To a GoPro backpack Seeker bags, your helmet mount, chest strap, selfie stick, car mount and to pretty much all other GoPro mount you have as it uses the same connection as all the Hero products.

GoPro Karma case

case-mainThe whole GoPro Karma set comes in a backpack so it’s easy to take along and you don’t have to go out and buy a case.

It looks well designed and slim enough to make taking it along on trips an easy choice.

GoPro Karma price

But I know, a lot of you you don’t really care much about the backpack right now but you just want to know what the GoPro Karma price is. How much is it going to set you back?

I can’t blame you. It’s what I was waiting for as well throughout most of the press conference.

And I have to admit, I was surprised when they finally announced the the GoPro Karma price. Not shocked but pleasantly surprised.

You can get the GoPro Karma drone for $799!

Or if you don’t own a GoPro camera yet (Karma is compatible with the GoPro Hero 4 and 5), you can get the GoPro Karma with a GoPro Session for $999, or with the GoPro Hero 5 Black for $1099.

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Given that a good stabilizer will already run you between $250 and $350 I think that’s a good price for the set.

It might even persuade some people not to go to DJI if they already own a GoPro hero. After all, getting the Osmo Mobile and even the cheapest Phantom 3 right now will set you back just as much. And that only gets you 2.7K footage rather than 4K with the Hero or the new Session.

I’ll admit that I’m impressed they could do it for that price and I’ve now added the GoPro Karma to my shortlist. I’ll probably make it the Christmas present I”m going to give myself.

But what about the GoPro Karma specs?

Indeed. Let’s have a look at what we know.

First, the GoPro Karma drone specs

Maximum Speed 35 mph (15 m/s)
Maximum Distance 3280ft (1000m)
Maximum Flight Altitude 14,500ft (4,500m)
Maximum Wind Resistance 22mph (10m/s)
Operating Frequency 2.4GHz
Dimensions (Opened/No Propellers) Length: 12in (303mm)
Width: 16.2in (411mm)
Height: 4.6in (117mm)
Dimensions (Folded/Transport) Length: 14.4in (365.2mm)
Width: 8.8in (224.3mm)
Height: 3.5in (89.9mm)
Propeller Length 10in (25.4cm)
Weight 35.5oz (1006g)

 

Then, the GoPro Karma cotroller specs

Screen Size 5in (12.7cm)
Screen Resolution 720p
Screen Brightness 900 nits
Battery Life 4 hours
Operating Frequency 2.4GHz
Weight 22oz (625g)

 

Next, the GoPro Karma Stabilizer specs

Range of motion -90° to 0° (down/up)
Camera Compatibility HERO5 Black, HERO5 Session, HERO4 Black/Silver
Weight 8oz (230g)
Number of Axes 3

 

The GoPro Karma Grip Handle specs

Dimensions Length: 8in (205mm)
Width: 1.7in (43mm)
Height: 1.7in (43mm)
Battery Life 1.75 hours
Weight 8.62oz (244.6g)

 

And finally, the GoPro Karma battery specs

Dimensions Length: 8in (201.3mm)
Width: 3.6in (91.62mm)
Height: 1.75in (42.7mm)
Weight 19.3oz (545g)
Flight Time Up to 20 minutes
Rating 14.8V 5100mAH (75.4Wh)
Battery Type Li-Po

 

And I almost forgot, the GoPro Karma charger

Rating 16.8V 5A
Charging Time for Karma Battery 1 hour
Charging Time for Karma Controller 2.5 hours
Charging Time for Karma Grip 2 hour

 

That just leaves the dimensions for the GoPro Karma Backpack

Dimensions Length: 21.3in (540mm)
Width: 12.6in (320mm)
Height: 5.9in (150mm)
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Does the GoPro Karma have special modes?

Although there is nothing published about this by GoPro yet, yes. They’re shown in the GoPro Karma introduction video:

You can see them at 3:56:

  • Dronie
  • Cable Cam
  • Reveal
  • Orbit

After searching a bit more I found this video that’ll take you through these modes:

What surprised me most is that there doesn’t appear to be a Follow Me mode. Something I definitely expected with the GoPro Karma. So unless it’s hidden somewhere, that is a big omission on GoPro’s side. After all, GoPro markets to action sports enthusiasts and they are anything but stationary.

Another thing that is most likely missing is obstacle avoidance. Without a Follow Me mode it becomes less important but with it being a feature in 2 other consumer drones (the DJI Phantom 4 and the Yuneec Typhoon H) that definitely detracts from the GoPro and it’s not “cutting edge”.

Still, even without obstacle avoidance I expect that the GoPro Karma will become popular among people that already own a Hero 4, or are planning to buy the new Hero 5.

GoPro Karma Launch Video

And before I forget, here is the launch video:

GoPro Karma Availability

The GoPro Karma, Hero 5 and Hero 5 Session are not available on Amazon yet, nor anywhere else and won’t be until  23 October (see image below. Click on it for a larger version).

A brave move as that means the DJI Mavic will probably be released before the Karma (DJI tends to release product on the press conference date) and they might take a considerable part of the Karma’s market segment.

karma-23-october

If you want a reminder on 23 October or if you want to stay up to date on the latest releases, including the DJI Mavic, just join our newsletter we’ll keep you posted.

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