It's Here! The GoPro Karma

After a lengthy wait, GoPro finally reveales the anticipated Karma. Does it live up to the hype? Let's find out!

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The Much Anticipated Karma Makes it's Official Debut

An agonizingly long amount of time has passed since GoPro first alluded to an in-house built quad by the company that brought you the Hero line of action (and aerial) cameras. The Karma was announced a few hours ago on the GoPro website and comes with a great array of goodies: the Karma drone, a Karma Grip that allows the removable gimbal to covert into handheld-mode, a Karma Controller, and a Karma Case that doubles as a backpack. This box of high-tech goodies will retail for $799.99 and is scheduled to begin shipping on October 23rd, 2016. Let's take a quick look at what's included.

GoPro: Introducing Karma (5 min 38 sec)

Karma Drone

The Karma is a folding-arm design quadcopter with a 3-axis stabilized gimbal up front. It has 10-inch propellers and operates on 2.4GHz entirely. The battery is a 4s 5100mAh. The 3-axis gimbal fits the HERO5 Black, HERO5 Session, HERO4 Black/Silver. GoPro says the folding arms are replaceable, which we can all anticipate will be in high demand, as GoPro does a good job of marketing the Karma to people with no radio-controlled experience... "Never flown a drone before? New pilots will fly with confidence while seasoned pros will enjoy Karma’s performance." To be fair, DJI markets in this manner as well.

Specs list

  • Maximum Speed 35 mph
  • Maximum Distance 3280ft
  • Maximum Flight Altitude 14,500ft
  • Maximum Wind Resistance 22mph
  • Operating Frequency 2.4GHz
  • Dimensions (Opened/No Propellers) Length: 12in
  • Width: 16.2in (411mm)
  • Height: 4.6in (117mm)
  • Dimensions (Folded/Transport) Length: 14.4in
  • Width: 8.8in
  • Height: 3.5in
  • Propeller Length 10in
  • Weight 35.5oz

Karma Controller

The transmitter has the look and feel of the packaged smart drones we've come to know and love (or loathe). A built-in touch screen folds in when the system is not in use, and it features a Return to Launch and Return to You function. GoPro states No-Fly-Zones are imposed, although doesn't yet go into the full list of what's off limits.

Karma Grip

The Grip is a very nice added feature, and helps justify the Karma in a world where similarly sized quad copters can do more for the same price. The Grip allows the Karma's 3-axis gimbal to be mounted for handheld use, effectively doubling the footage potential from the Karma package. The built-in camera controls do a number of functions such as "conveniently power on and off, change modes, start and stop recording, or add HiLight Tags right on the grip."

Karma Case

Another awesome feature is the Karma Case, a hard-shell carrying case with backpack straps. The case has plenty of room for the Karma and the Karma Grip onboard, with a built in shoulder mount for the Grip to record as you travel on foot.

Thoughts

I'm marginally impressed with the Karma. I do think the included hardshell case and Karma Grip are very nice features. Flight video provided by GoPro shows a very smooth platform, which should be expected from any 3-axis gimbal these days. What I'm not keen about is the fisheye look of the GoPro camera. Granted, there's post production plug-ins in Premiere CC to take care of that, but they are memory and processor hogs and take forever to convert.

The price tag seems competitive with the current offerings from Yuneec and DJI, and crash parts are a must; it's nice to see the arms and legs advertised right from the start. I can see hoards of action-sports enthusiasts using the Karma in some pretty rough situations: think motocross, snowboarding, surfing, and everything else in between that can ball up a quadcopter. It looks like GoPro did the best they could with the technology at hand. I will admit that the Karma seems just a little bit late to the party, but better late than never!

Last edited by Matt Gunn; Sep 19, 2016 at 01:03 PM..
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Sep 19, 2016, 01:05 PM
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cali_drone's Avatar
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Sep 19, 2016, 01:07 PM
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Matt Gunn's Avatar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cali_drone
Already a thread on this. :/
This is a news story... you may notice the very different appearance from a standard thread. Its located on the homepage sidebar and in the channels page for increased exposure across the entire site.

Hope that helps you understand.
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Sep 19, 2016, 01:12 PM
Critic at Large
craigiri's Avatar
Accurate take Matt, IMHO.
It will sell if it's almost flawless on launch.

But GoPro seems to consider it an accessory - I don't think they have designs on ruling the drone world - but rather on having a nice entry to compliment their brand of cams.
Sep 19, 2016, 01:42 PM
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cali_drone's Avatar
I remember Karma was said to have 3 things no other drone has.

Can we determine what these things are using the specs given so far? I can't think of anything.
Sep 19, 2016, 01:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cali_drone
I remember Karma was said to have 3 things no other drone has.

Can we determine what these things are using the specs given so far? I can't think of anything.
An attractive odour?!
Sep 19, 2016, 01:47 PM
I get high when I fly
I can dig it!
Sep 19, 2016, 01:47 PM
Critic at Large
craigiri's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by cali_drone
I remember Karma was said to have 3 things no other drone has.

Can we determine what these things are using the specs given so far? I can't think of anything.
flatpack?
Heck, that other drone company claimed 175 things that their GoPro model had...that were better. It's tough to compete with 175.
Sep 19, 2016, 01:54 PM
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cali_drone's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by craigiri
flatpack?
Doubt this is what they were referring to.
Sep 19, 2016, 02:27 PM
Lower, Lower
bc-slowflyer's Avatar
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Sep 19, 2016, 02:37 PM
Flying while Frying
The video specs are amazing. Probably way superior compared to the p4. If the drone will effectively fly good, stable and with nice features like waypoint, follow, track, or it and so on AND if they sell it for 800 then we have a winner. 20 mins of flight time is also about the same of the p4 (28 bullcrap minutes, about 21/22 real ones). Range, we will have to test but I guess that someone will come up quickly with antenna boosters. If also they will offer a good and quick support then I vet that most ppl interested in the p4 will turn their interest to the karma.

W la figa
Sep 19, 2016, 02:45 PM
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BuffaloJustin's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by whoopiwhoopie
The video specs are amazing. Probably way superior compared to the p4. If the drone will effectively fly good, stable and with nice features like waypoint, follow, track, or it and so on AND if they sell it for 800 then we have a winner. 20 mins of flight time is also about the same of the p4 (28 bullcrap minutes, about 21/22 real ones). Range, we will have to test but I guess that someone will come up quickly with antenna boosters. If also they will offer a good and quick support then I vet that most ppl interested in the p4 will turn their interest to the karma.

W la figa
Hmm, interesting take given one is a proven platform and one has only been demo'ed by its maker... Solo should have taught you how much footage and hype from the manufacturer is worth.

Also, you can be pretty much guaranteed that the Karma includes "bullcrap minutes" in its endurance figures, same as ALL other manufacturers publish. Those figures can always be considered hover minutes under ideal conditions. Thats why the verbiage is always "UP TO xx minutes"
Sep 19, 2016, 02:48 PM
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cali_drone's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by whoopiwhoopie
The video specs are amazing. Probably way superior compared to the p4.
What aspects are better?

Quote:
Originally Posted by whoopiwhoopie
If the drone will effectively fly good, stable and with nice features like waypoint, follow, track, or it and so on AND if they sell it for 800 then we have a winner.
I agree, the price point is pretty good. Especially if you have Hero4!

Quote:
Originally Posted by whoopiwhoopie
20 mins of flight time is also about the same of the p4 (28 bullcrap minutes, about 21/22 real ones).
Well, I'd imagine their "20 minutes" is about 12-15 in reality.

Quote:
Originally Posted by whoopiwhoopie
Range, we will have to test but I guess that someone will come up quickly with antenna boosters. If also they will offer a good and quick support then I vet that most ppl interested in the p4 will turn their interest to the karma.
Most 3rd party antenna boosters are just external antenna mods. I wonder if this will be possible on the Karma.
Sep 19, 2016, 02:56 PM
Cats and robots DON'T mix well
AVCampos's Avatar
Well, of the three things no other drone has, off the top of my head I can think of the front-mounted gimbal.

Comparing prices with the Phantom line, an advantage the Karma has is that it doesn't require a separately-bought screen, but on the other hand requires a separately-bought camera.
Sep 19, 2016, 03:22 PM
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cali_drone's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by AVCampos
Well, of the three things no other drone has, off the top of my head I can think of the front-mounted gimbal.

Comparing prices with the Phantom line, an advantage the Karma has is that it doesn't require a separately-bought screen, but on the other hand requires a separately-bought camera.
Front mounted gimbal is a good point. I think it's a great idea.

If you look at the controller video, the screen looks kind of laggy. Since GoPro's market have smart-devices, it may have been a better choice to use their more powerful iPhones and Samsungs etc.


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