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My Thoughts on GoPro Karma

I’m super excited for the GoPro Karma to be released.  Over the years I’ve shot video from the ground, water and now GoPro Karma’s going to let me shoot video from the sky.

Owned a few different HERO models now and even have put on a few workshops educating others how to use them.  Big fan of GoPro HERO series of cameras! The HERO series are durable cameras, in my experience takes a pounding and keep on filming.  My original HERO works like the day I bought it.

Ok, let’s get back on track….The Karma is coming!  The Karma is coming!

The Facts

It hits stores shelves on October 23rd and it will run you between $799 and $1,099, depending if you need a GoPro camera or already own one(that saves you $100).

GoPro CEO Nick Woodman has said the Karma consists of the Karma Drone, Karma Controller, Karma Grip (stabilizer) and finally the Karma Case.

There is no built-in camera system like some of GoPro drone competitors.  Which means you will need to purchase one of the following; Hero4+, Hero5 or Session5.  If you already own a Hero4+, Hero5 or Session5 then that’s one less thing you will have to buy.  Nick Woodman has also said that GoPro will also have camera/Karma bundles available at launch.

karma-drone-main

The Karma Drone

Features

  • Maximum Speed: 35 mph or 56 kmph
  • Maximum Distance: Up to 9,840ft or 3000m
  • Maximum Flight Altitude: 14,500ft or 4500m
  • Operating Frequency: 2.4GHz
  • Weight: 1,006g (1kg) or 2.2 lbs
  • Dimensions:
    • Folded Up: Length 14.4in, Width 8.8in, Height 3.5in
    • Opened: Length 12in, Width 16.2in, Height 4.6in
  • Propeller Length: 10in
  • Battery: 14.8V 5100mAH Li-Po
  • Flight Time: Up to 20 minutes

The Karma Drone is very compact compared to most other video drones out there.  This is a big plus in my book.  Imagine you are on a morning bike ride and the sun is just coming up…stop pull out the Karma and fly above the treetops to capture a stunning sunrise.  Then spin Karma around to take a selfie.  A drone that you can just pull out of backpack and start flying is going to open up a whole new way of capturing our experiences.

karmacontroller_pdp_1

The Karma Controller

Features

  • Weight: 625g or 1.3lbs
  • Screen Size: 5in or 12.7cm
  • Screen Brightness: 900 nits
  • Battery Life: 4 hours
  • Operating Frequency: 2.4 GHz

Controller includes a screen and a few well placed controls. It looks like they done a good job designing it and does not look complex or intimidating as some that I’ve seen.  The built-in display feature is nice because it’s not tying up your cell or needing you to purchase another device.  And, if I dare mention the glare that comes with using cell/tablet in sunlight.

Controller has a built in training simulator for new users and four different flight modes : Dronie (selfies), Cable cam (moving between two pre-defined points), Reveal (just like it sounds, the person is revealed in the shot), and Orbit (circular pan around).  I’m sure this is just the start for the different flight modes, I imagine other will follow.

karmastabilizer_thumbnail_hover

The Karma Stabilizer

Features

  • Weight: 230g .5lbs
  • Camera Compatibility: HERO5 Black, HERO5 Session, HERO4 Black/Silver
  • Range of motion: -90 to 0 (down/up)
  • Axes: Three

The detachable stabilizer, is going to make Karma an attractive option for most people(two products in one).  The ability to take the stabilizer off the Drone and attach it to the Grip Handle, you can shoot great video on the ground makes Karma standout from so of the other drone manufacturers.

grip-mainThe Karma Grip Handle

Features

  • Weight: 244g or .5 lbs
  • Battery Life: 75 hours
  • Dimensions: Length 8in, Width 1.7in, Height 1.7in

Let me tell you I could have use this many times…I have some video that resembles “Blair Witch Project”.  And for some years jittery video has been a complaint of all action camera for the casual users.  The days of shaky GoPro home video is over, the Karma Grip and the Stabilizer should end all that.  Note: The HERO5 camera has a stabilization feature.

case-main

The Karma Case

Features

  • Dimensions: Length 21.3in, Width 12.6in, Height 5.9in
  • Mounts: Shoulder for the Karma Grip
  • Weather-resistant shell

It’s storage/transport of the Karma and all its goodies.  The case also can serve as a flat surface to launch the drone.  How cool is that?

Final Thoughts

To quote the GoPro website, “More than a drone”; GoPro Karma is a camera system, not only is it a drone but it is also a stabilization system.

I’m counting on having just as much fun with the GoPro Karma as I have with the other GoPro products.  I truly believe at the ease of use and it’s many feature, GoPro Karma is going to draw many people in the world of drone flying.

Check back soon.  I’ll be posting an extensive review and a few adventures once it becomes available to the public.  Also be on the lookout for my upcoming GoPro Apps: Capture, Quik & Quik|Desktop tutorials.

Check out this GoPro Karma Video

What adventures would you take the Karma on?  Let me know in the comments below.