The fact that GoPro has been working on a drone was not a very well kept secret. After years at the top, the company synonymous with action sports cameras needed something to
propel fly them back to the top. After quite a bit of speculation and waiting, Karma is finally here, and it looks like it’s been worth the wait….
With so many drones already on the market, many wondered what GoPro could possibly do to make theirs stand out. The answer? Build a drone that was part of the complete GoPro system. Not only that, but the Karma builds in extra features that can be used with the drone, or with the camera alone. Compatible with the GoPro Hero 4 (Black and Silver) as well as the new Hero 5 and Hero Session 5 cameras, the Karma is sold without the GoPro for $799. While that might sound like a lot considering it doesn’t include a camera, it does include the controller, the new Karma Grip gimbal controller, the case, and everything else needed to get the Karma in the air.
GoPro has always promoted their cameras as the perfect companion for action sports, and the Karma drone is no different. The whole design is meant to be extremely portable with folding arms and landing gear that allows the drone to easily fit inside the backpack case without any major disassembly. That should make it easy for you to bring Karma along for the ride, and easy to get it quickly in the air to do some filming mid ride. The case also includes a mount on the front shoulder strap which allows you to attach the Karma Grip with Gopro to film as you ride, run, ski, whatever.
Karma includes a video game like controller which also includes a touch screen display. After setting up the drone and taking classes on the flight simulator, the controller claims to make Karma easy to get in the air for first timers or seasoned pros. Multiple flight paths and options allow for creativity in the air, and your friends can watch for themselves on the GoPro Passenger app.
The Karma Grip is an extension of the Karma drone making it so that you can remove the Karma stabilizer and harness from the drone and plug it into the Grip handle for a hand held gimbal which extends the camera’s battery life and allows you to control the function of the camera as you film. Additionally, the Grip can be mounted to all of the current GoPro mounts for stabilized footage wherever you go. We’ve been lusting after a few different gimbals recently, but this looks to be the most versatile out there and with 2 hours of battery life for filming plus the extra controls, it seems like it could be a winner on its own. The Karma drone should be shipping by Oct. 23.
Debuting alongside the Karma drone is the all new GoPro Hero 5. In what appears to be the best GoPro yet, the 5 adds a waterproof body (33ft) without needing an additional case, one button recording, voice activated controls, a 2″ touch screen display, improved image stabilization, and the ability to upload videos straight to the GoPro cloud with a subscription based program. The optics of the camera are improved as well with 4K video, 12mp stills, RAW and WDR photos, and more. Priced at $399 the camera includes two adhesive mounts, the skeleton cradle, and a charging cable and it should be available Oct. 2.
The Hero Session also gets a boost with the new Session 5 which bumps the current Hero Session down to $199. The Session 5 adds voice controls, 4k video with 10mp stills, and improved image stabilization all in the same tiny, waterproof, one button package. Available Oct. 2, the Hero 5 Session will sell for $299 with two mounts and the skeleton housing.