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.

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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.

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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.


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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.

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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.


  1. sad on

    what interests me most is video quality – so far in samples it looks like the gp5 is about the same quality as the gp4 except for fisheye correction
    not sure about gp5 session, didnt see enough samples.

    that makes the sony cams fairly sexy, since they are pretty stable without external gimbal thx to digital+physical stabilization

  2. Mike D on

    I like seeing the prices drop a bit, but still more than I would want to spend as a hobby user. I might hand over $100, maybe more if it’s stuffed with features, but the idea of dropping $300 on a dedicated action cam is still not something I can get on board with–not when I can have a friend hold a phone and get great quality shots from the side.

  3. Flatbiller on

    “And battery life has been improved to a 21-minute ride. It’s sure to cut out right before you hit that sick gap…! We also spent an extra 3 minutes designing our UI, so it’s only perplexingly confusing, not amazingly frustrating.”

  4. Chris on

    Perfect companion for action sports… Nope, it isn’t. The Karma drone is completely lacking automatic following modes. Huge disappointment this drone. Wasn’t this the whole point, that you can have it follow yourself having a wristband or something. Now along with your Gopro and Karma you have to bring a pilot photographer.. What a joke. I guess they just couldn’t get this right and at the same time couldn’t postpone the launch of the Karma anymore. For me it’s, buy the Hero5 and get the Staaker drone instead!

  5. gringo on

    The interesting thing here is that the Go Pro marketing department has convinced all the doughy weekend warriors who ride in hiking boots that 700-1000 USD is a fair price for capturing sick footy of that blue ski run at Keystone, or perhaps even that sweet jump down at the old quarry on their 900 USD GT hardtail.

    Not bad Go Pro, not bad…….

  6. kbark on

    Make one that automatically stays 10 feet above you and a little behind you and you have a winner. This is where the technology is going.

    What we have here is basically nothing.


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