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Manufactured by GoPro
- Great design
- The Karma Controller is just amazing
- Karma Grip produces highly stabilized content
- GoPro Hero5 is nothing short of amazing. Solid output consistently.
- A tad on the heavier side
- Battery life should’ve been slightly better
- Lacks sensors in the front and at the bottom
- Loses signal faster and is slower than the Mavic Pro
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GoPro Karma Review
The latest iteration of the GoPro devices have hit stores and it is time for some detailed analysis of their first consumer drone, the Karma. Like GoPro has advertised, the Karma is not just a drone, it is a lot more than that. In this in-depth review, we will take a look at all those features that the drone has put forward and a lot of the things that it misses out on. But there’s a larger force out there, the DJI Mavic Pro. The one drone that has been present on everyone’s wishlist.
Will the Karma drone be able to take away the glory from the Mavic Pro? DJI was initially part of the development of the Karma, but since both the companies wanted different outcomes, GoPro took full control of the drone’s development. But GoPro has a plethora of accessories that can be used along with their drone that makes it a fruitful offering. What separates the two of them?
Design and Build Quality
The drone comes in a sturdy backpack and it has slots inside to place all of the stuff correctly. The backpack itself is really hard and can take a beating or two without damaging the contents. Coming to the contents, you get the controller, the drone itself and the Karma Grip, about which we’ll discuss in detail in the coming sections.
The drone is beautifully designed, as you can see from the image below. It has a black textured upper portion which houses the GoPro logo and the power button. The rest of the drone is white except for the propeller blades, gimbal, and the landing gear. The landing gear can be opened outwards for placing the drone on the ground or any platform. The propeller blades also open outwards from the drone.
The sturdy backpack houses all the contents cleanly and can be carried around with ease
Performance – Speed, Flight Time and More
With the DJI drone boasting tremendous specs, GoPro had a lot to live up to. And this is exactly where the Karma falters. There are no sensors on the GoPro drone to save it from collisions. The outward facing sensors that were present on the Mavic is not present here. Another thing that is missing is the sensors placed below the drone that allows it to hold its position when flying indoors. Karma does not have these as well. So flying this indoors would not be such a great idea.
Apart from that, the Karma drone does not have enough firepower to compete against the Mavic Pro. It can only fly for 19 minutes against the 27 minutes of the Mavic. The maximum distance that it can fly without losing the signal is just 0.6 miles which is 3.4 miles less than the Mavic Pro. It is also heavier and has a maximum speed of 35mph, against the 40mph of the Mavic.
The landing gear on the Karma allows it to land on almost all kinds of surfaces.
There are four flying modes on the GoPro Karma, but it doesn’t have the much-required ‘Follow Me’ mode. Hopefully, this will be added with a software update. The four flying modes are:
Dronie – Capturing selfies after setting a predefined distance.
Cable Cam – Set two points in space and then the drone will move back and forth between these two points.
Orbit – As the name suggests, the drone will fly around the subject in a perfect circle.
Reveal – Set two points in space and the drone will start moving pointing downwards and gradually face upwards for a big reveal.
The Karma currently supports only the Hero5, but it will release mounts for the Hero5 Session, Hero4 and more. This is where GoPro wins hands down. The Hero5 is far ahead compared to the camera on the DJI. The quality of the videos and the stills are just stellar. Another awesome feature is the ability to use a phone or tablet as the screen for capturing videos and photos while controlling the drone with the controller. This is possible with the Passenger app.
Karma Controller and the Karma Grip
If you’re a fan of compact controllers with an awesome screen, then the Karma Controller is the one for you. It has a 5-inch 720p touchscreen, which is really bright and crisp. It looks very much like a Gameboy and once you open it up you can see two joysticks and a few other buttons. The joystick is responsive and the right stick is used to control the orientation and the left stick is used for controlling the elevation and movements to the left and right.
There is the power button, start and stop button and a highlight button on the front face. On the left hand side is a gimbal control. The right side has the recording start and stop buttons. Even though there are no sensors on the Karma, the drone responds really well to the controller.
The Karma Controller flaunts a 5-inch display and has 2 joysticks, in addition to a few buttons
The Karma Grip is basically a handheld mount for the gimbal. The gimbal on the drone can be removed and placed inside the Karma Grip. This allows the user to take ultra-steady videos and stills. Not just in theory, but the Karma Grip produces some of the best stabilized footage even when moving through some rough areas.
The gimbal on the drone can be easily mounted on the Karma Grip for some amazing stabilized footage
There is a 5,100mAh battery on the GoPro Karma, but it has a flight time of just 19 minutes. This might seem a little too less for some. At the end of the day, it boils down to just one point. If you want a drone that is an absolute beast which can capture quality videos and photos, the DJI Mavic Pro is the logical option. But if you want an average performing drone that captures breathtaking videos and gorgeous stills and has support for a plethora of accessories, then the Karma is for you. There are a few negatives regarding the drone, but it is GoPro’s debut in making consumer drones. Choose the one that suits your requirements.
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- The GoPro Karma is manufactured by GoPro and was added in September 2016 in the Drones & Quadcopters section
- This product has a rating of 4.0 out of 5
- The best price of the GoPro Karma in Canada is $299.99 at Best Buy
- You can compare prices for the GoPro Karma and save up to 19% or $71.00
- In Canada this product is available in Toronto, Vancouver, Ottawa-Gatineau
- You can find this product at Best Buy