The long awaited GoPro Karma Drone has finally been announced. This is the first time that the action camera manufacturer has forayed into the drone business. After months of delays and several postponed launch dates GoPro has finally come out with the announcement that patrons and industry watchers have been waiting to hear for long. The Karma has taken to the air.
You would expect that a company that literally developed the concept of action camera and changed the whole perspective on how people use their delicate shooting devices, would find it quite easy to take it one step further; i.e., spread its wings (in this case rotors) and take to the air. It has been a rather bumpy ride for the Karma and more importantly the company. Several models have been dropped from the shelves with an obvious focus on streamlining the whole product line of GoPro. Stiff competition from Chinese made cheaper drones have also made going difficult. Not to mention delays associated with the launch of the Karma. But finally GoPro seems to have come out with not one but two good news. The first drone by the company, the GoPro Karma and the latest GoPro camera, the GoPro Hero 5. We look at the GoPro Karma here.
This is a standard quadcopter design with four two-blade rotors on four sides. The quadcopter comes with a harness for your Hero. You can either choose the Hero 5 harness or the Hero 4 harness. Both are priced similarly. The whole design has been aimed to enhance portability. It can fold up in a pretty small form when you don’t need it or need to transport it to a destination. A small box (provided) is all that is needed to store the Karma when not in use. The box also fits in the charger, the battery, the hand-grip and the controller.
The game-style controller comes with touchscreen features and is capable of projecting the live-view from the Karma as it flies around.
The stabilizing gimbal is removal. You can remove it from the quadcopter and use it on the handgrip for shooting stabilized footages while walking or running or just making a group video. If that is not all GoPro has a number of new mounts ready which allows you to mount the camera on your car or even on your body.
The Karma will be compatible with the Hero 5 that was released with it, as well as the previous Hero 4. Apart from these two, the mount also accepts the Hero 5 Session, and the Hero 4 Silver. You have a choice to buy it with the Hero 5 or just the drone and pair it with your existing Hero 4 or the other models mentioned above. No need to buy the Hero 5 if you already own one of the above mentioned models. The built-in controller offers full control over the Hero 5.
On a fully charged proprietary Li-Po 5100mAh battery the GoPro Karma can have 20 minutes in the air. Both the controller and the battery of the quadcopter needs to be separately charged. Even the stabilizing handgrip needs to be charged separately. It takes the Karma one hour to be fully charged. The handgrip and the controller takes 2 hours and 2.5 hours respectively to be charged.
Other key details
Here are some of the key details of the quadcopter. The maximum altitude that the rotors will take the quadcopter to is 14,500’, though it is not recommended that you don’t fly it to such high altitude for safety reasons. Maximum wind resistance on the Karma is 22mph. Propeller length is 10” and the overall weight of the Karma with the Hero 5 harness is a shade above 1 kilo.
The GoPro Karma will go on sale on the 23rd of October.