Drone Reviews: GoPro Karma
Assembled and ready to fly out of the box, the Karma is a foldable video platform with a stabilized gimbal, so it’s perfect for anyone from first-time pilots to experts. Its frame is made out of nicely finished molded plastic, and if you order the version that comes with the GoPro HERO5 Black, it comes installed and ready to go. All that was needed to get in the air was to add my SD card, charge the drone and controller, and fly.
GoPro does a great job of shipping a complete package. You’ll just need to fold out the landing gear and arms and install the four propellers (no tools required—it takes a minute, at most). Everything arrives in the well-designed backpack ready for action. Other than the core compo-nents, you will find a couple of manuals, a nicely designed motor wrench, and some extra props.
This drone performed great right out of the box. One thing I really like about the Karma
is that it is a total solution. The gimbal is easily removed and interchangeable with the included Karma Grip. The Grip allows you to move the gimbal and camera to a handheld unit that has full control of the camera. This is great for getting action shots of the family, doing walk arounds, or even capturing action-sports footage using the action-cam mount system for the Grip. If you are looking for the perfect setup to capture your day-to-day or weekend-warrior activities, the Karma is just what you need.
The Karma is purpose-built to carry the GoPro HERO5 Black camera. It has plenty of power for takeoff with the included 5200mAh LiPo battery. Advertised flight time of the Karma is 20 minutes, which I found to be accurate. Of course, flight times vary slightly based on your flying style.
The Karma’s flight controls are smooth but responsive. There are two flight modes: Easy Mode On and Easy Mode Off. With Easy Mode On, the Karma is controllable and will surely be perfect for the beginning pilot. With Easy Mode Off, the Karma is more responsive and nimble for the more advanced pilot.
The Karma also has a handful of auto shot paths, including the Dronie, Cable Cam, Reveal, and Orbit. These shot paths really help the operator get that dramatic shot.
Another nice feature is the Karma Passenger app. This gives you the ability to allow someone with a smart device to ride along and operate the camera while you concentrate on the Karma or simply take the person holding the smart device for a ride.
The core of this entire system is the gimbal. GoPro did a great job of creating a lightweight gimbal that does an amazing job of stabilizing your shots. Combine this with the amazing quality of the HERO5 Black and you have a winning combination.
If you want a solution that provides great options out of the box with almost no assembly time, pick up the GoPro Karma. The built-in flight simulator that comes on the controller is a great way for new pilots to learn to fly drones before risking their new baby.