Sep 19th, 2016

At long last, GoPro has finally revealed their Karma drone. The GoPro Karma takes on the brand’s natural identity of being the perfect companion for those looking to record life’s crazy adventures. Instead of strapping a camera to your helmet, you can let it soar in the skies to give you a new perspective for showing off your extreme exploits.

Specs and Features

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The Karma drone doesn’t necessarily change the game so much that it’ll be a no-brainer for buying one — it’s a camera drone and it flies — but there are several reasons to make it one of your first considerations when shopping around. Perhaps the biggest is its ability to use any GoPro Hero4, Hero5 Black, or Hero5 Session as its camera (read more about them here), which, yes, means it’s detachable via a stabilization gimbal.

The reason that’s so huge is it allows you to use one device for multiple scenarios. Going on a foresty biking trail? Take the Hero5 and attach it to your handlebars or helmet. Once you’re skiing on the slopes later that winter, have your friend attach it to the Karma drone to give you an aerial shot of your moves.

The cameras attach to the Karma drone with a new stabilization mount to deliver the smoothest GoPro footage yet. It especially shines through on the Hero5, which now includes video stabilization. The new mount can also slot itself into a Hero Grip which you can use as a handheld or mount onto your GoPro-compatible products. And because the camera is front-mounted, there’s no chance of propeller blades getting into your shots as is possible on full-tilt shots being captured on drones where the camera is mounted on the underside.

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GoPro Karma against the competition.

Karma also earns its keep in simplicity. The drone is compact enough to fit into a backpack-sized, well, backpack. It isn’t quite small enough to maneuver its way under the hollowed base of a library lamp like an earlier teaser video seemed to imply, but compared to the field of competition it’s a pretty small unit.

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When you need the drone, open the pack and extend its arms and landing gear to get going. The included remote gives you easy one-touch operation for takeoff and landing, and a big display also helps make sure you’re capturing everything you want to.

Drone specs

  • Maximum Speed: 35 mph (15 m/s)
  • Maximum Distance: 3280ft (1000m)
  • Maximum Flight Altitude: 14,500ft (4,500m)
  • Maximum Wind Resistance: 22mph (10m/s)
  • Operating Frequency: 2.4GHz
  • Dimensions (Opened/No Propellers): Length: 12in (303mm), Width: 16.2in (411mm), Height: 4.6in (117mm)
  • Dimensions (Folded/Transport): Length: 14.4in (365.2mm), Width: 8.8in (224.3mm), Height: 3.5in (89.9mm)
  • Propeller Length: 10in (25.4cm)
  • Weight: 35.5oz (1006g)

Controller specs

  • Screen Size: 5in (12.7cm)
  • Screen Resolution: 720p
  • Screen Brightness: 900 nits
  • Battery Life: 4 hours
  • Operating Frequency: 2.4GHz
  • Weight: 22oz (625g)

For operating modes, you get your standard suite of easy and automatic modes for composing your shots. Those include dronie (zoom selfies!), cable cam (moving in space between 1 pre-defined point and another), reveal (panning until the desired subject is in the shot) , and orbit (continuous circular pan around the subject).

GoPro has also included the ability to let your friends get a live view of the drone’s footage, as well as the ability to control the drone from their own smartphones. Once you have all your footage, GoPro makes it easy to transfer it all to their Quik editing app that lets you piece together clips and apply filters and music for a “Quik” highlight reel.

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As for the new Hero5 Black that can attach to it, it’s a waterproof camera unit that doesn’t require any enclosures, and also features 4K video recording, video stabilization, GPS, Bluetooth, and voice control, and you can read more about it right here.

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These two cameras both work with GoPro Karma. Read more.

Price

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The GoPro Karma drone itself is going for $799. If you already have a GoPro Hero 4 or plan on getting a Hero 5 or Hero Session, you’re set for the camera, but if you don’t already have the cameras then GoPro is also offering bundles that’ll take $100 off the whole kit and kaboodle. The Karma + Session bundle will set you back $999, while $1,099 gets you a Karma with a GoPro Hero 5.

Don’t forget that all Karma packages include the drone, the controller, the stabilizing mount, and the grip, and all of it fits into the backpack it’ll ship with.

Release Date

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The GoPro Hero5 and Hero Session will be in your hands (or on your head) starting October 2nd. Unfortunately, if you want some aerial action recorded you’ll have to wait until October 23rd as that is the day that its compatible Karma drone launches. Head to GoPro’s shop to sign up for pre-registration information.