At Photokina 2016 in Cologne, Germany, GoPro announced their first drone, the not-entirely-unexpected Karma. It is, without wanting to put too fine a point on it, a bit of a game changer in the drone world.
Highlights of the GoPro Karma drone are its ease-of-use, the removable 3-axis stabiliser, and the fact it’s foldable and comes with a carry case and backpack, making it rather impressive.
The handheld Karma Grip can be removed and mounted to cars, bikes, gear, or yourself for amazingly stable footage normally the reserve of pro-level steady cams, further enhanced by GoPro’s own in-built digital stabilisation.
Potentially the saviour of GoPro, the Karma is focussed on how easy it to use, even for beginners, right out of the box. It’s got a one-button takeoff and landing feature that will help first time pilots, as well as built-in No-Fly Zones designed to keep you out of trouble by mistakenly entering restricted air space.
Clearly designed for anyone and everyone, the Karma has PreFlight Training built in, which will guide you through tutorials and a flight simulator to learn how to fly before you take your first flight.
Other typical drone features are also present, like the Karma’s ability to automatically return home if it’s out of range, loses the connection or the battery runs low.
The Karma comes with what GoPro are describing as a ‘Game-Style Controller’, ensuring it’s fun and easy to fly while being able to control the camera at the same time. Alternatively, you can use GoPro’s Passenger App, which lets a friend take control view your flight and control the GoPro while you fly.
GoPro have thought through the Karma beyond just the drone itself, how it flies and its usability by ensuring that all the arms, landing gear, propeller blades and other components are easily replaceable and even come with all the tools you need to do the work yourself, or you can opt for GoPro Care which means they’ll replace anything you break through accidental damage (for extra cost, obviously, but it could be worth it if you’re a high-risk flyer).
Where the GoPro Karma really makes a statement, however, is the price. It will be available in late October 2016 for £719.99 in the UK.
Check out some footage from GoPro: