The Launch of GoPro Karma 

It’s not news to anyone that GoPro has launched its first drone called Karma. The presentation for its release, from the CEO Nick Woodman was  followed to the letter, but still lacked some information.

Below are the answers to the questions of the drone fans for the GoPro Karma.


First, lets look at the technical aspects:

Maximum Speed: 15 m/s (35 mph)

Flight time:  More than 20 minutes

Maximum distance / reach:  1 Km

Maximum wind resistance:  9.8 m / s

Operating frequency:  2.4GHz

Size: Length:  30.5 cm Width: 41.2 cm, Height: 11,6cm

Gimbal shaft:  3 stabilization axes

Price:  $ 799 (US)

The GoPro Karma has an autonomous flight mode?

Yes, with some advantages. The remote has a button for takeoff, landing and “return to home”. It also features four pre-programmed flight modes:

  • Dronie : This is where the camera will start on you and zoom up into the sky.
  • Cable Cam : a mode that simulates a camera on a cableway, going back and forth to the same point of origin.
  • Reveal : flight mode straight at low speed, simulating some movie scenes.
  • Orbit : flight mode which is circulating a specific point on a perfect orbital path.


Karma is foldable and easy to carry

GoPro also developed an application called Passenger, which allows the pilots friends to watch the live video being recorded by the Karma camera.

GoPro said they wanted a drone that recorded the user’s emotion during it adventures spontaneously, but how can this happen without the “Follow Me” function?

This seems like an oversight of GoPro developers, but this function can be launched in the future with an update to the software.

Karma also comes with remote controls inspired by Xboxs and Playstations, which most users are already accustomed too. So you can ask a friend to control the drone as you descend a mountain, for example. However, this may not be ideal, especially taking into account the philosophy of “up and go” (free translation of ‘get up and go’) GoPro.

GoPro has developed the Karma thinking about the target audience as novice consumers, but in reality this drone has the minimum requirement to at least be considered an intermediate drone.

The GoPro Karma worth the investment?

The price is undoubtedly the great advantage of Karma. It’s hard to beat the price of the entire package, even if the drone does not have the settings to play with the big boys in the drone market.

The Karma will begin sales on October 23 (US) costing $ 799 for the drone, $ 1,099 with a camera Hero 5 or $ 999 with a Hero 5 Session. The two options with 4K cameras are very cost-effective, especially when compared to other drones within extreme sports.

Also, by buying Karma with the camera option, you obtains three products: the drone, high resolution camera and support with stabilizer.

With all the accessories, including control of the drone, it’s difficult not to conclude that Karma is excellent value for money.


Karma support with stabilizer

How does Karma fair compared to other models?

Karma seems to have found an interesting balance between technicality and price. GoPro wanted to make a drone which was cost-effective, so it’s natural the Karma’s technical specifications can not compete against top models like DJI and Yuneec.

The lack of an obstacle avoidance technology is a negative point of the model, but you can understand the lack of this feature when taking into account the price of the drone.

The DJI Phantom and Tyhoon H of Yuneec have a technology that prevents accidents, which makes perfect sense when you think of a drone for outdoor sports. The question is, how users will react to Karma if accidents occur?

The lack of an autonomous flight mode is another drawback, particularly since this type of technology is common in other intermediate drones.Moreover, the model has a relatively low flight time, about 20 minutes, which limits the ability of the drone.

The central point is that GoPro did not try to compete with Tyhoon H or Phantom 4. The Karma was developed to dominate the intermediate drones market. The high expectations generated by the drone was mainly due to it coming from tech giants GoPro. The audience will always expect wonderful products from this company, even in such a competitive market.

There are rumors that the DJI will soon launch a new drone, the Mavic, which may end up with the fine print of Karma. If this is met with wild applause, or reservations, only time will tell.

The Yuneec already introduced a new remote control with a mountable screen and another drone with detachable gimbal. The DJI is about to launch a folding drone in a matter of days. So it seems the Karma will have to use the GoPro brand, products and accessories that come with the package to stand out in the market.

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