More and more manufacturers are coming up with a wider variety of products these days, and GoPro, which at some point almost owned a niche of innovation, is certainly not an exception. And, while everyone more or less got used to their ‘pocket HD cameras’ by now, the company decided to explore further, coming out with undoubtedly the hottest gadget of all times, the drone. They called it Karma.
And, while the drone market itself is booming, and the name was certainly right, the drone does leave some things to be desired. Let’s unbox it, shall we?
You cannot blame GoPro for not paying enough attention to details, and everything – from the case to the looks of the drone is truly perfectionistic. In fact, the case is also much more convenient to use than the DJI one. With sleek, aerodynamic, modern-looking design, the exterior is proudly finished with a GoPro logo on top of the drone.
As soon as we got the package, we went down to Oak Street Beach to test it out. Unfortunately, the battery turned out to be completely dead, so we had to come back to it later.
However, while the battery was an easy fix, it then followed with a connection error, where the controller could not connect to the drone at all. Seriously? After a factory reset, it’s been fixed and cleared until… a compass error. To cut a long story short, after 5-6 attempts we got airborne.
The manufacturer assures that the Karma can fly up to 35 mph. We were able to fly it as fast as 21 mph, but for some reason were not able to have it going any faster, no matter how hard we tried.
As far as the flying time goes, you can spend up to 20 minutes in the air, and the DJI Phantom battery is still a bit more powerful for the time being. There wouldn’t be a huge difference though (roughly just around a few minutes), but if you do need to get a specific shot, you would most likely catch it with the Phantom.
Image and camera stabilization are on the strong side of the new Karma. The image quality also seems to be much better than the one the DJI Phantom 4 has. Plus, you do not see props in the frame, since the camera is located in front of them, and second of all, the quality of the GoPro camera is still higher.
One of the negative sides for us, however, was the fact that you can film and change the settings only using a controller (not your phone, as in DJI), with an SD card in the GoPro, flying up top along with the drone, so if the drone and the camera get damaged, the video will also be lost.
Should you go with a new Karma?
Definitely, especially if you’re looking to try something new.
Is Karma now the best drone out there? Definitely not, but you could consider it the first edition of such.
Will it become the best, with all the GoPro technology on board? We’re almost certain it will.
So if you’re in the market for a drone, check this Karma out. You won’t be disappointed.
By Vera Sauchanka, Dennis Bindarau