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Unveiled: GoPro Karma

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GoPro HERO action cameras have long been a popular choice for aerial image makers because of their small size, light weight, and ease of mounting. Now GoPro has put two and two together and created its own aerial platform: Karma.

Karma is a compact quadcopter that is designed to fold up easily for transport into an included lightweight carry case or the available GoPro Seeker backpack. The drone integrates a gimbal stabilizer that can alternatively be detached and used terrestrially with the Karma Grip Handle. Unlike third-party platforms that work with GoPro HEROs, the Karma features full control integration when used with the HERO5 Black, HERO5 Session, HERO4 Back, or HERO4 Silver. You no longer need simply to hope for the best after pressing Record and sending the bird into the air.


The Karma is easy to fold and transport.

Those familiar with aerial imaging drones will note the gimbal-mounting position is a bit unusual. The camera is placed at the front (“nose,” if you like) rather than underneath. This enables the HERO to achieve a greater tilt range with the tradeoff of more restricted panning, which can be compensated for simply by rotating the entire drone. It also helps to make aircraft orientation very clear. With basically symmetrical quadcopters that center the camera, it can be very easy to lose track of which end is the nose and which is the tail, whereas with the Karma, you can always distinguish the front based on which way the camera is pointing.

The Karma’s gimbal mounting position is a bit unusual, but enables the HERO to achieve a greater tilt range.

The Karma’s controller (“transmitter” to those coming from the RC world) features a distinctive clamshell design that flips up to reveal a video game-pad-style control surface and touchscreen display. The display allows you to view a live image, access settings, and control the HERO. There is also an auto takeoff and landing button to make flight as seamless as possible, even for beginners. When using a mobile device and the GoPro Passenger App, a second user can take part in the experience, as well. From the app, you can view the camera feed and even operate the camera while the pilot focuses on flying.

The Karma’s controller, with touchscreen display

The Karma features GPS and all the autopilot-assisted features we’ve come to expect from multi-rotor platforms. These include automatic return-home on low voltage or loss of contact with the controller, and no-fly zones to help keep you from flying into restricted areas. You can also program Auto Shot Paths to help you get the best footage possible. These video-oriented flight modes include the “Dronies” selfie mode, Cable Cam for aerial tracking shots, Orbit for circular shots, and Reveal, which starts close and pulls back dramatically. 

The gimbal included with the Karma is detachable and, when coupled with the included Karma Grip, can be used freely on terra firma. The Grip supplies power to the gimbal and has camera controls built in. In addition to handholding, the grip can be combined with other GoPro mounts for use in a very numerous range of applications. Additional Grips will be available separately for shoots requiring longer battery life.

The Karma powers from a 5100mAh LiPo flight battery that will keep the drone in the air for up to 20 minutes. The battery takes about an hour to charge, and optional spares will be available, so you can keep a few on hand.

For added peace of mind, GoPro will offer the GoPro Care protection plan with the Karma. This extended warranty adds a year to the stock warranty and includes two full years of accidental damage coverage. Additionally, a range of spare parts will be available and the Karma will also come aircraft-only as the Karma Core for those who want to replace the drone component only.

A variety of accessories are also available to supplement the Karma line. These include Harnesses, which enable you to use the Karma Stabilizer with your HERO model. Harness are available for the HERO5 Black, HERO5 Session, HERO Session, HERO4 Black, and HERO4 Silver. Since spares are always essential in the RC, world you will find a range of parts, including motor arms, propeller sets, and landing gear, not to mentions batteries and  cases.

The following Karma bundles are available or coming soon:

For more information on the Karma and available accessories, please visit the B&H website. Fly safe!

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estimados, comparado con el MAVICPRO de DJI, cual recomiendan ustedes?, me recuerdo que KARMA no tenia algunas funciones que ahora si aparecen, como el regreso a casa, followme y otras como GPS, yo vivo en Chile y este drone practicamente no está en ninguna tienda, yo he comprado a ustedes y retiro en Miami, porque no envian a Chile?, el costo no es tan alto y creo que abririan un mercado.

tengo dudas ahora entre comprar un MAVICPRO o el KARMA, yo tengo actualmente un phantom 2 vision plus y quiero renovar

PD:estoy suscrito a su catalogo y me llega a Chile sin problemas.

saludos

Este drone puede ser muy bueno, pero por el momento es completamente desconocido en cuanto a confiabilidad...mi consejo es un Mavico Pro simplamente porque DJI tiene mas historia, y supongo que seria bastante dificil enviar de drone al EEUU para servio.reparacion.ganatia etc. Yo vivo en Ecuador y mi situacion es algo paracido!

DJI made a similar bad rollout with the Inspire; the props were coming off so they sent everyone prop locks and them new props. Hard to believe these companies go through all the research, development and testing without finding simple things like props falling off or batteries disconnecting. I'd be wary of pre-orders. Wait until they have been consumer tested for a couple months. 

Made in china

Did they fix any of the other problems like bad battery life and drifing or just them falling out of the sky? I like gopro and ordered a mavic but would rather the gopro if its fixed. 

Hi Ryan  -

  GoPro took care of all the known problems - thus the re-issue.

"Back in early November, GoPro recalled its newly released Karma drone, citing an issue that caused the drone to potentially lose power while in operation. The company announced the relaunch on its blog today, saying the ‘new’ Karma drone is nearly identical to the original model, with only one exception: the battery latch has been redesigned, solving the power loss issue some owners experienced."

Sill drifts like crazy and has no obsticle avoidence. Only problem I see they took care of other than the batery issue was the horizon tilt issue.

How can you tell if uyou have an updated (battery compartment latch) Karma. Whats the tell sign that you have a new Karma and not the original?

Hi Alan - 

Look for a recent (late 2016/2017) date of manufacture.

I would be interest if GoPro would fix their apps so you didn't have to login to use them. It stinks to be somewhere and not able to use the app because you don't have Internet and can't login.  For the GoPro this is a major inconvenience, for their drone it would mean you couldn't fly.  They keep trying to fix it but they need to loose the login requirement. Until they fix this, I will not be buying anything GoPro.

This is also my complaint

Anonymous wrote:

I would be interest if GoPro would fix their apps so you didn't have to login to use them. It stinks to be somewhere and not able to use the app because you don't have Internet and can't login.  For the GoPro this is a major inconvenience, for their drone it would mean you couldn't fly.  They keep trying to fix it but they need to loose the login requirement. Until they fix this, I will not be buying anything GoPro.

They just enabled temporary app use use with "No Login" on the new version of the capture app from GoPro.

I'll take a "hard pass" on this one and stick with my P2 with Hero3+. It's a great profile with some nice features and killer camera and I really wanted to like this one but it falls short (literally and figuratively) of expectations. For the money (or a little bit extra) I would stick wth DJI for now and not be a guinnea pig for GoPro. Maybe at $500 it would be a nice "backup" but what else is going to make it drop out of the sky next?

Can the Flir VUE one be easily installed on this, swapping back and forth with original camera?

Hi Eric - 

Not that we are aware of. This product is designed strictly around GoPro HERO cameras only.  Proceed cautiously at your own risk if you are experimenting with un-approved 3rd party cameras.   

Just yesterday B&H sent me a product update saying that the Karma was "discontinued" Today I got a message saying the Karma is not available for pre-order. This confusing. 

Me too...

yes I meant "now:" not "not" taking preorders :)

Feb 1, 2017
GoPro recalled the oriiginal Karma during November, 2016. The Karma announced this week is a new product. As reported today (Feb 1, 2017) in The Verge: "GoPro’s Karma drone is returning to store shelves after a three-month-long recall. The company announced in a press release that it has fixed the issue that nearly doomed its quadcopter, and that Karma is going back on sale today at ... “select US retailers” including ... B&H..."  -- Henry Posner / B&H Photo-Video

In addition, Petapixel reported:
The company says that the problem was that batteries were disconnecting during flights, causing a loss of power and the drone to plummet.
“GoPro identified the issue as related to the latch mechanism which secured the drone’s battery,” the company said today. “A redesigned battery latch has been incorporated into the updated Karma drone to solve the issue.”

-- Henry Posner / B&H Photo-Video

Harry

Do we need to login to use the app? What happens if no nternet is available?

Hi Harry - 

The latest version of the app  allows "No Login" use.

Hi Dennis - 

Feb 1, 2017
GoPro recalled the oriiginal Karma during November, 2016. The Karma announced this week is a new product. As reported today (Feb 1, 2017) in The Verge: "GoPro’s Karma drone is returning to store shelves after a three-month-long recall. The company announced in a press release that it has fixed the issue that nearly doomed its quadcopter, and that Karma is going back on sale today at ... “select US retailers” including ... B&H..."  -- Henry Posner / B&H Photo-Video

In addition, Petapixel reported:

The company says that the problem was that batteries were disconnecting during flights, causing a loss of power and the drone to plummet.
“GoPro identified the issue as related to the latch mechanism which secured the drone’s battery,” the company said today. “A redesigned battery latch has been incorporated into the updated Karma drone to solve the issue.”

Hi 

WHen will you guys have the karma in stock?

Hi Craig -

We do not have firm dates from GoPro at this time.  if you sign up for an e-mail notification at the link provided below, we will be happy to let you know as soon as we do:

http://bhpho.to/2duBnrE

Everyone .. EVERYONE ... has a screen in their pocket. I don't see why we need the extra expence of another one on the controller.

I assume this go pro has live signal, not a 3 second delay like my silver 3plus. It is hard to fly FPV with that 3 second delay.

I've been waiting for a built in screen actually. It is really annoying attaching my phone each time I want to fly my phantom or inspire. This is a step forward for those who are time-poor on shoots. 

Buy a Yneec

I don't, my flip phone still works fine for phone calls. Otherwise I have a 17" laptop.

Seriously? no one wants to have to use their smartphone as main(and only)viewing screen...that is an inconvenience of last year. App syncing and no use of phone while using with drone?? not for me. The only reason DJI is still using the smartphone as main screen in their latest drone is because Apple required that as a condition of being displayed in Apple stores. Apple wants its iphone as the core of everything mobile, that wont last much longer. GoPro would not comply with this Apple demand. Seperate, smartphone free, controller and viewing screen is a huge selling point for me going with Karma drone. "passenger" app allows a second person to control camera from a smartphone while controller is guiding drone.

Not at all, I find it very convenient.  Then, if I want another display, I will use a tablet.  I do not want to be stuck with a display that will break or does not meet my needs for visibility and quality if I desire a large screen.  And, for casual flishts, I like my phone display.

So, seriously, why should I pay for their integrated display and be forced to go through a warranty just to replace it, and not be able to determine the quality of a large display on my own?  Cut the price by 100 and let me decide where I spend my money.

I, for one, does not have a smart phone, thus "a screen in my pocket".

So I guess I am out with a Hero 3+ ?

I am with you . Gopro3 black

Article says Hero 4 & 5 have "full control integration". Wondering what functionality is lost with earlier models. Right with you in Hero 3+ camp waiting on those pesky-pesky details.

I’m hoping there will be a physical mount for the HERO3/3+. But it doesn't look like you will be able to control the camera.    

I have read that the Hero 5 has much higher resolution in video and stills.  Is this true in the field, or hype from GoPro?  I have a Hero 3+ and am disappointed with the quality of most of the images.

Hi Brooks - 

The Hero 5 Black does offer better video and still images than the Hero 3+

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