To be honest, when I first heard about the new “GoPro Karma Drone” in late 2015, I didn’t pay much interest. I expected a drone which carries a GoPro camera, since recently released drones like DJI Phantom or Mi drone already come with an integrated camera. On launch day I was curious about the new GoPro HERO5 but then Karma really amazed me:

Why Karma was overdue

I’m currently preparing my equipment for a holiday, so I put together my gear: camera & underwater case including some mounts. I was thinking which gimbal I should take with me: the handheld Evolution or the mountable Rider2, not sure which one I will need. Each of them needs different batteries and a different charger. I also prepared my drone – which is not gimbal equipped – as I would need a third one. So I put it aside again as it doesn’t fit into my luggage. Then I saw GoPro Karma – all of the these items in one backpack, which is already included! A whole new ecosystem, easy to use, for all possible activities I might go for! Let’s take a closer look:

GoPro Kamera Ecosystem

GoPro Kamera Ecosystem

 

GoPro Karma

You are getting a whole ecosystem for all kind of situations and activities to get you the best possible shots, as Karma is a variable system. Including an easy to use drone, which can be operated without much knowledge or drone flying. For fast and basic learning a flight simulator is integrated. The game-style controller features a touch display and a straightforward user interface. A take-off button gets Karma drone into the air and leveled. Several predesigned auto shot paths provide great results like in movies. I think Karma drone is a camera accessory which gets you great aerial footage rather than flying a drone for capturing videos. But why is it more than that?

GoPro Karma - Drone & Handheld Gimbal

GoPro Karma – Drone & Handheld Gimbal

 

All-in-one solution

Because it is an “all in one” solution. I get this question from users so often: Which gimbal to buy? Handheld or mountable/wearable? And most of them complain that non of them can be attached to a drone. With GoPro Karma you can easily remove the gimbal from the drone and attach it to the grip (which is included!). Within seconds you get yourself a handheld gimbal. Another great and important advantage is that they use the same battery, which again minimizes the gear you have to carry along.

You can attach Karma gimbal to the backpack or any other mount like a suction cup. An extension cable is available to separate the head and the grip if a more compact solution is required. Take a look at my video where I mounted a Zhiyun Rider2 gimbal (looks similar to GoPro Karma with extension cable) to a mountain biker’s helmet. Looks like the cam was pulled on a wire through the woods:

 

Easy to take along

As mentioned at the beginning, Karma replaces lot’s of gear, up to now only available from 3rd party manufacturers. Hence all of these tools now come from GoPro, work perfectly together, are more compact to store and even fit into one included backpack.

GoPro Karma Backback

GoPro Karma Backback

 

And that’s what I like best about this ecosystem. You are flexible and you can choose the accessory which benefits your situation the most to get the best shot of the activity you are currently following. You don’t have to ask yourself “Which equipment am I going to take with me?” Just grab Karma backpack and you are prepared for almost every situation. There is only one small detail which I couldn’t answer, if the backpack fits 2-3 mounts, like Suction Cup Count or Clamp, which I usually have with me.

 

GoPro Karma Drone & Remote on display at Photokina, Cologne

GoPro Karma Drone & Remote on display at Photokina, Cologne

 

I hope I can test Karma soon, I really can’t wait and I’m almost sure it will replace many of my current bags. Karma will be available Oct. 23rd starting at 799 USD (including drone, handheld grip, batteries & backpack) and will be available in a bundle with the current camera lineup GoPro HERO5 black or GoPro HERO 5 Session. Karma is also compatible with GoPro HERO 4 cameras.

 

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