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First Look: GoPro ‘Karma’ Drone

GoPro Karma Drone discontinued
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GoPro today unveiled its Karma drone. The company’s first quadcopter will come to market by the end of 2016 for $799.

GoPro Karma Drone Kit

Announced at a press event today, the long-anticipated drone pairs with the company’s HERO cameras on a stabilizing mount.

In a live speech, GoPro Founder Nick Woodman called it “so much more than a drone,” and that statement seems on point. The unit comes in a backpack. It unfolds to reveal four arms and a camera mount on front.

The included remote control looks like a small video game console, including buttons to fly the drone and a screen. It flies and records, compatible with multiple GoPro models.

GoPro Karma Controller

Karma Grip Handheld

One major thing that sets it apart: A user can remove the front part of the drone to have a handheld unit (see below). This camera-on-a-stick uses the drone’s gimbal for stabilization.

It’s called the Karma Grip feature, and the unit is made to carry around and film. There are controls for shutter, mode, angle, and more on the handle.

GoPro promises “Hollywood-quality stabilization.” This comes from a gimbal that gives very steady recording; it was demonstrated during the launch via a stunning mountain biking video.

GoPro Karma Grip

GoPro Karma Drone

The GoPro Karma drone will cost $799 at its base price. It works with the company’s Hero4, Hero5 and Session camera models. GoPro will sell the Karma with a camera for $999 and $1,099 (with the new Hero5 Black edition, also announced today).

GoPro Karma

The Karma has some solid specs. With a 19-ounce battery it achieves flight time of up to 20 minutes, competitive for the field. With the included gimbal “Grip,” the 35 MPH drone will likely be an industry-disrupting force.

GoPro Karma

  • Maximum Speed 35 mph (15 m/s)
  • Maximum Distance 3280ft (1000m)
  • Maximum Flight Altitude 14,500ft (4,500m)
  • Maximum Wind Resistance 22mph (10m/s)
  • Operating Frequency 2.4GHz
  • Dimensions (Opened/No Propellers) Length: 12in (303mm)
  • Width: 16.2in (411mm)
  • Height: 4.6in (117mm)
  • Dimensions (Folded/Transport) Length: 14.4in (365.2mm)
  • Width: 8.8in (224.3mm)
  • Height: 3.5in (89.9mm)
  • Propeller Length 10in (25.4cm)
  • Weight 35.5oz (1006g)

Long-Anticipated GoPro Karma Drone

Buzz around the Karma has been big since GoPro hinted at its existence many months ago. This summer, leaks were all over the internet, including grainy images of the drone and screen grabs accidentally uploaded on GoPro’s European sites.

Coupled with the handheld gimbal stabilizer mount (see Karma Grip above) and a cloud storage service that wirelessly uploads video clips to help users manage their data, Karma has the potential to steer the company beyond its mainstay action cameras.

Nick Woodman unveils GoPro Karma Drone
Nick Woodman unveils the GoPro Karma Drone

We look forward to testing the Karma drone. For more than a decade we’ve followed GoPro and have been impressed with its rise from its initial surfing-centric 35mm camera on a neoprene bracelet (yes, a film camera) to the high-tech flying filmer announced today.

Get more info on the Karma or pre-order your own here.

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