GoPro Karma: First Impressions

With the current market showcasing compact-ability, ease of usage and convenience as major commercial points with drones getting released recently. GoPro has been the ‘first’ to release a commercial quadcopter that utilities the fold out type set up with the Karma.

Firstly, I’d like to point out that this isn’t a promotional blog post and nor am I being paid for or endorsed by GoPro, these are my opinions and how I am reacting to various reviews and footage pieces.

On first viewing this drone looks AWESOME. The gimbal is a 90degree up and down axis

GoPro Control Remote

It has an inbuilt screen so the user doesn’t have to use a smartphone with it. This then means the battery life runs the remote control and the LED screen. The joysticks seem to be pretty responsive from the video flight footage I’ve seen. The other features include a take off/return to home (press once) button, a gimbal control, a record button and a highlight button (that allows the user to highlight or mark a particular point in the video that they can easily find on review). The controller neatly folds up into a square cube that allows protection of the screen, joysticks and buttons, as well as packaging ease.

The drone itself uses fold way arms that fold nicely into a bag/backpack hard case. The nice thing about that is that the propeller wings don’t have to be disassembled to be exported around. This saves time and get’s the pilot in the air quicker. The fold down landing gear, and wings mean that it can all be packaged up and taken out and assembled with ease, meaning more portability and less shots missed.

Pablo Lema, Senior Director

“What’s great about KARMA is that if I bring it and don’t use it, it won’t get in the way”


The Karma Grip, is an included piece of technology that allows the camera gimbal to be taken out of the drone, and clicked into a hand held stabilizer that offers jolt free fluid videos from the palm of your hand. This then also slots straight into a pouch on the backpack that allows a hands free recording device that has a clear and detailed view of the subjects in-front of the user. This means you don’t miss opportunities that are captured on the ground, the karma grip becomes an extension of the drone.

From all reports the GoPro Karma allows an intermediate user the chance to enter the drone fast paced application with easy controls, on-board assistance as well as a simulator on the remote control for those new in both first person view and a 3D model of the craft in a virtual space. This release has showcased enormous potential to contend with the likes of DJI and Parrot in being a widely available drone for all markets. Improvements in sensory technology, open source hardware and software and further technical developments and sizing will have serious implications on the way drones are presented to the public.

A great addition in my opinion in the color white for the drone, with the small “game-boy” style remote control. Often the look and aesthetic of a device can influence the way it’s viewed in space, and the idea that it folds away into a backpack, and doesn’t require a briefcase on wheels instantly changes the intentional narratives or market. For example, photographers are targeted but now so are tertiary academics and action sport athletes.















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