Despite what seems like years of rumours, GoPro’s own drone has been unseen and unannounced at major tech trade shows in 2016. That ends today as GoPro announce the Karma which they call “much more than a drone”.
Sometimes being first to market means success, take the role of DJI in the drone market as an example, however when you look at what GoPro have announced it may be that GoPro are about to prove that it certainly is better late than never.
The Karma drone will be available on October 24 in Australia for $1,195 without a camera, or $1,649.95 if you buy it with a GoPro Hero5 Black (another new product announced today).
Critically, the Karma doesn’t appear to be a rip off of another drone or features.
It’s unlike the DJI Phantom or the Parrot Bebop, both of which are selling well and are at the top of the game.
Firstly, the Karma is compact and foldable – the entire drone folds into the included backpack which indicates that GoPro is hoping to capture and expand on their already large action cam market with people taking their Karma Drone to remote and extreme places to capture great videos.
Secondly, a “game-style” controller with an integrated touch display makes flying simple, and removes the need for a separate tablet or phone for control.
Finally, the gimbal on the Karma Drone which is made to house your GoPro can be removed and attached to an included Grip handle to allow GoPro owners to create handheld footage.
This product is a mass market GoPro branded attack on the DJI and Parrot drone markets, and DJI’s emerging handheld Osmo market.
Given the price even with a camera, the features are very rich and the combination of a backpack included in the price along with the handheld gimbal make it a compelling choice in the market.
The Hero5 Black camera which goes on sale on October 3 features a 2 inch touch screen, simple controls, 4K video at 30 fps and 12MP photos and is waterproof without the need for an additional housing.
UPDATE re Australian availability: Karma will be available at select stores in Australia and at GoPro.com, Sunday October 23.