GoPro Hero 6, Karma Drone
I am updating this, 8/17/18, as I can no longer support or recommend any GoPro product. I have not modified the original content of this post, other then to remove the links.
On 7/29/18 my Karma drone had a disconnect error and flew off. I was initially unable to find the unit, I opened a case with GoPro. 1 week after the loss, prior to a response from GoPro, the drone was found destroyed laying on a rock. I do not have any pictures, as I have not been able to get it back in my
possession yet. The incident happened at an out of town event.
GoPro has "closed" my case without a resolution because it was not their fault there was connection error while the unit was in the air. I will update in the future if there are any significant updates.
I was going to write this post after I had the drone section of my site up, but I have had a ton of people asking me questions, so I will try and answer them the best I can.
This post is going to be short on pictures. To use my drone commercially, which this site is, I need to have an FAA 107 license, which I am working on.
Image from GoPro
I have been interested in drones for a while now, but as much as I like video, having time to edit and do something constructive with the footage has been a challenge. Therefore, owning a drone just for a "toy" was just a bit out of the price range I was willing to spend.
As I started this photography business venture, I decided that I needed to upgrade to a new GoPro as my Hero 2 was about 7 years old. The Hero 2 is not a bad camera, but a lot has improved with GoPro over time. This search got me looking at the Hero 6 and that is when I learned about the Karma system.
This lead me to find the GoPro Karma with Hero 6 drone and it is Amazing.
While I originally looked at the drone as a "neat toy",
I quickly found that there are some amazingly creative avenues one can do with it. Plus, I just love flying it and seeing the landscape from a different perspective.
Now to answer the main question. How/why I chose the GoPro Karma with Hero 6. As I said before, I was just looking for a new video camera to do some "behind the scenes" work for this blog. I knew it would need to be used in the truck and in other rough areas which is where the Karma gimbal came into play. Since I needed these two items it was going to cost approximately $700 (Hero 6 is $400 and the Karma gimbal is $300). As I researched these two items more, I found the Karma drone system which includes both the Hero 6 and the Karma gimbal for $1000. Even if you are only able to do the most basic math, that means the price of adding the "drone" part of the system is only $300. To me that was a pretty reasonable price for entry into the drone world.
For as happy as I am with the new drone, you think I would rush out and tell everyone to get a GoPro Karma drone; however, there are some caveats that need to be mentioned. On January 8, 2018, GoPro announced they would be discontinuing the Karma drone. They will continue to service and supply parts.
The second big concern is that the Karma drone lacks many features, like proximity sensors and redundant navigation, that are standard on other similar class drones. One feature I really like on this drone that is not standard on similar class drones, is a dedicated controller with display. With most other drones you need to use a separate phone, tablet or other attached display. The other fantastic feature the Karma drone has over the others is a removable camera and gimbal.
For me the choosing the Karma with Hero 6 fit what I needed. I wanted a Hero 6 camera and the gimbal. For $300 more, I also go a drone with a dedicated display.
If you are looking for a class leading drone, take a serious look at the DJI Mavic Pro.