GoPro takes flight

Always wondered how to make your GoPro camera take awesome sweeping shots from impossible angles and vantages? Well, now that the action camera has finally unveiled its very own portable quadcopter drone, Karma, wonder no more.

The GoPro Karma package…

For $800, you can buy the Karma kit, containing a Quadcopter with foldable rotors that comes with a 3-axis gimbal for image stabilisation, and a backpack into which the entire thing can fit snugly.

For $1,000, you can get the Karma kit along with a Hero5 Session action camera.

For $1,100, they throw in a GoPro Hero5 Black. This is a best-of-both-worlds blend of Hero4 Black, which has a super-high resolution of 4K at 30 frames per second, and Hero4 Silver, which comes with a touchscreen navigation capability that makes it easier to operate. It is also water-proof and can be dunked down to 30 feet deep.

What Karma is competing with…

How does Karma match up against its former partner and current rival Dà-Jiāng Innovations’s (DJI) Phantom 4 quadcopter? (GoPro and DJI were working together on developing consumer drones, but fell out in 2015.)

Well, Karma, with its comparatively basic features, is more easy-to-use; while Phantom 4 is meant for the experienced fliers since it has a lot more versatility and functions.

Phantom 4 is also faster and outstrips Karma’s 35kph maximum speed by 10kph. It is also ‘intelligent’, in that it can learn like a baby does to identify and avoid obstacles that hurt. It also has a ‘Follow-Me’ feature, which allows you to program the copter to… follow you.

All this fanciness ramps up the price of DJI’s drone to $1,300, though.

So, if you’re a novice who just wants to get a great clear shot as you bungee-jump without worrying about having to fiddle with the settings all the way down, and then sling it around your back to your next adventure, then GoPro is for you.

What is the difference between a drone and a quadcopter?

There is no difference. If you were being pedantic, you might say that a drone is a quadcopter with a specific surveillance function. A quadcopter is basically an unmanned aerial vehicle with four rotors, each of whose propeller speeds can be individually manipulated to produce thrust in all three dimensions in the air.

Can I fly a drone in Indian skies?

Legally, not yet. Each country has its own civil aviation laws, some of which restrict the use of drones for commercial purposes, but permit recreational use. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation in India, however, is still poring over the legalities of drone use. Although, the enforcement of drone laws is quite lax, so if you are able to keep your UAV below an altitude of 50 metres, avoid getting it entangled in electric wires or affecting birds and airplanes, or dashing into someone’s head as they walk on the sidewalk, you should be fine.

So if you’re up for the challenge, tell your DSLR to go fly a kite, and then use your GoPro Karma to capture the video!


Leave a Comment