“Karma is the ultimate aerial, handheld and wearable stabilization solution for the GoPro community. As the consumer drone market continues to grow, Karma delivers the most versatile solution at a very accessible price.” – Nick Woodman, GoPro Founder and CEO
The reason why GoPro had recalled every single Karma drone was due to a faulty battery latch mechanism, which could cause the power cell to disengage and the drone to immediately lose power.
“We had a mechanical issue where the battery backs out just a little bit and decouples the connector,” Nick Woodman said last month in an interview at CES (hat tip: MarketWatch). “If you came out with a way to keep that battery from backing out just a few millimeters, you’ll be fine.” Woodman then “unofficially” admitted that a simple piece of tape could solve the problem for those who had decided not to return their drone.
But having committed to a complete recall to solve the problem, GoPro went ahead and redesigned battery latch and updated every Karma drone in stock with the new latch design. Now the Karma is ready to be reintroduced to the world, and it’s a good idea to be reminded just how special the Karma Drone really is.
With a light weight backpack design, the Karma System is far more than a drone, as the 3 axis handheld Karma Grip can be taken out of the drone housing, and not only used handheld, but also used in concert with just about any GoPro mount made.
Other features include:
- A game-style controller with an integrated touch display, making it fun, fast and easy to fly without the need for a separate phone or tablet to see what the drone sees.
- The 3-axis camera stabilizer can be removed from the Karma drone and attached to the included Karma Grip for capturing ultra-smooth handheld and body-mounted shots.
- Karma also features several preset flight patterns that make Hollywood-caliber aerial shots like dronie, orbit, reveal and cable cam easy to execute for even a beginner.
GoPro is making the drone available in three different bundles: If you returned your Karma for a free refund and got a HERO5 as thanks for the trouble, or even if you have the HERO5 or HERO4, then GoPro is making Karma available to you without a GoPro camera for $799.99. Those using the HERO5 Session or the HERO4 Black or Silver, then the Karma drone will require a dedicated harness to make them compatible with the Grip and system. The harness will sell for an additional $29.99.
Next, if you’re buying everything, then Karma can come bundled with HERO5 Black for $1099.99. This is the ideal bundle, as it allows you to take to the skies immediately to get that classic aerial shot, much like you see in the video above.
But many bought the GoPro Karma Grip axis controller as a stand alone accessory for their Hero5 or Hero4 cameras. And for those who have enjoyed the Grip but now want to give their Grip wings, GoPro is making available the Flight Kit for Karma Grip bundle this coming April for $599.99 MSRP.
And having put the power issues behind them, GoPro can now focus on Karma’s future, with plans for new features and functions via software updates in the future.
So whether you bought into Karma early and had to return it, or you kept your powder dry, GoPro’s drone is now ready for its return. And I can’t wait to fly it. For more information, visit the GoPro blog here.