In the second half of 2016, GoPro surprised all fans of their products, releasing a familiar camera, and a quadrocopter. It is clear that very few people missed this event, the drone was immediately felt by bloggers, experts on copters and simple fans of technology. As it turned out, the device turned out to be far from the best, so in the network one by one began to appear reviews of disillusioned buyers. And not only that the drone turned out not super, so it was also with a defect: in flight, the battery could disconnect itself and then the drone rocketed to the ground.
Since they do not know how to plan the drones, it all ended sadly. Having learned that the problem is of a massive nature, the manufacturer withdrew all the sold devices and promised to shortly
clean the chakra drones to finish the model. The promise was executed quite quickly, the updated Copter entered the US market, and then Europe. Did the company manage to correct all the shortcomings and make the drone more attractive? Running ahead, we can say that yes, but only partially.
Yes, Karma does not fall from the sky to the ground, but almost all the shortcomings of the first version of the Copter, released in 2016, remained in the updated model. For example, this drone can not follow in automatic mode for its owner. Battery life is below average, there are still no sensors that help stabilize the drone and avoid obstacles. More details of the first version of the drone were discussed here. What does Karma have such that a copter can please users?
One of the advantages is the ability to detach the suspension for the camera, turning it into an excellent portable stabilizer that works with the entire model range of cameras from GoPro. Karma is adapted for cameras last and the penultimate versions – Hero 4 and Hero 5. So you can use these devices under water. But this can not be said, of course, of drones.
It can be advised to those users who are fond of surfing, cycling, mountain biking, etc. If you need a drone to shoot wonderful views or copter, you want to replace your model two years ago – then Karma should not be counted. There are more interesting competitors, including DJI Mavic.
Portability of the Copter is still not up to par. His legs can be folded, the same applies to the screws, which are simply retracted into a stowed position. In this form it is easier to transport. However, during transportation nothing is protected by the blades, which increases the probability of their damage. Unsuccessful movement – and you can run for more details.
Comparing with the same folding Mavic Pro, you can see that Karma loses in all respects. The drone from GoPro is placed in the middle backpack (some of them we did relatively recently), but the Mavic Pro is even placed in the pocket. And the possibilities of the latter are more extensive, but the weight and dimensions are almost two times less than that of Karma.
On the other hand, Karma is one of the most portable drones on the market, if you evaluate the same price range. In a relatively small amount of Karma there is one drawback – if larger drones can land on almost any site, then this copter has to fear a lot, even herbs. Some users complain that during the landing the screws are sometimes damaged, damaging the plants in place of planting.
One of the advantages is that this copter has a rather convenient controller with an integrated display. Here, users do without connecting phones – the screen is really built-in. It is bright, the image is clear, the "picture" is visible even in blinding sunlight.
The image transmitted by the drones camera is not bad. True, there was no doubt that everything would be fine, because the GoPro cameras are really quality, for good reason they quickly became so popular.
But the lack of sensors to stabilize the position of the drone is a drawback. No matter how good the camera is, but the flooded horizon is annoying. And in the case of Karma there is a destabilization of the horizontal position during the flight. As a result, the camera image is somewhat inclined. This problem can be solved by adjusting the suspension, however, manually. The drone does not have the ability to change the position of the camera in flight. If something does not suit you, you have to lower the device to the ground, change everything manually and start again.
But if you use the suspension as a hand-held camera stabilizer, everything is fine. There is a small "fish eye" effect, but, in general, we get a video of excellent quality. To the functionality of the drone, the ability to use the suspension for shooting with "hands" does not apply, rather, it's a question of a good set of devices. After Karma disappeared from the counters, GoPro began selling the suspension as a stand-alone product, calling it the Grip. And the cost of the stabilizer is rather big – $ 299. By the way, DJI has a similar product, which is called
DJI Osmo. However, it is better to use it in a quiet environment, while Grip is more suited to the same extreme sportsmen that use GoPro cameras.
Connection to the controller goes via Wi-Fi, which imposes restrictions on the distance from which you can control the drone. The maximum under optimal conditions is one kilometer. For comparison, DJI Mavic can be controlled at a distance of up to seven kilometers. The difference is not that decent, it's huge. As for the broadcast signal, there is nothing wrong to say. The signal is clear, the video is transmitted without interference. The drone can automatically return to the takeoff point, but here there is one problem – it returns by the shortest path, without repeating the trajectory of motion to the point of maximum distance from the operator. And if on this way back there is an obstacle – the drone into it will be cut, if the operator does not have time to react. As already mentioned above, the copter does not automatically react to obstacles.
In addition, due to the lack of sensors, Karma can move slightly if you leave the copter in one position, causing it to hang over the ground. And here too there is a danger that the device, suddenly changing position, will hit something.
The charge of the battery, according to the developers, should ensure the operation of the drone within 20 minutes. But this is in optimal conditions, which are rare. In fact, the drone is kept in the air for about 18 minutes.
In general, the merits of GoPro Karma include the ease of working with it and relative versatility. Weak sides are more – this is a small capacity battery, and working distance, plus the lack of a follow-up mode with the inability to track obstacles that may occur along the way. But now there is at least no danger that the copter will suddenly fall.
Karma is not the most successful experience of GoPro. This drone, if not the initial, then the middle level, with a small number of functions and a number of shortcomings. If we draw an analogy with smartphones, then this is a "budget" with limited capabilities. True, the price is rather high, so this money is better spent on something else. For example, DJ Mavic Pro, or buy something simpler, including Hover Camera Passport or ZeroTech Dobby.
The last two devices are portable self-drones, which can be useful in a large number of cases. Went to the resort? Please, the flying self-robot is always at your service. He even makes a photo of the owner with smoothies and an electronic cigarette, if necessary. Well, or captured on the wave during surfing.