Karma drone

The GoPro Karma drone is about to take the Malaysian market by storm, or shall we say, fly through the storm. With an improved design which sorts out the problems the debut model had, the Karma drone features a compact, fits-in-a-backpack design and includes an image-stabilisation grip that can be handheld or worn.

It’s designed to make it easy for anyone to capture smooth, stabilised video during nearly any activity. Debuting in September 2016 to great interest, the Karma was recalled just two months later due to issues related to the battery latch mechanism.

Customers watched in horror as their expensive GoPro drone would lose power and fall out of the sky! This sophomore effort though appears to be the real deal.

Like the original, it has four arms (one rotor on each) that can be folded flat against the drone's body for easy transport in a backpack. It also features a three-axis gimbal for stabilising video, and the camera is suspended in front of the drone so that the propellers aren't in view.

Excitingly, the gimbal can also be removed for attachment to the included handheld Karma Grip, which features camera control buttons (shutter, filming modes and angle of gimbal) and delivers stabilised footage when used with the gimbal.

You can attach the gimbal rig to other mounts too, which is handy. If you have been following our Facebook page, surely you have seen how smooth the footage from the downhill rider was. It’s great to know that the Drone as a package can be used to capture aerial footage of your ride as well as a first person point of view with buttery smooth footage.

It also comes with a remote controller, which looks a bit like a video game controller. It can be controlled with two joysticks, plus a take-off/land button.

There's a built-in touchscreen, so you don't need to plug in your smartphone or tablet. You can however pair the remote with a smartphone, so you can concentrate on flying while a buddy works the camera.

Finally, the Karma is also said to be repairable, with replaceable arms and propellers. Users can also specify "no-fly zones" to keep their new drone out of trouble.

We don’t know how this will work for the Malaysian market just yet, but the Malaysian aviation authorities are quite serious about implementing it, so the feature will come in useful and make the drone future proof.

The GoPro Karma drone is said to have around 20 minutes of battery life from a one-hour charge. Some of the early reviews overseas list downsides as a lack of collision detection and a less than satisfactory autonomous flight mode.

Overall, it is a super simple unit to fly and maintain. But it lacks the bells and whistles you may find on comparable drones from other brands.

Units will only be sold in Malaysia through online avenues, and FunSportz Sdn Bhd, Go Pro’s official distributor said that they have done this with the dealers so that they can keep the total cost of the drone down.

Important Stats

 

Drone

Maximum Speed

35 mph (15 m/s)

Maximum Distance

Up to 9,840ft (3,000m)

Maximum Flight Altitude

10,500ft (3,200m)

Maximum Wind Resistance

22mph (10m/s)

Operating Frequency

2.4GHz

Dimensions (Opened/No Propellers)

Length: 12in (303mm)
Width: 16.2in (411mm)
Height: 4.6in (117mm)

Dimensions (Folded/Transport)

Length: 14.4in (365.2mm)
Width: 8.8in (224.3mm)
Height: 3.5in (89.9mm)

 

Controller

Screen Size

5in (12.7cm)

Screen Resolution

720p

Screen Brightness

900 nits

Battery Life

4 hours

 

Battery

Dimensions

Length: 8in (201.3mm)
Width: 3.6in (91.62mm)
Height: 1.75in (42.7mm)

Weight

19.3oz (545g)

Flight Time

Up to 20 minutes