GoPro announced their first drone, the GoPro Karma, at Photokina 2016. We get hands on with this highly-anticipated foldable drone right here at the show.
GoPro Karma – The Foldable Drone
The GoPro Karma has been designed to make it as easy as possible to use and fly straight out of the box, whether just using the stabilizer or for aerial filming. Within a few minutes, the foldable drone can be unfolded, powered up and linked to the remote that conveniently includes a screen.
It has a number of automated features including auto shoot paths where the GoPro Karma will orbit between two points, a reveal path, flying up or away from the start point, and cable camera mode.
The controller has a built-in touchscreen, and has been simplified to make it as easy as possible to fly straight out of the case. Simulation tutorials will be available soon to aid in learning to fly the drone.
In terms of batteries, the GoPro Karma has a plug and play style removable battery that allows for 20 minutes of flying time, while the remote battery lasts for 4 hours and can be charged on the go.
Learn more about the GoPro Karma, GoPro HERO 5 and the new GoPro eco system in our launch article.
The GoPro Karma will be available form the 23rd of October, with the full package including the drone, GoPro Hero5 camera, stabilizer, grip, controller and batteries for $1099. For the GoPro Karma foldable drone alone, the pricing will be around $700.
GoPro CEO Nick Woodman just went on stage at TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco to tease a few interesting things the company is developing behind closed doors. Asked about drones, he said “A drone opens up a world that we’ve never seen before, like from an angel perspective. That truly is the invisible camera.” More precisely, he also added, “Development is on track for the first half of 2016. We have some differentiations that are right in the GoPro alley.”
This sounds like we can expect exciting drone news from the maker of the world’s best-selling camera next year, possibly at NAB 2016 time? This will put them squarely into DJI territory with their Phantom 3 and Inspire 1 drones, which also feature a camera similar to GoPro in quality in their standard specifications.
Watch the full interview session here:
He also added that Hero4 Session sales are slower than they were expecting, but said that compared to anything that their competitors are doing, the camera is still doing remarkably well.
Another new GoPro focus will be the software side of things – particularly a cloud based solution that they have been developing for a while now. They want to enable users to share their captured videos more instantly, with the “GoPro servers” that “will let you make 60-second or 2-minute videos without any effort on your part.”
That of course doesn’t sound like professional filmmaking, but that’s also not what GoPro are after, and that’s not where they make their real money.