What to Expect From GoPro’s New Karma Drone

 

Introducing: a GoPro that literally flies.

Not only has the de facto action sports camera company debuted two new cameras — the Hero5 Black and the Hero5 Session — it has finally taken the wraps off of its long-awaited drone. First teasing consumers with it in 2015, GoPro wants the world to know about its quadcopter called Karma. The concept is one tech consumers are familiar with by now — a remote-controlled flying robot that maneuvers a camera for recording cool video shots — and GoPro is billing it as an end-to-end wearable, aerial, handheld, mountable camera system. It’s ostensibly the be-all end-all of camera systems, and it’s designed to be crazily portable and foolishly easy to use. Did we mention that it flies?

The Karma comes in its own backpack, and the copter arms fold up against its body to minimize profile when not in use. The remote control features two joysticks for navigating it through the sky and a single button for automatically initiating takeoff and landing. The controller’s full-color touch-sensitive display provides a live video feed to the ground of whatever your airborne camera is seeing above. The controller’s display even includes a digital flight simulator to practice flying, before taking off with your pricy new gadget for real. An automatic “return to home” feature prevents you from losing track of the device.

With a forward-facing camera, videos shot from a Karma drone will more easily avoid the sight of spinning rotors, commonly seen in other drone footage. The camera is stabilized by a three-axis gimbal for capturing maximal smooth footage. It's removable and can be held in one hand; your Karma effectively comes with its own GoPro Steadicam.

Karma formally goes on sale October 23 this year. Buying the drone on its own will set you back $799. If you want it with an included Hero 5 Session or Hero 5 camera, it will cost $999 and $1,099, respectively.