Category Archives: UAV Flying

GoPro Karma drone – is it the future?

So the GoPro Karma has been revealed and here we are comparing it to the DJI Phantom 4.

karma-drone-main

DJI Phantom 4 front view
DJI Phantom 4 front view

Without a hands on experience with the Karma we are not able to give a complete comparison (the Karma will be available from 23rd October), but we can take a look at the specs and blurb coming from GoPro themselves.

The first, and probably most obvious discussion point is that the Karma, as opposed to the Phantom, the Yuneec Typhoon H and other recent offerings, all have sensors for detecting their position and sensors for avoiding obstacles, whereas the Karma does not.

When flying in complex terrain such as a forest the obstacle avoidance systems are incredibly useful, especially if you do not want to crash your investment headlong into a tree. They are also useful, if less successful, over water or reflective surfaces such as snow.

DJI have a head start on the software front as well. With a plethora of flight modes available on the Phantom, from TapFly to ActiveTrack and no description of modes available on the Karma except Follow Me it looks like the Karma is going to be limited in its use.

That is not to say that the Karma is not a good drone, it just has different merits and uses. With a versatile equipment level it will have the GoPro community in a frenzy. From a removable gimbal which slots effortlessly in to the Karma Grip to give you smooth handheld video as well as the ability to be mounted with your existing GoPro kit, so you can fit it to your bike, car, helmet etc at will. Something which is not available with the Phantom 4 due to it’s fixed gimbal.

So it looks like we are comparing chips and mash, with both the Phantom and the Karma having pluses and minuses. It is a shame that the Karma is not compatible with the Hero 3/3+ as most people will definitely have to go and buy the upgrade camera – a £349.99 upgrade, bringing the total for the whole kit to £1,069.98.

With that in mind it is definitely worth considering your options when looking for an aerial solution. With the DJI Phantom 4 at £1169.00 and the Yuneec Typhoon H at £1,199.00 it could be a close call.

Whatever you decide, the age of the aerial photographer is well and truly here, whether that is for sports action, video marketing or terrain mapping – the UAV market is exponentially growing!

Happy flying!