GoPro has officially unveiled the Karma, the company’s first ever drone. The GoPro Karma will be available starting Oct. 23 and will cost $799 alone and $999 with the Hero5 Session or $1,099 with the Hero5 Black.
One of the features that makes the GoPro Karma distinct from other drones on the market is its design. The quadcopter comes with a foldable design making it easy to carry around when traveling, according to The Verge. GoPro has even included a backpack with a purchase of the drone. The action camera maker is also touting ease of use as its main selling point.
The GoPro Karma comes with a clamshell-shaped controller that has a touchscreen display, two joysticks and a single button. The controller looks more like a handheld gaming device rather than a drone remote control, so it’s easy to see how fast people can get comfortable using it. The single button up front will be for take-off, landing and returning from its take-off point.
There are also four shooting presets: dronie, cable cam, reveal and orbit. There’s also a feature that enables the drone to follow a subject, but GoPro hasn’t revealed how this will work exactly, as pointed out by Quartz.
For recording videos, the GoPro Karma is compatible with the new Hero5 Black and the Hero5 Session. Users of the older Hero4 will also be able to use the drone, but users with older GoPro models are out of luck.
The Karma comes with a three-axis gimbal up front where users will place their action camera of choice. The gimbal will be responsible for stabilizing footage making sure that videos stay buttery smooth during flight. The gimbal is also removable from the drone, so people can easily switch to taking stable handheld footage.
Unlike drones from DJI or Yuneec, the camera on the Karma is positioned directly up front instead of underneath. This will enable users to fully tilt the camera up without worrying that the rotors will be seen inside the frame.
The Karma is GoPro’s first entry into the drone market and it looks like its rivals have a good reason to take notice. With brand recognition combined with the Karma’s user-friendly controls and portability, it looks like GoPro has a success waiting to happen.