GoPro's foldable Karma Drone is ready for take off


— 6:45 PM on September 19, 2016

As far back as a December 2015, GoPro posting teaser videos for the Karma drone. And what a tease it was. After nine full months, GoPro officially announced the Karma Drone alongside a new line of Hero5 cameras.

The drone market is a pretty crowded one and GoPro is pretty late to the game, but the features the Karma is touting suggest it hews pretty closely to the ideas the company is best known for. The Karma drone is foldable and meant to be taken out and put away quickly into either the included backpack or one of your own, as the product video demonstrates. This could prove to be a crucial feature if it works as well as GoPro suggests.

 

For control, the Karma uses a dedicated gamepad-style controller with an integrated touchscreen. This ought to prove handier than asking pilots to use a clunky mobile interface or plug their phone into a mount that might be incompatible or poorly made. Finally, the Karma includes a camera stabilizer that can be removed and used with other GoPro gear to get what GoPro calls "ultra-smooth handheld and gear-mounted footage."

The new cameras are classic GoPro gear in many ways, offering 10-meter waterproofing and single-button activation. The more expensive Hero5 Black sports a 12MP sensor, voice control, image noise reduction, GPS, and RAW/WDR photo modes. The Hero5 Session packs a smaller 10-MP sensor, but can still record video at 4K resolution and 30 frames per second. The Session offers video stabilization and automatic media uploading when plugged in, too.

The Karma drone is available as a standalone unit for a beefy $800 suggested price. If you want to pair it with one of the newly announced Hero5 cameras, you're looking at $1100 for the Hero5 Black bundle and $1000 for the Hero5 Session bundle—a cool $100 off the prices for the separate components, in each case. The two Hero5 cameras are set to go on sale on October 2, while the Karma Drone itself will be available on October 23.

 
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