Go Pro Karma drone in test: How well does the quadrocopter perform in the air?

Average 0/5

GoProKarma kaufen
The manufacturer of the very popular Go Pro camera has finally entered the drone market and is trying to establish itself in the highly competitive market with its model of the Go Pro Karma drone.

The first attempt was a clear failure in which the drone often lost the connection or simply crashed without warning. There was a backlash before the drone was even allowed to be sold.

Now GoPro has made some improvements and finally released the drone. We have tested the aircraft extensively and will tell you if these serious bugs have been fixed and if a purchase is worthwhile for drone beginners or experienced drone pilots.

Go Pro Karma scope of delivery

The scope of delivery is generous compared to competing models and offers a wide range of applications and compatibility. The Go Pro Karma can be used with the Go Pro Hero 4, the GO Pro Hero 5 Black, the Go Pro Hero 5 Session and the Hero Black 6.

Since we already have a Go Pro Hero 5 Black for adventure vacations, we simply attached this action cam to the drone. The price of just under 900€ includes the following:

  • Go Pro Karma Drone
  • Propeller set
  • Controller
  • Battery, Gimbal Stick

GoProKarma kaufen
This equipment is the most affordable version of the drone. There is no camera included, but only an appropriate holder on the drone where you can attach a Go Pro camera.

The drone set with Hero 5 Black costs about 1350€, the Power Set with extra battery 1465€ and the Action Set with shoulder harness a little more than 1500€.

Here it is recommended to compare prices online as there are big differences in the price difference. Where you can find a very good price you can find out in our price comparison at the bottom of the page.

The compact design of the drone

As usual from Go Pro, the copter was constructed in a very slim and compact design, so that both the transport and the use of the drone can take place as easy and user-friendly as possible.

As already mentioned at the beginning, different Go Pro models can be mounted. This makes the Karma Drone also interesting for interested parties of older models (up to the Go Pro Hero 4).

With this, the manufacturer beats two flies with one flap: drone pilots only need one drone which already comes with a mini-camera for action shots that can be removed.

This means that no additional action camera has to be purchased, but can simply be dismantled and used for other purposes. Gopro has implemented this idea well and thus meets the wishes of some quadrocopter pilots.

The calibration of the drone works without any problems. Only the distance to the ground is a little bit small, so that caution is required when landing on uneven ground.

With 1900 grams (with propellers and battery fully loaded) the Karma Drone is relatively heavy and only 100 grams are missing, then you would need a drone driving license according to the official drones laws (The empty weight is about 1kg (1006g).

The drone is foldable, so that it fits loosely into the supplied transport case and does not take up much space.

Remote control of the Karma drone and battery life

The small compact remote control is kept very simple so that really everyone understands how to fly the drone. Unlike DJI, for example, there are only a few buttons to operate the drone.

In the middle there is a button with a green border around it with which the drone can be started and landed. In the upper right corner is the on and off switch of the remote control. The 5 inch touch display is pleasantly bright and offers good visibility even in slightly stronger sunlight.

On the back of the gaming controller, the flight modes can be changed and a photo taken or a video recording started or stopped.

GoPro has developed its own app called Passenger-App which can be downloaded for free from the Google Play Store or IOS.

This app can be installed on up to 3 end devices which, after successful setup, show the live image of the Karma Drone and thus show the world from the perspective of the action cam or drone via 720p live image transmission.

This is a cool feature that is currently still missing from the leading manufacturers such as DJI and Yuneec. To use the app you have to register and create an account at GoPro. We simply reactivated our old account GoProkonto.

The manufacturer specifies a battery life of 20 minutes under optimal conditions. During our practical test, we were able to record a time of 15 minutes with a maximum of 16 minutes.

This flight time corresponds approximately to the DJI Spark. Other models that are also in the Karma price range (Mavic Pro, Phantom 3 Pro) provide a slightly longer flight time of 23 to 25 minutes. If the GoPro battery is completely empty, it takes about 120 minutes until it is ready for use again and has a full charge.

An additional battery is already included in the most expensive version, otherwise it costs about 120€ and is therefore a bit cheaper than e.g. the Phantom 4 model. For the Typhoon Q500 4k, additional batteries cost only about 30€ and are usually included in the small surcharge for the Advanced Upgrade.

Built-in hardware and behaviour in the air

The Karma reaches a top speed of a little more than 50km/h (15 meters per second to be exact) and is relatively stable in the air. The Karma is agile and fast in the air, but is not a racing drone in the classic sense. Beginners as well as old drone bunnies will have a lot of fun during take off.

The flight altitude should be possible up to 3200 meters above zero. Of course we could not test this completely, because in Germany a maximum flight altitude of 100 meters above the point of ascent may not be exceeded according to law.

In the practical test we were able to achieve a range of almost 400 meters, then the signal broke off and the drone returned to its starting point. The mini helicopter orientates itself with a built-in GPS system and a compass.

These two functions work hand in hand and ensure a pleasant and smooth flight. However, it should be noted here that the drone is not quite as stable in the air, especially with a little wind.

The GPS signal was not lost at a height of almost 90m and a range of 400m and the drone returns to the starting point as soon as the picture signal to the controller breaks off.

There is also no collision protection like on some models from DJI or Yuneec. This means for the complete flight: Careful flying, there are no sensors to stop the drone in an emergency or warn you of an obstacle.

Further on there are no ultrasonic sensors on the ground of the Karma to ensure a stable descent during landing. From our point of view such sensors are not a must for experienced pilots, but GoPro could invest a little more in the software of the drone to guarantee a stable flight at any time.

However, in good weather (i.e. with little or no wind) flying with the GoPro Karma is definitely a lot of fun.

Flight recordings and video quality

The video quality depends of course on the action cam you attach to the drone. We have built our Go Pro Hero 4 and 5 on the drone so far and have been able to produce some really awesome shots.

The gimbal system works really reliable and stabilizes the Gopro even during fast flights or abrupt changes of direction in the air. Unfortunately, we haven’t had the chance to test the latest model of the GoPro 6 on the drone, which delivers a resolution of Ultra-HD with incredible 60 frames per second.

The Phantom 4 Advanced that we also tested also has a 4k camera with 60 frames per second. These shots are really first class and if used properly, you can definitely make cinema-ready movies with them.

The Go Pro Hero 5 Black delivers much better pictures and video recordings than e.g. the camera of the Mavic Pro. If we attached the Hero 5 Black to the Mavic, we would have an incredibly powerful drone with fantastic shots and a high-end camera.

The included hand gimbal stick (included in the largest version of the Karma drone) can be used with the GoPro without the drone. As already mentioned at the beginning, the Karma is especially interesting for people who already own a GoPro camera. The aerial shots still have to be edited and will follow soon.

Conclusion to the Quadrocopter

GoProKarma kaufenIn our opinion, the Karma Drone is a good investment if you already own a Gopro Action Cam because the camera can be built on the drone but also used with the Gimbal Stick.

Of course we also have to say that there are still a few teething troubles like the short battery life and the sometimes shaky flight behaviour.

The controls are kept very simple and clear, and the app also works perfectly and doesn’t sometimes crash apps like the DJI Go 4 app.

The video recordings are really ingenious and can be watched on any big screen that can play Ultra-HD.

In order for Karma to keep up with the drone at the top, GoPro would have to improve once again. We are curious if there will be further updates or changes in the near future and keep you up to date.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here