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Posted by on Sep 19, 2016

GoPro’s new Karma Drone and HERO5 cams in Person

GoPro’s new Karma Drone and HERO5 cams in Person

I was invited to the GoPro new product launch and media event in Lake Tahoe this week and will be sharing info, updates and my first impressions hands-on with the new GoPro Karma drone and gimbal system, as well as the new HERO5. Check back for updates throughout the day!

 

First – the official press release: 

(my photos and comments to follow in-line)

SAN MATEO, Calif., (September 19, 2016) – GoPro, Inc. (NASDAQ: GPRO) today unveiled new products and services that dramatically simplify the process of capturing, editing and sharing engaging content, establishing GoPro as an end-to-end storytelling solution.

In addition to significant gains in performance and convenience, GoPro’s all-new HERO5 line of cameras can auto-upload photos and videos to GoPro Plus, a cloud-based subscription service that makes it easy to access, edit and share GoPro content anytime, anywhere using a phone or computer.

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HERO5 Cameras – Cloud-Connected and Simplified.

HERO5 Black – Avail 10/2  $399

HERO5 Black is the most powerful, easy-to-use GoPro, ever. Exciting features include:

  • 2-inch Touch Display + Simplified Controls
  • Video Resolutions up to 4K at 30 Frames per Second
  • Professional Quality 12MP Photos
  • Auto-Upload of Photos and Video to Cloud when Camera is Charging*
  • Voice Control with Support for 7 Languages (additional languages coming)
  • Simple 1-Button Control
  • Waterproof Without a Housing to 33 Feet (10m)
  • Compatible with Existing GoPro Mounts, Including Karma
  • Stereo Audio Recording and Advanced Wind Noise Reduction
  • Professional-Grade Electronic Video Stabilization
  • Distortion-Free Wide Angle Video and Photos with New Linear-View Setting
  • RAW and WDR Photo Modes
  • GPS

HERO5 Session – Avail 10/2  $299

HERO5 Session shares the same small design and brilliant convenience of the original HERO Session camera, but benefits from significant performance upgrades:

  • Video Resolutions up to 4K at 30 Frames per Second
  • Professional Quality 10MP Photos
  • Auto-Upload of Photos and Video to Cloud when Camera is Charging*
  • Voice Control with Support for 7 Languages (additional languages coming)
  • Simple 1-Button Control
  • Waterproof Without a Housing to 33 Feet (10m)
  • Compatible with Existing GoPro, Mounts Including Karma
  • Professional-Grade Electronic Video Stabilization
  • Distortion-Free Wide Angle Video and Photos with new Linear-View Setting

hero5-chart

 

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KARMA – Much More Than a Drone.

Avail 10/23  $799 ($999 w/H5 Session, $1099 w/H5 Black)

Karma features a compact, fits-in-a-small-backpack design and includes an image-stabilization grip that can be handheld or mounted to vehicles, gear and more. Karma makes it easy for anyone to capture amazingly smooth, stabilized video during almost any activity.

Karma features a painless out-of-the-box experience unlike any other drone in the market:

  • Compact and foldable, the entire system fits into the included backpack that’s so comfortable to wear during any activity, users will forget they’ve got it on.
  • A game-style controller features an integrated touch display, making it fun, fast and easy to fly without the need for a separate phone or tablet to see what your drone sees.
  • The 3-axis camera stabilizer can be removed from the drone and attached to the included Karma Grip for capturing ultra-smooth handheld and gear-mounted footage.

 

Drone Specs:

Maximum Speed 35 mph (15 m/s)
Maximum Distance 3280ft (1000m)
Maximum Flight Altitude 14,500ft (4,500m)
Maximum Wind Resistance 22mph (10m/s)
Operating Frequency 2.4GHz
Dimensions (Opened/No Propellers) Length: 12in (303mm)
Width: 16.2in (411mm)
Height: 4.6in (117mm)
Dimensions (Folded/Transport) Length: 14.4in (365.2mm)
Width: 8.8in (224.3mm)
Height: 3.5in (89.9mm)
Propeller Length 10in (25.4cm)
Weight 35.5oz (1006g)

 

Controller Specs:

Screen Size 5in (12.7cm)
Screen Resolution 720p
Screen Brightness 900 nits
Battery Life 4 hours
Operating Frequency 2.4GHz
Weight 22oz (625g)

 

Karma Battery:

Dimensions Length: 8in (201.3mm)
Width: 3.6in (91.62mm)
Height: 1.75in (42.7mm)
Weight 19.3oz (545g)
Flight Time Up to 20 minutes
Rating 14.8V 5100mAH (75.4Wh)
Battery Type Li-Po

 

Battery Charger:

Rating 16.8V 5A
Charging Time for Karma Battery 1 hour
Charging Time for Karma Controller 2.5 hours
Charging Time for Karma Grip 2 hour

 

Gimbal Specs:

Range of motion -90° to 0° (down/up)
Camera Compatibility HERO5 Black, HERO5 Session, HERO4 Black & Silver
Weight 8oz (230g)
Number of Axes 3

 

Hands-on with Karma:

We had the opportunity to take the controls of the Karma drone at the event so we could see it in operation and ask the GoPro Test Engineers questions directly. Here’s a Live Stream Video I shared on Facebook during the event – complete with a little commentary:

I got to take a turn at the controls myself to get a sense of how the Karma handled. Unfortunately, they had all of these test units cranked-down slow (Beginner mode) so they had limited speed and height/distance geofencing enabled.

My first impressions:

While I only had a few minutes on the controls in this Beginner mode, I couldn’t help but compare to other drones I’ve flown on the market, to best describe where I think this product falls in the market space.

This isn’t really a competitor for the DJI Phantom 4 in any major way, as the flight controls and craft capabilities are quite basic and limited in comparison.

It is probably closest compared to the 3DR Solo in many aspects, but even still, the Solo has more advanced features/options.

I would only guess this will fall somewhere between the Yuneec Breeze or the upcoming DJI Mavik and the afore-mentioned. Since it doesn’t have optical flow sensors more a collision avoidance system, GoPro was wise to not also include a Follow Me feature in this first release.

The controller is small in your hands – and didn’t have a lanyard, so not sure how it might feel after a few flights. The built in screen is actually nice and the GoPro engineer said it was specifically designed to be anti-glare and still be able to be seen while wearing polarized sunglasses (huge plus).

(more coming as I include images and videos later today…)

GoPro Plus and Quik Apps – Access, Edit and Share Anytime, Anywhere.  

GoPro Plus – Game-Changing Convenience. (Avail 10/2 $4.99/mo after free trial)

Offloading and enjoying footage from a GoPro is now as easy as plugging it in to charge. When a HERO5 camera is charging, it can auto-upload photos and videos to GoPro Plus, a cloud-based subscription service that makes it easy to access, edit and share GoPro content anytime, anywhere. Editing and sharing has never been easier with this game-changing experience.

A GoPro Plus subscription also unlocks additional premium benefits:

  • Access to an Expansive Library of Music Soundtracks for Editing
  • 20% off Mounts and Accessories at GoPro.com
  • Exclusive Access to GoPro Apparel
  • Premium Support

Quik App – Mobile and Desktop Editing Made Awesome

Editing and sharing content is easy thanks to the Quik app for mobile and desktop. As the name implies, Quik enables users to quickly produce high-quality videos that are fun to create and easy to share.

Using Quik for desktop is simple. Import your videos, pick your favorite moments, choose a soundtrack from a library of songs, and Quik will automatically edit your video to the beat of the music.

The Quik Mobile App – with more than 17 million downloads — is a fast, easy way to create awesome videos. In just seconds, Quik analyzes your photos and video clips to find the best moments, adds beautiful transitions and effects, and syncs everything to the beat of the music.

Additional New Products

GoPro is also launching several new accessories later this year:

  • Quik Key, a key-chain, micro-USB card reader that plugs into your phone to quickly transfer photos and videos from your GoPro.
  • REMO, a voice-activated remote that extends the voice control range of HERO5 cameras while providing one-button remote control.