With social media being a rather large part of everyone’s life these days, and the never-ending need to throw up videos and photos of our trips, it’s high time that these gadgets got out in the spotlight.
So this little bad boy actually comes with the GoPro Karma drone, or you can buy it separately (as I did) for a very respectable $499 (BYO Hero5/6). Straight out of the box, you can slap your GoPro Hero 5/6 straight into it; or if you’re beating the hell out of your old action cameras, before having to upgrade like me, you can get the extra harness to suit the Hero4 (for an extra $60).
Once you’ve opened the box up and bathed in all its glory, it’s simply a matter of plugging the GoPro into it, and away you go. It has an internal battery they reckon will last a solid hour and 45 minutes (I’ve gotten two hours out of mine), which also charges your GoPro while you’re at it.
The Grip itself is somewhat basic looking, without the moulded finish that the DJI Osmo has; however this is by design as it needs to sit inside the drone as well. Once you get past the 12-inch black tube, the buttons are easy to navigate and covered in a solid rubber which (being a GoPro product) you know is going to last.
The charging is via a USB-C port in the base of the unit. They even give you a free cable, which will charge both the Grip and your camera, and can also be used as a data transfer cable to get your footage onto your computer. This feature I really liked because that specific camera lives in the grip permanently now; and as for the others, one sits on the roof of the truck and the other in the moto helmet.
The image stabilisation is absolutely spectacular as you can see in the video of me chasing the dog, with the only bounce being from me moving the camera up and down as I walk. Both of the clips have been unedited with no post production stabilisation – so this is straight out of the camera (I reckon it might be time for a Parkinson’s test for me…). The only thing lacking is a button control for turning the camera around to pan or tilt the view as the Osmo does; however by rotating the whole handle the camera will pan both ways with relative ease.
One of the greatest things about this, for me, is that GoPro Heros are a known video quantity. They work, and well; and do some crazy FPS stuff relatively cheaply (without needing to own $30K worth of video camera). So having a stabiliser that I can throw the next gen GoPro Hero in… just works.
The Osmo has its own attached camera which, next to a Hero6, really isn’t that great (don’t get me wrong, nice bit of kit, but the Hero6 is just that much nicer); or the mobile version, which you’re sticking a mobile phone in. Not bad, but certainly not great footage.
The GoPro Karma Grip delivers silky smooth video when you’re moving around on foot and in the 4X4. It’s easy as hell to use (I’ve pretty much mastered it – enough said?), and offers some solid battery life. I absolutely rate it and plan on using the hell out of this thing.
Writer’s note: I personally paid for The Karma Grip and Hero used in this review, and this review is in no way sponsored or endorsed by GoPro. Essentially, I liked it so much I went and bought this one, then decided to show you lot! We put our money where our mouth is at Unsealed 4X4 if you’d not already noticed!