I was looking for a new gimbal to use in making our videos. We were previously using a Lanpart LA3d and a GoPro Session 4. The idea behind a gimbal is to smooth out your video in what would normally be bumpy or bouncy situations. Great for when you are walking around or riding skateboards, bikes, etc… The Lanpart was a decent gimbal, once you got it going, but it can be a pain to setup and we were not using it enough to have created muscle memory on how to use it.
Spring came around this year and I started looking for a more simple solution. Something we could just pick up and go with. I looked at the DJI Osmo, the GoPro Karma Grip and several solutions that utilized your phone as the camera. I didn’t want to have my phone tied up in shooting videos as that would drain my battery for sure, so those were out. The DJI Osmo seemed like a good choice, but the camera is fixed to the device so you can only use the camera while attached to the grip. That left the Karma Grip and a GoPro Hero 5, meaning I would need to buy the grip and the camera. At the time of this blog post, there were two options: I could get just the camera and grip, or I could get the camera, the grip, and the drone. I went with the latter choice getting the Karma Drone package.
We have only used the Karma Grip once so far. First impressions are that it checks about 99% of the boxes for what we need in a gimbal for our videos. It is easy to start up and easy to use. The grip’s battery has the ability to recharge the GoPro camera, something that can come in handy if you don’t have any extra GoPro batteries lying around. One downside to this is that it drains the grip’s battery faster and can’t be turned off. It would be awesome if GoPro could put out an update that allowed us to reverse the battery flow to charge the grip from the GoPro battery or turn of this feature. I’m still working on our Zoo visit video shot on the Karma Grip, but you can look forward to that in a future post here or on my Youtube Channel.
The Karma drone is a little disappointing. I guess I should have done a little more research on the different flight modes before taking the plunge, but the drone is still super fun to fly around. I say it is disappointing because there is no tracking mode. I have a Phantom 4 drone as well and never thought a drone released around the same time as the Phantom would be missing that feature. The remote is an amazing self-contained unit. Unlike the Phantom 4, you don’t have to attach your phone to the Karam Drone remote, you can just flip open the screen and start flying in under a minute. I love the size, I love the remote, but a drone needs to have a tracking mode. I may have to look into a DJI Mavic in the future.
Bottom line, if you are into using a GoPro as your camera choice for video, get the grip and skip the drone.