The Karma drone may have been recalled, but while GoPro irons out the problems before putting it back on sale, you can get stable, steady footage from the ground thanks to the Karma Grip. This handheld stabiliser works with the Hero 5, as well as the Hero 4 Black and Silver. 

GoPro Karma Grip: price and release date

The Karma Grip was originally set to go on sale on 23 October, but only now has it appeared on GoPro's US website. It costs $299.99, and that doesn't include a Hero camera. It's priced - it would appear - to compete with DJI's Osmo Mobile, reviewed.

In the UK, the Grip costs £249.99 but it's simply "coming soon" and there's no confirmed release date.

If you don't want to hold the Grip, you'll need to use the included mounting ring so you can attach it to an existing GoPro mount. There's also an official backpack with a Grip mount, so you can wear it at shoulder height.  

Other accessories include an extension cable which is coming in 2017, plus 'harnesses' which allow you to use a GoPro Hero 4 Silver or Black, as the kit comes with only one for the Hero5 Black, reviewed.

GoPro Karma release date price specs

 

Below is everything you need to know about the Karma drone's price, release date and features, plus what to do if you're affected by the recall. Since you can't buy one right now, you might like to read about the best drones to buy

GoPro Karma release date: 23 October 2016

In the US and Europe the Karma went on sale 23 October. 

GoPro Karma price

The Karma drone is available with and without a GoPro camera, so if you already own a Hero 4 Black, say, you save money as you don't need to buy one. Here are the bundles:

  • Karma without a GoPro camera for $799.99 (£719.99 inc VAT)
  • Karma bundled with Hero 5 Black for $1099.99 (£999.99 inc VAT)
  • Karma bundled with Hero 5 Session for $999.99 (available in early 2017 - no UK price announced)

We had expected the Karma to be priced competitively as GoPro is late to the party, and chief rival DJI already has a low-cost drone – the Phantom 3 Standard – which has a stabilised camera which you can buy for just £435 on Amazon. While the Karma has advantages, such as the fact the gimbal can be removed from the drone and used in the (included) handheld Grip, even the £719.99 price doesn't include a camera. We'll have to wait and see how quickly prices drop from these recommended prices, and this could be soon considering the Karma has already been tainted by the recall.

GoPro Karma: Features and specs

From the photos, you can see that GoPro has thought carefully about how to make the Karma convenient. Everything you need - apart from the camera - is included in the box. 

You get a backpack into which fits the fold-up drone, the controller (which has a built-in screen), the handheld grip, a battery and charger.

GoPro Karma release date price features

The 3-axis gimbal can be swapped between the drone and the Grip handle so you can get stabilised handheld shots. Plus, the Grip can be mounted to vehicles and even your body thanks to a new range of mounts.

The Grip has a built-in battery that's said to last almost two hours. 

Which GoPro cameras are compatible with the Karma?

One of the most important questions: the new Hero 5, Hero 5 Session and Hero 4 Black / Silver will fit in the included gimbal mounts. 

Karma specifications

It uses brushless motors and screw-on self-tightening propellers. It takes a proprietary Li-Po battery with a capacity of 5100mAh and GoPro says it's good for up to 20 minutes of flight time. It takes an hour to recharge, while the controller takes 2.5 hours and the Grip 2 hours. Only one of the Grip or Controller can be charged at the same time from the battery charger. 

GoPro Karma release date price specs

Here are the drone's key 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)

GoPro Karma release date price specs

GoPro Karma controller

The controller is a games console-style transmitter with a folding colour screen:

 GoPro Karma release date price specs

Screen size

5in

Resolution

1280 x 720

Brightness

900cd/m2

Frequency

2.4GHz

Weight

22oz (625g)

Karma drone recall information

GoPro has announced a total recall of all Karmas due to the potential for the drone to lose power while flying. GoPro has said it has "discovered that in a small number of cases, Karma units lost power during operation.  We are investigating the issue and working in close coordination with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and the Federal Aviation Administration."

The issue is not yet fixed, and even Karma drones which appear to be working correctly must not be used and must be returned to either the retailer where you bought it or - if you bought from GoPro - then directly to GoPro by using its online support. You'll need to return everything that came with the drone, too, including the Hero 5 and Karma Grip, even though those items are not part of the recall. 

Customers are being offered a full refund, and you can get one even if you no longer have the receipt. There are no exchanges because the fault has not been fixed: if you want a Karma still, you'll have to wait until a new batch is manufactured. 

GoPro Karma: Podcast discussion

 GoPro Karma: previous teaser trailers