GoPro Karma – GoPro Makes Quite The Entrance On The Drone Market

I have been waiting for this to happen for quite some time and, needless to say, I was thrilled when GoPro unveiled their first drone back in 2016. It’s been a lot of time since then and now I have finally laid my hands on the drone itself. My initial expectations were exceeded when I took the drone in my own two hands. It was unbelievably sturdy and felt indestructible. It became pretty clear that GoPro made sure the design is nothing short of brilliant. Moreover, there’s just one more thing I’d like to add before proceeding to the GoPro Karma review – with its foldable propellers and a generally small size, this Karma is most certainly not a bitch!

Specifications

Flight Duration: 20 minutes

Flight Range: 1,000 meters

Camera Support: Hero 5 Black, Hero 5 Session and Hero 4 (special harness required, sold separately)

GoPro Karma Battery and Flight Range

People usually expect awesome specifications from GoPro products, and that’s exactly the case with their new drone too. People expected it to have AMAZING specifications and were left kind of disappointed when GoPro released them. I, for one, was not that disappointed, but that’s most likely due to the fact I was not expecting anything groundbreaking from them. Needless to say, most of my friends did and they were enraged when they found out Karma could only travel up to 1,000 meters and fly for around 20 minutes. These specifications aren’t that bad if you compare them to the rest of the market. The main problem is that most people have had way too big expectations in the first place, and their hopes got shattered once the specs sheet came out to the public.

Aerial Photography

Of course, for a drone made by a company that primarily makes action cameras, it comes as no surprise that Karma does miraculously when it comes to aerial photography. As you can see the in technical specifications list, it supports the following cameras: Hero 5 Black, Hero 5 Session and Hero 4. For the latter, you will need to buy a special harness which is sold separately and will cost you roughly $35. Regarding actual image and video quality, in terms of stabilization and smoothness, I have to admit GoPro Karma is one of the best models on the market. It’s so easy to take perfect shots with this despite the lack of smart features (we’ll discuss that in the next paragraph, don’t worry). Videos are extremely smooth and don’t have that annoying jittery effect I noticed on other drones. All in all, aerial photography wise, GoPro Karma is as good as they come!

GoPro Karma Features

We have come to the biggest downside of this model. If its specifications were bad to most of its potential buyers, then the features are surely the tipping point that made them pass on buying this drone. You see, even though it is priced extremely high, GoPro Karma does not have such a good set of features. More precisely, it lacks several smart features which most of us were expecting from it. Even I expected it to have at least some sort of smart flight features, and we all know I usually don’t expect future products to be all that great. Unfortunately, GoPro Karma failed to deliver even the simplest of smart features such as the ever-so-popular Follow Me which is often seen even with more affordable drones than this one. What’s even worse is that it does not even have downward positioning sensors which are crucial for worry-free indoor flight. Bad Karma… Baaaad!

Final Verdict!

Now that you guys know more about GoPro Karma, I feel like it’s time to conclude. Without going into too many details, I would just like to point out that GoPro Karma is not going to be everyone’s cup of tea. With average specifications, great aerial photography capabilities and outstanding design, I believe its primary audience will be professional photographs and art students and not tech enthusiasts, myself included. This is mostly due to the lack of many popular smart features us tech nerd have already gotten accustomed to with other models on the market. Still, despite that, I believe GoPro Karma will have its fair share of the market and definitely looks to make a good name for itself out there! Let’s not forget that this is the first GoPro’s drone ever. With that in mind, I am more than satisfied with the end result.

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Upair One – Is This The Best Bargain On The Market?

Drone market is being heavily saturated by budget models with questionable quality. Their specs sheet might look good at the very first glance, but they fail to deliver in other aspects. Most of these drones are made with cheap materials and they tend to break after the very first collision. But, today, we have an interesting one at display. I’m talking about the Upair One which seems like a great budget option for an all-around drone. But, is it any good? Well, that’s exactly what I wanted to share with you guys! So with that in mind, let’s get straight to business and to the actual Upair One review!

Upair One Review

Technical Specifications

Max range: 800m
Max FPV range: 500m
Flight duration: 18 minutes
Camera: 2.7K and 4K versions available
Motors: 2212 brushless motors
Propellers: 9450 (same as DJI Phantom 3)

Check price on Amazon

Battery and Flight Range of the Upair One

Upair One comes with a powerful battery that exceeded my expectations by a mile. It’s a smart 5400mAh battery that we often see with more expensive drones. Under full load, it can endure for roughly 18 minutes which is decent enough for the price this drone goes for. It possesses the quick charge technology which allows it to charge as fast as 1 hour and 30 minutes, allowing you to be back in action in no time at all… especially if you have 2 of them.

Flight range is pretty good as well, almost to the point of being on par with some of DJI’s older models. Without FPV, you can easily reach 800 meters, but I doubt any of you would like to travel that far away without any sort of visual feedback. If you, on the other hand, turn FPV on and monitor it via the built-in display (more on that later on), you can still achieve respectable 500 meters, which is pretty good for the industry’s standards.

Upair One Camera

Now, the interesting thing about Upair One is the fact it comes in 2 different versions; 4K and 2.7K. Of course, the 4K version is a bit more expensive (nothing drastic though, you can find it for roughly $50 more than the 2.7K one). Both versions come mounted on a 2-axis gimbal which is not that great. Not only does it rotate only on 2 axes (in comparison to 3 axes which is sort of a standard in the industry as it provides the maximum stability and smoothness while recording) but it also has some issues every now and then. It does not tilt and rotate accordingly which gave me quite a few problems when I was trying to take some awesome aerial shots with it. On the other hand, both cameras are pretty good. The quality is excellent although you will notice a bit of shakiness due to the bad gimbal stabilization system.

Features

As you all know, all good drones have excellent features to go along with them. In most cases, these features are what separates the good from the awesome ones. That’s why I want to say a couple of words about the features of this little fella. First off, I would like to thank the folks over at Upair’s HQ for providing us with such a cheap drone with built-in GPS. Yup, you read that right – Upair One has a fully fledged GPS system and it’s surprisingly precise. In addition to that, it sports all the standard features such as One Key Return to Home, Failsafe Auto Return and even Low Voltage Auto Return. I wanted to see a couple more advanced features like the ones I saw on DJI’s new line of drones, but I guess it was too much to ask for such an affordable price.

Controller

Let’s start last paragraph of our Upair one review by saying that Upair One’s controller is absolutely amazing. I love it! It does look hell of a lot like DJI Phantom ones, but it still has some finishing touches that allow you to differentiate them. The biggest difference is definitely the huge 7-inch display mounted on top of it. It works like a charm and allows you to indulge in a fantastic FPV experience every time. In addition to that, it is also important to mention that the controls are rather intuitive and that no one will have any problems with them.Upair One is really easy to control and is suitable for pretty much all ages.

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PRECISELY WHAT IS DRONE RACING?

We are the ones who may define what FPV drone racing is, how it may be regulated, the technology this is used and most importantly, what it means to be a drone racer sometime soon.
I can not go into detail on what you will need in this article because it would make this page too long, so go go through our other post known as Racing Drones: What You Need To Get Started. The info in there will give you the information on what to buy, why you need it and where to buy the idea.

INGREDIENTS TO MAKE A GREAT FPV RACING DRONE

by now you may be asking yourself “How do I learn if my drone is going to be good for drone races? ” There are a lot of things that make a excellent racing drone, but here’s what’s the most important.

Speed: Obviously you’re going to need a drone that can go fast, nevertheless how fast is quick enough? Usually drones generally a top speed of about 35mph, but racing drones can certainly go over 50mph (sometimes also faster). To achieve higher speeds, you can do lots of different things. The best way to go faster is utilize more powerful batteries that have greater voltages (14. 8v electric batteries instead of the traditional 11. 1v). Another way would be to reduce the fat of your racing drone, simply because sometimes less is more. Remove the useless stuff like GPS, OSDs, extra long electrical wires, heavy landing gear etc…

View: The FPV camera is amongst the most important components for drone racing. When drones are in forward flight, they can point anywhere from 1 to pretty much 80 degrees depending on exactly how fast they’re going. Because of this, It’s very important that your camera can be tilted up. This permits you to see where you are going when the drone is actually tilted forward. Your FPV camera also needs to be durable, have a high frame rate (60fps) and also a wide FOV (field regarding view so you can see all around turns).

A good Flight Control: Lots of people overlook the flight controlled when thinking about drone racing, but it’s the only thing that helps keep your drone stable, consequently don’t overlook it! If you’re serious about drone racing, make sure that you get a flight controller able to running the firmware often known as CleanFlight. You should also be able to replace the many parts for your drone independently. Most FPV racing casings are in the 230mm to 300mm size range.

LEARNING TO FLY

After building your first FPV racer, learning to fly could be the next step. You should start by at the very least learning how to hover around without the need for any FPV equipment. This type of flying is called Line-of-sight and it is the easiest way to test and tune your own racing drone. After finding out the basics of line-of-sight flying, then you can start trying FPV. You will find that FPV is pretty easy in open areas, but it gets much tougher when flying through obstructions or tighter spaces.

 

First published here: PRECISELY WHAT IS DRONE RACING?