GoPro check to create a existence in the camera drone sector with the GoPro Karma drone. Unfortunately for them, however, this venture was a little bit of a failure and it was at some point discontinued in 2018. However, the gimbal used on the drone lives on, now bundled v a hand fixed that pipeline us v the gimbal fine be reviewing today—The GoPro Karma Grip.

The GoPro Karma Grip has actually been ~ above the market for a couple of years now and also has lengthy been pertained to as among the finest gimbals because that the GoPro. Yet it’s still priced considerably greater than many newer 3rd party GoPro gimbals which additionally do a terrific job of smoothing the end footage. For this reason in this evaluation I’ll absolutely be looking in ~ it through a new pair of eye in the context of GoPro gimbals in 2019.

First Impressions

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The Karma fixed comes through a pretty semi-hard carry case that contains the gimbal stabilizer attached to the hand grip, a mounting ring, the GoPro harness and also lastly a USB-C charging cable.

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As you might expect indigenous a gimbal that is make by GoPro themselves, attaching the GoPro to the stabilizer is a breeze. The had HERO harness means you simply need to unlock it, slot her GoPro in and then lock it again.

Compared to all the third party GoPro/action camera gimbals i have used, the Karma fixed is big. It’s bigger in size and weight, weighing about 580g v the GoPro attached. Some people have complained it’s also bulky and also heavy, but personally I favored being maybe to feel the weight in my hands. The rubberized grip chin is the most ergonomic grip on a gimbal I’ve ever before tested, and those with larger hands will definitely appreciate the thickness.

Compatibility

The Karma fixed is at this time compatible with the HERO5 Black, HERO6 Black and also HERO7 black out that the box. That is likewise compatible with the HERO4 Black/Silver if you acquisition a HERO4 harness.

It is no compatible with non-GoPro action cameras, which could be an problem if you considering going because that a non-GoPro action camera in the future. 3rd party gimbals market compatibility through a lot greater selection of action cameras, yet that has actually its very own downsides.

Controlling The Karma Grip

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GoPro

The Karma tight is a very straightforward piece that equipment. GoPro have deliberately kept functions to a bare minimum for this reason you deserve to pick that up and start recording directly away.

There are 4 buttons: a power/mode button, shutter button, tilt lock button and also highlight button. Pushing the highlight switch will note a suggest in your recording so the it is simple to find in the future. The various other buttons are reasonably self-explanatory.

One notable absence is a joystick come electronically regulate the pan and also tilt. Many gimbals attribute this, however the Karma Grip go not. Personally, I an extremely rarely discover myself utilizing joysticks on various other gimbals, due to the fact that using your hand is smoother and much more fun. Yet there are definitely cases where having actually a joystick would be useful.

For those who love selfies, there’s additionally no capability to upper and lower reversal the GoPro backwards top top the grip. So, if you desire to document your own confront you’ll have to hold the grip the wrong way round.

Shooting Modes

The Karma Grip features just 2 shooting modes.

In following setting the Karma stabilizer will follow activities in the pan (left come right) and also tilt (up and also down) axes, albeit v footage being caught smoothly.

In pan follow setting the Karma locks the tilt axis, meaning the horizon is maintained level. You can set the horizon beforehand using the tilt lock button.

There is no locked mode that numerous other gimbals feature. A locked setting will store the GoPro’s orientation fixed, meaning the camera essentially stays addressed on the same spot. The lack of a locked mode is rather disappointing, but not a dealbreaker.

Stabilization Performance

There’s no concern that the stabilization performance is among the Karma Grip’s best strengths. Despite being an larger GoPro gimbal, countless firmware updates end the years has provided it the superb stabilization it has today.

In comparison with the cheaper and an extremely popular Feiyu technology G6, I uncovered the Karma fixed to endure from much less micro jitter as soon as zooming in on footage. The Karma Grip’s superiority came to be even an ext noticeable when recording faster paced action.

Audio was, however, a slim issue. The Karma Grip has actually noisy motors, comparable to those in the Removu S1 i beg your pardon I previously complained about having audible engine sounds.

Karma Grip together A Wearable Gimbal

Interestingly, the Karma Grip markets itself together a wearable gimbal, definition you can have the attached come a chest mount, shoulder strap or say, a bike’s handlebars. However, in exercise I found it to be a much less than ideal wearable gimbal setup.

The problem is the tight itself consists of the battery because that the gimbal. So while you have the right to separate the gimbal from its grip, it won’t work. Therefore, if you desire to mountain it anywhere, you have to mount the entire Karma Grip!

True wearable gimbals favor the Feiyu WG2X room much much more compact and also don’t home their battery in a grip. They space far better suited to mounting on your body or elsewhere.

GoPro execute realize this as a problem and also suggest using the GoPro Karma Grip expansion Cable which means you don’t need to keep the long and also bulky fixed attached come the gimbal stabilizer. This, however, renders body mounting setups very expensive.

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GoPro Karma Grip placed to chest making use of GoPro Karma Grip expansion Cable (purchased separately)

Battery Performance

Battery performance is conveniently the number one worry raised by civilization when it concerns the Karma Grip. Unlike newer and also cheaper gimbals which can last for over 10 hours, the Karma tight will just last about 2 hrs when shooting at 4K.

One of the reasons for its poor battery life is the the GoPro Karma grip will constantly be charging your GoPro when it’s attached. For this reason it’s not only powering the gimbal motors, however charging your GoPro battery which consumes a most power once recording at 4K.

Furthermore, charging it with a standard charger bring away 6 hours. You can buy the high-quality GoPro Supercharger to reduced that down to a much much more reasonable 2 hours. However your ideal bet is probably just to purchase a 3V, 5A fast charger which will be just as fast and also much cheaper.

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In any case, battery life is absolutely an issue with the Karma Grip. A many users don’t see it as a large issue and also to it is in quite moral 2 hrs is sufficient in most cases. Girlfriend can constantly buy a powerbank if you room a heavy user. However, contrasted to the battery life of other GoPro gimbals out there, it is absolutely disappointing.

Verdict and also Rating

The GoPro Karma grip is still one of the best GoPro gimbals around. From a pure photo stabilization standpoint, the many firmware updates have actually made it the best on the market. It also feels great, and quite possibly the ideal I’ve ever used, when filming. It’s ergonomics room on suggest and native integration with the GoPro make for a seamless user experience.

However, it costs a lot. Its battery life is significantly much shorter than that competition. Although the technically can act together a wearable gimbal, utilizing it together a wearable gimbal is a cumbersome process. Together a result, it’s not perfect.

Pros

Excellent Stabilization PerformancePart of the GoPro EcosystemFantastic ergonomics

Cons

PriceBattery Life

Rating: 4/5