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Anyone Buying the new karma?

107KarmaPilot

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I'm one who would prefer the linear look, not a big fan of wide angle distortion. I'll have to try Hyperlapse, sounds like a cool effect.
 

Shon

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I have a bunch of drones. Each of them has plusses and minuses compared to the the others. Honestly I was going to avoid the Karma for a couple of reasons including (but not limited to) their history of falling out of the sky, the fact it is discontinued, lack of sensors, and a couple of other things. Of course it went on sale so I bought it.

The "falling out of the sky" thing is always in the back of my mind so I do fly it differently than my other drones, but here are my thoughts:

  1. It is easy to fly. Too easy in some regards. It does what you tell it to do, whether or not that is a good idea. The lack of sensors allows you to fly directly into trees, buildings, etc. if you want.
  2. I did have a disconnect on one of my first flights. It wasn't a matter of distance because I could have thrown the controller and hit the drone at the 15 feet it was from me. Haven't had any other issues yet.
  3. You have to land it. This might seem like an obvious statement, but it isn't and here's why. Landing any of the other drones I have (air, spark, evo, H) you have to hold the throttle down to actually get it to land. If you do that with the Karma it will bounce off the ground. This is very similar to how the original phantom was. Completely due to lack of sensors, but something to keep in mind if you have a history with other drones.
  4. Image quality is great (obviously), but GoPro made some questionable decisions with the cameras. The fact you can't shoot 4k in linear is maddening.
  5. The controller is awesome. Probably my favorite controller of any of the drones. Matches the portability of DJI remotes with the screen of the H.
  6. Range is terrible. This is the only thing that I find completely awful about the drone. The range is laughably short. I'm not a distance flier (seeing how far out I can get) and always fly within visible sight, but signal starts to break up at a couple hundred feet. Never got to total loss, but the fact that it loses signal so close sucks.
  7. FOV is very different compared to other drones. This is not necessarily good or bad, but something to keep in mind if you're used to other drones.
Overall I like the Karma and if someone already has a 5 or higher GoPro the 299 package would be a no brainer. I've thought about getting a spare just in case, but by itself unless you have unlimited funds or have a need for an action cam or hand held gimbal I'd be hard pressed to recommend this drone.
I appreciate your review. Especially in light of your experience with other drones. I’m thinking about getting the Air. What are your thoughts on that drone in comparison with the Karma?
 

mjbok

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I appreciate your review. Especially in light of your experience with other drones. I’m thinking about getting the Air. What are your thoughts on that drone in comparison with the Karma?
There's no comparison. The Air bests the Karma across the board IMHO. The only exception would be the controller, but that's personal preference, not a qualitative difference. You're not going to get the advertised flight times out of the Air, but it is a solid piece of kit. I've had some magnetic interference/compass issues with the Air, but it just requires calibration. I know more people with Airs than any other drone. It's my son's fave (of course also the one he's flown the most) and you're going to get equal quality photo/videos with the Air unless you double your investment. As I mention below I prefer the Evo, but you can't go wrong with the Air in my opinion. It's solid and has a proven company/name behind it (which is also part of the drawbacks) and you can find cases, filters, and other 3rd party accs with no issue.

The only reason I would recommend the Karma over any (non-toy) drone would be if you already have a GoPro 5 or 6. If you do, you can get a kit for under 300 bucks and that is a pretty big delta. In order of recommendation I would go in the following:

  1. Evo
  2. Air
  3. H
  4. Spark (only if you're completely new to the hobby and not sure if you'll stick with it).
  5. Karma
The Evo is my fave and it isn't close. The only thing it isn't tops on is some of the specialty modes and it doesn't have the best orbit.
I like the Air, but the flight time isn't good enough and you have to deal with DJI which is a negative (IMHO) for many reasons.
I love the H. Love it. The range kind of sucks, though, and it is just so HUUUUGE. It's more of a pain to lug around, but when I get it in the air I remember what I love about it.
The Spark is a great starter drone. I got it for around 250 with the fly more so it was a no brainer at the time, but basically was the gateway drug to the Air. It is everything the Air is, except slightly worse (flight time, camera, range).
There are things I like about the Karma, but it is not better than anything else in any category. As I mentioned earlier I do like using the timelapse effect, but that doesn't offset its other shortcomings. It also is big. At 300 it's a good starter drone, but I would never want it as my daily flier. I have talked to people that have multiple Karmas and use them for all of their projects, but the issues the line has had are always in the back of my mind.
 
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Shon

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There's no comparison. The Air bests the Karma across the board IMHO. The only exception would be the controller, but that's personal preference, not a qualitative difference. You're not going to get the advertised flight times out of the Air, but it is a solid piece of kit. I've had some magnetic interference/compass issues with the Air, but it just requires calibration. I know more people with Airs than any other drone. It's my son's fave (of course also the one he's flown the most) and you're going to get equal quality photo/videos with the Air unless you double your investment. As I mention below I prefer the Evo, but you can't go wrong with the Air in my opinion. It's solid and has a proven company/name behind it (which is also part of the drawbacks) and you can find cases, filters, and other 3rd party accs with no issue.

The only reason I would recommend the Karma over any (non-toy) drone would be if you already have a GoPro 5 or 6. If you do, you can get a kit for under 300 bucks and that is a pretty big delta. In order of recommendation I would go in the following:

  1. Evo
  2. Air
  3. H
  4. Spark (only if you're completely new to the hobby and not sure if you'll stick with it).
  5. Karma
The Evo is my fave and it isn't close. The only thing it isn't tops on is some of the specialty modes and it doesn't have the best orbit.
I like the Air, but the flight time isn't good enough and you have to deal with DJI which is a negative (IMHO) for many reasons.
I love the H. Love it. The range kind of sucks, though, and it is just so HUUUUGE. It's more of a pain to lug around, but when I get it in the air I remember what I love about it.
The Spark is a great starter drone. I got it for around 250 with the fly more so it was a no brainer at the time, but basically was the gateway drug to the Air. It is everything the Air is, except slightly worse (flight time, camera, range).
There are things I like about the Karma, but it is not better than anything else in any category. As I mentioned earlier I do like using the timelapse effect, but that doesn't offset its other shortcomings. It also is big. At 300 it's a good starter drone, but I would never want it as my daily flier. I have talked to people that have multiple Karmas and use them for all of their projects, but the issues the line has had are always in the back of my mind.
Thanks for your detailed review. I haven’t given the Evo a serious look. I’ll look more closely

I’m thinking about the Air more in terms of travel. I frequently hike with my drone and the entire Air weighs less than a single Karma battery. I fly with my drone as well, and I would prefer if it does not count as my entire carry-on!
 

IM35461

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For best picture quality my Phantom 4 Pro V2 wins with its 1" sensor and also wins on flight time and range.

But nearly as heavy as Karma and three times the price.

The non linear video from Karma in 4K is a let down but it can sort of be fixed in some video processing suites.

Karma with post video correction

Phantom 4 in H265/HEVC 4K video

Both at 30 frames
 

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