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First flights with my Karma with observations/thoughts

mjbok

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I bought a Karma because I got it for 650 with an extra battery/extra props, but mostly I bought it for the GP and the grip. It worked out that the drone was nearly free when considering the other elements.

I have several other drones and all of them have positives, negatives, quirks, etc. I flew it for the first time (a couple different flights) just to see how it compared.

The first flight was after I had flown my Evo for a couple of batteries at a construction site I'm doing building progress surveys for. First thing I noticed is the field of view is vastly different. This isn't a bad thing, just an observation. Because of this to get the same picture framing I got with the Evo I had to fly VERY close to structures. Second thing I noticed is the Karma is slower and a lot less responsive with a lot more drift than I am used to. Once again these are things that just need to be taken into account when flying. I never flew more than 50 feet high and kept within a couple hundred feet. Took some pictures, took some video that was it. No problems.

The second flight was a second matter. I was at home and just wanted to get a quick flight in as the sun was going down. I took off, was hovering at about 15 feet off the ground, no more than 20 feet from the controller and it lost connection. Auto landed about five feet from the take off position. Immediately reconnected and said it was ready for take off. I thought "looks like I might be the next in the my Karma flew away club." Power cycled took off and flew for about five minutes. Flew a little bit, got a little more brave, going a couple hundred feet out, a hundred feet high. I didn't notice until I got back inside, but apparently my settings for the camera reset after a power cycle, going back to 1080p from 4k/30. Is that normal?

The other thing I noticed to take into account is I'm so used to flying drones that have downward facing sensors that I bounced the drone when landing. Not hard, but every other drone I have slowly comes done the last five feet.

Assuming I continue to fly this drone (I may not, the Evo is my go to) the biggest things I need to adjust to is not trusting the video for distance issues, the drift while hovering, the drift while letting off the sticks, and landing more carefully. I usually take off from a pad and then land on something solid (concrete, blacktop, etc.), but I have to SLOWLY bring it done and not count on the drone knowing what height it is at.
 

motorman

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I also just received one of these bundles with the GoPro 6, I told my wife I wanted one for my Bday, didn't expect it since I have 3 other drones but you can't beat the deal like you said, 300 for the grip and 350 for the camera... had the first launch last night and seems to flight great after calibrating the compass a few times. Did you have any issues doing the calibration?
 

mjbok

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I also just received one of these bundles with the GoPro 6, I told my wife I wanted one for my Bday, didn't expect it since I have 3 other drones but you can't beat the deal like you said, 300 for the grip and 350 for the camera... had the first launch last night and seems to flight great after calibrating the compass a few times. Did you have any issues doing the calibration?
Not that I could tell. I did have to calibrate the first time (obviously I guess).
 

Ironspear

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Hiya mate.
The video settings will return to the default settin 1080p.
You need to change the default settings for video via the controller.
Good Luck Mate!!
 

b00tl3g

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Not to get off topic, but have you also floen any DJIs? If so, has your time with the Evo convinced you that they can give DJI serious competition?
Also...the Karma is wonderful...you have to get to know her! :)
 

mjbok

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Not to get off topic, but have you also floen any DJIs? If so, has your time with the Evo convinced you that they can give DJI serious competition?
Also...the Karma is wonderful...you have to get to know her! :)

I have three DJI drones (OG Phantom, Spark, Air), here are my thoughts on that.

I like the Evo better than any of those three, but no, I don't think they can give DJI serious competition for a couple of reasons:

1. Their visibility is basically zero.
What I mean by that is if you ask anyone (who isn't a hardcore hobbyist) they might be familiar with DJI (and to a smaller degree Parrot), but Autel, Yuneec, nope.
Go to Best Buy (or any other brick and mortar store that stocks drones. DJI has signage, displays, video monitors as do Yuneec, Parrot, and GoPro, but even if they sell them (as Best Buy does) there is nothing about Autel products
2. No 3rd party support. Accessories and the like exist for all other brands. If you want something for your Evo you need first party, speaking of...
3. No 1st party parts. This has gotten a little better, but how long did it take to get props and batteries on the market? Even through Autel directly it is next to impossible to get a small part if you need it. Example: the rubber feet on the holder part of the controller fell off of my controller. Autel sent me a whole new controller because they didn't have the rubber parts. They sent me something that cost 200 bucks because they didn't have a 20 cent part. Great customer service, but shows cracks in the system.
4. The horizon issue. It's there, it's fixed, it's there, it's fixed. It still isn't perfect and this is really a bad look.
5. Who? DJI is the 300 pound gorilla in the game. If anyone, GoPro would have been able to make a run because they are a "name" and have a fairly large footprint in (any) market, even if it was the drone market.
6. Orange. I love my orange flying buddy, but the initial impression of someone seeing it is to be thrown by the color. That might have been the idea, but unlike black, white, red (or even the yellow and blue Spark varieties) orange just seems off from a first impression.
7. Price. The Evo falls between the Air and the Mavic Pro for a price point and that kind of makes sense because it is kind of in between them for functionality. However it isn't a price point to make it competitive. If you had to buy something and Sony made a version that was 200 bucks and a company you (nor your friends) had never heard of has a similar one for 100 bucks more Sony is always going to win that battle for your dollar.
8. It has a few issues that need to be worked out. Like the horizon issue mentioned above, the Evo has a few quirks that makes it a tougher sell. The lack of ability to easily tweek the Yaw control rates (the grid kind of does it, but it isn't granular) sucks. There is a bigger video delay on the Evo controller compared to my other drones. I can't fly missions with OO on (this is not a bug, but something wrong with my drone). Some settings don't save from flight to flight. Flight stats are device (phone) specific even when saved to the cloud.

I hope that answered your question. I've had the Evo the least amount of time compared to the rest (except the Karma) and I've flown it a ton more. I really like it. I like the video quality. The pics are fantastic. The controller is better (except the back mounted buttons often get hit accidentally). Flight time is good on it. Range is better than any of the other drones I have. It wouldn't be the one I'd recommend though. For a starter I'd say go with the Spark to see if the drone bug sticks or go with the Air. It's like suggesting a phone or a tablet. I prefer Android, but I would suggest someone that doesn't want to fiddle should go with an Apple device. Not that it's better, it just makes more sense for them.
 
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