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genebrecht

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RDX Surge After speaking with Karma support over the last few days, they told me they are still manufacturing the Karma. I asked for how long and he didn’t seem to know. I told him people where still purchasing it and using it and he they knew that. Maybe someone will pickup the line?

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james shih

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I am glad to hear that they are still producing karma drone, furthermore I hope they can improve all the defects and offer the karma drone II, the most one of the improvement I like is the karma size can be smaller and easy to bring abroad.
 

Shon

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I am glad to hear that they are still producing karma drone, furthermore I hope they can improve all the defects and offer the karma drone II, the most one of the improvement I like is the karma size can be smaller and easy to bring abroad.
I was on the GoPro reddit thread when they announced the layoffs of the Karma Team.

One poster claimed to be an engineer on the team that was laid off... and had some interesting tidbits on the Karma II that was well into production when the project was terminated. He spoke of a drone the size of the Grip, significantly smaller. Very compact and foldable. I really can’t remember much else, other than the fact that they missed their targeted release date due to some technical issues, and soon found themselves on the chopping block. Most of what he had to say was about Woodman as a CEO, and his management style.

Woodman just did a podcast interview with the Verge yesterday. I haven’t listened to it it, but from the summary, it didn’t sound like Woodman had any interest in making a Karma II. his focus right now seems to be on the core of their business and trying to save it.
 

james shih

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You are right, I got expressed from the local dealer that karma terminated was not because of the product itself, it is Gopro is not profited when they compete with others, anyway I hope Gopro can figure why they can't fight with other brands and check their costs and come back again.
 

JCLs

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GoPro is more costly but they also precede all the competition. They do innovations, get copied and copies have different quality and much less overhead and development costs. Somebody will soon figure out or steal the stability system (if they haven’t already) and quad and other forums will soon be full of how cheap ripoff is and why does GoPro charge so much. And no I don’t work for GoPro.

The Karma got huge initial hit and was picked up by lots of people who
never touched a quad. Any small variance was a disaster. In any case lots of bad publicity and initial battery problem doomed it.


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Shon

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This is an interesting conversation. I wish I had time to contribute a bit more. There are many nuances reasons for Karma’s demise. An MBA thesis or PhD dissertation could be written on this story, and how things went sideways.

GoPro was resting on their laurels. Up until the Hero 4, there really wasn’t any serious competition in the action camera market. Cheap Chinese knock-offs didn’t really exist, and although Sony and others made some stabs at the market, there weren’t any serious efforts on the part these companies to go after Gopro’s market share.

Gopro relied on small incremental changes to their product, skipped years between development cycles, and didn’t even bother with consumer research per Nick Woodman’s recent interview. Basically, they were focusing on what the Extreme Sports Pros wanted, and guessing at what other consumers might want. Their growth on the initial stock offering was explosive and they were swimming in money. So they started spreading out.

GoPro started investing money in a multimedia company ( something they knew nothing about). They started spending money in drone development ( again, an industry they knew nothing about) they spent boatloads of money recruiting key talent in these industries, fighting to emerge in areas that already had significant competition. Then the bottom fell out.

Small incrimental changes on the Hero 5 did not impress. Sales were much flatter than expected. Cheap Chinese knockoffs also cut into their sales.

The multimedia company sucked away an incredible amount of money away from GoPro, with nothing to show for it. It was a money pit that just wasn’t profitable for GoPro bases on the small economy of scale.

Investors took notice of these poor business decisions and GoPro suffered as a result. Poor performance on the initial Karma release, along with strong competition from DJI with the subsequently released Mavic Pro, was almost the nail in the coffin for GoPro. Their stock and dropped almost 90% by that point.

Like an overly ambitious player in the board game “Risk”. GoPro has spread themselves too thin, and were embattled on multiple fronts, in businesses they had little to no experience with.

As an emergency measure to save their company, they made a business decision to re-focus on their core business, which is action cameras. They shuttered the multimedia arm of their company, and shuttered their drone development as well. All and all they went through four rounds of layoffs trying to stem the bleeding.

IF the economics were different, and GoPro not spread so thin... I think they could have given DJI a run for their money with the Karma 2.
 
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Shon

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“Re-focus on their core business”

In the game of “Risk”, this means using all your reinforcements to protect Australia, and rebuilding your empire from there. :)
 
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james shih

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Waooo, what a conversation you made.
I am just became a karma pilot since Nov. 2018 and none of any experience in the drone flying, but not encounter any problem with it till now, it was initially from the using karma grip and hero5 and like the footage it offers, then came the good offer on the karma drone by Amazon, I thought why not trying it for a new prospective for my photography.
Although I am not qualified to say anything on the karma issue, but I think the UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) devices are the trend of the most important technology for tomorrow including the wireless radio technique, may be Mr. Woodman should take a second thought on this point.
By the way , I got the check-in case today for bringing karma abroad, thank the mates in the forums who offer the information.

slide-1.jpg
 

mjbok

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I have a Karma (why would I be here if I didn't) and it's not a terrible drone. It has some things I really, really like. I like the controller. Image quality should be (and is) very good. The problem is what it can do isn't worth the cost involved.

The camera itself puts the cost around 350-400.
The Grip? Add another 200-250.
Before you're even getting to the drone part of the drone cost you are looking (low end) at $550. That puts it beyond a Spark Fly More bundle. Add in just the batter and you are at $650 before you even factor in the drone, the controller, the props, etc.

I bought it at $650. For me it was worth it for the Hero6 and the Grip. The drone was just a nice add-on, plus I got extra props and an extra battery.

For it to be "worth it" for what it can do and the shortcomings it has it would have to be in the $450 range to be competitive. It is a larger Spark with more camera ability and shorter range. In today's market it is priced at or above the Air price and it can't compete there.

Add in the issues they had with fly aways or just plain dropping out of the sky there was no way it was going to be successful.

I have one and I use it, but only for very specific tasks and for low range/altitude missions. I love doing hyperlapse tracking or orbits which I could do with other drones, but I can do it in camera with the Karma. Of course you have to process the footage afterwards anyway since you can't do timelapse video in non-distorted mode.

At the end of the day the economics of the drone just were never going to work unless it could compare (spec-wise) with a Mavic Pro. It is (by far) the least capable of any of the drones I have outside of the original Phantom.
 

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I have a Karma (why would I be here if I didn't) and it's not a terrible drone. It has some things I really, really like. I like the controller. Image quality should be (and is) very good. The problem is what it can do isn't worth the cost involved.

The camera itself puts the cost around 350-400.
The Grip? Add another 200-250.
Before you're even getting to the drone part of the drone cost you are looking (low end) at $550. That puts it beyond a Spark Fly More bundle. Add in just the batter and you are at $650 before you even factor in the drone, the controller, the props, etc.

I bought it at $650. For me it was worth it for the Hero6 and the Grip. The drone was just a nice add-on, plus I got extra props and an extra battery.

For it to be "worth it" for what it can do and the shortcomings it has it would have to be in the $450 range to be competitive. It is a larger Spark with more camera ability and shorter range. In today's market it is priced at or above the Air price and it can't compete there.

Add in the issues they had with fly aways or just plain dropping out of the sky there was no way it was going to be successful.

I have one and I use it, but only for very specific tasks and for low range/altitude missions. I love doing hyperlapse tracking or orbits which I could do with other drones, but I can do it in camera with the Karma. Of course you have to process the footage afterwards anyway since you can't do timelapse video in non-distorted mode.

At the end of the day the economics of the drone just were never going to work unless it could compare (spec-wise) with a Mavic Pro. It is (by far) the least capable of any of the drones I have outside of the original Phantom.

I've seen the Hero 6 Karma bundle priced at $599 and $699 at various retailers over the holidays (Black Friday, Cyber Monday). The Hero 6 Camera ($399) and Grip ($299) by themselves, would cost more than the entire package. When considering the cost of the drone as part of the package, typically Its been about a $200 dollar add on...but in some cases, it is almost like buying the camera, and the grip, and getting a drone for free!

Yes, total package cost, puts it above the price of a Spark Fly-more combo...but with the Spark you are just getting a drone. If you purchase the Spark Flymore combo and don't have an action camera (assuming you would want one)...you are looking at the cost of perhaps the Hero Camera and Karma Grip purchased separately...or basically the cost of the entire Karma package in addition to the Spark. The combination of a waterproof action camera, gimbal, and drone, is what puts this package at a very attractive price point.

I've been very happy with the Karma, and as I have increased experience in my hobby, I'm certainly considering more expensive equipment. Without the Karma...I'm not sure my wife would have ever signed off on a drone...in fact...even today...it is a hard sell... I'm considering a Mavic Air for my next drone purchase due to portability. The Mavic 2 Pro is certainly appealing, but the cost and slight increase in size (mostly cost) give me pause. I'm also looking at adding the the Insta 360 One X to my camera kit, because I have VR equipment, and I'm interested in the 360 VR aspects of that camera and new ways of exploring videography. I also like the possibility of reducing the size and weight of the Hero Camera and Grip, while maintaining very stable video. There is also the option of moving time lapse shots without all the extra equipment I need to pack along with my Hero Camera. I'm concerned about reduced image quality...but wondering if the pros might overcome the cons.

Regardless...my Hero 5 and Karma Grip are going to stay in my camera kit. The Hero 5 will be especially useful for scuba diving, downhill skiing or snowboarding, mountain biking, and other activities where anything less than an action camera just wouldn't do.
 
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mjbok

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I've seen the Hero 6 Karma bundle priced at $599 and $699 at various retailers over the holidays (Black Friday, Cyber Monday). The Hero 6 Camera ($399) and Grip ($299) by themselves, would cost more than the entire package. When considering the cost of the drone as part of the package, typically Its been about a $200 dollar add on...but in some cases, it is almost like buying the camera, and the grip, and getting a drone for free!

Yes, total package cost, puts it above the price of a Spark Fly-more combo...but with the Spark you are just getting a drone. If you purchase the Spark Flymore combo and don't have an action camera (assuming you would want one)...you are looking at the cost of perhaps the Hero Camera and Karma Grip purchased separately...or basically the cost of the entire Karma package in addition to the Spark. The combination of a waterproof action camera, gimbal, and drone, is what puts this package at a very attractive price point.

I've been very happy with the Karma, and as I have increased experience in my hobby, I'm certainly considering more expensive equipment. Without the Karma...I'm not sure my wife would have ever signed off on a drone...in fact...even today...it is a hard sell... I'm considering a Mavic Air for my next drone purchase due to portability. The Mavic 2 Pro is certainly appealing, but the cost and slight increase in size (mostly cost) give me pause. I'm also looking at adding the the Insta 360 One X to my camera kit, because I have VR equipment, and I'm interested in the 360 VR aspects of that camera and new ways of exploring videography. I also like the possibility of reducing the size and weight of the Hero Camera and Grip, while maintaining very stable video. There is also the option of moving time lapse shots without all the extra equipment I need to pack along with my Hero Camera. I'm concerned about reduced image quality...but wondering if the pros might overcome the cons.

Regardless...my Hero 5 and Karma Grip are going to stay in my camera kit. The Hero 5 will be especially useful for scuba diving, downhill skiing or snowboarding, mountain biking, and other activities where anything less than an action camera just wouldn't do.

You are 100% correct. The modular nature of the drone is part of what drives the cost up. I wouldn't have one if it wasn't for it. By itself (if you didn't have an interest is an action camera or a handheld gimbal) it totally wouldn't be worth it. I wanted a new GP and the grip looked interesting so I jumped in. For a first time drone purchaser it is completely about other (read non-drone) activities to determine if it is a good option.

In a way the shortcomings of the drone keep you more honest. You can't (or shouldn't) fly beyond LOS with the Karma because you won't have a video connection anymore.
 
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james shih

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There are always a price checking in the consuming activities, it is normal and make sense.
but there are also some groups of people who pay more attention on if they can really enjoy the product such as the quality, the function, true technology, services etc. , and not only the prices, I think the real enjoyment worth more money, this is may be Gopro should concern more.
My first night cruise footage for sharing failed: ( it says "The uploaded file does not have allowed extension"
 
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james shih

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The ambient was just after twilight so the setting is "auto" mixed with "manual":
1. [email protected] (hero 5)
2. protune: on
3. ISO max: 800
4. WB: 3000k
5. shutter: auto
6. color: gopro
7. sharpness: medium
8. EV comp: 0
 
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james shih

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I have studied a lots of post in the web including YouTube on the issue of the compass interfere, but still confused why this problem annoyed in the drone flying, so I made a test on my roof floor this afternoon tried a karma taking-off in a indoor golf swing exercise net , I found finally a spot which compass calibration completed and got a signal " ready to flight" (the GPS signal was 50%), so I moved the karma up but immediately it shifting side way not stable in the air which then not controllable and touch the net and stopped, so my own conclusion on this issue is the karma is only "OK" on that small spot, but when leave that spot then there is not enough GPS signal available so karma fly away and can't be controlled, so DO NOT RELY ON THE "READY TO FLY" message, the safe way is to let the karma hovering (no touch of the joy stick) not too high in the air after taking-off for a while, if it stays steady in the air then that means the launch position is fine, which karma will remember (because when the connection lost it will start the return process), my opinion is from this moment on karma will fly safely until the power exhausted, this is depend on karma will remember the GPS position and the route it has been, so even in a complicated surroundings it will be fine if karma is flying high enough, most of the crash cases are happened just after the taking-off, except those because of the manufacturing defects.
I hope the above can be corrected by the mates in the forums, specially the Gopro people.
 

JCLs

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If you get a ready to fly message and GPS is only 50%, something I have never seen and did not know was possible, but I may not be understanding what you are describing, there is probability of a stability issue. If a very few satellites will give Karma enough signals to be able to fly, that many signals may not provide a very good fix and result in minimal stability. I have a big quad I built that I can see how many satellite fixes I have. It will fly with 7 and does much better with 19-22 which is normal. (Dual band gps). The quad much more stable with. 19 or more compared to 7! You have to be able to fly! The way I read what you say I suspect you may not have a lot of experience flying any quad without stabilization.


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james shih

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I am a photographer taking still photos, my intention to fly karma is to shoot some photos in different prospect view and not mainly to shoot videos, what I want to know is can we rely always on the "Ready to fly" message and get the karma in the air without problem, after my trial yesterday that when the the screen showed GPS 50% then the controller announces "Ready to fly", this sometimes gives a wrong message if you don't let karma hovering to make sure in the launching moment.
 

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