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should I buy a karma?

Muddy

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Have been thinking about getting a drone for some time. Since I already own a GoPro Hero 6 I was thinking the Karma drone may be an OK choice, for all its shortcomings. I had been holding off hoping for news of a Karma 2, but that is obviously now a lost hope.

I am in Australia and the regular price of the drone without camera was about AUD$1200, now AUD$850. I found one bricks and mortar store offering it to me for $769 and I am quite tempted. I guess it may drop further but then there is the risk of stock running out.

A few things for consideration:

- newer cams may nor may not be compatible with drone
- status of future software updates not 100% clear
- batteries will degrade and the whole thing will probably become useless over time, maybe 5 years?
- I already own a Karma Grip (which I have found to be quite buggy)
- I have so far found GoPro to be honourable with their support
- should I throw money at this, or save it for a newer drone eg. DJI (Mavic Pro 2 just leaked)?
- I am a little put off by talk of the short range of this drone in this forum
- it's a lot of drone for that amount of money, especially considering the stabiliser is re-usable
- resale value likely to be very low
 

JCLs

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There are a lot of users with no problems. This forum attracts folks with issues. There are a lot of reasons for issues but just like current state of autonomous cars Karma drones require some reasonable level of competence. Having said that I like my Karma a lot as it does what I got it for, really good pictures, very well. I do not fly to see how far I might go etc., I have a quad I built that can go miles away if I wanted but it uses different frequencies (I have ham license) and only has 2 axis gimbal. Software for newer camera is same for all Hero 6s so not an issue. Who knows about rest of issues you bring up. Resale of any quad is not worth worrying about. No more DJI Spark as of today it seems.


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Muddy

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Thanks JCLs. I am quite a drone newbie. I have a tiny little Hubsan drone, but aside from that I have no experience with them. I am quite keen and the low price of the Karma is attracting me as I perceive it's relatively easy to fly for a beginner, I already own the cam, and at that price if I get bored with it etc then it's less of an issue.
 

LuvMyTJ

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Have been thinking about getting a drone for some time. Since I already own a GoPro Hero 6 I was thinking the Karma drone may be an OK choice, for all its shortcomings. I had been holding off hoping for news of a Karma 2, but that is obviously now a lost hope.

I am in Australia and the regular price of the drone without camera was about AUD$1200, now AUD$850. I found one bricks and mortar store offering it to me for $769 and I am quite tempted. I guess it may drop further but then there is the risk of stock running out.

A few things for consideration:

- newer cams may nor may not be compatible with drone
- status of future software updates not 100% clear
- batteries will degrade and the whole thing will probably become useless over time, maybe 5 years?
- I already own a Karma Grip (which I have found to be quite buggy)
- I have so far found GoPro to be honourable with their support
- should I throw money at this, or save it for a newer drone eg. DJI (Mavic Pro 2 just leaked)?
- I am a little put off by talk of the short range of this drone in this forum
- it's a lot of drone for that amount of money, especially considering the stabiliser is re-usable
- resale value likely to be very low

I would consider a model that will have support. DJI is currently one of the only manufacturers that you can still get parts and batteries for older models. The parts may be third-party parts, but they are out there. Also the DJI products have a large selection of third-party apps. Customer service used to be an issue with DJI but not so much anymore.

There are a lot of users with no problems. This forum attracts folks with issues. There are a lot of reasons for issues but just like current state of autonomous cars Karma drones require some reasonable level of competence. Having said that I like my Karma a lot as it does what I got it for, really good pictures, very well. I do not fly to see how far I might go etc., I have a quad I built that can go miles away if I wanted but it uses different frequencies (I have ham license) and only has 2 axis gimbal. Software for newer camera is same for all Hero 6s so not an issue. Who knows about rest of issues you bring up. Resale of any quad is not worth worrying about. No more DJI Spark as of today it seems.


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Where did you see the Spark was discontinued? It is still for sale today. If you are referring to the new Mavic Air as a SPark replacement this is not the case. They are not the same drone and is not aimed at Spark purchasers. The Spark was only released last summer so it is 6 months old.
 

JCLs

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Commercial UMAS newsletter I got. Said prices way down like they dumping stock, etc.


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LuvMyTJ

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Commercial UMAS newsletter I got. Said prices way down like they dumping stock, etc.


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Did it say they were stopping production? It is a good entry level seller. They were on sale at the holidays but all the drones were. Do you have a link? I am not disagreeing with you, just very surprised to hear.
 

Whatzadrone

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Have been thinking about getting a drone for some time. Since I already own a GoPro Hero 6 I was thinking the Karma drone may be an OK choice, for all its shortcomings. I had been holding off hoping for news of a Karma 2, but that is obviously now a lost hope.

I am in Australia and the regular price of the drone without camera was about AUD$1200, now AUD$850. I found one bricks and mortar store offering it to me for $769 and I am quite tempted. I guess it may drop further but then there is the risk of stock running out.

A few things for consideration:

- newer cams may nor may not be compatible with drone
- status of future software updates not 100% clear
- batteries will degrade and the whole thing will probably become useless over time, maybe 5 years?
- I already own a Karma Grip (which I have found to be quite buggy)
- I have so far found GoPro to be honourable with their support
- should I throw money at this, or save it for a newer drone eg. DJI (Mavic Pro 2 just leaked)?
- I am a little put off by talk of the short range of this drone in this forum
- it's a lot of drone for that amount of money, especially considering the stabiliser is re-usable
- resale value likely to be very low
Your not going to have to worry about any of those issues...because that Karma is going to give you problems or fly away...problem solved....BUY DJI...Karma is dead
 

wintertree

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Software updates ....usually used to offer or activate new features...or correct a software glitch....to keep things up to date so "outside" devices will be accepted (if you have to link a smart phone )....Dont see the problem with the newer version of the Karma...works fine...has its own controller..
Range is fine and run times are reasonable....flying it well out of sight seems a little fool hardy
Resale value on drones is not worth a discussion....bought a car lately....?
The Hero 6 is a great camera...powerful....durable...full featured...excellent camera for a drone.....and now with the Karma grip (with stabilizer) a super combination..
Parts will be available for a long time....platforms like Ebay and others will have originals and clone parts for years and years...
A lot of Drone for the $$ ? Prices will continue to drop.....and a bundle that gives you everything you need will be a great deal
I have the Karma / Hero 6 kit....fly it everywhere....never an issue...I called service support with an issue (it was my issue)....got back to me right away ...solved

I may look for another Karma....no rush...as I see the doom and gloomers are starting to panic....
 
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Whatzadrone

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Software updates ....usually used to offer or activate new features...or correct a software glitch....to keep things up to date so "outside" devices will be accepted (if you have to link a smart phone )....Dont see the problem with the newer version of the Karma...works fine...has its own controller..
Range is fine and run times are reasonable....flying it well out of sight seems a little fool hardy
Resale value on drones is not worth a discussion....bought a car lately....?
The Hero 6 is a great camera...powerful....durable...full featured...excellent camera for a drone.....and now with the Karma grip (with stabilizer) a super combination..
Parts will be available for a long time....platforms like Ebay and others will have originals and clone parts for years and years...
A lot of Drone for the $$ ? Prices will continue to drop.....and a bundle that gives you everything you need will be a great deal
I have the Karma / Hero 6 kit....fly it everywhere....never an issue...I called service support with an issue (it was my issue)....got back to me right away ...solved

I may look for another Karma....no rush...as I see the doom and gloomers are starting to panic....
Everybody buys a Karma because it says go pro on it...I admit thats why I bought mine...I thought it has to be good...but the problem lies within the outsourcer who made the Karma...gp pro cams are awesome sure...not the best cameras and not the worst
DJI is a monster of a company that engineers and makes their own products and thats why Im sticking with them...every drone RC car airplane whatever you have will have problems...but for DJi this is what they do...go pro makes cameras and it outsourced their idea for a drone...I wish my Karma wouldve worked out It's a cool little drone..but it didnt and it wont...If you wanna fly buy DJI...I just made that up right now I swear...DJI should use that...and give me royalties
 

JCLs

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I will buy another Karma down the road for spares as I see panic setting in but all I have broke are some blades and the little nub on one arm that stops it and sets open switch. I did that smacking into a tree because I forgot it was there and did not adjust orbit altitude to miss it. (It was on backside of house I was taking pictures of.) I just wish the DJI guys would leave folks here alone.


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wintertree

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Every forum is the same...Its easy to point out negatives...watch the news lately ?
youtube is full of examples of DJI stuff flying away...loosing control...I think most of the issue is pilots flying their drones where there is a lot of interference...yes some is a glitch with the drone or controller...gimbals on most of the DJI stuff is crap....very easy to damage (even storage)...unless you purchase $3000 + inspire line...but now we are comparing apples to oranges..This is the best....that is the best...blah...blah...I had so much $$ for a drone package (complete with camera)....I enjoy the whole experience ( video....stills....exploring where we are camped or anchored with our boat)...I am not much for just flying for fun although I do fly regularly for practice...and it shows with my camera footage...I don't view it as a toy.....and am pleased with the experience...ease of flight....4k video quality....the controller is nice(no phone)...set-up was a little long in the tooth...crash it ? Maybe....but not likely....heck I have even hand caught it off the upper deck of our boat....I may make a set of floats for it which will give me a water landing option if needed and make it a little easier to grab for the hand catch....
 
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wintertree

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By the way JCLs....I am a Ham too !...Good stuff...Take care
 

jbslimp

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There are a lot of users with no problems. This forum attracts folks with issues. There are a lot of reasons for issues but just like current state of autonomous cars Karma drones require some reasonable level of competence. Having said that I like my Karma a lot as it does what I got it for, really good pictures, very well. I do not fly to see how far I might go etc., I have a quad I built that can go miles away if I wanted but it uses different frequencies (I have ham license) and only has 2 axis gimbal. Software for newer camera is same for all Hero 6s so not an issue. Who knows about rest of issues you bring up. Resale of any quad is not worth worrying about. No more DJI Spark as of today it seems.


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I am a drone nerd, have MAVIC PRO, MAVIC AIR, SPARK and KARMA.

The Karma advantages are small but can matter to some. First the quality of video and stabilization is really good. I use w GP5 BLK, it is also the quickest to get off ground. I got out of BP and up in one minute. Love that.

The controller is beautiful and super convenient. Love to see DJI with a AllInOne Controller as option one day.

Plus using the camera for other thinks especially on the grip is awesome!

It’s also very easy to fly, even in complete manual mode.

But here is the thing, you need to find a great deal on one. I’d rather bump to MAVIC Air or a used Pro if you spend more than $800.
 
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Billybob

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I am a drone nerd, have MAVIC PRO, MAVIC AIR, SPARK and KARMA.

The Karma advantages are small but can matter to some. First the quality of video and stabilization is really good. I use w GP5 BLK, it is also the quickest to get off ground. I got out of BP and up in one minute. Love that.

The controller is beautiful and super convenient. Love to see DJI with a AllInOne Controller as option one day.

Plus using the camera for other thinks especially on the grip is awesome!

It’s also very easy to fly, even in complete manual mode.

But here is the thing, you need to find a great deal on one. I’d rather bump to MAVIC Air or a used Pro if you spend more than $800.

They are coming way down on eBay now!



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Muddy

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Well I received my $40 xs809-hw direct from China on Friday. After some test flights around the house, I took it outside in a light breeze. I gained some confidence in the backyard, then decided to put it up a bit higher, whereupon it was taken by the wind (light wind, but then it's a very light machine) and blew over the back fence into the rear lane. Fortunately I was able to recover it easily, but it made me realise how terrifying a flyaway on a more expensive drone must be. I really can't imagine a Karma flying off with my $600 camera attached to it (plus $100 micro-SD), or for that matter a Mavic. It also made me realise it wouldn't be worth the risk to take an expensive drone up in a close environment like the city fringe where I live - and yes, also illegal if flying over houses and people. That would then limit my use to more remote areas or possibly large parks. My primary travel to remote areas is to the snowfields where drone use is forbidden anyway, so I am questioning the value of laying out that large amount of cash for such a thing. I guess I will keep an eye on prices and if I see a real bargain I may snap it up, but I'm not inclined to outlay more than around AUD$500 at this stage.
 

wintertree

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Sounds like you have yourself convinced not to purchase a karma (or anything worth a few $$) Thats fine...its not for everyone...I go long periods without flying my karma ...as winter here makes it tough....but when we travel (the rest of the year on and off) a ten minute flight to get some great shots or some breath taking video always is worth the effort and expense...heck some places where we have stopped with our RV ...I launched....flew straight up 200'....and took a slow video sweep of the area that we are visiting....then straight down and land....thats all I could comfortably get away with in some of our more busy venues....with us its the video / photo part of karma (we also use a hero 6) that is the draw...Other than practice to fly with better control I don't just fly for fun...although its all enjoyable...
 

Muddy

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Sounds like you have yourself convinced not to purchase a karma (or anything worth a few $$) Thats fine...its not for everyone...I go long periods without flying my karma ...as winter here makes it tough....but when we travel (the rest of the year on and off) a ten minute flight to get some great shots or some breath taking video always is worth the effort and expense...heck some places where we have stopped with our RV ...I launched....flew straight up 200'....and took a slow video sweep of the area that we are visiting....then straight down and land....thats all I could comfortably get away with in some of our more busy venues....with us its the video / photo part of karma (we also use a hero 6) that is the draw...Other than practice to fly with better control I don't just fly for fun...although its all enjoyable...

Yeah I need to re-evaluate why I wanted a drone in the first place. I'm a keen GoPro user, but really I only use it on holidays. The family videos I've been able to make have been incredibly valuable and I definitely "get" your comments. We often sit down and view GoPro videos from years past on the big TV at home. My wife can clearly see the value in the GoPro because of this which helps the yearly business case for a new one. This year we did a ski trip to Canada and I added a Karma Grip. What a fantastic device! It gives the footage such a big step up in quality it's almost like going from amateur to professional grade footage. The GoPro electronic image stabilisation by itself just doesn't compare. Having said that, I found the gimbal to be quite buggy and I lost some prime footage due to the damned thing playing up. That also gives me some concerns as the gimbal is obviously part of the drone system. Also, there seems to be so few places I could realistically use the thing here - can't fly near home except maybe parks (even that is "bending" the rules as there is nearly always a dog-walker or two about). Can't fly at ski resort. Can't fly in national parks I think? I understand that part of the reason GoPro is dim on the future of drones is their own assessment of tightening drone regulation in Europe, so maybe they are getting the same idea. So as a photographic tool for me it is potentially great, but maybe can't be used as much as I would like. As a fun toy, it's probably too expensive unless I can get it cheaply.
 

Billybob

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Well I received my $40 xs809-hw direct from China on Friday. After some test flights around the house, I took it outside in a light breeze. I gained some confidence in the backyard, then decided to put it up a bit higher, whereupon it was taken by the wind (light wind, but then it's a very light machine) and blew over the back fence into the rear lane. Fortunately I was able to recover it easily, but it made me realise how terrifying a flyaway on a more expensive drone must be. I really can't imagine a Karma flying off with my $600 camera attached to it (plus $100 micro-SD), or for that matter a Mavic. It also made me realise it wouldn't be worth the risk to take an expensive drone up in a close environment like the city fringe where I live - and yes, also illegal if flying over houses and people. That would then limit my use to more remote areas or possibly large parks. My primary travel to remote areas is to the snowfields where drone use is forbidden anyway, so I am questioning the value of laying out that large amount of cash for such a thing. I guess I will keep an eye on prices and if I see a real bargain I may snap it up, but I'm not inclined to outlay more than around AUD$500 at this stage.


That cheap drone probably did not have any gps on it. If Karma didn’t get a gps lock at you , you probably couldn’t fly it there.


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Billybob

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Check eBay now. Some good deals, especially if you already own the camera!


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