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Drone Reviews / Tutorials

GoPro Karma Flight Kit

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Do you already own the GoPro Karma Grip and are now thinking of getting the GoPro Karma drone? Then the Karma Flight Kit by GoPro is geared just for you. Last year I made the decision that this summer I would be upgrading from my Bebop 2 drone to a better aerial photography/video platform. When GoPro announced the Karma at its media event last September I knew my decision on which drone to get was going to be easy. The karma, a reasonably priced drone that comes with a hand stabilizer and backpack that would fit seamlessly into my GoPro ecosystem … but then … many things happened. The first setback was when GoPro revealed the Karma would only to be released in the U.S. to start. This was very disappointing news because I live North of the border in a little country called Canada, so no Karma for me on launch day. Shortly after the GoPro Karma media event, DJI unveiled its very own portable / fold-able 4K drone called the Mavic Pro that was even smaller. This was a big blow for GoPro who was hoping to market the drone as a small and portable unit. The icing on the cake came when the GoPro Karma was recalled due to a defect in the battery latching system. It seemed like there would be no Karma drone in my future and I started looking into other options.

One of the main reasoned I was leaning towards a GoPro Karma was the fact it also had a nice hand-held stabilizer included with the drone. This is something I knew would be very beneficial to me and the way I captured my world. After the Karma recall GoPro released the Karma Grip as a standalone product, I purchased it as did many others as soon as it was available.

Fast forward 5 months and the GoPro Karma is back with an international release. GoPro realizing that many users had already purchased the Hand Grip stabilizer, they created a Karma package just for us called the Karma Flight Kit. It comes with everything that the Karma normally ships with except the gimbal and the Grip that costs $200 less than the complete kit. So realistically going this route you pay $100 more than if you just bought the complete system from the get-go. However, this is not so bad because when you purchase the grip by itself you get a nice little case included which helps offset the cost.

GoPro Karma With Harness Only
U.S. – http://amzn.to/2pxxxpP

GoPro Karma with Hero 5 Black
U.S. – http://amzn.to/2qlH01b
Canada – http://amzn.to/2qlLcOF

The contents of the GoPro karma flight kit.

 

When you purchase the flight kit you get everything that comes with the normal GoPro Karma package except the Grip handle and the stabilizer.

Contents of the Flight Kit include:

  • Karma Backpack / Case
  • Karma Body
  • Karma Controller
  • Karma Charger for Drone and Controller
  • 6 propellers (2 spares)
  • 2 propeller wrenches
  • USB C Cable
  • Documentation and  GoPro Stickers.

When I first saw images of the GoPro karma from the press release my first impressions were that it looked a little cheap. But I was more than impressed when the kit arrived. The drone itself is beautiful and photos do not do it justice. The controller is well-built and feels great while holding. I love the fact that it has a built-in screen and I don’t have to mount my smartphone.

 

Included with the GoPro Karma flight kit is the Karma backpack/case. This is a high-quality case that is well-built and comfortable to wear. It has a built-in GoPro mount so you can capture interesting video while perhaps hiking to location. I am really glad that GoPro included it with the Karma System. If you have ever owned a drone and purchased a backpack you know that they can be very expensive. So for GoPro to include a case/backpack is simply amazing and also adds to the Karma’s incredible value. The case is well laid out and offers great protection for the Karma. If you don’t pack your charger or grip you are able to fit 5 batteries into the case which includes one in the drone. With the grip and charge in the case, you can still easily pack 3 batteries along with you for filming your adventures.

 

All in all, I am extremely pleased with the build quality of the GoPro Karma. I think GoPro got it right with this drone kit. What it lacks in features like “follow me” and “collision avoidance” it makes up for in the usability and value of the system. The karma controller is very intuitive and makes setup and flying the drone a breeze even if you are a first-time drone owner. This is not a review of the Karma, that will be coming in about a month or so. I like to have a good amount of time to use a product in real-world conditions before I make any kind of judgment. This is GoPro’s first venture into the drone market and personally, I think they are off to a great start for a first release. I am pretty excited to see what the future holds for the GoPro Karma Drone.

You can watch our unboxing video of the Karma Flight Kit on YouTube. It is more of a beginner’s guide to help those who are first-time drone owners to get up in the air quickly and easily. I go over all the steps to get your new Karma drone ready for flight including setup and updating the firmware. GoPro has updated the Karma firmware several times since its released adding many new exciting features.


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DJI Crystal Sky

DJI Crystal Sky Waypoints 2.0 Firmware Update

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A few days ago DJI released a new firmware update for the Crystal Sky that brought support for waypoints 2.0. Many users of the Crystal Sky have been patiently waiting for this new feature that was first introduced for the Mavic 2 Pro and Zoom well over a month ago. Waypoints 2.0 has been available for smartphone or tablet uses and even owners of the new Smart Controller for quite some time, unfortunately, the Waypoints update for the DJI Go4 app was not available for Crystal Sky users until a few days ago and this did not sit well with many Crystal Sky owners.  When you pay premium prices for a high-end device such as the Crystal Sky you would think DJI would make updates for it a priority. This has been a common issue with Crystal Sky so far, hopefully going forward updates will be released in a more timely manner.

Waypoints 2.0 is a Go4 app update only, not a complete system update. To update your DJI Go4 app to get the new Waypoints 2.0 update simply launch DJI Go 4. Navigate to settings and click on “Check For Updates”. You should then be prompted to install the new update. You can watch my video were I demonstrate Waypoints 2.0 running on the DJI Crystal Sky.

DJI Crystal Sky: http://bit.ly/2RYu9CX

 


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DJI Mavic 2 Pro/Zoom

Charging The DJI Smart Controller With A Power Bank While Flying

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Here is a quick tip for those who have purchased the DJI Smart Controller. You can charge it via a power bank even while flying your drone. We have all done it, head out to fly and we have charged all our drone batteries only to arrive at our flight location to realize we forgot to charge the controller. Or perhaps you have been flying all day and your battery level on the controller is starting to get low but you want to get one more flight in. With The DJI Smart controller, you can plug a power bank into the bottom USB-C port and charge the remote even while you continue to fly. The Smart Controller supports fast charging with the stock charger, when charging via a power bank it will charge at a slower rate but enough to keep you flying or get you back up in the air. Using a small power bank such as the Anker 10,000 Mah with a 6′ charging cable allows you to conveniently place the power bank in your pocket while attached to your controller. During my unboxing video of the DJI Smart Controller, I even mention that DJI could potentially release a battery pack addon for the smart controller that connects to the bottom and would work in a similar fashion. You can watch me demonstrate charging the DJI Smart Controller with a power bank while I power on the DJI Mavic 2.

DJI Smart Controller: http://bit.ly/2FViHlU
Small Anker Power Bank: https://amzn.to/2u7P8FZ

 


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