When GoPro’s Karma drone became a competitor in the recreational action-cam UAV world, it lacked certain imperative assets to properly stand out. Shenzhen-based drone company DJI was already in their prime, regarding camera drones, and GoPro simply couldn’t compete. We reported on the company in 2015, and their sincere efforts to enter the aerial conversation, and it seems like definite strides have been made since then. On Thursday, GoPro unveiled its new Hero6 Blackcamera (which is officially available now) in San Francisco.
According to The Verge, the Hero6 Black, like its predecessor, is a waterproof action-cam. The difference here is that the Hero6 shoots 4K footage at 60 frames per second and implements voice controls, utilizes GPS, and has a neat 2-inch touchscreen on its back. But now that GoPro has birthed its new favorite child unto the world, the real question is – has the company’s Karma drone, when fitted with a Hero6 Black, now become one of the best options regarding convenient camera drones?
The Karma was released in 2016, and touted its portability and relative quietness as main attractions – two features that really allowed GoPro to stand out amongst competitors at the time. Unfortunately, a severe battery latch issue had Karmas falling out of the sky, which forced the company to recall their product a mere month after release. A reality so harsh, it hurts just to type out. In the meantime, drone-market titan DJI released the Mavic Pro, which, unlike GoPro's Karma, had the benefit of actually having a camera installed from the get-go. However, the tables seem to be turning in GoPro's favor, as the new Hero6 Black is an incredibly enticing prospect once fitted onto a Karma.
Let's take a look at some of the footage captured by this new camera, before we get all technical.
If that doesn't impress you, I'm not sure what will. As you can see, some of this footage is aerial, while the rest was accomplished with GoPro Karma's detachable stabilizer. This feature is fairly substantial, and not so easily dismissed. Once you've commanded your Karma to return to you, you can simply click the new Hero6 Black off the Karma, pop it onto your stabilizer, and resume shooting with fairly stabilized footage (while still accomplished digitally, the results look convincing). Here's a nice little summary of what that symbiotic relationship looks like in the wild!
The new gimbal here can tilt, which is a nice improvement, in addition to the drone's 'follow me' flight mode. Reportedly, the camera has a faster processor which allows it capture all those extra frames at 60 fps, offering you the choice of pristine slow-motion footage, for example.
Essentially, if you're in the market for a portable drone that shoots astonishing 4K footage – the combination of GoPro's Karma drone and the new Hero6 Black camera is a damn good option. What do you think? Chime in below!