December 5, 2016

GoPro's Karma Grip Gimbal Takes Aim at DJI

GoPro Karma Grip
GoPro has launched a $299 image stabilizer that directly competes with DJI’s Osmo.

Already dominant in the action camera arena, GoPro has been trying to move into the rapidly growing aerial cinematography market, where DJI has long reigned supreme. Unfortunately, GoPro’s first major attempt was the launch of the Karma Drone—an effort that literally crashed shortly thereafter as Karmas began falling from the sky, got recalled, and caused the company to order mass layoffs.

GoPro’s latest product, the Karma Grip, was meant to accompany the drone of the same name. Now, it is being sold as a standalone product that is clearly intended as a direct rival to DJI’s Osmo; both are hand-held image stabilizers meant to capture smooth imagery from small cameras.

The Karma Grip seems like a relative bargain at $299 compared to the Osmo’s $569. But there’s a major difference: DJI’s model comes with a 4K camera, while the camera is sold separately from GoPro’s gimbal. If you add the cost of GoPro’s HERO5 Black camera to the Karma Grip, you’re looking at close to $700, making the total exceed that of the Osmo.

The unit is ideal for someone who already owns the HERO5 Black or HERO4.

Therefore, the unit is ideal for someone who already owns the HERO5 Black or HERO4 (or someone who is receiving a HERO5 in exchange for a recalled drone). It’s compatible with both cameras and charges and downloads seamlessly without having to un-mount them. GoPro also offers some nifty extra gadgets and ideas for how to mount the stabilizer on your body to film the perspectives made famous by action cams while still capturing steady footage.

Karma Grip with a camera attached.
Karma Grip with a camera attached.Credit: GoPro

Tech specs

Karma Stabilizer

  • Dimensions: 6in x  4.3in x 3.3in
  • Weight: 8.5oz (242g)

Karma Grip Handle

  • Dimensions: 8in x 1.7in x 1.7in
  • Weight: 8.62oz (244.6g)
  • Battery Life: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Voltage: 5-15V, 3A
  • Charging Time: 1 hour 50 minutes (Supercharger)
  • Charging Time:  6 hours (Standard 1A Charger)

Your Comment

4 Comments

GoPro Hero5 Black is $399, so total cost is closer to $700.

December 5, 2016 at 2:53PM

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Pat Heine
Producer.
237

You're right, Pat! Will update.

December 5, 2016 at 3:28PM

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Liz Nord
Editor-in-Chief & Lead Producer
Documentary Filmmaker/Multi-platform Producer

Does the GoPro still barrel distort like crazy? And is it fixable without quality loss?

December 6, 2016 at 2:33AM

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Torben Greve
Cinematographer
318

I have to say the footage we can see in the video was stabilized in postproduction. The footage one can get using a 3 axis gimbal is much better than without it, but far from the sequences we can see.
I discovered that when I bought one of them. It is very good for a monopode, but if you walk, the gimbal goes up and down, the perspective changes (no 5 axis) and the image is not nice. You have to fix it in post.

Regarding Gopro, I am little upset with the camera I got from them. I bought a Hero3+ silver, and, you know what? No protune. The Hero3 silver had protune, but the "plus" version didn't. Besides, the bitrate is so small that one cannot get a good final quality. If you try to apply a contrast curve be careful, otherwise you get huge blocks. The fish eye vision is horrible most of the times. I don't understand why Gopro doesn't give us a rectilinear option for a narrower angle. Some cheap optics for Gopro are sold by independent companies.

I made a video a couple of weeks ago from a gopro footage. I was not able to remove the videoish-plastic sensation. But it was the only option in that aggressive environment:

https://vimeo.com/192338902

December 6, 2016 at 12:59PM

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I have both, I personally prefer the simplicity of the karma, it does not have controls and complicated wifi setup of the OSMO and it stabilizes perfectly without needing to level or adjust the camera right from the get go.

December 21, 2016 at 10:39PM

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