Hero 7 Black is out and you should know that GoPro Karma drone has updated it’s firmware to use this camera, but does that still make it worth it?
My immediate response is no, and it’s actually not because of the camera, it’s in fact because the Karma drone itself is still in my opinion a bad quality drone. It still has no safety sensors, a short flight time, it’s super loud and overall, the drone itself is still too expensive (even if you get it with the new camera) to get.
Now that I’ve briefly ranted about all of this, you may have gotten the impression that I’m a little “mad” and may be wondering why. Allow me to explain my reasoning:
I don’t have a good history with this company (read the bottom of the article for details). After the Hero 4 Black, things kind of went south for me and MANY others. Numerous bugs, constant firmware updates, lemons (in my case), defects are one way to summarize that bad luck I’ve had with this company.
So when the Hero 7 Black was released, I didn’t go out and buy it on day 1 as I did with the 5 and 6. Expecting things to go bad again, I decided to wait it out this time and see what would happen when initial YouTube reviewers I trust would tell me if it’s worth it.
With regards to the Karma, it was my first ever drone, that I never was able to take off with because my Hero 5 Black at the time just wouldn’t update and this grounded my whole operation. Further research on the Karma itself proved that at least compared to other models at the time, it was NOT a good competitor for them for the reasons I stated above. And added to it, it hasn’t evolved since, while the other models on the market HAVE, so that gap widened even more since.
Before I decided to stop buying any GoPro products, my last action camera I bought (and returned) from them, was the Hero 6 Black and after getting a defect there as well as seeing other people complain about the numerous software issues that at the time required constant updates (Most if not all of them have been fixed to be fair), I decided to stop buying products from this company entirely.
Now the 7th version of this camera is out and at first, I was VERY reluctant to even give it a second look, so I waited to see what some unbiased YouTube reviewers would say and they are actually praising it, and it’s something I was surprised about. Could it be that finally, after so many attempts at making an actual good camera, that GoPro finally did it again?
It would appear so…
As of right now, the unbiased reviews are praising this new camera and saying it’s video functions, sound, and stabilization have made it jump ahead of any other action camera on the market today.
This actually makes me happy, because I was hoping GoPro would get it together, but that still leaves the question of if such an awesome camera should be purchased alongside their Karma. And again, I am saying no.
Despite the evolution of the camera itself (it’s basically a Hero 6 Black with better stabilization and less bugs), like I said earlier, there is 0 evolution when it comes to their drone.
Why they haven’t released a new 2.0 model is beyond me. They have more than enough competitors such as DJI and their success to mimic off and with the name brand that is GoPro, any new model they would release would be an instant hit, considering it would actually evolve.
But no, we don’t have that (or perhaps it’s in the works somewhere), instead we still have a clunky model in the form of Karma attached to a great camera that will get you great ariel footage, but let me ask you…
Is it worth getting a model without any sensors, with a short flight time and one that’s so loud just because of this new camera? I say no.
In fact, looking at the footage (like I said, it’s like a Hero 6 Black), I’m not that impressed by it. I still think new generation models like the Mavic Pro 2, the Cadillac that is Phantom 4 Pro, the Autel Evo and even older models like the original Mavic Pro are still as good if not better.
In fact, I say the Phantom 4 Pro, The Mavic Pro 2 and the Autel Evo’s cameras are better than the Hero 7 Black and as far as model quality goes (not even considering the camera in all of this), they ALL blow the Karma out of the water, sorry.
Really my main arguments for sticking to these existing models are:
-The cameras are just as good if not better, at least on these particular models.
-The price is bigger for the Phantom 4 Pro and Mavic Pro 2, but the Autel Evo is close to the same ($999), still, the quality is well worth it, both in camera and the overall model.
-These models are way safer to fly, they fly longer, are quieter (Well the Phantom 4 Pro is pretty much as loud, the other 2 models are much quieter) and they are more portable.
On it’s own, the Hero 7 Black is awesome and worth buying, but to get it alongside the Karma is not really a deal I’d go for.
While GoPro’s approach to changing cameras is AWESOME and something that other companies need to be doing with their drones, it doesn’t change that the model itself is not that good.
As of now, the only drone with interchangeable cameras/lenses is the Inspire 1 & 2 from DJI.
But let’s go back to the main points: No, I do not recommend getting a Karma, despite the great improvements with the new camera.
GoPro needs to release a completely new (and better quality) model that at the very least mimics the top quality models in it’s market, if it stands to compete in the drone market at all.
This new model (if it ever comes out), needs to be more portable, more stable, needs to have at least 2-3x more flight time, needs safety sensors, more intelligent flight modes, and that’s about all I can list for now.
Bottom line: Evolve the drone, not the camera…
I don’t care if GoPro comes out with an 8th, 9th, 10th, ect… version, I’m not putting those cameras on a drone that’s this quality, it’s just too risky…
What do you think? Is my past with this company tainting my opinion of their drone?