GoPro is the popular action camera maker. It recently released a drone with camera called GoPro Karma. This move seems reasonable since aerial photography became more and more popular. We compare several drones including Karma, 3DR Solo Quadcopter, and DJI Mavic. Hope it can help you make your buying decision.
The drones for GoPro come at different price levels. First make sure you understand the pros and cons for each drone, then choose the best one that fits your budget.
- 1 What to look for in a GoPro Drone
- 2 1. GoPro Karma Quadcopter: Most Compatible GoPro Drone
- 3 2. DJI Phantom 2 Quadcopter: Best Flight Technology
- 4 3. 3DR Solo Quadcopter: Most Fun to Fly GoPro Drone
What to look for in a GoPro Drone
There’re a few factors that we need to consider when choosing a drone compatible with GoPro cameras. Even though all the regular factors for regular drones apply, there’s a few that are new. Since the camera is larger and heavier than most build-in cameras, the drone is carrying more weight, thus need bigger battery and better flight control technology to make sure the drone is stable in the air. Gimbal is another factor to consider. Since GoPro camera is mounted to the gimbal to allow 360 degrees movement, choosing a stead but nimble gimbal is just as important.
1. GoPro Karma Quadcopter: Most Compatible GoPro Drone
It is no surprise that GoPro Karma is the first on the list. Karma is designed with mounting camera in mind. Even though it doesn’t come with a camera, the drone can work with GoPro Hero 4 and Hero 5. Compatible gimbals are included. Flight time is approximately 20 minutes. Let’s digg deeper and see what Karma has to offer.
GoPro Karma Product Highlights
GoPro Karma with Hero 5 Black
- Hero camera compatible
- Gimbal included
- Backpack included
- Detailed fly instructions
- Controller with integrated display
- foldable wings and landing gear
- Only 15 minutes fly time
- Short flight range
- Lack popular follow me mode
The Ultimate Drone for GoPro
In the package, you will get a drone, a Karma Grip for hand holding the camera, and a game style controller. Unlike DJI Mavic, Karma is foldable, making it easy to carry.
In addition to high quality camera, Karma’s superb flight control makes video smooth and crisp. It’s speed is moderate and movement is stable.
The flight time for Karma is about 20 Minutes. It’s not super impressive, but enough for most use cases. Make sure you stay within the 3K range, otherwise you make lose your connection to the drone.
GoPro Hero 5 and 6 compatible
This is a given since it make this list. But it still deserves a mention, because the GoPro is the maker of both the drone and the camera. I would recommend Karma if you already have a GoPro camera and really want to use it on a drone.
Video Game Style Controller
The style of controller can be a personal preference. However, for the game players, video game style controller has some advantage. It has familiar interface and easy to grasp. Even though there’s no fallow me mode, the drone is very easy to control using this controller. Making it orbit around you, shooting videos, or taking selfies can be quite easy.
2. DJI Phantom 2 Quadcopter: Best Flight Technology
DJI is the most well-known consumer drone manufacturer in the world. DJI drones are know for their Zenmuse cameras that specialises in aerial photography. However, they understand that some consumer want to take their own GoPro cameras to the sky. So their solution is Phantom 2.
DJI Phantom 2 Product Highlights
- Include DJI’s Zenmuse 3 axis gimbal for image stabilization
- GPS flight mode
- 25 minutes flight time on single charge
- Pre flight configuration is tricky
- Some incidence of mis calibration
Great Flight Control
DJI is well-known for their great flight control technologies. When flying a DJI Phantom 2, you can feel the build quality and design are different from other brands. From motors to propellers, every part of the drone was optimized to make flying stable and steady. At the same time, you cannot find a drone that is easier to fly than the Phantom 2. Everything was already pre-configured and tuned up to the best condition. You can fly it right away out of the box.
Long flight time
DJI Phantom 2 uses energy more efficiently than it’s competitors. With great design and flight control, Phantom is able to stay in the air for 25 minutes. It is quite impressive flight time for it’s size and the weight it carries. If you like to enjoy flying more than 20 minutes than DJI Phantom 2 is your choice.
One of the selling point for the DJI drones are it’s Zenmuse line of camera and gimbal. Even though Phantom 2 is supposed to carry a GoPro camera, the gimbal is still extremely important. It supports and stabilises the camera, provides a smooth and crisp video quality. Plus you can have a separate control for the gimbal, which is much easier to control than the drone itself.
3. 3DR Solo Quadcopter: Most Fun to Fly GoPro Drone
Flying has really become easy for everyone. Pushing a button on this game style controller, you can take off, land, or even pause the drone mid air. We think this drone is really competitive give the ease of flying, long range and powerful chip inside.
3D Robotics Solo Product Highlights
- Stable flight platform
- Reasonable price
- Gimbal tilt control on remote
- Return to launch function
- Gimbal is included in price
- limited flight time
With a range of half a mile, you can let your drone go without worry too much about losing connection. Especially in the mountains, having a long range is quite important.
Having a 1GHz chip inside makes sure the flight control is powerful enough. It guarantees a smooth and safe flight under all circumstances. Remember our PC used to have chips less powerful than 1GHz? That’s right, 3DR Solo practically has a computer inside of it.
Having a great app is half of the fun. Being a drone pilot means you need to stay on the ground, while you remotely control your drone in the sky. So you can only look through the App screen and control the drone. 3DR Solo has build a great App on iOS and Android, so you can fly your drone with ease.
best drones for gopro 2018 to make drone photography and videography stand out with top gopro drones in your hands in 2018