GoPro is the name that we have come to synonymize with action cameras to the extent that ‘GoPro’ word is now widely used as a verb and not just a noun. How often we hear people say things like “Let’s GoPro this action sequence”? But, GoPro had also branched out into the drone business several years ago and was offering the Karma line of drones. But now, the company has decided to shut its drone shop and focus more on its core line of products – Hero action cameras. The company officials blamed stiff competition and unreasonable regulatory prices for this move.
GoPro will keep selling the Karma drones until the stocks last. They will also continue providing the after-sales support for an indefinite period time. If you were thinking about grabbing a Karma machine, you may still have a chance – or probably not. By the time you read this article, the last Karma drone might have already been picked off the shelf. Also, buying this drone could be a risky proposition for you don’t know when the company might stop offering support.
If you have been planning to buy Karma drone, I would recommend looking at other options. If you are not sure what’s out there in the market, we have prepared the list of best GoPro Karma alternatives you can consider. Keep reading!
1.DJI Phantom 4
DJI series of drones are pretty well known and Phantom 4 is one of the best from their lineup. There are many reasons why you would like to pick this drone as an alternative to GoPro Karma. But, let’s start with one of the most advanced features it integrates. DJI Phantom 4 packs a highly sophisticated Obstacle Sensing System. As the name suggests, this sensor detects the objects ahead and avoids a collision by adjusting its course.
This probably is reason enough to buy Phantom 4. There is more to it though. This drone uses superior quality magnesium alloy design, which not only looks very visually appealing but also lends the much desired structural integrity to the machine.
Phantom 4 also boasts of pretty solid specs too. This machine can fly as fast as 45 mph, which indeed is quite fast. And, with its battery fully charged, it can keep flying for nearly 30 minutes.
You can also take high quality still images and even shoot 4K videos with Phantom 4, owing to the 12.4 MP CMOS camera sensor it packs. The 4K videos are shot at 30FPS. If you want higher FPS, you will need to step down to HD resolution of 1920 x 1080 that offers FPS of up to 120.
You can easily connect the drone to iOS or Android devices. Phantom 4 costs you a little less than $800, which I would say is pretty justifiable.
2.DJI Mavic Pro
When it comes to drones, DJI is an inarguable leader in the industry. There isn’t a brand that can offer the same level of expertise in drone technology as DJI. This is why it is the most trusted and reputed name worldwide. So, don’t blame me if you see multiple DJI entries from on this list. After all, all I want is to introduce you to the best.
Mavic Pro is one of the smallest drones you will find in the market. But, don’t be mistaken by the size of this device packs so many features that can put the bigger drones to shame. It is costlier than Phantom 4 but I believe it is every bit worth the money spent. Portability is one aspect that makes Mavic Pro an extremely desirable drone. Not only is it small but it also folds easily allowing it to be carried very conveniently.
Let’s move on from the size though and talk about some real specs, such as the camera. Mavic Pro has a high quality, 12.7 MP camera that can record videos in full HD as well as 4K quality. With HD you record up to 90 fps videos. If you are recording 4K, fps will go up to 30.
On the battery front, Mavic Pro is not necessarily as good as the others. It takes more than an hour to charge the battery fully, which can keep the Pro airborne for nearly 25 minutes. But, given the small size, Mavic Pro can attain a maximum speed of 40 mph, which is nothing less than impressive. Just like Phantom 4, Mavic Pro also has obstacle sensor which helps you avoid collision and damage. Additionally, it offers ActiveTrack for object tracking. You can pair the drone with iOS and Android devices too. DJI I Mavic Pro comes with a price tag of $999.
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3.Phantom 4 Pro by DJI
That’s the third from DJI and definitely not the last. By now you must have already figured that Phantom 4 Pro is an enhanced, upgraded version of Phantom 4, which we have already mentioned earlier. This advanced version brings you several improvements in various areas including battery, camera, and video transmission system.
This flying machine packs a 20 MP camera capable of recording 4K videos at much higher fps of 60. Yeah! That’s pretty impressive. But, there is more. The camera also offers a wide aperture range of f/2.8 to f/11 allowing you more control over the picture and video quality.
As far as the improvement in the battery is concerned, Phantom 4 Pro can fly a little longer than 30 minutes at full charge. But, it attains the same maximum speed of 45 mph as Phantom 4. Even though there is only little improvement on the battery and speed front, there are some major additions in features.
Phantom 4 Pro offers Tripod Mode, Terrain Follow and ActiveTrack, absent in its predecessor. Tripod Mode lets you suspend the drone midair so that you can shoot videos or take stills from a specific distance and at a fixed angle. It also lets you avoid blurs when you are shooting at low fps. Terrain Follow keeps the drone flying at a constant height from the surface, allowing you to shoot consistently over uneven terrain.
ActiveTrack is to lock and track the moving subjects. Phantom 4 Pro is priced at nearly $1350, which is way more expensive than Phantom 4 or Mavic Pro. But, its feature and capabilities justify the price tag in my opinion.
4.DJI Phantom 3 Professional
DJI Phantom 3 is an economical drone alternative for those who are looking for professional grade machine at a budget price. This drone costs you less than $1,000 and yet delivers superior quality videos and stills. Phantom 3 carries a 12.4 MP Sony camera which offers multiple video recording options. It can record 4K resolution videos at up to 30 fps and offers two aspect ratio choices – 1.9:1 and 16:9. If you want higher fps you can switch to Full HD recording, which offers frame rate of up to 60 fps.
Phantom 3 isn’t exactly a very fast drone as its speed peaks at 35 mph. But, that should be good enough for most video production needs. The flying time is also not very long as compared to the others. The battery takes nearly an hour to get fully charged. At the full charge, it can fly the drone for nearly 23 minutes.
The controller is compatible with a number of iOS and Android devices including smartphones and tablets. The visuals captured by the drone are transmitted and rendered on your device almost without any hassles.
Phantom 3 Professional also packs some cool features that you would usually find in the high-end drones. It offers Point of Interest that locks the drone on an object and makes it orbit around it. Follow Me Mode makes sure that the drone follows the controller from a specific height. Besides these, it also offers Waypoints and Course Lock features.
5.Yuneec Typhoon H
So, finally, we have a non-DJI drone on our list! One look at Typhoon H and you know that it is not like any other drone you would have seen before. Unlike the other drones that feature the traditional quadcopter mechanism, Typhoon H incorporates 6 rotors and can be called a hexacopter. The additional rotors offer this drone more stability during the flight resulting in smoother video grabs.
Typhoon H packs a pretty standard camera with 12 MP size. It records 4K videos at the maximum frame rate of 30 fps. You can bump up the frame rate to up to 60 fps by switching to Full HD recording. But, there is another aspect that sets Typhoon H apart from the others. Its gimbal can rotate by 360 degrees allowing you to capture stunning 360-degree footages without having to change the direction of the drone.
The controller of Typhoon H is also different from others. A 7-inch tablet is built into the controller that runs on a custom Android OS. This means you don’t need to attach the controller to an external device such as a smartphone or tablet. This makes the controller a bit heavy but saves you some efforts.
Typhoon H battery takes almost 2 hours to charge up completely. Once it is fully charged, it will keep the drone airborne for nearly 25 minutes. This drone can hit a pretty high top speed of approximately 45 mph.
As far as additional software features are concerned, Typhoon H packs many. It also has the Point of Interest mode that you can use to continuously hover the drone over or orbit around the locked object. You can also use Orbit Me feature to have the drone orbit the person with the controller. Cable Cam lets you preset a path and makes sure that the drone flies only on that predetermined route. Typhoon H has a Wizard controller that lets the other person control the flight of the drone while you control the camera.
Typhoon H looks like a feature-rich drone. And yet, it carries a reasonable price tag of $999.
After a little breath, here we are again with a DJI. It would certainly have been remiss of me to not put DJI Spark on this list. Spark is probably the smallest drone you would have seen. But, small size should not fool you for Spark carries some big features like others in the DJI series. What’s most amazing is that in spite being a feature-loaded drone, it is still very cost-effective.
I am not saying that it is the best drone around. What I mean is that it gives you more than what’s worth its price of $599. It has a 12 MP camera that can record high-quality videos at up to 30 fps. Its fully-charged battery offers a flying time of a little over 15 minutes (which is low as compared to others). The camera can take panoramic photographs as well as photos with shallow depth of field.
What’s more amazing is that you can control this drone with your hand gestures. You don’t need any external controller or attached mobile device.
7.Autel X-Star Premium 4K
DJI seems to be everywhere there is a talk of drones. But, we finally move on from DJI and present to you Autel X-Star Premium 4K drone. When it comes to value for money, I would say this drone easily beats the DJI drones. That’s why we had no hesitation in placing it among the viable alternatives to GoPro Karma.
Premium 4K has a 12 MP camera that lets you shoot 4K videos at the frame rate of 30 fps. Switch down to full HD and you can record up to 60 fps videos. The drone also offers 2.7K recording mode as well. A fully charged battery keeps the drone in the air for nearly 25 minutes. Premium 4K can achieve a top speed of 35 mph.
The controller features a small LCD screen that provides basic information pertaining to flight data and battery level. You can also easily attach the controller to a wide range of iOS and Android devices as well. Premium 4K also packs tons of software features as well including Follow Me Mode, Orbit Mode, WayPoints, Beginner Mode and a lot more.
You can buy Autel X- Star Premium for around $900.
8.Parrot Bebop 2
Priced at $400, Parrot Bebop is the most affordable drone on this list. This small sized drone is lightweight and easy to control. You don’t need a controller to fly this drone; you can maneuver it using your smartphone.
Bebop 2 has a 14 MP camera that records Full HD video at 30 fps. Unfortunately, it does not offer 4K recording. Well, at this price we also did not expect it to. I am confident that you will like FullHD recording, which is quite smooth and crisp.
Bebop 2 can fly at the top speed of nearly 37 mph. Given the small size, I would say it is pretty impressive. You can keep the drone flying for nearly 25 minutes on a fully charged battery. It may not be the most feature-rich drone, but it is good enough if you are just starting out.
GoPro Karma may no longer be in business but you still have plenty of other options. The fact of the matter is that GoPro was never truly into the drone business. The company has been thriving primarily on its core Hero action camera line of products. Some of the Karma alternatives we have cataloged above offer superior camera and flight performance by comparison. There is DJI that takes up more than half of this list of eight drones. You might already be inclined to buy one of the DJI drones and I would say it makes sense. And yet, there are other options too for you to explore. I hope this article helped you make the right buying choice. I also hope that you liked reading this piece as much as I enjoyed writing it.