GoPro Karma HERO5 Harness Drone

Last updated date: July 1, 2020

DWYM Score
6.8

GoPro Karma HERO5 Harness Drone

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We looked at the top Drones and dug through the reviews from some of the most popular review sites. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Drone you should buy.

Overall Take

In our analysis of 123 expert reviews, the GoPro GoPro Karma HERO5 Harness Drone placed 16th when we looked at the top 16 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

Editor's Note October 1, 2020:
Checkout The Best Drone for a detailed review of all the top drones.

Expert Summarized Score
6.3
7 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
7.8
523 user reviews
Our Favorite Video Reviews
What experts liked
The GoPro Karma was our previous runner-up because it was the easiest drone to fly thanks to a quick setup, intuitive and responsive controls, and the fact that you didn’t need to pair it with a smartphone. The Karma had a nice suite of intelligent flight modes and decent battery life, and it shipped with GoPro’s handheld Karma Grip, which let you get more use of the camera off-drone.
- New York Times Wirecutter
September 27, 2018 | Full review
Drone comes with a Karma stabilizer that you can attach to a Karma grip for handled GoPro action. Some of the best drome cameras available currently.
- BestReviews
Simple to set up and fly. Complete system in a backpack. Good image quality. Sturdy and well made.
- Trusted Reviews
July 17, 2017 | Full review
Works with Hero4 and Hero5 cameras. Includes handheld grip for gimbal. Solid tutorial for beginning pilots. Remote has integrated display. Some automated flight features. Easy offline map downloads. Includes backpack.
- PC Magazine
Detachable gimbal doubles as handheld stabilizer. Comes with shoulder harness for mounting camera on your body. Well priced if you already own a GoPro camera.
- The Verge
July 27, 2017 | Full review
First flight with the Karma is stress free. The onscreen menu is superb, allowing you to easily change camera settings, even at first glance. A takeoff button on the touchscreen autonomously brings the drone off the ground and to a hover.
- Tech Gear Lab
January 17, 2017 | Full review
. The folding design of the quadcopter and all-in-one controller are superb, and so is the quality of the video you’ll be able to capture with this system.
- Tech Radar
April 5, 2017 | Full review
What experts didn't like
Unfortunately, GoPro announced in January 2018 that it would leave the drone business after it sold off all remaining Karma units, so we’ve decided to stop recommending this line.
- New York Times Wirecutter
September 27, 2018 | Full review
Some owners have complained of losing GPS signal or have had issues with cheapy made propellors. The camera is higher quality than the drone.
- BestReviews
Short flight time. Low transmission range. No 'follow me' flight modes. No obstacle detection or indoor modes.
- Trusted Reviews
July 17, 2017 | Full review
Short 15-minute flight time. Very limited suburban operating range. GoPro camera not ideal for aerial work. Remote screen is prone to glare. Omits obstacle avoidance and follow mode.
- PC Magazine
Limited range. Can’t autonomously track subjects. Can’t sense and avoid obstacles.
- The Verge
July 27, 2017 | Full review
The only place the Karma lost points in our ease of use testing was in its controller design.We just didn't like the joysticks. They were shorter than the joysticks on other controllers and were recessed quite a bit. This means you can only fly using your thumbs, not pinching with your thumb and pointer finger like some people prefer.
- Tech Gear Lab
January 17, 2017 | Full review
Battery life is this quad’s most glaring weak point. Lasting only 17 to 20 minutes tops, you’ll almost always spend more time getting to a destination than capturing aerial footage of it.
- Tech Radar
April 5, 2017 | Full review

From The Manufacturer

Karma captures amazingly smooth GoPro footage in the air, handheld or body mounted. Ultra portable, Karma folds to go anywhere, packed in its own lightweight case. Detach the camera stabilizer and combine it with the included Karma Grip for unbelievably smooth handheld or body-mounted footage.

Overall Product Rankings

Ruko F11 Pro 4K Quadcopter UHD Live Video GPS Drone
1. Ruko F11 Pro 4K Quadcopter UHD Live Video GPS Drone
Overall Score: 9.0
Expert Reviews: 4
SNAPTAIN S5C WiFi FPV Voice Control & Wide Angle Drone
3. SNAPTAIN S5C WiFi FPV Voice Control & Wide Angle Drone
Overall Score: 8.8
Expert Reviews: 9
DJI Spark Fly More Combo Drone
6. DJI Spark Fly More Combo Drone
Overall Score: 8.1
Expert Reviews: 9
Holy Stone Wide-Angle HD Camera Wi-Fi FPV Drone
7. Holy Stone Wide-Angle HD Camera Wi-Fi FPV Drone
Overall Score: 8.1
Expert Reviews: 4
DJI Mavic Air Quadcopter Remote Controllable Drone
8. DJI Mavic Air Quadcopter Remote Controllable Drone
Overall Score: 8.1
Expert Reviews: 9
DJI Phantom 4 PRO Quadcopter & Multirotor Drone
9. DJI Phantom 4 PRO Quadcopter & Multirotor Drone
Overall Score: 8.1
Expert Reviews: 9
Parrot Mambo Drone
10. Parrot Mambo Drone
Overall Score: 8.0
Expert Reviews: 6
DJI Mavic Pro Quadcopter Remote Controllable Drone
11. DJI Mavic Pro Quadcopter Remote Controllable Drone
Overall Score: 8.0
Expert Reviews: 9
3DR Solo Quadcopter Non-Gimbal Drone
14. 3DR Solo Quadcopter Non-Gimbal Drone
Overall Score: 7.7
Expert Reviews: 7
Parrot Bebop 2 Drone
15. Parrot Bebop 2 Drone
Overall Score: 6.9
Expert Reviews: 9
GoPro Karma HERO5 Harness Drone
16. GoPro Karma HERO5 Harness Drone
Overall Score: 6.8
Expert Reviews: 7

An Overview On Drones

Though their development dates back to World War I, drones — also referred to as unmanned aerial vehicles — have become increasingly popular in recent years. These small gadgets fly through the air without an onboard pilot. Instead, they’re steered and controlled by a user from the ground, often with a remote control or a smartphone app.

Drones are useful for a number of tasks, including surveillance, security, aerial photography, surveying and recreation. More recently, police departments and emergency services personnel have been using them for an array of tasks, including during searches, rescue operations and natural disasters.

Many commercial businesses like Amazon, UPS and Domino’s are considering how to use drones for day-to-day operations like package delivery. Drones are also useful for crop management, building inspections and storm tracking.

The distance your drone can fly varies from model to model, depending largely on battery life and the reach of its onboard receiver from the remote controller or your smartphone. Although most drones will offer very little in terms of battery life, you can get more from some models than others. It’s also important to pay close attention to charging time since a quick charge can get your drone up and going faster.

In addition, some drones come pre-equipped with a camera, while others require the use of a gimbal to manually mount a camera. The gimbal setup often leads to a clearer picture or smoother video capture because the camera is a bit farther away from the vibrations caused by the rotors.

Photography has become a top selling point for drones. Professional photographers have found them invaluable for capturing those otherwise hard-to-get aerial shots. If you’re interested in shooting photos or video from the clouds, know this up front and look for a model that supports high-resolution photography and high-definition video.

Editing is also a consideration. Some apps are better than others at this, including filters and sharing capabilities. Whether you’re a photography hobbyist or not, being able to easily share the images you’ve shot across your social media sites may make some drones better choices than others.

Before you start shopping, it may help to set a budget. Drones can range in price from $100 to more than $1,000. While the higher-priced drones do offer advanced features, if you’re just looking to have a little fun, you may be fine with a more basic model.

DWYM Fun Fact

The Federal Aviation Administration is the government body responsible for regulating drones. According to the rules, you’ll need to register your drone and be sure to keep it below 400 feet off the ground. You’re also not allowed to fly over stadiums, large groups, events or anywhere near emergencies (which seems like it should be a no-brainer!). Laws can vary from one jurisdiction to the next, so check before you start flying.

In addition to legal concerns, there are also some privacy issues associated with drones. If you’re flying your camera-equipped drone over neighbors’ homes, for instance, you may find you get complaints, especially if they’re trying to enjoy some private time in their own backyard. You may even get into legal hot water if you’re posting photos and videos of your neighbors online without their permission.

The Drone Buying Guide

  • Before purchasing a drone, consider your skill and commitment level. Some are labeled “ready to fly,” meaning they require very little or no special training to use. Others are designed for more advanced users.
  • Another factor to consider when it comes to drones is portability and design, especially if you’re short on storage space at home or plan on taking it with you on a trip and won’t have a lot of room. The DJI Mavic Mini FlyCam Quadcopter Drone folds up, with the thumbsticks able to be stored under the arms that hold your phone. The Holy Stone FPV RC Gravity Sensor Drone, on the other hand, doesn’t fold easily but is so small and lightweight, it’s still fairly portable. The only issue is that the arms don’t fold into its body, so you may worry about breaking the rotors if you don’t transport it in a carrying case. The Ruko F11 Pro 4K Quadcopter UHD Drone is even less portable since the landing gear and camera are attached to the body.
  • Because drones operate using a battery, it’s important to consider battery life when making a purchasing decision. The majority of consumer drones have a battery life between 5 and 25 minutes. Many drone users recommend purchasing spare batteries and having them charged up before you start flying so you can easily swap out the extras. The DJI Mavic Mini FlyCam Quadcopter Drone flies a little longer than usual without a charge, at 30 minutes. The Holy Stone FPV RC Gravity Sensor Drone has a shorter flying time between charges and, unfortunately, charging time takes a while, so be prepared to be patient.
  • The most popular type of drone among recreational users is a multirotor drone. A drone with three rotors is known as a tricopter, while a drone with four rotors (an extremely popular model) is called a quadcopter.
  • Other types of drones include fixed-wing drones and single rotor helicopters.
  • Depending on what you plan to use your new drone for, you’ll also want to consider the payload of various models. Some are equipped to carry heavier payloads than others. This may be an important factor if you’re considering using your drone for something like aerial photography or videography.
  • One of the biggest issues with drones is maneuverability. If it’s a windy day, you need a drone that isn’t going to be easily blown around. The SNAPTAIN S5C WiFi FPV Voice Control Drone holds its own against all but the strongest wind gusts, while many other drones struggle even in the lightest breezes. Best of all, if it’s too windy, you’ll get a warning in the app.
  • If you’re new to drones, you may prefer the Holy Stone FPV RC Gravity Sensor Drone. The joysticks aren’t quite as sensitive to sudden movements, so it’s a great model to help you learn to navigate. Another model to consider as a newbie is the DJI Mavic Mini FlyCam Quadcopter Drone, which has intelligent flight modes to help you gain confidence in avoiding obstacles. It will also return to home and land itself if you can’t.
  • For some, aerial photography is the primary reason for purchasing a drone. If photography is your goal, you’ll likely veer toward the Ruko F11 Pro 4K Quadcopter UHD Drone, which shoots smooth 4K video.
  • The DJI drones have gimbals, which hold the camera in place for a smoother shot. This is especially important if you plan to be capturing video during even moderately windy conditions.
  • As advanced as drones are, they do have their limitations. If you think you’ll feel the need to zip through the air, you may want to steer toward a model that boasts speeds of up to 42 mph. You may find your drone a little harder to control at these speeds, though.
  • Unless you plan to just fly your drone in your living room, you’ll need a decent range for your drone-to-remote connection. Holy Stone FPV RC Gravity Sensor Drone includes an app that offers 1080p live view on your smartphone or tablet, but that will only work for up to 328 feet.
  • As you’re flying your drone around, you’ll occasionally encounter obstacles like trees and telephone poles. Instead of relying solely on the app, with some drones you have the built-in safety of obstacle detection and avoidance. Some even come with five-direction avoidance. If the drone has this avoidance, make sure it covers your drone from the sides or top. Look for a drone that has Active Track mode, which automatically detects obstacles and tracks them.
  • Drone pilots rely heavily on the remote. Some drones give you an app that you can use to adjust exposure, shutter speed and other factors. If you want a touchscreen controller instead of using the drone’s provided app, it will be a $300 add on.
  • Look for a drone that offers gesture controls, which can make navigating easier. However, this feature can be bug-prone, with the app not always recognizing you.
  • If you’re planning to shoot video to share with friends, SNAPTAIN S5C WiFi FPV Voice Control Drone’s app makes it easy to both edit and share the video you’ve just captured on social media. Some models even include built-in filters and templates to add that special touch.
  • Price may be one of the biggest differentiators among drones. Select a drone based on your desired uses and your skill level—you can always “level up” to a more sophisticated and expensive drone.