GoPro Karma Grip Review – Is The Official Gimbal Worth It?
We can easily say that GoPro has changed the game of video recording. That is why manufacturers are actively creating additional accessories to help us combat the disadvantages of these cameras. One of the most recent products is the GoPro Karma Grip, here is a review.
We must be honest and say that GoPro has experienced problems and drawn some bad credibility with its Karma drone and its product recall. However, one component out of the Karma set that works perfectly is the handheld stabilizer.
This product was rated pretty high by all tech critiques, and it has now become an indispensable part of every GoPro camera set. What is great about Karma Grip is its compatibility with Hero5, Hero5 Black, and Hero4 sessions.
In today’s GoPro Karma Grip review, the emphasize will be put on reviewing the main features of this product, showing you what customers have been saying, and helping you make an informed decision whether you need this product or not.
Stable and Smooth Video Quality
The main feature of this product is the ability to take stable and amazingly smooth looking videos. It really does not matter whether you are hiking, taking a bike ride or enjoying in recording your family moments, a handheld grip will help you create videos that will look perfectly balanced.
A great feature of this product is its lightweight.
It weighs only one pound (500g) which provides everyone the opportunity of recording and handling this stabilizer. The era of shaky looking footages is definitely over.
This product has a built-in battery with a substantial battery lifetime – up to 1h and 45 minutes according to the official tech features.
Some customers have even experienced a tad longer lifetime, but for the sake of an average user we will keep official data applicable.
The battery can be recharged by using the standard USB-C connector that can be found on the underside of the handle. It takes approximately 6 hours to charge the battery by using a personal computer as a source and around 2 hours using an AC supercharger.
It was hard to figure whether the Karma grip accessory actually charged the standard GoPro battery, but this bit of kit definitely puts some power in the camera regardless of what the battery status says.
Karma Grip handle is compatible with most GoPro mounts and enables you to capture gear-mounted and body-worn perspectives that will certainly please those all action shooters like ourselves.
As we are talking about the pro-quality stabilization, it works perfectly with GoPro Hero 5 Black.
For GoPro Hero 4, you will need to pay an additional 30 bucks to hook it up and all users in possession of GoPro Hero 5 session will have to wait for an “add-on” arrival later this year.
Ease of use and controls
This gimbal doesn’t offer pan or tilt controls.
However, the features are quite versatile. On the handle, you can find buttons for starting and stopping your recordings, as well as buttons for power, changing shooting modes and adding tags to your videos.
All of these buttons are perfect for anyone looking to create professional looking videos.
The camera will stay directed forward unless you press the tilt-lock which helps you aim the camera below or above the horizon.
This will also enable you to keep it at that angle.
If you want to follow a subject, double tapping is a solution.
You can move around a person while keeping them positioned in your shot.
This product is not able to stand on its own and there is no tripod mount either, but it is included with a mounting ring that is positioned in-between the stabilizer section and the handle.
Attaching the camera and the grip is done with ease.
You just simply have to remove the battery door on the camera and slip the camera into the mount.
It connects via the USB-C ports and HDMI. After that, just close the mount and you are ready to go. This is the procedure that is identical for each and every camera mount.
Another noteworthy point here is that no balancing is needed since this product is specifically designed for GoPro Hero cameras.
One of the most time-consuming steps in stabilized shooting is balancing the camera and without this product, there is a learning curve you need to go through before you can apply it correctly without messing about with it for about 5 or 10 minutes.
The grip is marketed as water resistant. The four buttons placed on the handle have no possibility of moisture penetrating and that makes this product a perfect addition to your all-action adventures.
In every review a reader must know the pros and cons of purchasing a certain product.
This review contains all the features of this product and some of the minor disadvantages that you should know about.
- This product comes with Karma Grip, Karma Harness (HERO 5 Black version), Karma Mounting Ring, USB-C Cable, Wrist Lanyard, Tie-Down Strap and Karma Grip Case.
- Karma Grip can easily be detached from the grip and attached to the drone or the aerial footage.
- Built-in buttons help you control the camera with ease. There are buttons for power on and off, changing modes, recording and adding highlights on the fly.
- You can mount this stabilizer to a helmet or a backpack strap by using the Grip Extension Cable.
- A built-in battery that charges both the camera and the grip altogether. A lifetime of 1h and 45 minutes is guaranteed.
What Customers Have Been Saying
We have been paying a lot of attention to what users have been saying about this product and how they see its features and disadvantages.
The average score at the time of writing on Amazon for Karma Grip product is 4.0 out of 5.0 stars, which is quite high, considering Amazon critically directed customers.
Most customers agreed on the same points as in this post.
They are satisfied with how the main feature of stabilizing and balancing has been done and they are definitely amazed by the instant results they have been getting.
The features and add-ons that this product offers are really impressive and Karma Grip is definitely worth purchasing if you are aiming to create balanced videos that are silky smooth
Customers have confirmed our doubts on some of the minor downsides of the GoPro Karma Grip product.
The battery lifetime can be a problem for people looking to record longer than 2 hours that will not be possible without purchasing a few extra sets of batteries to always have a supply on charge.
It would have been easier if the manufacturers increased the lifetime of the batteries or included removable batteries that can be changed during the shooting.
This is no big deal, as most serious filmmakers have lots of spare sets anyway.
Another downside pointed out was the time it takes for the recharging. 6 hours is a fairly long time to wait, but you can invest in a supercharger if you don’t want to wait.
Some of the customers have mentioned noise from gimbal motors being picked up in the video.
By doing video recording tests, it has been identified that noise does exist, however, it is minimal and it does not affect the overall quality of the video.
Many people are still waiting on GoPro to resolve issues with Karma drone as these two devices are compatible and can offer a great feature of aerial recording with ease.
Karma Grip is definitely a solution if you are looking to create stable-looking, smooth footages, look at this test video bellow:
There are many other products on the market that offer similar features at this price range but Karma grip outweighs all the other competitors.
It is a proven solution regardless of how the grip is mounted. You can hand-carry it, connect it with your helmet or any other item, and you will be getting a stable footage.
The fact that it is easy to use and provides amazing experience should be enough.
A limitation in battery lifetime for longer shots could be a minor problem and it would have been a better solution if GoPro had designed it with removable rechargeable batteries instead.
Brushless motors produce noise and motorized tilt is only available if you use the vertical axis.
However, these minor problems can’t represent a disadvantage to an overall performance of this product.
It has been shown that Karma grip delivers awesome footages and customers have confirmed the actual possibilities of this product.
This product comes with additional supportive items which we listed above and a useful carrying case makes it easy for you to use this product anywhere you go.