GoPro Karma Drones Are Falling From the Sky

If you haven't heard yet, the new GoPro Karma drones have officially been recalled due to sudden lost of power while in flight. This isn’t very good news for GoPro.

Some of the videos have surfaced showing the GoPro Karma drones in flight when they lost power, followed by plummeting out of the sky. The problem seems to be very real. The Karma drone is late to the drone game and quite frankly missing some key features like obstacle avoidance and a “follow me” feature. In a video review of the Karma drone, it seems like the battery drains pretty quickly, even though GoPro states it can fly for up to 20 minutes.

Coming out “fashionably late” trying to get into the drone market, you better come out swinging. So far, it seems like the Karma drone hasn't been able to. If the it had been released sooner, it might have had a fighting chance in this growing market.

The only thing the Karma has going for itself is you can switch out the cameras as newer versions are released. Is that enough to keep Karma in the market? When I compare specs, features, and price, the DJI Mavic Pro is the clear winner. If you haven’t yet, we strongly advise you to send it back to get your full refund. It is currently unknown when the Karma will be back for sale.

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Jeffrey George's picture

GoPro has more issues than bad Karma. They have lost their professional users, the people who rely on GoPro to capture footage on location. A fix so easy to fix, just reverting back to their App before Capture. Visit all the places people leave reviews like the Apple App Store, product reviews, etc. A consistent theme is disgust in having to login to the new Capture App.

I love how GoPro continues to promote their cameras being used in theses beautiful and remote places. GoPro updated their remote app for controlling the camera with a new app called Capture. GoPro requires a login that they claim only needs entered every 30 days. Unfortunately, if the app updates in the background on your smart phone or you are logged out, you can't use the App to tether to the camera from your phone. Forget to login before your trip, you won't be able to use the App. There is no bypass when there is no internet.

I bought my GoPro specifically for the tethering capabilities. I owned previous models, but tethering was a significant reason to upgrade.

Why is this significant? Nick Woodman says this about product upgrades.

"Our approach is to envision a "total solution" rather than think about each new GoPro as a "product". Products are standalone things. We want to build solutions that help solve problems for people. So, when deciding which features to included in a new GoPro, Karma, or any new software we think about the total solution and experience we're creating for our customers and not as much about the individual product itself." --Nick Woodman (Reddit)

I specifically bought my GoPro to use my smart phone as a tether almost a year ago, worked until the new app.

GoPro didn't respond to support requests for over a week, when they did it was a scripted, rushed, and inadequate. GoPro's support community forums are moderated with scripted generic responses. Phone support is better, they at least seem frustrated and knowledgeable to a large number of people complaining about the required login.

Check the App Store, Facebook comments, user forums, and product reviews. GoPro has alienated their customer base with the new App.

In the month since, I haven't held back trying to have a dialog with GoPro. The moderators on The GoPro community forums provided this statement.

"GoPro made the decision to require the login as it will help us better gauge how our customers use our products, and allow us to identify pain points customers may have so we can improve our future products."

Here's a pain point. Users can't use the tether capabilities if they forget to login or have a login issue. As further response, Customer Service said "Capture isn't the only app that exists that requires login."

Why is this an issue for me?

I was out capturing the fall color in the Eastern Sierras of California a month ago. I was planning on filming using my go pro mounted on the hood. Before pulling into traffic I went to enable the camera and realized my GoPro App had disappeared. Thankfully I had internet, so I discovered the App changed names. The app came up in my search and when I opened the app, it looked all nice and new, but there was something new, a login. I wasn't sure what to enter but my general GoPro username/password from the website logged me in with no issues and I was good to go. I figured this was a one time login, but the the nightmare comes later...

I used the App for a couple days, returned home before heading out for the next leg of my fall color trip. Without my knowledge, the App updated again and logged me out. So 6 days later when I reached my second destination and prepared my GoPro to use my smart phone as a remote tether on my 28' photomast, I discovered the login screen returned. I spent the next hour troubleshooting and looking all through the settings, clicking on all the words in the app, everything I could think of to bypass the login. My shot was missed, I had to pack up with no footage. The next day I had to drive back towards civilization to find a cellular connection to login once again. For the remainder of the trip the GoPro worked fine.

What do I want?

I want GoPro to remove the login to the Capture App or provide the old App for existing customers who bought into Nick Woodman's full package deal a year ago. It is a matter of principal, I shouldn't have to remember to login to an App to use a tool on in the field. Imagine if you will, bringing survival tools on an expedition to find you can't use it because what ever the tool you brought doesn't work as it requires a login. If I could get internet access, I'd have access to help. It makes no sense.

Drone Guyz's picture

The GoPro Karma is making a return. What went wrong? We got the info directly from GoPro at CES 2017. Check it out.