Last week, GoPro radically relaunched their brand with a fresh new line of products including the GoPro HERO5 Session, GoPro HERO5 Black and long-rumoured GoPro Karma drone. We had the chance to chat to Chris Kinman, who is GoPro’s Senior Media Manager. Here’s what he had to say about the brand new line-up of GoPro products.
The first thing that you’ll notice when looking at the new GoPro family is just how different they look to the previous GoPro design.
“I think it’s a natural evolution of the industrial design and bringing together a more premium design. When you hold it in your hand, the material has some give which gives it a rubber feel which makes it easier to hold but also gives it a sense of durability. You obviously don’t need any housing, so the combination of being able to withstand the elements as well as still looking great and remaining a premium product”, said Kinman on the new design.
Outside of drastically better photo and video quality, the GoPro HERO5 Black includes a ton of new features that make it a lot easier to use than it’s predecessor.
“The touch display is far more stream-lined, easier to use and so much more intuitive. It’s a lot easier to use out of the box for people that maybe haven’t used a GoPro before. It feels much more natural to use and it’s a lot easier to get around the user interface. The voice control allows you to completely control the camera by talking to it with 12 commands in 7 different languages” said Kinman on the usability of the device.
The biggest announcement from last week’s event was without doubt the GoPro Karma, the new exclusive GoPro drone. The Karma is clearly the next step for GoPro and the hero (pardon the pun) in GoPro’s new line of products, which clearly all serve a purpose.
“Well firstly, the product was finally ready to go. It was also important for us to put it out together with the HERO5 Black and HERO5 Session to create this new ecosystem of GoPros in order to create a total culmination of a GoPro Family. It’s a lot easier for consumers to now understand our complete product line. The timing was definitely about having all of our ducks in a row and essentially relaunch GoPro as end-to-end story telling solution as opposed to an action camera company with mounts” said Kinman on the timing of the GoPro Karma’s announcement and subsequent release.
I’ve used a lot of Drones in the past, but have always had issues with them being either too hard to use or simply too much work in order to get in the air. The GoPro Karma looks to be the first Drone to provide a beginner-friendly experience whilst still handling well in the air.
“Karma is very much about being a beginner. It definitely needs to be approachable and we have to eliminate the intimidation that currently comes with a flying robot, and we believe we’ve achieved that with Karma. Yes, it’s still a flying robot but it’s really the ultimate GoPro Solution. We’ve worked really hard to create a low barrier of entry and make sure that there aren’t too many steps to get this thing in the air.” Said Kinman on the usability of the Karma Drone.
Not only that, I was happy to hear that the Karma was more about enhancing your photo taking experience, rather than just being a flying robot.
“It’s really about enabling better shot taking, rather than just creating a toy for a niche category. It’s about allowing all GoPro users to take better shots and give them more options. “ continued Kinman.
A lot of people were surprised when GoPro also revealed that they were including a GoPro Karma Grip in the packaging of every single GoPro Karma. This is an incredibly easy to use stabiliser that lives both in the drone and outside of the drone with a simple turn of a knob. “It’s important to note that the Karma grip has a complete UI on the actual grip, so you’re able to use it outside of the drone. Not only that, but you never have to worry about changing mounts, stopping the recording or carrying extra equipment with you. You simply twist a knob 15 degrees towards unlock to put the Karma in and take it out and start using it as a separate stabiliser.”
The Drone community is quite a passionate one. GoPro is a company known for their endless customisation options, but unfortunately at least at launch, the GoPro Karma won’t be customisable with the device set to offer the same experience for beginners and advanced users alike.
“As of now, Karma is supposed to be something that you pull out of the backpack in which most people will have a similar experience. I’m definitely not going to say that it won’t be customisable in the future with new accessories and products. This is incredibly likely, but it’s not currently customisable and we have nothing else to reveal at this point. “ said Kinman on customisation of the Karma out of the packaging.
The GoPro HERO5 Session will be available on October 3rd for $459AUD. The GoPro HERO5 Black will be available on October 3rd for $569AUD. The GoPro Karma will be available on October 23rd in two bundles. Karma without a GoPro for $1,195AUD and the Karma bundled with a HERO5 Black for $1,649AUD. It will also be available with HERO5 Session in early 2017.