When it comes to action cameras, one brand which has truly made a name for itself is “GoPro”. And why wouldn’t it? Afterall, GoPro Hero action cameras give you one hell of an experience when it comes to filming action shots in the easiest and smooth manner. But what we have today is something which makes the experience of filming with GoPro’s Hero 4 and Hero 5 action cameras much better and simple.
So here we are going to review the GoPro Karma Grip, we will review the product on the basic of price, performance, design, to find that is GoPro Karma Grip really best Gimbal for the Gorpo Hero 5? And Is GoPro Karma Grip Justify Its Price?
You can also do a little more searching for a different alternative by just Checking our post Best Gimbal For DSLR
And with all that said today I have finally decided to come up with my very own “GoPro Karma Grip – Ultimate User review” where I will try and share with you my very own personal experience as well as discuss in detail a complete review on GoPro’s very own Karma Grip gimbal after having used it for the past two years.
Do we really need a Gimbal?
Well, if you are looking for a device which best complements your effort to record and film a flawless and silky action video. Then having a Gimbal along with your action camera may very well be the best option for you.
The first and foremost reason why I would say everyone must have a gimbal is “STABILIZATION”. And when we are talking stabilization, we can easily assume that it means a smoother and a more quality oriented filming experience.
Secondly, the other reason why a gimbal can come so handy is the ease of filming. Suppose you are going for a trek, or say you are cycling your way down a hill top. Obviously, handling the small action camera alone may not seem like a very good idea. But when you have some long extension to hold onto or mount on your helmet or cycle as well as handle the camera with the very extension. Then I believe shooting some really good shots becomes easy as a pie.
The Review Breakdown
Now, the reason I have used the term “breakdown” in the above heading is because unlike your everyday review, today’s one is a bit different where I have broken down the entire review into separate distinct segments and each segment has been reviewed separately, just so that we can provide our readers with enough insights needed to make a decision which well suits their needs and desires.
Karma Grip – Performance Review
The very first thing nearly everyone looks out for, while buying a device or a machine is the ‘performance’. When it comes to performance, there just can’t be any compromise. And thus, very similarly in our “ultimate review” as well the very first thing we are going to review is our GoPro Karma Grip gimbal’s performance.
When we are talking about the pros of the Karma Grip gimbal in case of Performance, I would say it does a fabulous job in filming and creating some of the best action shots.
Also, since a gimbals main function is to provide stabilization to a camera while recording. Here, the GoPro gimbal without much doubt does one hell of a job. Since, my very own two years of handling the Karma Grip, I have had no issues when it comes to quality of stabilization the GoPro gimbal has to offer.
Again, as mentioned above, the other main function of a gimbal is to provide ease of shooting, which again I believe I had a pretty fun experience with the Karma grip. Unlike most gimbals you find in the market today, where setting up and balancing an action camera with the gimbal is a task on its own. With GoPro’s Karma Grip gimbal, you need not do anything at all. Simply attach your GoPro Hero 4 or 5 action camera and you are all good to go.
And last but not the least, when ever we talk about the performance of a device, then controls and its functions always has a role to play. Similarly, as in case of the Karma Grip too controls and their functions are something one can easily get the hang off. There is basically the start and stop button to start and stop recording, then there are controls to choose shooting modes in which you would like to shoot videos and also add tags to videos wherever you may find it necessary.
If we need to talk about the drawbacks that may arise while shooting with the help of the Karma Grip, then there is one very specific which is the “Noise”. The one thing which constantly bugged me when using the Karma Grip to record my videos was the noise generated by the motors in the gimbal.
However, after using the gimbal for at least a month, I realised that the noise of the motor is only prominent in videos where the action is very less. That means that if anyone is using the gimbal to shoot a shot where there is no action at all, then her or she might find the noise to be audible and annoying. But if you are using it to shoot and film an action filled video with sounds all over. Then I believe you will find the noise generated by the motor to be negligible and non-audible at all.
The other main con that comes along with the GoPro gimbal is that it does not offer pan and tilt controls which I guess is somewhat necessary when shooting a scene with the help of a gimbal. Although, it is automatic to focus on an object and move accordingly. Still, being able to control the movements manually with controls always seems to be a good idea according to me.
Karma Grip – Design Review
After performance, we have with us the Design review. Well here there is honestly not much to say. If we look at some of the Pros as in case of design, then I will definitely say this that the Karma Grip gimbal is an instrument which reflects style as well as class. The overall built of this gimbal is just pure quality and you will find no complains whatsoever while handling it. Apart from that, the control buttons are placed excellently well with the gimbal not allowing any kind of water content to pass through into the device. Something I would say is very much needed in a device which needs to deal with action.
Talking about the drawbacks or Cons in design, I would say a provision where the gimbal could stand on its own without any external support would have been good. But, alas there isn’t any. However, there is the provision of being able to mount the gimbal on most surfaces so that you can have a hands-free experience all together.
Also, when it comes to design the Karma Grip just cannot rotate full 360 degrees in any plane. Thus, if you need to rotate the camera towards you at any point of time, then there needs to be a little rotation of your gimbal handle as well which again puts the controls on the opposite side making your filming experience a bit difficult.
Karma Grip – Battery Review
Here, I have nothing much to say as the Karma Grip battery backup just lasts for a good two hours and not more than that. This means that if you are planning to shoot a video for more than two hours, it is just very much impossible. Moreover, since the battery itself is undetachable, any provision of carrying along some extra batteries just to plug in and record is also not possible. Hence, in case of batteries if you are not looking forward to record more than two hours at one than my advice would be to.
Karma Grip Test – Polzeath Beach GoPro HERO 5
Karma Grip – Price Review
So, after going through all the pros and cons, the GoPro gimbal has to offer in performance as well as design, we have finally made it to the last segment of our ultimate review i.e. where we review the pros and cons related to the price of the Karma Grip.
Now, there is one very important thing you must consider, before planning to buy the Karma Grip gimbal for yourself which is what type of camera you are using or will use.
Since, the Karma Grip gimbal is only compatible with GoPro’s Hero 4 and 5 series action cameras, using it with any other type of action camera is close to impossible. So, unless you are planning to buy a GoPro Hero action camera or already have one, think again before going on with the purchase.
Also, the $299 USD price tag to be honest is quite pricy if you compare it with other gimbals in same segment. But again, when it comes to the quality and performance of the Karma Grip gimbal, I guess $299 may be a fair price to pay after all.
GoPro Karma: Grip Test
Conclusion – The Last Verdict
Speaking frankly, this part is completely up to you. Not everyone has the same needs nor everyone is looking for the same thing. Depending upon your needs and choices you are the best judge.
Still, just to speak on behalf of my own experience and review. I would say that if you are looking for a gimbal with quality and uncompromising performance then going with the Karma Grip gimbal is one of the best options available out there.
- Roll Working angle: (- 45 to + 45) degree
- Tilt Working angle: (+ 90 to + 180) degree
- Vertical Working angle: (- 135 to + 135) degree
What Comes In The Box?
- GoPro Karma Grip Gimbal x 1
- 18350 LIPO battery x 2
- Super Battery charger x 1
- Micro USB Cable x 1
- Charging Cable x 1
- Velcro Strap x 1
- Manual x 1
- Warranty x 1 year