GoPro Karma Grips 101

The GoPro Karma Grip has been rated as one of the high-end gimbals for the GoPro in the market that will help you smoothen out your footage. Here is all you may need to know about GoPro Karma Grips 101.

What is a GoPro Karma Grip?

The attempt of GoPro to venture into the camera drone market failed and was discontinued in 2018. However, the gimbals those drones used still exist.

The gimbal now comes with a handgrip and is popularly known as GoPro Karma Grip. This gimbal is still affordable than many latest third-party gimbals from GoPro.

Below is a detailed review of the GoPro Karma Grip.

General GoPro Karma Grip Features 

The Karma Grip package features a semi-hard carrying case that includes a mounting ring, a handgrip, a USB-C charging cable, and a harness.

Like many gimbals made by GoPro, attaching the stabilizer to this GoPro is straightforward. 

It comes with a HERO harness that allows you to unlock and insert your GoPro in, after which you can lock it back. Also, the Karma Grip is bigger than most action cameras and third-party GoPro gimbals. 

Although many people claim it is heavy and bulky, the 1.01 pounds of weight is still lightweight enough to carry without problems.

It comes with a rubberized economic grip, offering a comfortable grip, especially for larger hands. 

Compatibility 

The Karma Grip is compatible with the HERO7 Black, HERO6 Black, and HERO5 Black out of the box.

However, you will need to buy a HERO4 harness if you want it to be compatible with the HERO4 Silver/Black. 

Unlike many third-party gimbals, the Karma Grip doesn’t support non-GoPro action cameras, and you might need to consider otherwise if you are planning to get a non-GoPro action camera. 

Controlling the Gimbal

The GoPro has intentionally minimized the features in the Karma Grip to make the usability straightforward.

It features four buttons: the highlight button, tilt-lock button, shutter button, and mode/power button. 

The usage of the buttons is self-explanatory except for the highlight button, which puts a mark on your recording to allow you to find it easily in the future.

The Karma Grip lacks the joystick, which would help you to control the tilt and pan. 

Although many gimbals feature a joystick, it is much smoother and fun to use the hand. Also, you cannot flip the GoPro backward when you want to record selfies.

That means you will need to hold the Karma Grip the wrong way if you want to record your face. 

Shooting Modes

The Karma Grip only comes with two shooting modes. Let us dive into the details of each shooting mode.

Following Mode 

In this mode, the Karma Grip stabilizer follows the subject in the up-and-down tilt or the left to the right pan. This movement enhances the capturing of smooth footage. 

Pan Follow Mode

In this mode, the Karma Grip maintains the horizontal level by locking the tilt axis. You can set the horizontal level with the help of the tilt lock button before locking it. 

Unlike many gimbals, the Karma Grip doesn’t feature the lock mode, which maintains the orientation of the GoPro in a fixed position. This mode helps to maintain the camera in a fixed spot. 

Stabilization Performance

Stabilization is one of the features in which Karma Grip excels. Although the Karma Grip is an old GoPro gimbal, the many firmware updates enhance its stabilization performance. 

The Karma Grip has minimal micro jitter when recording fast-paced action or when zooming in on footage.

However, the motors in the Karma Grip are somehow noisy and can be an issue when recording audio. 

Mounting the Gimbal

The best thing with karma is that you can wear it on the shoulder strap, chest mount it, or attach it to the handlebars of your bike.

However, its performance is significantly reduced when using it as a wearable gimbal. 

Keeping in mind that the grip holds the battery for the gimbal, it means the gimbal won’t work if you separate it from the grip.

That means you will need to mount the whole Karma Grip wherever you want to mount it. 

This design is less suited for mounting than other wearable gimbals with a compact form and those whose grips don’t hold the batteries. 

You can use the GoPro Karma Grip extension cable instead of attaching the bulky and heavy grip to the gimbal stabilizer. The downside of this mounting setup is the increased costs. 

Battery Performance 

The battery performance of the Karma Grip is one of its biggest downsides and a major cause of complaints from many users. 

Unlike the latest gimbals with batteries that can go for more than 10 hours, the battery in a Karma Grip can only go for about 2 hours when capturing a 4K quality. 

The main cause of this poor battery performance is that the GoPro Karma Grip constantly charges your GoPro when connected. 

That means it will be charging your GoPro battery and powering the gimbal motors, which can be drawing significant amounts of power, especially when capturing at 4K.

This battery takes around 6 hours to charge to full capacity when using a standard charger. 

You can reduce this charging time to around 2 hours using the GoPro supercharger. You can also use the 5A, 3V fast charger instead of buying the costly GoPro supercharger.

If your power usage is heavy, buying a power bank might be the most viable option. 

Pros

  • It features fantastic ergonomics, thanks to the rubberized grips. 
  • This gimbal is a part of the GoPro ecosystem and supports GoPro body mounts. 
  • The firmware updates ensure excellent stabilization performance allowing you to capture videos with minimal camera shake. 

Cons

  • The battery performance is less impressive, especially when recording at 4K.

GoPro Karma Grip Frequently Asked Questions 

Is the GoPro Karma Grip Waterproof?

The GoPro Karma Grip is not waterproof, and you should avoid submerging it in water or exposing it to liquids. However, you can use it in snow.

Why Did GoPro Discontinue the Karma Drone?

The initial battery flaw made many users complain about the battery performance, which led to drones falling.

This caused GoPro to discontinue the production of the Karma drone in 2018 and announce its exit in the drone market.

How Can I Manually Update the Karma Grip?

Press the mode/power button to power it on if you want to update the Karma Grip.

Follow the Quick app manufacturer’s on-screen instructions on the updating process. The Karma Grip might power off and on several times during the updating process. 

Once the updating process is complete, the grip will power on and stay on. If the update process fails, try powering off the Karma Grip and restarting the process once again.

Can I Install the Karma Grip Drivers?

If you want to manually install the Karma Grip drivers, go to the Microsoft catalog update page and download the drivers. 

Choose the driver that matches your operating system, and in case of duplicate options, download the driver that has the largest size. A window will pop up with a link to the appropriate file. 

What is the Difference Between Tilting and Panning the Camera?

The tilt involves the vertical up and down movement, while the pan involves the side-to-side movement.

Although you can use both shots to capture a location or a scene, the tilt captures more vertically while the pan captures more horizontally. 

Final Thoughts

Regardless of some of the GoPro Karma Grip downsides mentioned above, this gimbal still stands out as one of the best in the market.

The many firmware updates over its lifespan have allowed it to achieve incredible image stabilization performance. The seamless integration with a GoPro and the ergonomic design ensures an outstanding user experience.

Although you can use it as a wearable gimbal, it is cumbersome and might not be the ideal option for this purpose.