My first experience with GoPro Karma Grip

In the past, I have had some experiences with video stabilizers. This time, I’ve decided to give GoPro Karma Grip a try. After playing around with it at home, I’ve decided to take it out for a walk in the city. Just a 5,000 step walk from my apartment to Rittenhouse and back on South Street (for those of you who know downtown Philly). No real purpose, just walking around and trying different shooting modes.

Like

  • Lightweight.
  • 45 minutes walking and the battery light remained unchanged, showing no apparent drain.
  • Very easy and intuitive to use: I was able to figure out what to do without thinking or trying.
  • “Incognito mode” where I lower the grip but point the camera up: this way nobody notices the camera or if they do the do not seem to register the fact that it is recording.
  • After 45 minutes walking I did not get tired, annoyed, or uncomfortable with carrying the grip.

Don’t like

  • I tend to try to talk to the camera (I call it “selfie mode”) and this grip does not make it too east to turn the camera around, talk to it, and then turn it back: the initial turn is relatively smooth but when you turn it back the position is all out of whack. Watch the video and you’ll see what I mean.
  • While the resulting video is pretty decent, the camera is positioned in the grip in such a way that the screen is hard to see. As a result, I was expecting a terrible video result and was much surprised when I watched it for the first time. Basically, I was walking around feeling more and more disappointed in the forthcoming result. This one is very important for me: I don’t shoot for money or fame so I need to *enjoy* it. I was talking to my girlfriend about how I dislike the result [without seeing it on the big screen, just on the GoPro screen]… I hope I am making sense: the result, for me, turned out much better than the experience of recording it.
  • The whole grip is either completely ON or completely OFF. There is no way to lock the gimbal while carrying it without it being ON; if I turn the camera OFF two things happen: 1) it takes a couple of seconds to turn back on [BIG problem if I want to shoot some fleeting action] and 2) the motors don’t have power so wiggle all over the place and will be very hard to take with me on skates, for example.
  • Finally, I need to look at the screen before hitting the record button.  This may be a silly thing for most of you, but I prefer to point the camera and click “record” without having to look at the screen to make sure that the angle and tilt are right.  While skating, I cannot afford the quarter second that these manipulations require.

Here’s the resulting video, hopefully you’ll see what I meant by my comments.

Bottom line for me

I’m keeping it! I got this GoPro Karma Grip to take with me on skates, hoping for a smoother resulting video. Nope. Not going to work. Primarily because I have no good ideas how to carry the grip while not in use [while skating] and the second issue is the need to look at the screen prior to hitting the “Record” button: angle and tilt are in constant need of adjustment and monitoring. However, I think the resulting video is more stable and smooth than I would have gotten otherwise so I think I’ll keep this mount for my next trip to Montreal, Canada. I think I will enjoy walking around the city with it, we’ll see…

Feel free to ask questions about this toy or post your own experiences.

Cheers and happy hunting!

XOXO

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