GoPro Unveils Hero5 Action Cams and New Karma Drone

The new Hero5 cameras get increased performance and new voice control, while the Karma drone can be bought with or without a Hero cam.

GoPro Hero, Karma drone, drones, action camera, action cams, Hero5 Black, Hero5 Session

GoPro has brought voice control and increased performance to two of its popular action camera models, while also unveiling its first-ever drone, the GoPro Karma.

The new products include the $399.99 GoPro Hero5 Black action camera, which includes a 2-inch touch-screen display and a 12-megapixel camera; the $299.99 Hero5 Session action camera, which has a 10-megapixel camera; and the $799.99 Karma Drone (without a camera), which comes with a game-style controller and folds up into an included backpack for easy portability. The devices were announced by the company on Sept. 19.

The latest flagship Hero5 Black action camera also gets simplified controls to make it easier to use, along with automatic uploading of photos and video to a cloud-based subscription service while the unit is charging. The Hero5 Black also includes video resolutions up to 4K at 30fps, one-button control and is waterproof to 33 feet without a separate housing. The new voice control feature includes support for seven languages so far, with more to come.

Also included are stereo audio recording capabilities and advanced wind noise reduction, professional-grade electronic video stabilization and wide angle video and photo capabilities. A new linear-view setting is also featured. The Hero5 Black can capture images in RAW and WDR photo modes and includes built-in GPS. The device is compatible with existing GoPro mounts to enable it to be used in a wide variety of applications.

The new Hero5 Black will be available Oct. 2.

For action camera users on a budget, the $299.99 Hero5 Session model shares the same small design of the Hero5 Black flagship model, but comes with a lower price tag and less-lofty specifications, such as a 10-megapixel camera. Like its big brother, the Hero5 Session gets video resolutions up to 4K at 30fps, one-button control and is waterproof to 33 feet without a separate housing. The new voice control feature includes support for seven languages so far, and it gets stereo audio recording capabilities and advanced wind noise reduction. Also included are professional-grade electronic video stabilization, wide angle video and photo capabilities and a new linear-view setting.

The Hero5 Session will be available starting Oct. 2.

The GoPro Karma Drone

GoPro's first-ever drone includes an image-stabilization grip that can be handheld or mounted to vehicles, gear and more to enable users to capture stabilized video during almost any activity, according to the company. The drone folds up for storage in an included small backpack and features a flight controller that replicates video game controller feel and action. The controller has an integrated touch display that allows users to fly the drone without the need for a separate phone or tablet to see what the drone is seeing in flight. Users can also remove the drone's included 3-axis camera stabilizer for use with the included Karma Grip to capture footage by hand or while using the stabilizer with other gear.

The Karma drone will be available starting Oct. 23. Without a GoPro camera, the drone will sell for $799.99, while a bundle with a Hero5 Black sells for $1,099.99. A Karma bundle with a Hero5 Session camera will be priced at $999.99 and will be available in early 2017.

"With these new products, we're delivering on our promise to make it easy to capture and share engaging stories," Nicholas Woodman, GoPro's founder and CEO, said in a statement. "Hero5's ability to auto-upload photos and videos to a GoPro Plus account dramatically simplifies mobile, on-the-go editing, sharing and enjoyment. This is a game-changing experience that we will continue to build upon."

In April, the GoPro Developer Program debuted to entice third-party companies to build apps and a wide range of new camera attachments, mounts and housings for users to encourage the expansion of its product uses and sales. Participating developers can sign up for the program and begin using three different developer toolkits that have been built by GoPro to encourage the creation of new ideas for the company's action cameras.

GoPro officials are hoping the toolkits will help developers build new mobile apps, attachable or wireless accompanying devices, and new mounts or housings for the cameras. The mobile apps toolkit includes functionalities such as camera command and control, live video preview modes and media management to build them into new apps, while the devices toolkit includes needed protocols and code to help developers create devices that connect either physically to a GoPro camera via the HeroBus, or wirelessly via Bluetooth or WiFi.