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      Reviews — GoPro

      GoPro Karma Grip Review

      GoPro Karma Grip Review

      Written by Craig Rhodes-Harrison

      Towards the end of 2016, GoPro unveiled their new HERO5 camera platform. The show didn’t stop there though as GoPro went one step further by announcing the introduction of KARMA Grip, their first attempt at unlocking the ever-growing, hand-held gimbal market.

      It’s great to see GoPro fill the existing vacancy in their offering as effectively KARMA Grip is the answer to many GoPro user’s prayers who up until now, have had to rely on third party gimbals to satisfy their stabilization wants and needs. That said, there are several top quality, third party gimbals in the market, that are specifically designed around GoPro cameras. Will KARMA Grip hold its own or will it be outgunned? Read on for more.


      The Basics:

      KARMA Grip arrives in a neat and durable, black case along with the relevant charging and mounting accessories to get you started. There are two parts to the actual gimbal, the camera harness and the handle part of the grip.

      The standard camera harness is designed around the HERO5 Black, however KARMA Grip is also compatible with the HERO5 Session and HERO4 Black via interchangeable camera harnesses, each of which are sold separately.

      The harness itself follows a simple but robust design and its relatively easy to plug in the camera, although you do have to remove the side door of the HERO5 Black for KARMA Grip to access the brain of the camera via the USB-C and Micro-HDMI ports.

      The cylindrical, handle part of the grip consists of the built-in, rechargeable battery, USB-C charging port and control panel. KARMA Grip follows a simple four button approach namely:

      • Start and stop video
      • Power on/off and changing mode
      • Highlight tagging
      • Tilt-locking and battery status

      The first three buttons are self-explanatory and all relate directly to the camera whereas the final button relates only to the KARMA Grip. The tilt-lock feature is not ground-breaking, however it is something that all decent gimbals tend to have as it’s great for locking the camera at a set angle, following a specific subject as well as those above or below the horizon shots. So far so good, however an adjustable tilt or pan setting/control would be a neat addition.

      When it comes to mounting KARMA Grip, the gimbal arrives with a metal mounting ring that fits around the neck of the device. That ring is compatible with most GoPro mounts so the options are diverse, however users should think carefully before mounting due to the size and weight of KARMA Grip. The good news here is that GoPro will be launching an extension cable soon which should solve all mounting concerns.

      Design & Build Quality:

      KARMA Grip is made from a combination of hard plastic and durable rubber, similar to what can be found on the HERO5 Black. The first thing that comes to mind when picking up KARMA Grip is that this ‘thing’ is hardcore. This gimbal was meant to be used and ultimately put to test in the toughest environments where users wouldn’t dare venture with other gimbals.

      In terms of size and weight, KARMA Grip is on the heavier and bulkier side, however in terms of actual dimensions (length, width and diameter) it is much of a muchness. Again, the build quality speaks to the avenue that GoPro was pursuing when launching this into the saturated gimbal market, that of the USP of strength and durability.


      At the end of the day, gimbals can have all the technical features in the world or be class-leading from a build and size perspective however where the cookie really crumbles is around the stabilization and its performance thereof.

      In this department, GoPro’s KARMA Grip knocks it out the park. KARMA Grip is hands down the strongest gimbal I have personally handled and despite my best efforts, I couldn’t get the motors to drop or fail which was relatively easy on other gimbals. This translates into ultra-smooth footage and a device that you can rely on consistently to deliver the goods in almost any conditions bar underwater.

      When it comes to battery life, KARMA Grip offers between 90 – 120 minutes, which is not bad considering the battery must power multiple motors as well as charge the camera when in use. One thing to note though is that KARMA Grip takes incredibly long to charge (up to six hours) and with no replaceable battery, users need to manage the battery quite carefully when on full day adventures

      Wrap Up:

      If you’re looking for a hand-held gimbal that has multitude of controls for adjusting angles, tilt and pan settings then KARMA Grip will leave you wondering. However, if you’re an outdoor, adventure enthusiast like me then the strong, simple and powerful nature of the KARMA Grip will leave you shocked at just how capable this gimbal is as well as how incredibly smooth the footage is.

      There’s definitely room for improvement on the KARMA Grip (size, mount ability and control options) however in terms of the fundamental, stabilization job to be done here, KARMA Grip is right up there with the very best, but goes one step further by being the most rugged and durable option on the market.

      If you’re interested in more GoPro content then swing by Craig's personal Instagram account (@craigrh_).

      GoPro Hero5 Black Review

      GoPro Hero5 Black Review

      Written by Craig Rhodes-Harrison

      In October 2016, GoPro unveiled the new HERO5 camera platform consisting of the HERO5 Black and HERO5 Session. On surface level, one might think that it’s just a costume change however when you dive into it, the HERO5 range has so much more on offer and a lot more bang for your buck.

      As per GoPro’s naming convention, the HERO5 Black is the flagship model of the range and for all intents and purposes, it’s an all-out powerhouse that scales to suit the needs of both personal and professional use.

      New And Improved:

      Getting into it, the launch of the HERO5 Black saw the continuation of the previous high spec photo (12MP) and video modes (4K) however a few noticeable new additions were also thrown into the mix namely: voice control, built in EIS, touch display, GPS and advanced audio.

      Voice Control is often seen as a gimmick however it’s safe to say that they thought this one through. The HERO5 Black supports ten languages and twelve different commands which include the likes of changing camera mode, triggering the shutter button and highlighting those awesome moments during the action.

      The voice control range is around 3 metres however it is affected by wind and loud background noise levels. Still, there are very few occasions when it’s in your hand or mounted on or near your body that it doesn’t pick up voice commands. One just needs to speak slowly and clearly for best results.

      The built in EIS (Electronic Image Stabilization) is another new feature and possibly the most noticeable for those shooting video.  In videos, most shaky movement comes from the outsides of the field of view so essentially EIS shoots a higher resolution (4K) and then cuts off 10% of the sides providing you with a smooth video at the resolution of your choice (up to 2.7K). How cool?

      The announcement of the 2-inch touch display brought a lot of stoke to the previous HERO4 Black users however some felt the HERO4 Silver touch display was overly complex. Thankfully GoPro took the general feedback into account as the HERO5 Black’s new and improved menu system is clear, logical, user friendly and responsive to touch in most conditions bar under water.

      GPS is another new feature added to the HERO5 Black however the initial launch just saw the GPS feature used for geo-tagging photos and videos. Months later, GoPro released telemetry via their Quik for desktop app which allows users to add speed and mapping gauges to their HERO5 Black videos. A nifty feature indeed however one does tend to wonder if there’s more in store for the GPS feature. Let’s hope so.

      The last new feature to talk about is advanced audio which supports both auto and pro-tune modes. Auto mode drives the camera to automatically select between stereo and wind reduction for optimal sound whereas in pro-tune mode, the HERO5 Black allows you to manually choose between stereo and wind reduction. The pro-tune audio files also save out separately for that higher level of professional editing. The level of manual audio control is impressive but perhaps not something that everyone will use.

      Design And Build Quality:

      Unlike the previous models, the HERO5 Black is waterproof up to 10m as is and therefore does not need a protective or waterproof housing. The HERO5 Black sports a matte grey finish with a durable rubber, outer shell as well as a removable glass lens and two side doors which house the charging ports, SD card and battery.

      When it comes to size and weight, the HERO5 Black is lighter than previous models (in their casing) as well as slightly more compact and rounded in shape. Durability seems to be on point although the rubber shell does show scuff marks after considerable switching in and out of mounts. The lens and touch display are surprisingly scratch resistant. 

      On the overall, the design and build quality of the HERO5 Black is right up there with its performance. It’s slick, durable and more compact than ever which bodes well for the GoPro evolution.

      Photo And Video Performance:

      In photo mode, the HERO5 Black offers the same 12MP performance as the HERO4 Black. The same standard modes of single photo, time-lapse mode and burst mode are also there, however they can now be activated via voice control e.g. ‘GoPro Burst Mode’ or ‘GoPro take a photo’. All the above-mentioned modes have pro-tune options where one can manually adjust the EV comp, ISO and colour of your images. That is nothing new however the nice touch here is that there is a live preview of the setting changes via the touch display.

      When it comes to photo quality, the main difference between the HERO5 and the HERO4 does not necessarily come in a change in resolution but rather via the new photo modes of RAW, WDR and linear. In a nutshell, RAW presents a separate and larger JPEG file that allows one to access and unlock more detail in the image using third party editing software systems. The everyday GoPro user won’t need this however professional users will appreciate this.

      WDR (Wide Dynamic Range) is used to improve shadows and even out the over-exposed spots which presents users with a well-balanced photo. Note that both RAW and WDR are only accessible in photo mode and not time-lapse or burst mode. Lastly, linear mode allows you to remove the fisheye angle normally seen in all GoPro photos which is great for shooting portraits.


      Left Image: Normal, Right Image: WDR on



       Left Image: RAW on, Right Image: Linear Mode

      Moving on to video, the HERO5 Black offers the exact same shooting modes as the HERO4 Black however the built in EIS makes a world of difference by presenting super smooth imagery. Take a look at the difference between EIS turned off and EIS turned on. Impressive right?

      As for the battery life, due to the increased battery size, the HERO5 Black lasts longer than the HERO4 Black although it’s still advised to only use the Wi-Fi when truly needed. When shooting at 4K resolution the HERO5 Black will deliver between 60 – 90 minutes of life per battery depending on the surrounding environment conditions (heat etc).

      The Complete Package:

      For those that were wondering about whether your favourite mounts from previous cameras still apply, the answer is yes. In addition to that, there are a bunch of new mounts that have come out however we will cover those in a separate review.

      The launch of the HERO5 platform saw a significant shift in making their cameras and software simpler and easier to use. They succeeded in doing that with the HERO5 Black however they also overhauled their original ‘GoPro app’ and labelled it Capture which is now the key to getting that content off your camera and onto the world-wide web

      On top of that, GoPro has also recently launched two other mobile editing suits, Quik and Splice. Quik is also available on desktop however its primarily a mobile device platform that automatically assists in putting together short edits that are themed and synced to music. Splice is only available on mobile however it is the app for those that want a little more manual control of their edits.

      Wrap Up:

      To wrap things up, the GoPro HERO5 Black is as good as the hype surrounding it. GoPro took what needed improving on their previous models and packed it into a new camera that is lighter, far more powerful and even slightly cheaper than its predecessors - now that’s what I call progression!

      The HERO5 Black is not a faultless canvas however it’s damn close and with its improved ability to satisfy both personal and professional users, it’s a powerful tool that anyone with a need for photo and video content should consider at the top of their list.

      If you’re interested in more GoPro HERO5 Black content then swing by Craig's personal Instagram account (@craigrh_) for more GoPro content.

      GoPro Hero5 + Karma Drone Launched

      GoPro Hero5 + Karma Drone Launched

      [Update on prices, stock and arrival!]

      Written by Bernice vd Westhuizen

      Great Scott! How long have we been contemplating the release of the epic new GoPro cameras and the Karma drone. We even wrote a blog back in May 2016 with our predictions on the Karma Drone and Hero 5 cameras. With great anticipation and excitement, we (finally) introduce the Hero 5 Black, Hero 5 Session and the Karma drone.  

      Check out some of their key features!

      HERO 5 BLACK

      SO WHAT'S NEW:

      • Photo: 12MP/ 30 FPS BURST/ TIME LAPSE
      • Video: 4K30/ 1440p80/ 1080p120
      • Waterproof 33FT (10m)
      • Simple One-Button Control
      • Wifi + Bluetooth
      • Advanced wind noise reduction
      • Voice Control
      • Video Stabilization
      • Auto upload to cloud
      • Touch display
      • Location Capture (GPS)
      • RAW + WDR Photos

      Check out the product page with more information & bundle options

      You can also read more about the Hero 5 Black in this review written by Craig Rhodes-Harrison. 
      Quick GoPro Tip : Curious how the Hero 5 Black works? Like how to take off the front lens and side doors? Check out this video for some tips and tricks.


      SO WHAT'S NEW:

      • Photo: 10MP/ 30 FPS BURST/ TIME LAPSE
      • Video: 4K30/ 1440p60/ 1080p90
      • Waterproof 33FT (10m)
      • Simple One-Button Control
      • Wifi + Bluetooth
      • Advanced wind noise reduction
      • Voice Control
      • Video Stabilization
      • Auto upload to cloud

      Check it out



      It's about time that GoPro took to the skies - this spectacular drone that we have all been waiting for is finally here! Here are some cool features:

      • It's a folding drone = compact and lightweight! 
      • Easy to Fly. whether you are a 1st time drone flyer or wanting to test out the performance.
      • Built in screen on the Remote controller
      • The GoPro Passenger™ App (Soon to be live)
      • Now you can have aerial and ground footage in one package. 
      • The Karma Grip
      [We ran a cool competition shortly before the launch, check out some of the answers to guessing the Karma features]



        • Karma Drone
        • Karma Grip
        • Karma Controller
        • Karma Case

        Check it out



        Seems like GoPro are changing from simply being an action camera to capture more lifestyle rich content. The slogan "Capture Different" surely indicates towards this notion. 


        Chum Diving With My Gopro In Umkomaas

        Chum Diving With My Gopro In Umkomaas

        By Bastiaan Barnard

        Who doesn’t want a GoPro?

        GoPro’s and adventure are in my books synonyms and also inseparable - you can’t have the one without the other. I love adventure and I honestly thank God that my wife does too!

        Her birthday was coming up and on her wish list only one thing – a Chum dive! I have previously had the privilege to do a chum dive and enjoyed the experience so much that I immediately agreed to the idea of doing it again. So it was settled – a chum dive at the Eastern coast of South Africa. For those of you who don’t know what a chum dive is, they put a big chum bucket full of dead fish in the water to attract as many sharks as possible. Umkomaas is only one of a few places in the world where you can have interaction with tiger sharks without a cage, which makes it a very popular diving spot, we were sold.

        The preparation started, as did the excitement. We already had the GoPro Hero 4 Black, but now the accessories to get optimal quality. Action Gear’s website was of much help and I immediately knew what I needed. First and foremost was the GoPro 60m Dive Housing; to make sure the camera is safe and sealed. Next on the list was the red filter. As an open water diver they teach you that the first colour that disappears underwater is red, therefore a red filter will adjust the colour in the blue waters that soaks up the light. I decided on the Polar Pro Switchblade which combines the red filter and the additional glass macro filter for capturing close up shots. Both Red and macro filters slide out quick and easy depending on your need. Lastly I needed a mount for the GoPro, so the sharks don’t think I am sacrificing my hand to feed them a shiny object. I decided on the Lang-Arm 900mm, not to keep my hands as safe as possible but rather to get closer to the action! The order was sent and as usual our friends at Action Gear quickly delivered. The only thing left was for the time to pass.

        The GoPro and all the accessories were packed in the DS case for GoPro, and at last the day arrived and we left Pretoria before sunrise on the Thursday morning. After a seven hour drive we arrived in Umkomaas at The Shoal and immediately went to reception to finalise our diving, after that we checked in to the hotel.



        Early Friday morning as the sun rose over the ocean our dive kits were ready, the
        GoPro’s batteries were charged and the SD card empty, ready to capture every memory. Considering Umkomaas’s usual rough seas, the water was perfect for great diving. A twenty minute boat ride brought us to our first dive site, Cathedral, the home of seasonal Ragged Tooth Sharks. We put our gear on, and the skipper started counting down, 3, 2, 1… and we all rolled overboard. The visibility was good and we descended to about 20m. The Dive Master took us site seeing around the reef before reaching the part that looks like an actual cathedral. As we placed ourselves on the sand we saw two ragged tooth sharks swimming around on the inside - this was an excellent start to our diving trip. We sat there watching the sharks for a few minutes before we started a gradual ascend over the reef back to the top. On our way out we met with a big potato bass as well as two sea turtles. It was a perfect dive to practice my skills with the GoPro. As we surfaced we were all thrilled with seeing two sharks on our first dive already. We were eager to see what the footage looked like, but there was only time to switch batteries before meeting with another boat that took us to the chum dive location.

        We were only four divers on the chum boat and at this stage I didn’t know if it was the smell of fish or the stronger currents at the end of the last dive or the idea of diving around too many sharks, but my wife was pale as a ghost. After assuring me she was fine, the boat took us to the open waters of the ocean. We were quickly briefed on the do’s and don’ts of diving with feeding sharks. The chum bucket was lowered to hang at about 10m under the water surface, while we prepared. This was it: the moment we have been waiting for. Again the skipper counted, 3, 2, 1….splash! Surrounded by the big blue, we hovered in the water for about 10minutes, with no sign of any live fish. Then out of nowhere we saw a cautious Bull Shark approaching. He swam around underneath us, curious of what we were up to. The next moment, as if a door had opened up, about 5 Black Tip Reef Sharks appeared.

        They were very inquisitive and not afraid at all, the complete opposite of the Bull Shark. It wasn’t long before we were surrounded by about 30-40 Black Tips. Sharks were everywhere. This was truly an amazing experience. I am so thankful for the video, because my words will never have the ability to express the moment. I filmed the whole time and tried to capture everything that I saw. The sharks were so focused on filling their bellies they bumped into us to get to their free meal. Because of their curious nature they will bite anything shiny, therefore rather dive in black scuba gear! One of them even tried the GoPro to see if something is fishy. My wife likes to compare the Black Tips to young Jack Russels; their energy never seems to run out, they are fast, playful and friendly. We had the privilege to spend a full 70 minutes with these amazing creatures. As we started to ascend they ascended with us to the surface and as we got onto the boat they kept swimming around the boat not leaving. Then I realized, unlike myself, they were not reluctant to say goodbye to us but only to the chum that was still left in the bucket. After the bucket was emptied, our ways parted - they went back to deeper waters and as we headed to the shore we promised ourselves that we will be doing this again.

        Check our awesome adventure in the video below:

        I was really surprised at how easy it was to film our dives with the GoPro. It is user friendly which allowed me to quickly change settings under water. One of the features I used most during our dives was the video + photo setting, and resulted in many stunning action photos. I enjoyed the filming and editing of this experience so much that I started doing it for friends and family and it resulted in my own business Kondensmelk Productions - check out my website for more videos.

        Yes, I know you too would like to be the owner of a GoPro to capture all your adventures. Visit

        Go-Carting Adrenalin

        Go-Carting Adrenalin

        By Jacques Horn

        Wheels squealing and blood rushing through your veins, this is the way a Saturday morning should be spent if you are taking a much deserved break from riding your bicycle. There are only a hand full of adrenaline fueled activities that could rival the feeling of racing at 60 km/ph around a racetrack with your body sitting less than 20cm from the tar. Go-Carting has always been a very fun and extremely exhilarating experience and when combined with the company of your friends this is a not to be missed activity. We headed out to the Zwartkop race track in Pretoria to go and test out their specifically designed Go- Cart racetrack. After a quick briefing by the safety marshals we started mounting our GoPro’s and getting our gear ready. What we discovered is the traditional stick-on GoPro mounts are the perfect solution to any mounting scenario and when placed on your helmet gives the perfect “race feeling” angles that makes for some superb footage. Another great mount is the Sportsman Mount available from Action Gear. This mount provided great versatility and helped us capture great footage. A very important tip to remember though is that the Go-Cart with its very lightweight frame tends to vibrate quite badly and thus “rattles” your footage when the Go-Pro is mounted directly on the Go-Cart. I hope you enjoy my vlog and as always, remember to keep the rubber side down.