The new GoPro 6 3 Axis Image Stabilization vs the Karma Grip Gimbal. Who Wins?
By Steve Huff
So I still have the GoPro 6 on hand and have bene testing it in all ways. Indoors, low light, bright light, running, walking, bike rides, with a gimbal, without a gimbal, slow motion, in my pool, etc.
I own two GoPro 4 Blacks and love them to pieces. They have always delivered amazing IQ for my video, AND even Audio that is the best of any GoPro released to date (yes, better than the 5 and 6). I skipped the GoPro 5 due to the shoddy audio and issues with the camera shutting down, battery drain, and the fact that the audio was unusable when using a gimbal, which is how I use them 85% of the time. I loved the new design of the 5, with its waterproof covering, touch screen LCD and even voice commands. But the audio…it was unusable and before someone says “this is an action cam, it doesn’t need good audio”, that is nonsense. At the cost of these cameras, $400-$500 from GoPro, they should have USABLE audio, the 5 did not when in the Karma Grip.
Below is my video test of the 6 3 Axis IS with and without the grip as well as a side by side with the 4 Black and grip.
The good news is, the 3 Axis IS works…sort of. When walking you may get the “herky jerkies” and when running, it will not smooth your footage anywhere near what a gimbal can do. BUT it is better than no IS at all, and spa much nicer hand held than the 4. The Audio is improved as well, so I was thinking “Finally! I can Upgrade to a 6”.
Well, as soon as I put it in the Karma Grip, the audio got horrendous. My 4 Black sounds great in the Grip, no issues. The 6? It seems to amplify the motor noise from the Karma Grip and yes, it gets recorded. I am shocked that GoPro would take the time to “fix” the issues of the 5 so soon, yet obviously did not try the camera in their own Karma Grip that they advertise so heavily. We can not attach an external mic to the GoPro with the Karma Grip so we must have at least decent audio while using it, right? They advertise it as such, for vloggers and family videos. Why not just use the audio system of the 4? It works and sounds amazing with and without the Grip.
Also, the color tones of the 6 are very cool, and have blue hue to them. Gone are the natural and warm colors of the GoPro 4 Black. While we gain waterproof capabilities without a housing, and a touch screen, and voice control and slow motion 4K options, we lose on Audio and IMO, IQ and color which may be better than the 5 but is worse than the 4 Black. It’s like GoPro went backwards. Some may prefer the cooler color tones of the 6 but not me. While the video may be “crisper”, the color seems off.
You can order the new GoPro 6 at Amazon HERE, or you can order the older GoPro 4 Black for $200 less HERE. The Karma Grip is $299 also at Amazon HERE.
The best review Ive seen on the internet. Thanks for taking the time!
Hi Steve, does the EVO GP Pro 3 gimbal work well with GoPro Hero 6, in terms of audio quality? If not, which gimbal would you recommend? Thanks!
I did not try it as I never bought the adapter for the 5 as the 5 was so awful with audio. I am sticking with my 4 and Karma Grip, as it offers the best performance for video and audio IMO. But I did not try the EVO with the 6, so not sure how it did.
Fantastic review and video !
Thanks as always for reviewing gimbals and gopros Steve – these are really useful comparisons and tell us a lot more than the spec sheets and bold claims! Really interesting that the audio from the 4 is so much better. I wonder why this is? It’s frustrating – I use the karma and the hero 5 but have to record audio separately with a lav mic, and it’s a real pain getting it all matched up after the fact! Makes me wish I’d not sold the 4 too hastily upon buying the 5!!
Quick question – will the 4 mount straight to the karma, as I recall the connections are a little different from the 5/6 ?
The hero 6 colours look more satuarated, but sill the blue tinge to flesh tones, especially the bit of Steve in the shade. The resolution on the 6 seems to look a bit crisper?
Yea, I see a more crisper video, but cooler tones. I prefer warmer, so the AWB or color of the 4 is better to my eyes, though it loses some of the crispness.