There’s a type of drone that is currently trending in the consumer UAV industry. Compact, foldable, and equipped with HD and 4K cameras. These easy to carry drones are making everybody’s delight. This foldable camera drone mania started with DJI Mavic, but there are now many companies trying to replicate its success.
Introducing the Parrot Anafi
We had already discussed how Parrot released the Bebop 2 back in 2017 to compete with DJI Spark. However, now, Parrot has taken a step further and designed a whole new UAV for this trending market. Of course the main selling factors of the drone is the foldable design and the built-in 4K HDR camera.
Although Parrot Anafi is not yet available in the market (comes out in July), we can already tell this is no average aircraft. For $699, it is definitely a very promising cheaper alternative to the DJI Mavic Pro.
Camera & Gimbal
- 4K HDR Camera
- HD 720p Live Video Stream
- 1/2.4’’ 21MP CMOS Sony® Sensor
- Wide-angle f/2.4 ASPH lens
- 35mm focal length equivalent: 23-69mm (photo), 26-78mm (video)
- 180º tilt gimbal
- 2.8X lossless zoom
- 3-axis Image Stabilization
- Ultra Compact
- Fast & Easy Folding System
- Weighs 320g
- Size folded: 244x67x65mm
- Size unfolded: 175x240x65mm
Battery & Charging
- 25-minute Flight Time
- USB-C On-the-Go Charging System
- 7.6V 2700mAh 2 cells Lipo
Controls & Controller
- Foldable Parrot Skycontroller 3
- Weighs 386gr
- 50km/h Wind Resistance
- 4Km Max Control Range
- Size folded: 94x152x72mm
- Size unfolded: 153x152x116mm
Want to know a fun fact? Anafi’s developer team actually studied insects (e.g. bees) to discover the best place to put the 4K camera for the best visibility possible. We got to know this on Parrot Anafi launch event, told by the CEO Henri Seydoux himself. Anafi is aimed at ease of carry. Parrot achieved this by folding the drone into a cylinder shape 9.6 x 2.6 x 2.5 in (24 x 6 x 7 cm). Ideal to carry in a backpack, but too large for a pocket and uncomfortable to carry by hand.
Unfortunately, the remote controller is not that compact, lightweight or even ergonomic. Dubbed Parrot Skycontroler 3, this controller also has a foldable design. However, the controller is quite bulky and heavy.
In fact, it even weighs more than the actual drone. Weighing 380g, it is not a pleasant experience, and keep in mind you still have to attach the smartphone for Live Video.
The Camera and The Gimbal
It is the first time Parrot is using a mechanical gimbal instead of digital stabilization. Therefore, you can already expect a significant improvement in image quality, especially for video. The camera is capable of recording 4K Cinema at 24fps, UHD at 30fps, and FHD at 60fps. To ensure image stabilization (no shaking footage) the camera is placed on a 3-axis gimbal that can also remotely tilt 180º. In terms of photos, the camera has a 1/2.4’’ CMOS Sony Sensor and is capable of taking 21MP wide photos and 16MP rectilinear.
Live Video is transmitted directly to the pilot’s smartphone device through a free to download app, available for Android and iOS. Through this app (Free Flight 6) you can also adjust control settings and camera settings.
Parrot Anafi doesn’t come with many features, but there are a few. First, it of course has Satellite Positioning System through GPS and GLONASS. Other features are focused around camera usage, and these are: Cinematic Shots (Reveal, Epic, Rise, and 360º), and 2.8x zoom. We have yet to find out if features such as Follow Me mode will be behind a paywall. It wouldn’t be the first time Parrot does this. Features like Follow Me were only available through an in-app purchase. Hopefully this won’t be the case with Anafi.
Is Parrot Anafi Worth Buying?
Well, in terms of price, if you are in the market for a foldable camera drone than Anafi definitely is a viable option. It is much cheaper than DJI Mavic Pro, although it lacks many autonomous features. When it comes to features it has about the same as most drones under $300, but camera quality is detailed to be truly amazing. Let’s see if the final product surprises or disappoints in July. Not having a paywall for some features would already be a great start.