Parrot Anafi Drone Review

Parrot has introduced the new Anafi drone. Now the Parrot Anafi drone can be ordered directly from Parrot for a price of $640. Whoever wants to buy the Parrot Anafi will find a sophisticated, modern aircraft. There are also some things that we don’t like about it. We will clarify some advantages and disadvantages of the latest camera drone from Parrot.

For a price of only $640, you will get the newest drone from Parrot. Compared to similar camera drones such as the DJI Mavic Pro, DJI Mavic Air, or DJI Spark, the Anafi drone is at first glance a price-performance bargain. Compared to the inexpensive Spark drone from DJI, the new Parrot model offers 4K resolution instead of Full-HD resolution. But can the Parrot Anafi also compete with the latest DJI Mavic Air or the more outdated DJI Mavic Pro of the first generation?

Technical data and details of the Parrot Anafi Drone

The Parrot Anafi is somehow inferior or at least equal to the DJI Mavic Pro drone on paper. The flight time is 25 minutes, thanks to the 2.700 mAh strong battery (LiPo battery / 7,6V). When folded, the Parrot Anafi measures just 24 x 6.7 x 6.5 centimeters and has dimensions comparable to a soda bottle. 

When folded out, the drone measures around 17.5 x 24 x 6.5 centimeters. Regarding its weight, the Parrot Anafi drone is an upper-level drone to the DJI Mavic Pro thanks to its various carbon parts. The latest model from Parrot weighs only about 320 grams. Parrot Anafi is heavy enough to fall under the legal labeling requirement for weights of 250 grams and more. A drone-badge or a drone-label is also needed when used with the Anafi drone. However, a drone driver’s license is not required.

Visually, the Parrot Anafi drone reminds one of an insect. This was the manufacturer’s plan. To divide the Parrot Anafi drone into three parts. Parrot attributes the Anafi drone to the “beauty of a robot beetle.” The maximum speed of the Parrot Anafi is about 33 miles per hour.

Anyone who values a quadcopter’s speed should go for the first generation DJI Mavic Pro. In sport mode, it can fly at 64.8 km per hour. The standard package of the insect-like Parrot Anafi drone includes a pretty cool case. In the small and relatively stable hard case, the Parrot Anafi can be transported easily and above all safely. The rest of the delivery includes Parrot’s Skycontroller 3, a 16-gigabyte microSD card, a USB-A to USB-C cable, a battery, the drone itself, a total of 8 propellers, and an installation key. The spare parts and accessories’ prices are relatively high.

Gimbal and camera

The camera of the Parrot Anafi drone can be controlled 180 degrees vertically. The gimbal can be controlled using a toggle switch on the shoulder of the controller. This allows you to move the camera vertically downwards as well as vertically upwards. This is a practical feature because you can also film objects above the drone and get more freedom of movement during video recording. However, strictly speaking, the Parrot Anafi only has a 2-axis gimbal. 

The third axis is not stabilized mechanically but only digitally, which is a clear disadvantage compared to DJI’s camera drones. The Parrot Anafi drone records videos at 4K or 4,096 x 2,160 pixels with up to 24 frames per second and a bit rate of 100 megabits per second. Alternatively, UHD (30fps) and FHD (60fps) modes are also available. The video material is always recorded in MP4 (H264). An HDR function for recordings with a wider color and brightness range is also on board.

The Parrot Anafi drone uses a 1/2.4” CMOS sensor with a fixed aperture of f/2.4. New and worth mentioning is the Parrot Anafi’s lossless zoom, which is comparable to the optical zoom of the first generation of DJI Mavic Pro. The Sony IMX230 sensor, with 21 megapixels resolution, offers more creative freedom thanks to the lossless zoom compared to drone cameras without lossless zoom.

Depending on the resolution, the maximum lossless zoom is 2.8x (FullHD) or 1.4x (Cinema4K and UHD). The field of view of the lens is a natural 84°. Photos are recorded either in JPEG format or in Adobe’s own DNG raw data format. If you want to meet professional requirements, you can record images in the flat P-Log color profile on request. This gives you more significant resources for later post-production on your home PC – for example, during color grading.

SkyController 3 and FreeFlight 6

This drone comes with a controller. Specifically, this is the Skycontroller 3, equipped with physical joysticks, a status LED, and buttons for take-off and landing or the Return To Home function. There are also various buttons and shoulder buttons on the top of the housing – for example, for recording control, zoom control, or camera tilt. The wireless connection is via WLAN 802.11a/b/g/n at 2.4 and 5.8 GHz. It enables ranges or distances of up to four kilometers. Glonass and GPS are also on board. The camera’s live image is streamed to the smartphone display in HD resolution or 720p without any significant delay.

With a weight of 386 grams, the remote control of the Parrot Anafi drone is quite heavy. Also, haptically, the third generation ski controller makes a comparatively chunky impression. Both the controller and the Parrot Anafi battery are equipped with a USB-C connection. Both components can be supplied with fresh energy using any conventional USB power supply unit and USB-C cable.

This is very practical if you want to charge the drones’ battery while moving, for example, using a power bank. The Quick Charging ensure that the drone’s battery can be fully charged in less than an hour. Like the DJI Mavic Pro or DJI Mavic Air, the Parrot Anafi can be equipped with a smartphone with a maximum display size of 6 inches, inserted into the controller’s mounting bracket. 

You can use your smartphone with the new FreeFlight 6 app . In the app, you can choose between a movie mode or a sport mode. Both modes are similar to the tripod mode and the sport mode of DJI Mavic Pro. There are setting options regarding tilt, rotation speed, or acceleration of camera tilt in the app. The flight behavior of the Parrot Anafi is very stable and gives a good impression.

Intelligent flight modes – some only via In-App purchases

Also, there are intelligent flight modes – such as SmartDronies or CineShots. Typical and contemporary recording modes such as time-lapse and slow-motion recording and the spectacular dolly zoom effect (Vertigo effect) for a perspective deformation of the background are also on board. If you want, you can unlock additional flight functions and flight maneuvers in the FreeFlight 6 app. 

However, the extra flight modes such as Flight Path (waypoint function) or Follow Me are not free of charge. They are available as in-app purchases for $22 (iOS) or $20 (Android). With a current camera drone, you want to use the possible range of functions and full potential immediately and not invest in expensive additional functions afterward. It only remains to mention here that DJI – so far – includes all functionalities right from the start. It is also worth noting that Parrot Anafi does not yet provide the possibility to take panoramic shots.

Conclusion

The Parrot Anafi drone makes a good impression at first sight. High stability and value, as well as a complete package. On the whole, the camera does a good job and provides excellent aerial shots. The price of $640 seems reasonable. A disadvantage and negative point to be evaluated are that the camera balance of the Parrot Anafi is only a hybrid 3-axis gimbal. Therefore the third axis is only digitally stabilized.

In contrast, DJI’s camera drones use true 3-axis gimbal. Another negative aspect is that various flight functions cost extra. All in all, we can, therefore, only recommend the Parrot Anafi drone to a limited extent.

Leave a Reply