PARROT ANAFI Drone Review: Is It Worth It?

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The Parrot Anafi drone emphasizes the size, being ideal for travel. Even better, the camera is excellent. Keep reading this review to know why it is worth a go!

parrot anafi top view
The Parrot Anafi top view

Parrot Anafi Pros & Cons

  • Lossless zoom
  • 180-degree gimbal
  • Solid camera with HDR
  • Portable, lightweight design
  • No obstacle avoidance
QUICK CONCLUSIONThis model is an optimum combination of performance and price.

Drones also have other names as UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles), unmanned aircraft, flying machines, flying robots, or automation. From numerous points of view, regardless of assuming a spearheading job in bringing these devices to customers, Parrot has usually inclined more to the fun loving side of the spectrum, sometimes overshadowed by competitors with regard to practicality and performance. 

While Yuneec and DJI were preoccupied with designing UAVs with environmental detecting capacities and 4K cameras, Parrot tends to make flying robots that are capable of shooting foam pellets, achieving backflips, as well as being tossed around like frisbees. 

The Parrot Anafi drone of the company is considered a step in a different direction. It is not just known as a departure from the firm’s convention with the dance theme but a successful takeoff from the drone market’s casual side. The brand developed this automaton from the ground up for aerial videography and photography.

Target audience

Think about getting yourself this product unit if you:

  • Are looking for a great portable UAV, which is a total riot to play with.
  • Are searching for a lightweight flying robot that takes impressive video.
  • Are considering buying a fun-to-use drone that has an amazingly smooth learning curve. 
  • Want a UAV built to travel. 

Key features

1. Significant specifications

This UAV is fantastic for bringing with you on the go. Similar to the well-known Mavic line of DJI, the Parrot Anafi drone comes with hinged arms which fold inward, thus enabling it to slip inside your pill-formed carrying case that is no larger than a water bottle. While it certainly will not fit in the pocket, the typical knapsack or tote ought to have all that could possibly be needed space to hold it. 

The rest of the automaton’s attributes are more subtle to the naked eye, yet no less significant. The most standout of these may be the camera assembly. Inside a three-axis gimbal is a 4K camera fit for shooting HDR (high dynamic range) video — a characteristic that enables the automaton to handle scenes with genuinely high contrast with more ease. 

parrot anafi drone shot beach
A drone shot over the beach by Parrot Anafi. Photo by Marin Tulard on Unsplash.

This camera is additionally outfitted with lossless computerized zooming capacities as well as 180 degrees of tilt freedom. These three highlights — 180-degree tilt, zoom, and HDR — are everything you basically cannot discover on many other UAVs in this range of price (at least up to now). 

That is not all; the model is equipped with a series of smart filming and flying modes. Let’s take a closer look at them in the next part.

The Parrot Anafi drone additionally comes with a handful of little, friendly, thoughtful construction elements which are useful for rounding out the package:

  • a USB-C battery also usable as a charger of the smartphone, 
  • 3D mapping software, 
  • a launch-from-hand function, along with the capacity to fly the automaton without a controller. 

The device, in general, brings none of the game-changing attributes to the table; however, it is sure to offer a great deal of fresh, smaller ones. In case this model is anything, it is special.

2. Build quality and long-lasting attribute

Building a flying robot is considered a delicate move: Producers need to provide the aircraft with sturdiness as well as strength without making it excessively hefty — which is actually quite tricky. Strike the improper balance, and you will wind up with a solid automaton that is excessively heavy or a light UAV that is overly fragile. Seeking a decent middle ground is the key!

Truly, UAV models from Parrot have inclined a smidgen toward the spectrum’s quick and flimsy side. The Parrot Anafi drone is not an exception. It is all around assembled, yet certainly not exactly as sturdy as Mavic models from DJI

The arms are more adaptable and thin when compared, yet that is not really an unpleasant thing. In light of our experience with earlier models from Parrot, this versatile construction tends to make UAVs extra flexible and ready to ricochet from crashes.

3. Battery life and time for a recharge

For your information, the brand equips the model with a lithium-polymer battery at 7.6 volt and 2,700mAh, which supposedly delivers 25 minutes of flight time on the full charge. It is what is advertised, yet not surprisingly, this specification has to do with perfect flight conditions and does not necessarily reflect the machine’s real-world execution. 

As per our static hover endurance experience (that we send the automaton up with a full battery and allow it to hover in place until it descends for an automatic emergency landing), the Parrot Anafi drone worked to remain airborne for barely short of 23 minutes — which is relatively damn nice for an automaton of this size. 

Obviously, flying around as well as getting the best use out of the engines and processors of the UAV depletes the battery somewhat more quickly. Yet, even during the extra rigorous tests of the flight we carried out, the device still did a decent job of remaining sky side for an average of 21 minutes. 

In comparison with other compact flying robots, that is quite extraordinary. For example, the Breeze unit from Yuneec can just operate around 12 minutes on one battery; meanwhile, the Hover Camera Passport self-flying drone from Hover Camera can just hang for approximately ten. Indeed, even the Mavic Air by DJI – the most strong rival of Anafi, can just remain overhead for 18 minutes. 

With regard to time for recharging, you can expect somewhere in the range of 1.5 hours to 120 minutes to get from 0 to 100%. But be that as it may, bear in mind that charge time is a lot of subject to your charging setup. 

The Parrot Anafi drone gets charged by means of a USB-C port, implying you will be able to charge your battery essentially anyplace. However, remember that not all USB chargers are made equivalent. 

The less expensive one that you plug into the cigarette lighter of your vehicle may not put out as much juice as the one coming with the iPad. Also, times of charging will differ as such.

4. Control, piloting, and autonomy

It is easy to use this model on pretty much every level — and we are not merely referring to flying. You may love how straightforward the pairing procedure is. With a lot of UAVs, you need to wait a couple of minutes for the phone to connect to the automaton, and afterward keep waiting for the device to connect to every one of the satellites it utilizes for positioning. Some way or another, this procedure is almost prompt with the Parrot Anafi drone. 

Once you fire up the aircraft’s controller as well as plug it into your cell phone, you will be able to begin flying — and there is undeniable value in that sort of quickness. 

It is worth noting: Parrot used to have the control lag problem, but it has fixed that issue. Joystick motion does a translation in a flash into the corresponding UAV movement, which drives a considerably more predictable experience of flying. You will then be able to fly the model confidently.

As far as autonomy goes, the machine performs splendidly in just about any area. The automated modes of flights all work precisely as claimed; meanwhile, the automated recording modes produce steady and dependable outcomes. Still, one thing to note, the auto-follow innovation of Parrot is not precisely as robust as what you will discover on a UAV from DJI.

What is strikingly missing on this automaton is the avoidance of obstacles — which currently comes standard on numerous drones in this value go. In terms of environmental detecting, the Parrot Anafi drone is just outfitted with a ground sensor, adequately implying that it cannot detect and stay away from hindrances such as electrical cable or tree limbs. 

Though this is not really a significant issue, it is sure to constrain you to fly more carefully. We ended up longing for hindrance avoidance software while we anxiously zipped through the trees at our neighborhood park.

5. Camera 

parrot anafi camera
Parrot Anafi Camera. Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash

The camera setup of the model should be one of the main attractions. Essentially every other component on the automaton is something you can get somewhere else. Yet, this unit’s shooter is where the company packed in every goody that separates this UAV from the rest of the pack. 

The device takes pride in a CMOS ((complementary metal-oxide semiconductor) sensor at 1/2.4 inches, alongside a wide-angle ASPH (aspheric) lens. Apart from 21-MP (megapixel) still shots, it is capable of shooting video in 1080p full HD at as much as 60 fps (frames per second), Cinematic 4K (4,096 x 2,160) at 24 fps, or 4K ultra HD (3,840 x 2,160) at as much as 30 fps.

A shot from Parrot Anafi. Photo by
A drone shot with Parrot Anafi. Photo by Frederick Tubiermont from Unsplash.

It likewise has an HDR mode, which basically enhances the contrast of the camera and enables you to capture gorgeous film regardless of whether the scene you are shooting has both dark and bright areas. Parrot has inclined toward this attribute pretty vigorously in its promotional endeavors, yet as we would see it, HDR is not the automaton’s most noteworthy element.

What indeed prevailed upon us with this UAV was the movement abilities of the camera. Aside from lossless zooming, the camera of the Parrot Anafi drone likewise has 180 degrees of tilt freedom, which means it is capable of looking straight up or straight down. 

This makes it extremely fun and adaptable to film with. Being able to look down, upward, and zoom while flying should provide you with a more noteworthy level of inventive freedom and enable you to capture shots which you will not be able to get with many other UAVs.

Flight modes

Below are the specifics of notable modes this model leverages:

1. Manual flight mode

Here, the device is a quick, flexible UAV that can move rapidly as well as maneuver quickly. The brand claims a maximum velocity of just shy of 35 mph (miles per hour), and that is, by all accounts, about right; we had the option to clock the automaton at a quick 27 mph level of flying. That is quite slow when compared to the DJI Mavic Air, which can work as far as 40 mph; however, it is quick for all except UAV racers. 

2. Cameraman 

The Parrot Anafi drone incorporates various helpful programmed flight modes: Flight Plan, Follow Me, Touch and Fly, Smart Dronies, and Cameraman. In the Cameraman mode, you will choose a target, and the automaton will make the camera keep pointing to that target, rotating the UAV as well as tilting the camera to follow the opted object. It is fine to move the automaton with the controller, yet it will focus the camera on the target.

3. Smart Dronies 

Smart Dronies mode provides various shots when it comes to selfies. These incorporate Boomerang, wherein the automaton flies out and up to a characterized distance and afterward flies back; Tornado, in which the UAV spirals around you in ever-expanding circles and keeps the device’s camera pointed at you at the same time; and Parabola and Orbit, in which the automaton flies in a half circle (or parabola), beginning in front of you as well as ending up behind you. 

4. Touch and Fly mode

In this mode, the automaton flies to the area you choose on the on-screen map, with its control sticks setting the height and direction. What a neat trick that is in the event that you are attempting to concentrate on framing the shot instead of stressing over flying the automaton. However, keep in mind that the Parrot Anafi drone does exclude the detection of the collision of the DJI Mavic Air, so it will joyfully fly into a building or tree in case you do not think about how it will arrive at the destination.

5. Follow Me

In this mode, the camera tracks a chosen object automatically, tilting the camera as well as moving the flying machine to have a go at keeping up a similar separation between the subject and the automaton. We found that these shots of tracking worked quite well, with the camera following an individual in changing light conditions with ease. With that being said, they need to be cautious because, as we mentioned above, no forward impact identification is available.

6. Flight Plan

At last, Flight Plan will enable you to make a waypoint-based flight plan, which the automaton will follow upon demand. That is valuable in case you need to do construction work’s time-lapse or film the same area in various seasons, for instance. 

7. Fancy video modes 

The Parrot Anafi drone additionally incorporates a few video modes: Slow Motion and Hyperlapse. By Hyperlapse, we refer to a quickened time effect that captures video at a few fps as well as plays it back at 30 fps. The Slow Motion effect will capture video at 60 fps before playing it back at 30 fps, which successfully halves the speed. 

What is in the box? (Accessories included)

Aside from, of course, the drone, you will get the carrying case (that resembles an extra-big glasses case), a quick start guide, spare propellers, and the controller. The conveying case of the Anafi likewise has a USB-A-to-USB-C cable for charging as well as a microSD-card-to-SD-card adaptor in one plastic case. The brand pre-installed the SanDisk microSD card at 16 GB inside the UAV. 

It is truly basic, and in a way it urges you to get out and begin flying. The absence of complexity here ought to be engaging for the individuals who have little experience flying a UAV or are giving it a try for the first time. What’s more, it will be fantastic for picture takers or videographers, on account of the gimbal setup and lens.

Some of the best alternative models

1. Reliability and flight performance-wise

dji spark parrot anafi alternative
The DJI Spark

In case your priority is unwavering quality and flight performance rather than taking beautiful pictures, Mavic UAVs from DJI should be among your top options. They are responsive, and are outfitted with ground-breaking obstacle avoidance that allows you to fly confidently — so in the event that you are not a careful UAV pilot, we recommend you consider DJI models. Else, account for the Spark from DJI that features hindrance avoidance at a fraction of the cost. 

2. Flexible filming and image quality-wise

In case you value picture quality and adaptable recording choices, it is hard to find the best alternative to the Parrot Anafi drone — at least among flying robots with a compact construction factor. The Hover Camera Passport Self-Flying UAV from Hover Camera, Yuneec Breeze from Yuneec, and Mavic Air from DJI are, for the most part, strong competitors when it comes to portability; however, they fall somewhat behind Parrot in terms of the camera. 

Fortunately, the DJI Mavic 2 is a quite impressive competitor, and seemingly a good alternative as far as camera abilities go. It is worth considering.

mavic air foldable drone with remote controller
The DJI Mavic Air

The bottom line 

The Parrot Anafi drone is undeniably one of the best models that Parrot has ever constructed — however, the absence of obstruction avoidance may detract from the experience of flying and eventually urge you to fly all the more carefully. 

Notwithstanding, Anafi compensates for its drawbacks with a heavenly camera assembly, which will give you a dynamic, fun, and imaginatively freeing shooting experience. The zooming and tilting capacities of the automaton, alongside its special filming modes, do make the model outstanding in the compact UAV class.

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