The Parrot Anafi promises to shake things up a little in the mid to premium end domestic drone market. 4K HDR and 25 minute flight time is just the tip of the iceberg – we get our hands on one to give you the full lowdown.
Parrot Anafi Review
The Anafi has firmly established itself as a very credible competitor in the mid range price bracket, and deservedly so. There’s always a compromise between price and performance, and the Anafi hits those requirments really well.
Parrot was one of the first companies to really push commercial drones in the UK but since those early days they have had many of their UAV’s put in place by superior DJI products. Parrot therefore had to realign and have managed to compete with the Chinese superpower by offering competitively priced products that perform well – and to be fair to them they have had some recent successes with the Bebop 2 amongst the top performers.
The June 2018 announcement by the French company that they were launching a brand new drone called the ‘Anafi’ certainly garnered some interest – even more so when the tech specs were announced at the grand unveiling in New York.
Parrot Anafi Tech Specs
The Anafi is dubbed as the drone you can take with you ‘anytime, anywhere’ and for anyone who has owned a drone they will understand the allure of a truly portable drone. More on that in a moment, first let’s take a look at the technical specifications.
Parrot Anafi Specs:
4K HDR Video and 21MP Camera with up to 2.8 digital zoom
25 Minutes Flight Time
180 Degree Tilt Gimbal
3 Axis Mechanical Stabilisation ( 2 axis mechanical and 1 digital)
1/2.4″ CMOS Sony Sensor
2.5 Mile Range
Foldable Controller Included
320 Grams Weight
244mm x 67mm x 65mm Folded
175mm x 240mm x 65mm Unfolded
There is a school of thought that once you have seen one drone, you have seen them all. That might be true to an extent at the lower end of the market but the Anafi is very much been aimed at mid budget owners who want to get a lot of tech for their money without having to fork out for a Mavic Air or Mavic Pro. When you talk of these DJI models you do start to get a little excited just in regards their appearance – and the same can be said for Parrot’s latest offering.
Previously, Parrot have opted for function over design and although they have always designed nice looking drones they seem to have found a way to merge substance and style this time out.
On first glance we were very pleased with the size of the drone in its folded form and upon holding it there is a real sense of a quality build thanks to the carbon fibre frame. Parrot tell us that the carbon fibres are charged with air filled microbeads to help the drone to resist any knocks – impressive stuff.
The controller (Skycontroller 3) is equally impressively small and when folded is just 94mm x 152mm x 72mm. In addition to the drone and the controller, in the box you will find a smart battery, carry case (which is a great touch from Parrot), 16GB Micro-SD card, USB A to C charging cable, 8 extra propellers and a removal/replacement tool for them.
Flying The Anafi
Flying the Anafi is a joy – it is as simple as that. With 25 minute battery life, the redefined companion app and the new Skycontroller 3 it is difficult not to fall in love with this drone from the outset. It does have a couple of limitations when compared to its main rivals – the biggest one being the omission of collision avoidance sensors – so you will need to rely on your own piloting to ensure you do not crash. This may not be a negative as some pilots would argue it is far better to be in control than to rely on automated collision avoidance systems but it is nice to know it is there if needed.
The range of the drone is around 4km (2.5m) and there are sport and standard settings allowing for quicker flights and more robust performance in more testing conditions.
The one real advantage of the Anafi over DJI competition is the speed at which you can connect your Android or iOS smartphone to the controller. It is connected in a flash and means if you have an instant shot you need to capture you will be up in the air and recording in a flash – it is best on the market for this right now.
Whereas previous Parrot drones have not fully convinced on the camera front, it is very clear that photo and video has been the prime focus with the Anafi. In fact, Parrot have very much gone with the strapline ‘The Flying 4K HDR Camera’ as opposed to a drone with 4K HDR capabilities.
If you want to compare the camera of the DJI Mavic Air to the Anafi then you will be pleasantly surprised at what Parrot have on offer. The Anafi is capable of 4K Cinema Quality footage (4096 x 2160) at 24FPS and standard 4K at 30FPS. Full HD is 60FPS and can be zoomed at 2.8x without suffering image degradation.
The real winning punch for Parrot though is the ability for HDR (High Dynamic Range) video – something that the DJI pair cannot offer and a factor that (sadly) gets us extremely excited about where affordable quality drone cameras are heading.
The software has been developed to back up the hardware with the new FreeFlight 6 app bringing a whole host of new features to the Parrot Anafi. With GPS and GLONASS this UAV is capable of some pretty neat stuff and is not going to get lost. The ability to create a Geofence where you determine your virtual range is a great addition and with ‘return to home’ and ‘find my drone’ you really would have to go to great lengths to lose the Anafi.
We see a repeat of some of the image and video features we saw on the Bebop 2 as well as a ‘follow me’ mode and automatic cinematic shots such as ‘Reveal’, ‘Rise’ and ‘Epic’. For those consumers with less cinematic requirements you will also be glad to hear that there are a range of selfie options too.
One really cool feature with the Anafi’s camera is slow motion and ‘Hyperlapse’. The latter allows you to capture passing of time shots such as a sunrise or sunset.
Despite its lightweight and diminutive frame, the Anafi is capable of withstanding winds of up to 50KPH and provides super stable footage thanks to its 3 axis gimbal.
Who Is The Anafi Aimed At?
Parrot are keeping their marketing quite broad when it comes to the Anafi’s target market. Thanks to the competitive price they can afford to market to casual drone users at one end of the spectrum right up to commercial photographers and filmmakers.
The Anafi can hold its own against any drone in the mid price range and it’s difficult to to find a competitor who packs in this much tech for the price. A firm favourite..
The Parrot Anafi has come a long way and shook things up at the top end of the mid-premium drone market. The addition of HDR video along with 4K Cinema quality video and a 21MP camera make this a leading player in its class.
The addition of a 25 minute fly time and a super portable design makes this one of our favourite drones of 2020.
- Ease of use
- Value for money