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Parrot Anafi Review 2020

Parrot Anafi Review 2020

I expect a lot from this drone test! With the Parrot Anafi, the French drone manufacturer made an impressive comeback to the consumer comrade drone market at the end of 2018. The Anafi drone offers everything you can expect from a current Copter: Powerful camera, long flight time, long range and the popular foldable design.

As a hot contender for the title “DJI Mavic Air Killer”, the view beyond the Copter itself is of course also interesting: How good is the Parrot Anafi compared to the DJI Mavic Air and the Yuneec Mantis Q?

Parrot fans have had to wait a long time for the release of a top drone. This was preceded by years in which fun copters and the Bebop series in particular were expected to generate sales. In times when PIloten preferred 4K drones like the DJI Mavic Pro, Mavic Air or even Mavic 2, the bulky Bebop 2 came along very slow.

The Parrot Anafi, however, is completely different, bringing a typical crazyness of the manufacturer in a good tradition.

Info about Parrot Anafi

Type: drone with camera, foldable drone
Suitable for: Beginner, Hobby, Filmer & Photographer
Size: medium
Manufacturer: Parrot

Weight: 320 gram
badge required: yes
Camera: 21 MP
Price range: up to 600 Euro

Scope of delivery: This is in the package of the Parrot Anafi

Parrot Anafi Scope of supply: This is in the box
Drone in compact transport case
1 Smart Battery
3×4 Propeller (2 spare kits)
USB charging cable
16 GB micro SD card, incl. USB adapter
Screwdriver & Instruction Manual
The Parrot Anafi is available in two versions: The standard version includes everything you need for starting, the more expensive version includes even more charging technology and a bag.

The Quadrocopter itself is in a hard shell transport case. This is so left out on the inside that the Anafi fits in perfectly and cannot take any damage. The spark can be folded in and out, and when folded it is a real buzz. Compared to the controllers of the Mavi Air or Mavic Pro, you really have something in your hand here. I like it! In addition, the smartphone is mounted above the remote control, which is much more pleasant when flying and viewing the FPV picture.

A Class 10 16 GB micro-SD card should store images and video files that can be generated as JPEG+DNG (RAW) and MP4 by the Parrot Anafi. For extended flights I recommend to buy a bigger and faster map.

Parrot Anafi Review: Hands on Review

What is immediately noticeable when you hold the Parrot Anafi in your hand is the weight. With a take-off weight of 320 grams, the Copter is incredibly light – even compared to the lighter DJI Mavic Air.
It reinforces the feeling that the Copter is not compact, but elongated in the hand. Only when the axles are folded out does the Anafi have a drone like face.

Despite its lightweight construction, the Parrot Anafi looks good. The axles can be easily folded in and out and even if you don’t need so much power (DJI Mavic Pro) or skill (DJI Mavic Air) for a long time, I definitely don’t have the impression that the axles could develop a life of their own.
The propellers are made of soft plastic, which honestly feels a bit cheap. But the engineers from France will have thought something of it already 😉

In short: A beautiful, light Quadrocopter

App & Flight Preparation

Before I go out into the fresh air for the test (fresh is meant seriously at -5° C) I recharge everything, insert a faster SD card and download the app. As with drones from DJI (DJI GO), the Parrot Anafi requires an app installed on the smartphone that transmits telemetry data and, of course, the live image.
After that is also done I tie the copter once to the rehearsal indoor. Everything works out, now it’s out into the cold for the test!

How the Parrot Anafi flies

Parrot Anafi drone under test
Automatic takeoffs & landings can be performed with the app.

Parrot Anafi in test: How the Quadrocopter flies
25 minutes maximum flight time possible

Flying characteristics

Range: 4 kilometers

Flight duration: 25 minutes

Autonomous flight modes: Smartshots, Dronies, Dolly Zoom

FPV: Yes

Video: 4K at 24 fps, UHD at 30 fps

Photos: 21 Megapixel

The starting and binding of drone and remote control is done in the twinkling of an eye and is really foolproof. After the connection is established you have to wait a bit for the live image and unfortunately also for sufficient GPS coverage.
Of course it can be due to the weather, but I am very sure that both DJI Mavic Pro and DJI Mavic Air will get on their 10+ satellites faster. On occasion I will test this and make a comparison.

For the first flight I don’t dare to do a hand launch yet, but I like to use the takeoff and landing function via app. This works perfectly and the Anafi purrs quietly and quietly. Compared to the Mavic Pro it is of course much quieter, compared to the DJI Mavic Air the Parrot Anafi has a deeper, quieter humming tone, less siren-like.

After a few laps around the block, wanting to be called sheep pasture and forest, I correct the speed of greed upwards. The Copter turns too slowly for my desire to fly needs. For movies and videos a calm and damping yaw axis may be good, but I just want to see how fast the Anafi can fly.

Surprisingly, the Anafi can accelerate really well and especially the sports mode is much more fun than with the Mavics. Maybe this is because of the lower financial risk (the Anafi costs 600€, Mavic Air 800€ and Mavic Pro Fly More 1000€) or because of the lower take-off weight?

After about 15 minutes I have flown the first battery empty and have to make a pit stop. At low temperatures, the capacity of LiPo batteries decreases drastically, which is why I could not have reached the maximum flight duration of 25 minutes even with a quieter flight. In the standard package, the charging is not done by a power supply but by a USB interface. A juicy 2-3 hours have to be planned for a full charge.

The next test flights: Smartshots & Handstart

In the further course I try out the smartshots and dronies and enjoy the hand starts. My favorite shot: Boomerang. You define a target object and start the process. The drone flies 30 or 60 meters backwards, stops and approaches the target again. Just like a thrown Boomerang.

Handstart of the Parrot Anafi in the test
3,2,1…Hand start!

The hand start is a fine thing if the ground is uneven or wet. Like the DJI Mavic Air, DJI Mavic (2) Pro and Yuneec Mantis Q, the Parrot Anafi does not have a sufficiently high landing gear. Actually none at all, the mini-feet on the front axles are left out.
To start from the hand, you only have to lift the copter, press hand start and, after the app has counted down from 3,2,1, throw the Anafi into the air.

The drone catches itself and stabilizes immediately. Great!

Parrot Anafi App & FPV
Simply throw the drone high with “STARTEN

Camera & Sensor: The pictures of the Parrot Anafi are that good

Camera of the Parrot Anafi: 4K & 13 MP
Powerful camera with 4K video & 21 MP frames

The sensor of the Parrot Anafi has a size of 1/2.4 inches and allows photos with megapixels and videos in 4K at 24 fps. Compared to the DJI Mavic Pro or DJI Mavic Air, the Anafi is ahead of the pack when it comes to single shots.

And also in the test I like the pictures very well: atmospheric aerial photos, not least thanks to bracket mode. The Anafi 7 takes photos with different exposure levels. Filmmakers can shoot videos in 4K (4096×2160) at 24 fps and in UHD (3840×2160) at 30 fps. In addition, there is a time-lapse function (max 240x speed) and a slow motion function.

The choice of whether you prefer to take pictures or film in a situation can be made at any time in the app’s interface. Unlike the DJI Mavic Air or the DJI Mavic Pro, the remote control of the Parrot Anafi does not have two separate buttons for photo and video recording, but only one. The release button and selector switch in the app are easily accessible and very easy to use.

Gimbal of the Parrot Anafi: 180 degree swivel radius

Clear view upwards: The Gimbal of Parrot Anafi

Test image of the Parrot Anafi drone
Aerial view, stacking, compressed from 43 MB (DNG) to 130 KB

Aerial photo with Parrot Anafi: Teltschik Tower Wilhelmsfeld
Teltschik Turm Wilhelmsfeld: Test pattern 2, also strongly compressed.

Three features that make the Parrot Anafi special
180° Gimbal Tilt
The first thing to mention, of course, is the camera that can be swivelled up and down by 90°. Unlike the DJI Mavic Air/Pro or the Yuneec Mantis Q, there is no superstructure in the front, which prevents a view upwards.

Large and free swivel radii of the gimbals have become rare outside the Yuneec Tycoon H or DJI Phantom segment. The reason for this is the dominance of the Mavic series.
The Parrot Anafi drone, however, has a 3-axis gimbal that can look up or down 90° from the horizontal position. The swing-up is something very special and I know it more from the field of bridge inspections.
But I can also imagine that it is a lot of fun to mix the different views of the Anafi during a flight through the forest.

Dolly Zoom

The Dolly Zoom is a pretty cool effect – but already decades old! For the first time it was used by Alfred Hitchcock in “Vertigo”.
In the Parrot Anafi’s Dolly Zoom, the drone flies backwards and zooms into the image at the same time. This gives the viewer the feeling that the background is racing towards him. A spectacular mode made possible by the Anafi’s lossless zoom.Among the camaraderie drones in 2019, apart from the Parrot Anafi, there is only the DJI Mavic 2 Zoom, which offers this video mode.

As part of the smartshots you don’t have to do much to start the dolly zoom: Maneuver to the Smartshots in the app, select Dolly Zoom, define a target object and get started.

I like the menu navigation of the app very much in the test. The big buttons and buttons can also be hit with thick or cold fingers.

Very good price

A strong argument for the Parrot Anafi is also the low price. You have to pay around 150 Euros less than the DJI Mavic Air, which should attract beginners in particular. This makes the Anafi the best drone in the 300-600 Euro price range and with its great automatic flight modes it offers significantly more than other copters in the price segment.

Points of criticism

I don’t like two things in the Parrot Anafi test:
One is the charging time of a battery. The battery has to charge for 2-3 hours on the USB cable. If you didn’t buy the extended package, you have to pause for a while. At least you have enough time to appreciate the power supply of the DJI Mavic Fly More version.

The second point of criticism is that there is no way to let the Parrot Anafi follow. The quadrocopter of Smartshots and Dronies is aligned to the target object. But it only uses gimbal and yaw axis (turn on the spot). But if one would run away, the Copter would still stay in place.

The third and last criticism doesn’t really count for me: Waypoint flights can only be bought as AddOn at Parrot. Since most pilots make as good as flights along waypoints, I classify the topic as “who actually uses it, can buy it”.

Conclusion & Rating

Altogether the Parrot Anafi Test was a lot of fun for me.
I think the hand start was great, because the test took place, as you can see, under wet, snow-covered conditions. That’s why the drone didn’t come off at the start. I also like the tidy app and of course the picture quality. I couldn’t use the 180° swivel range of the gimbal completely yet, but I already have ideas. Compared to other drones (e.g. DJI Mavic Air) the Anafi has a lot to offer in terms of photo and video. Not least because of the dolly zoom mode, the Anafi is for me the price tip below 600 euros.

At the beginning I thought about selling the drone after the test. I turned away from that by 180 degrees and will now even buy additional batteries and equipment for the Anafi.

Then the Parrot could also replace my “always with me drone” DJI Mavic Pro.

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