Parrot ANAFI Review: A Powerful and Playful Drone for First-Time Drone Photographers
BY Alan Perlman28 December 2018
We recently had a chance to play with Parrot’s ANAFI camera drone.
The French-based drone manufacturer’s latest model launched in June 2018 and is equipped with foldable arms, allowing it to fit snugly inside a convenient carrying case—great for the traveler who gets value out of a smaller design and increased portability.
Parrot ANAFI Pricing
When I think about where the Parrot ANAFI sits in comparison to other similarly priced and packaged drone models, it’s somewhere between the cheaper drone models that typically have 5-10 minutes of battery life and basic autonomous features, and the stronger prosumer models that sell in the $1,000-$1,500 price range.
Pound for pound, the Parrot ANAFI syncs up with its price point quite well. You’re not getting the more robust auto-follow technology and intelligent flight options you’d find on a model like DJI Mavic 2 drone, but then you might not feel like paying extra for obstacle avoidance or some of the other advanced programming capabilities of a higher-end DJI model.
Parrot ANAFI Review—Intelligent Flight Capabilities
Admittedly, I hadn’t had much experience with Parrot’s flight software and as part of the setup process was instructed to download their FreeFlight 6 app. Again, not as comprehensive as what you’d find in the DJI Go 4 app, but also not as complicated and a bit more intuitive to get started.
The ANAFI offers a variety of smart filming and flight modes. And while some of its modes like auto-follow, orbit, and GPS waypoint flying are par for the course these days, other flight modes are more unique.
The ANAFI supports slo-mo, hyper-lapse shooting (which speeds footage up to 240 times), and a high frame rate where users can choose to film up to 60 fps. You’ll also find a cool Dolly Zoom mode that adds a lot of drama and suspense to the shot.
Bottom line—I was pleasantly surprised by the intelligence of the ANAFI.
Parrot ANAFI Review—Camera Specs
You’re looking at a 4K camera that can shoot HDR video and boasts lossless digital zooming capabilities.
You’re also able to tilt the camera up and down with 180 degrees of range.
Other drones at this price point don’t offer those same camera specs, and when I wrote earlier about how I felt the ANAFI’s specs sync up well with the price point, this is what I mean.
When it comes to raw specs, the ANAFI has a 1/2.4-inch CMOS sensor from Sony, along with a wide-angle f/2.4 ASPH lens. In addition to 21-megapixel still shots, it can shoot video in 1080p FHD at up to 60fps, 4K UHD (3,840 x 2,160) at up to 30fps, or Cinematic 4K (4,096 x 2,160) at 24fps.
Packs a powerful punch for the price!
And the fact that you can shoot not only straight down to give you that birds-eye perspective, but also straight up, that’s unique to the ANAFI and not something you’ll find with other similarly-priced drones.
Here are the full camera specs:
- 1/2.4-inch 21-megapixel sensor
- f2.4 23mm lens (26mm for video)
- ISO 100 to 3200
- 1 to 1/10,000 shutter speed (electronic)
- 4K Cinema (4,096×2,160) at 24fps; 4K UHD (3,840×2,160) at 24/25/30fps; FHD (1,920×1,080) at 24/25/30/48/50/60fps
- 100Mbps max bit rate
- Raw (DNG) and P-Log post-production formats
While this is undoubtedly the best drone that Parrot has ever made, there are a few things I wish they’d improve, notably the slow yawing speed and the lack of a multiple battery charger in the ‘extended’ pack.
But the ANAFI makes up for these minor shortcomings with some unique flight modes and a remarkable camera given the price point.
All this to say that the ANAFI has carved out its own seat at the portable drone table and should be taken seriously as a high-quality choice for aerial photographers and filmmakers.