Parrot Anafi drone review: DJI still owns the sky

(slow pop music) – Parrot just released its second attempt at a drone tailored more towards travelers and videographers, called Anafi Now, I have two units, because the first one that I got wasn't working that well, and the second unit that I got works a little bit better than that one

Anafi does introduce three features that you can't find anywhere else, but is it enough to rival DJI? It is so close to being good, but there are a lot of quirks that I just can't ignore Disregarding the software issues I had, there were also design decisions that I just don't agree with Let's start with the hardware When unfolded and ready to fly, the carbon body with glass fiber is similar in size to the Mavic Air, but when it packed up for travel, the Anafi is just noticeably larger and just harder to fit in a bag The SD card slot is placed under the battery in a lockable tray that reminds me of those old SIM trays you would find in Nokia phones

Also, there's no way to check the battery level once the battery's plugged into the drone, but at least it lasts a little bit longer than the Mavic Air does There's no internal storage in the drone, so forgetting an SD card, which happens more than any of us would like to admit to, becomes an issue Although it's nice that there's a 16 gigabyte SD card included in the box But the most important feature when it comes to drones designed for videographers is the image quality And this is where Anafi shines

Its 4K, 100 megabits per second, bitrate footage looks great I also prefer Anafi's flat profile better than the Mavic Air, which kinda helps me in color correcting and post The ability to shoot HDR video is one of the three features that you can't find anywhere else in the drones in this price range But I'm just not happy with how that footage looks It's just a little bit too noisy, a little over too saturated, and just looks unnatural

The Anafi's second stand-up feature is the ability to shoot upward, so you can tilt the camera 180 degrees and shoot up towards the sky It's nice, but I haven't really found a lot of use out of it And the last unique feature, also my favorite, is Anafi's ability to digitally zoom without losing quality While filming in 4K, you can zoom up to 13 times

And if you're filming in 1080p, it goes up to 28 Even though I can do similar things in post-processing by shooting in 4K and downresing to 1080p, I really like that feature, because it kind of puts you in a mindset where you frame your shots differently, and nowadays, drone footage is becoming very repetitive and very recognizable Being able to change your aesthetic without having to buy a more expensive drone with interchangeable lenses is a welcoming change All right, let's go back to the things I didn't like about this drone

When left in a hover mode, it was kinda drifting away from me, which is just mildly scary When shooting HDR, which only works in 4K, by the way, it was hard to tell when it was on or off, and some of the settings that I chose never got applied to the files And some of those files were also just gone A lot of issues that I just listed can be fixed with a software update, but it makes for a stressful piloting experience Every time I switch back to my Mavic Air, piloting was fun again

Anafi lacks that confidence, and with good reason One time when I was testing its sensor at the bottom of the drone, just by putting my hand underneath it, the drone just went flying in circles Finally it crashed into a tree Luckily that wasn't the case with the new unit All right, let's talk about the remote controller you get

It is massive It does feel good in your hands, however But be prepared for it to take up a lot of space in your bag Ever since DJI introduced removable joysticks, it's hard to get used to anything else The phone holder also doubles as an antenna, and despite a few bad connections I initially had, the wifi connection otherwise was stable throughout

If you don't want to carry this big ol' remote, you can fly your Anafi with your phone as well All right, now the battery It is a little bit better than what you get with the Mavic Air It's 25 minutes, and I think that's really a good spot for the drones that are meant for travelers and people on the go And the fact that both battery and the remote can be charged through USB-C means you can easily charge it in your car or with an external battery pack

So that definitely saved my ass a couple of times, and you don't get that luxury with DJI drones, where you gotta spend some money to get all the add-on accessories with it Honestly, I had high hopes for this drone, and I really want all these software issues to get sorted out, because this drone has a lot of potential, and we do need another player in this space Competition is good It force you to get better, and it force you to get more innovative In the world of drones, DJI is a clear market leader, but with Anafi, Parrot has made the best competitor for DJI in years

Coupled with all the unique features, this drone is actually gonna appeal to a lot of people But considering it's only $100 less, is it worth taking that risk? So there's a ton more detail in the written post, so go check that out If you have any other questions, just leave 'em in the comments and I'll get back to you – [Crew Member] Cool – Bye

– [Crew Member] Bye – See ya It's cold – [Crew Member] Oh, you're cold?