Parrot Anafi Review 2020 – Parrot’s Big Return

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I expect a lot from this drone review! Because with the Parrot Anafi, the French drone manufacturer has made an impressive return to the market of consumer camera drones 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.

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Parrot PF728000 Anafi Drone, Foldable Quadcopter Drone with 4K HDR Camera, Compact,...

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Last update was on: July 3, 2020 15:38
$699.00 $699.99

As a hot contender for the title of “DJI Mavic Air Killer”, the Parrot Anafi is of course also interested in looking beyond the Copter itself: 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 a top drone release. This follows years in which the Fun-Copter and the Bebop series in particular were supposed to generate sales. In times when pilots preferred 4K drones like the DJI Mavic Pro, Mavic Air or even Mavic 2 Pro, the bulky Bebop 2 seemed to be very slow.

But the Parrot Anafi is completely different and brings along a typical Crazyness of the manufacturer following a good tradition.

Parrot Anafi specs

  • Type: drone with camera, folding drone
  • Suitable for: beginners, hobby, filmmakers & photographers
  • Size: medium
  • Manufacturer: Parrot
  • Weight: 320 grams
  • sticker required: yes
  • Camera: 21 MP
  • Price range: up to 600 USD

Contents: This is included in the package of the Parrot Anafi

  • Drone in compact transport case
  • Controller
  • 1 smart battery
  • 3×4 propeller (2 replacement kits)
  • USB charging cable
  • 16 GB Micro-SD card, incl. USB adapter
  • Screwdriver & Operating Instructions

The Parrot Anafi is available in two versions: the standard version includes everything you need to get started, while the more expensive version includes extra charging equipment and a bag.

In case you are a DJI fan, here is what its latest model, Mavic Mini is capable of:

Mavic Mini

It is small, feathery light and can fly up to 30 minutes. DJI Mavic Mini is currently the cheapest Mavic drone by DJI. It is a perfect drone for everyone, beginners and advanced users alike and it looks like a meld of all Mavic models together – it is on par with Mavic 2 Pro in terms of flight time, it lighter and more portable than any other Mavic model. The only drawback is lack of 4K videos but it does 2.7k and it is only fractionally worse than 4K Mavic models.

There is hardly another drone more compact and lighter than the new DJI Mavic Mini. Weighing only 249 grams (without propeller protection), the new DJI Mavic Mini does not even require a drone license plate or registration – for example in the USA.

Granted, it is not the most stable drone in windy conditions nor are the plastic legs and propellers as sturdy as with high-end DJI drones (cost of the weight reduction) but Mavic Mini is just incredible piece of engineering with frugal mindset.

mavic mini
  • 249g weight
  • 12 MP camera + 2.7k videos
  • 31 minutes of flight time
  • no obstacle avoidance
  • WIFI tranmission
  • Range: 4 km (FCC) / 2 km (CE)
  • with GPS and downward sensors
  • Check latest price!

Here is a full review of Mavic Mini.

The drone itself is located in a hardshell transport case. The inside of the hardshell is designed so that the Anafi fits perfectly and cannot be damaged. The spark can be folded in and out and even when folded it is a real brummer. Compared to the controllers of the Mavi Air or Mavic Pro, you really have something in your hand. I like it! In addition, the smartphone is mounted above the remote control, which is much more comfortable when flying and watching the FPV picture.

A Class 10 16 GB micro-SD card is used to store image and video files, which can be generated as JPEG+DNG (RAW) and MP4 on the Parrot Anafi. For extended flights I recommend to buy a bigger and faster card.

Parrot Anafi test report: Hands on Review

What immediately stands out when you take the Parrot Anafi in your hand is the weight. The Copter is incredibly light with a take-off weight of 320 grams – feels lighter even compared to the already lightweight DJI Mavic Air.
The feeling is intensified by the fact that the copter is not compact but stretched out in the hand. Only when you unfold the axles, the Anafi gets a drone like face.

Check out the latest DJI machine - DJI Mavic Air 2.

The DJI Mavic Air 2 is a great leap forward in comparison to Mavic Mini (and first generation of Mavic Air) in nearly every measurable respect:

✔️battery life

✔️flying range

✔️image and video quality

✔️transmission and controller

Click here to see the full specs!

Despite the light construction, the Parrot Anafi looks valuable. The axles can be folded in and out easily and even if you don’t need that 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 about it 😉

In short: A beautiful, lightweight drone.

Price history for Parrot PF728000 Anafi Drone, Foldable Quadcopter Drone with 4K HDR Camera, Compact, Silent & Autonomous, Realize Your shots with A 180° Vertical Swivel Camera, Dark Grey
Latest updates:
  • $699.00 - March 19, 2020
  • $599.99 - March 11, 2020
  • $699.00 - February 23, 2020
  • $499.99 - February 10, 2020
  • $699.00 - February 9, 2020
  • $559.00 - January 29, 2020
  • $699.99 - January 5, 2020
Since: January 5, 2020
  • Highest Price: $699.99 - January 5, 2020
  • Lowest Price: $499.99 - February 10, 2020

App & Flight Preparation

Before I go out into the fresh air for the test (fresh is serious at -5° C) I recharge everything, insert a faster SD card and download the app. As with drones from DJI (DJI GO), for the Parrot Anafi you need to have an app installed on your smartphone that transmits telemetry data and of course the live image.
Once this is done I connect the copter for a test indoors. Everything works, now it’s off to the cold for the test!

This is how the Parrot Anafi flies

Automatic take-offs & landings can be performed with the app.

Maximum flight time is 25 minutes.

Flying data

  • Range: 4 kilometres
  • 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

Starting and connecting the drone and remote control is done in no time and is really foolproof. After the connection is established you have to wait a little for the live picture and unfortunately also for sufficient GPS coverage.
Of course it could be the weather, but I am very sure that both DJI Mavic Pro and DJI Mavic Air will get to their 10+ satellites faster. I will test this on occasion and make a comparison.

On my 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 calmly. 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 sound, less siren-like.

After a few laps around the block, I correct the yaw rate upwards. The copter spins too slowly for my taste of flight. For movies and videos a calm and damping yaw-axis might be good, but I just want to see how fast the Anafi can fly.

Surprisingly the Anafi can really accelerate well and especially the sport mode is much more fun for me than with the Mavics. Maybe this is due to the lower financial risk (the Anafi is cheaper than the Mavics) or the lower take-off weight?

Price history for Parrot PF728000 Anafi Drone, Foldable Quadcopter Drone with 4K HDR Camera, Compact, Silent & Autonomous, Realize Your shots with A 180° Vertical Swivel Camera, Dark Grey
Latest updates:
  • $699.00 - March 19, 2020
  • $599.99 - March 11, 2020
  • $699.00 - February 23, 2020
  • $499.99 - February 10, 2020
  • $699.00 - February 9, 2020
  • $559.00 - January 29, 2020
  • $699.99 - January 5, 2020
Since: January 5, 2020
  • Highest Price: $699.99 - January 5, 2020
  • Lowest Price: $499.99 - February 10, 2020

I ran the first battery empty after about 15 minutes and had to make a pit stop. The capacity of LiPo batteries is drastically reduced at low temperatures, so I could not have reached the maximum flight time of 25 minutes even when flying more gently. In the standard package, charging is done via a USB interface rather than a mains adapter. So you have to wait a good 2-3 hours for a complete charge.

The next test flights: Smartshots & hand launch

In the following I try out the smartshots and dronies and enjoy the hand launches. My favourite shot: Boomerang. Here you define a target object and start the process. The drone then flies, depending on your choice, 30 or 60 meters backwards, stops and flies back to the target. Just like a thrown Boomerang.

Hand launch of the Parrot Anafi in test

3,2,1… hand launch!

The hand launch 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, if you leave out the mini feet on the front axles.
To take off from the hand, you only have to lift the copter, press hand launch and, after the app has counted down from 3,2,1, throw the Anafi into the air.

The drone gathers itself and stabilizes immediately. Great!

Parrot Anafi App & FPV

The Parrot Anafi’s sensor has a 1/2.4 inch size and allows you to take megapixel photos and videos in 4K at 24 fps. This puts the Anafi ahead of the DJI Mavic Pro or DJI Mavic Air when it comes to single shots.

I also liked the pictures in the review: impressive aerial shots, especially thanks to the bracket mode. The Anafi takes 7 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. 240 times speed) and a slow-motion function.

You can always choose whether you want to shoot or film in any situation from the app’s interface. Contrary to 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. But the trigger and selector switch in the app are easily accessible and very easy to use.

Gimbal of the Parrot Anafi: 180 degree swivel radius

Three characteristics that make the Parrot Anafi special

180° Gimbal Tilt

First of all, of course, we have to mention 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 an upward view.

Large and free panning radius 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. However, the Parrot Anafi drone has a 3-axis gimbal that can look up or down 90° from the horizontal position. The upswing is something very special and I am more familiar with it through bridge inspections.
But I can also imagine that it is a lot of fun to mix the different viewing directions of the Anafi during a flight through the forest.

Dolly Zoom

The Dolly Zoom is a pretty cool effect – but already decades old! It was first used by Alfred Hitchcock in “Vertigo”.
With the Dolly Zoom of the Parrot Anafi, the drone flies backwards and zooms into the picture at the same time. This gives the observer the feeling that the background is racing towards you. A spectacular mode which is made possible by the lossless zoom of the Anafi. Among the camera drones in 2019, besides the Parrot Anafi, only the DJI Mavic 2 Zoom offers this video mode.

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Since it is part of the smartshots, you don’t have to do much to start the dolly zoom: Simply navigate to the smartshots in the app, select Dolly Zoom, define a target object and get started.

I really like the app’s menu navigation in the test. The large buttons and icons are easy to hit even with thick or cold fingers.

Very good price

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

Points of criticism

Two things I do not like in the test of the Parrot Anafi:

One is the charging time of the battery. The battery has to charge for 2-3 hours on the USB cable. Those who did not buy the Extended package have to pause for a while. At least then 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 possibility to let the Parrot Anafi follow an object. It’s true that the drone aligns itself with the target object for smartshots and dronies. But it only uses gimbal and yaw axis (turn on the spot). But if you would walk away, the copter would still stay on the spot.

The third and last point of criticism is not really important for me: Waypoint flights are only available as AddOn at Parrot. But since most pilots do as good as flights along waypoints, I classify the topic as “who actually uses it, can buy it”.

Conclusion & Rating

All in all, I really enjoyed the Parrot Anafi review.
I think the hand start was great, because the test took place, under wet, snowy conditions. At least at the start the drone didn’t droop. I also like the tidy app and of course the picture quality. I could not use the 180° swivel range of the gimbal yet, but I already have ideas. In comparison to other drones (e.g. DJI Mavic Air) the Anafi has a lot to offer when it comes to photo and video. The Anafi is my price recommendation under 600 USD, not least because of the dolly zoom mode.

If you care to see how Anafi fares against the latest DJI hit drone, check out our comparison: Parrot Anafi vs Mavic Mini

I had initially considered selling the drone after the review. I changed my mind 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” DJI Mavic Pro.

  • Product
  • Features
  • Photos

Parrot PF728000 Anafi Drone, Foldable Quadcopter Drone with 4K HDR Camera, Compact,...

Usually ships in 24 hours & Free shipping
Last update was on: July 3, 2020 15:38
$699.00 $699.99

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