Today, drone manufacturer Parrot announced the newest addition to its quadcopter family. The new model, the $700 Anafi, is seemingly Parrot’s answer to the folding DJI Mavic Air. It’s small, shoots 4K HDR video, and and can do a few cool tricks with its gimbal-mounted camera. But when it comes to additional features, it doesn’t really do much to threaten the entrenched competition.
Like the Mavic Air, the Anafi is foldable, and fits in an included carrying case that you can stick in your bag or what have you. It weighs just over 11 ounces, has a 25-minute flight time, and is rechargeable via USB-C (extra batteries are $100). The four propellers also house dual band antennas that are switched between based on signal strength to provide pilots the strongest connection during a flight. The Anafi supports a range of flight patterns, including a return-to-home functionality, but obstacle avoidance isn’t in the cards. You can also add your own flight plans using its companion app.
The coolest thing about the Anafi might be the gimbal-mounted front-facing camera. It can record 180 degrees vertically, giving you the tools to capture some pretty unorthodox shots for your indie film about people walking under bridges or something. The drone shoots in 4K HDR (and includes a 16GB SD card) with its 21-megapixel sensor. It also features “lossless” 2x zoom, essentially by cropping the image captured by the 21-megapixel camera. There’s also a 2x digital zoom if you hate yourself.
In a world without such fierce competition, the Anafi would be a fine drone for videographers or people looking to save as much as they can on a portable drone. But when other drones like the Mavic Air and Mavic Pro exist, bringing features like simultaneous subject tracking, obstacle avoidance, and a faster top speed (68 kph compared to the Anafi’s 55kph), there might not be enough inside to justify the too-close price point.
And while Parrot CEO Henri Seydoux talked about safety being a primary concern, during a demo where a pilot navigated the Anafi in a relatively large event space, the drone drifted in my direction, and would’ve hit me in the leg had I not moved out of the way.
Even so, if a vertical-shooting drone is what you’ve been looking for, you can snag the Anafi July 1, and pre-order it today from Parrot’s site.