It certainly has been a little while since Parrot released a consumer drone, but while they have been quiet they have had a team of engineers working on a new design in Paris.
ANAFI, is a complete re-design compared to previous Parrot drones looking more insect like with new features and capabilities. For the development of this new drone Parrot has had a big shape up of the entire company mobilizing this new step.
It looks like Parrot has listened to feedback regarding previous drones released and have been brought up to date in regards to consumer demand.
So the ANAFI, what do you need to know?
The drone appears to be portable with a rugged foldable design more like the Mavic Pro and the Air, the drone has a USB-C charging system which can charge with phone and PC chargers. It connects by car, a computer, the cable of a smartphone or a ‘power bank’ It also has a 4k HDR camera with zoom, a 21MPsensor, a 3-axis stabilization system with, for the first time, a 180 ° vertically rotating camera and a lossless zoom up to x2, 8.
The specified flight also looks good at 25 minutes which is made possible by a ‘bio-inspired’ design combined with a smart battery.
A new intuitive app will also be available with automated movements of the drone and the camera.
Looking at the design the inspiration from insects is evident, which is also backed up by Parrot stating that the design is based on the anatomical structure of insects.
ANAFI is divided into 3: the head (the camera and the gimbal), the thorax (the electronics and the mechanics is gathered in the centre), the abdomen (it is the big battery on the scale of the drone) Parrot stated
“This design principle has proven to be very functional. It is sturdy, lightweight, well balanced and folds very easily”
“The field of vision is very clear, the gimbal is protected. The electrical connections are short. Despite an exhausting development the Parrot engineers have surpassed themselves. They have identified the main challenges that the company has imposed to realize this new generation drone, half robot, half insect”
The drone is compact and weighs in at 320g which Parrot says is down to a unique assembly of carbon fibre filled with hollow glass microbeads without compromising its robustness and performance.
ANAFI uses a latest-generation Sony IMX230 sensor and an Ambarella video processor to produce spectacular 4K HDR (30fps) and 21MP photos.
4K camera and 21MP sensor
ANAFI films in 4K HDR and 4K Cinema (4096 x 2160). The implementation of HDR videos in 4K is a real technological feat, Parrot says the ANAFI is the only drone on the market to do this.
HDR enhances the rendering of backdrop scenes for incredibly detailed video and balance between light and shadow. Ideal for filming a sunset or a very bright sky for example. The 4K Cinema format offers more pixels on a 17: 9 ratio for professional quality videos.
ANAFI, through its dedicated mobile application FreeFlight 6, allows you to choose between three video modes:
· 4K Cinema: 24 fps
· 4K UHD: 24, 25, 30 fps
· 1080p: 24, 25, 30, 48, 50 or 60 fps
A revolutionary gimbal
ANAFI’s camera is mounted on a “gimbal” stabilized on 3 axes that combine the best of mechanical and digital stabilizations.
Lightweight and hyper-powerful, the stabilized gimbal on 2 axes makes it possible to take photos and videos hitherto impossible to achieve with a drone of this category thanks to a vertical tilt of -90 ° to + 90 °!
It can also tilt horizontally from -40 ° to + 40 ° to ensure stabilization of the horizon, whatever the flight conditions.
In addition, the digital stabilization provides + 5 ° to -5 ° EIS in the direction of flight allowing impeccably well-kept travelling’s when the drone is driving at high speed.
This unique system limits the angular vibration to 0.004 ° for super stable photos and videos.
The camera is equipped with a wide-angle lens (110 °) with 2 aspherical lenses designed to limit stray light and chromatic aberrations, regardless of the light conditions.
A lossless zoom
ANAFI is equipped with a lossless zoom of x1.4 in 4K and x2.8 in full HD (1080p) It is also possible to zoom in x3 in digital zoom.
The oversampling technique was used to create a lossless digital zoom. This involves capturing more pixels than necessary, then resizing the image to create a zoom effect while maintaining the same pixel size.
This is possible thanks to the ANAFI 21MP sensor (5344×4016) which offers 1.4x resolution higher than 4K (3840×2160) and 2.8x higher than 1080p (1920×1080). You discover, from a distance, unsuspected details of a building, take a close-up of your children or observe wild animals without disturbing them.
ANAFI also has a unique effect: the Dolly Zoom. Automatic, this feature allows you to zoom in on a fixed subject while moving the background away. A bluffing and fully automated effect used by great movie directors, such as Alfred Hitchcock or Stanley Kubrick who made it a cinematographic reference.
Experts and professionals of the photo / video can access and modify the settings:
The resolution of the photo:
WIDE : 21 MP – 4:3 (5344×4016)
RECTILINEAR : 12MP – 4:3 (4000×3000)
JPEG and DNG-RAW
The shutter speed: 1 to 1/10000s
White balance: Tungsten, Warm fluo, Cool fluo, Sunny, Cloudy, Green, Blue Sky
Exposure value (EV) : -3.0 to 3.0
The rendering: Natural, P-LOG (Parrot-LOG)
Power and Intelligence
While ANAFI has exceptional photo and video capabilities, it also displays outstanding performance for such a compact and lightweight drone.
A smart battery
It is a smart polymer lithium battery optimized to obtain the best power density in a small volume and a high rate of discharge, which allows ANAFI to achieve an exceptional flight time of 25 minutes for a drone of its size.
In addition, the ANAFI battery continuously monitors its charge level (regardless of the temperature and ageing of the cell). During a flight, ANAFI evaluates the load level and returns to its take-off position.
The ANAFI battery has an integrated charger, compatible with the latest USB standard (USB-C) and can thus be charged via a phone charger, powerbank or laptop. It adapts to the power source, the charge is faster when it identifies a powerful charger.
The ANAFI battery has a hibernation mode to protect its internal chemistry. To activate it, the user must fully charge it before the first flight.
An ultra-silent flight
ANAFI’s its shape, the materials used and, the design of its propellers … have been optimized to make it the quietest drone in its class.
Each foot of ANAFI is equipped with a dual-band antenna (2.4GHz & 5GHz) to ensure an optimal connection with the remote control Parrot Skycontroller 3 regardless of the orientation of the drone.
This omnidirectional transmission system uses Wi-Fi compliant protocols developed by Parrot.
ANAFI constantly monitors its Wi-Fi environment in order to switch to another channel when the one it uses is too crowded. Parrot says this guarantees optimal spectrum utilization performance and allows ANAFI to fly up to 4kms, for example in the mountains without obstacles or interference, keeping video transmission.
Impressive flight performances
The FreeFlight 6 application offers two manual control modes: Film and Sport. In sport mode, ANAFI achieves speed peaks up to 55km/h (33 mph) and withstands winds of 50km/h (31 mph)
Users can customize settings such as the inclination of the drone, its rotation speed, the speed of the camera tilt, etc.
Ease of use
A new dedicated application: FreeFlight 6
The FreeFlight 6 application has been developed for ANAFI and offers a modern and intuitive interface.
The main features are accessible directly from the home page. The flight interface adapts to all users: Beginners have access to automatic control modes, such as SmartDronies or CineShots; professional photographers can select or customize camera settings.
The FreeFlight 6 application and the Skycontroller 3 long-range remote control have been jointly developed. The interaction between the two allows users to control the movement of the gimbal and the zoom with two dedicated keys very convenient. And change the settings directly on the smartphone screen.
ANAFI offers automatic control modes: the SmartDronies, the cameraman mode and the Follow Me, which use a neural network to revaluate the target track for each image, with a focus on the shape recognition tracking system. A learning process was carried out by the Parrot engineers with a database of images of people and vehicles.
ANAFI can be pre-ordered today and will be in store from July 1st, 2018 for 699€ / $699 / £ 649 in selected consumer electronics retailers, on Amazon.com and Parrot.com.