Parrot’s Anafi was the surprise hit of last year’s crop of new drones – and it is still one of the best camera drones around. But now the Paris-based firm have taken things up a notch with the addition this September of a new FPV kit for the 21-megapixel drone, plus a range of extra software features aimed at photographers.
The First Person View (FPV) goggles are built from folding rubber and ‘pop’ into shape, retracting to just a few centimetres thick. There is a clip for your phone to act as monitor, in a similar manner to Google Cardboard.
They are not powered, but the design features two buttons which tap the screen via sprung levers. The top one invokes the menu page; the drone reverts to hover and the menu is navigated using the controller joysticks. The lower button switches to “See-Through View” – to enable your phone’s camera so you don’t need to remove the goggles to quickly check the view.
The goggles also feature horizontal pupil adjustment for each eye via sliders on the top hand three head straps adjustable via velcro.
These latest glasses, sold only in the Parrot Anafi FPV kit, are the third edition of the company’s Cockpitglasses. The Anafi’s predecessor, the Parrot Bebop, also had an FPV kit which was the drone’s bestselling package.
In the Anafi line up, the new “Anafi FPV” slots between the standard drone and the 3-battery Extended set in price terms, going on sale for £729.99 / $799 this month.
In keeping with Parrot’s other kits, a custom-designed bag in grey textured fabric is included – in the case a backpack with storage for goggles, Anafi, controller and accessories. It can also be worn at the front and features bracket-like straps so it doubles as a shelf-like platform you can prepare for launch on.
Parrot FreeFlight app add new features
The launch also brings with it an overhaul of Parrot’s FreeFlight app, to version 6.6. Obviously this adds support for FPV, including editable HUD, but it also rounds off a year of improvements to the functionality for photographers with the ability to control camera settings from the controller’s shoulder keys.
The complete set of manual exposure functions, or just adjustable EV compensation, are now available, plus a ‘zebra’ for blown highlights and a histogram. Earlier updates have also added 360 Panoramas, Tiny Planets, assorted Dronies, Neural Net subject tracking, Bracketing, Burst, AE Lock and more.
Flight settings have also got a new lease of life with the arrival of “Arcade Mode,” which offers a natural alternative to the traditional “Mode 2” drone flight control, arguably better suited to continuous forward motion. Two new flight characteristics presets take advantage of a new dynamic banking feature in which the horizon tilts with the drone’s movement, as in fixed-wing flight. The Cinematic option offers “smooth and dramatic footage…showing every majestic bank and turn” while the faster Racing preset has “a more aggressive look as ANAFI bobs and weaves through the air at high speed.”
The original Anafi will still remain on sale at $699 / £629.99, meaning the backpack and glasses effectively add $100 / £100 to the price. There is no word on when they might be available separately, and previous Cockpitgoggles won’t work. The software updates will be available to all Anafi users.