Parrot’s new drone wants to compete with the Mavic Air

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Anafi
Anafi's 180-degree camera looks amazing!
Photo: Parrot

Drone manufacturer Parrot looks like it may have finally put together a pretty good drone to rival DJI’s popular Mavic Air quadrocopter.

Parrot unveiled its new $700 drone this morning dubbed, Anafi. The name isn’t the only thing that’s a little bit odd about the super-portable drone, but it packs some pretty interesting features even DJI can’t match.

Anafri ready to rival Mavic Air

Like the Mavic Air, Anafi is a folding drone that fits into a small carrying case that you can toss in your bag. The overall footprint of the drone when folded looks slightly larger than the Mavic Air, however, it is thinner. Flight is better with one battery giving you 25 minutes of airtime, versus about 18-20 on the Mavic Air (based on my own flight experience).

Where Anafi really shines is its camera. With its 180-degree tilting gimbal, Anafi can capture some truly unique angles. You can shoot 90-degrees above the drone all the way to 90-degrees above the drone. That means you can be flying under someone and still capture them in the shot. The Mavic Air can only shoot 45 degrees up (level with the sky) to 90 degrees below.

I use the Mavic Air to shoot cliff jumping videos, so I’m drooling over the unique angles I could get of someone sending a triple gainer from above the drone while still nailing the landing 80 feet below.

Not only is the gimbal better than the Mavic Air, the Anafi has a slightly larger image sensor too. It uses a 1/2.4’’ 21MP CMOS Sony sensor to shoot 21MP stills (Mavic Air only shoots 12MP) and 4K video at 100Mbps. Parrot also boasts about Anafi’s 2.7x lossless digital zoom that helps you get closer to subjects without compromising image quality or safety of the person being photographed.

Anafi also packs a bunch of smart flight modes and four pre-programmed cinematic shots to make it easier to capture amazing content. I’ve tested a few of Parrot’s drones in the past and they all felt like cheap toys instead of photography tools. With Anafi, it seems like the company finally nailed it.

Of course, we’ll have to see Anafi in action before determining if it’s truly worthy of supplanting the Mavic Air. Pre-orders are open today with units shipping on July 2.