French drone manufacturer Parrot is getting on the First-Person-View bandwagon with the launch of the ANAFI FPV, a package that includes the ANAFI drone and a pair of FPV goggles.
The move comes a matter of weeks after DJI launched a bundle of drone racing gear. The Chinese manufacturer is expected to unveil a drone to go alongside the tech in the not too distant future.
So what’s new with the ANAFI FPV?
Parrot ANAFI FPV
The first thing to say is that the ANAFI FPV is the latest in what will probably be a string of ANAFI iterations. The platform has previously been adapted for thermal imaging. We’re expecting further tweaks to be made for different commercial applications, too.
So essentially, the ANAFI FPV is just the original drone with a pair of FPV goggles.
Having said that, the ANAFI does have a few tricks up its sleeve that make it an interesting platform for first-person flight.
First is the immersive video from its 180-degree tilting camera. When viewed through the included Cockpit glasses, the ability to shift perspective to that degree is going to be interesting and has plenty of creative potential – particularly with the camera’s 4K HDR video, 21-megapixel images, 3-axis stabilization and 3X zoom.
Parrot revamps the FreeFlight app for FPV fun
The ANAFI FPV comes with a pair of Cockpit glasses, which pair with your phone and the FreeFlight 6.6 app to give you a front-row seat at speeds of up to 31 mph (50 km/h).
Parrot says the ANAFI FPV’s new user experience “relies on a combination of cutting-edge hardware and intuitive software.”
The new FPV interface in FreeFlight 6.6 is a simple, streamlined heads-up display (HUD) with an immersive, unobstructed view of your aerial acrobatics. Any safety alerts or geofencing limits are automatically highlighted in your field of view.”
The main FPV HUD has been designed to be immersive, adaptable and informative. The standard HUD shows flight metrics, including speed, direction, altitude and location. But a click of a button on the Cockpitglasses switches to a minimal interface – removing the data and leaving you to the FPV experience.
You can even find your ANAFI in mid-air without removing the Cockpit glasses: Switch to See-Through View, and you’ll see live video from your smartphone camera. An overlay shows the exact position of your drone. If your ANAFI is off-screen, an icon points to its location.
Aerial photography meets FPV
As much as Parrot want to focus on the FPV element of this launch, the ANAFI was and remains a drone primarily designed for photography. But in theory, there are plenty of creative benefits that come with flying a photography drone in first-person.
For starters, total immersion in the on-screen image gives you a great platform to manipulate shot composition. Using the new FreeFlight app, Parrot ANAFI FPV lets you toggle through image controls to fine-tune photos and videos as you watch a scene unfold.
FPV pilots can fly with manual settings such as shutter speed, ISO, white balance, and exposure compensation, a histogram and more overlayed, opening the settings using a button on the Cockpitglasses.
Fast access to manual settings can also be set with the Skycontroller 3, which supports custom mapping of the right trigger to adjust exposure.
Parrot ANAFI FPV: New Flight Modes & Presets
Rather than just adding a pair of FPV goggles to the ANAFI package and tweaking the app, it’s clear that Parrot has gone deeper with the new launch in terms of software.
Two new flight presets have been added which are designed to expand the pilots’ creative options. These are:
Cinematic preset: Capture smooth and dramatic footage inspired by flying in a glider. The horizontal axis of the 4K HDR camera is locked to the tilt of the drone. Footage is characterized by gentle banks and turns.
Racing preset: The horizontal axis is also locked to the tilt of your drone, but this preset is built for speed instead of smoothness. Videos will have a more aggressive feel as the ANAFI bobs and weaves through the air at high speed.
There’s also a new flight mode, Arcade Mode.
With Arcade Mode switched on, the Skycontroller 3’s left joystick controls the camera, which allows you to view in any direction. The right joystick controls the movement of the drone. By holding forward on the right joystick, the drone will travel in the direction the camera is pointed.
A New ANAFI Backpack
Parrot is also launching the ANAFI Backpack as part of the FPV package. It doubles as a stable platform to prepare and launch flights from. So no more worries about mud, water or whatever else clogging up your rotors.
Parrot ANAFI FPV: Price and Availability
The ANAFI FPV All-In-One Pack includes the drone, one battery, the Skycontroller 3, one pair of Cockpitglasses, a 16gb SD memory card, a USB-C cable, one extra set of propellers and the ANAFI FPV backpack.
It’s available to order today for $799 / £729.99.