While most manufacturers of flying cameras usually go after enthusiasts, Parrot purposely designed the Bebop for the average consumer who wants to start shooting aerial photos and videos without putting in a huge investment. Here is some useful information about this new ready-to-fly (RTF) quadcopter:
Design and Features
Though the Bebop’s ABS-reinforced structure and foam body look less-polished than other RTF quadf,k,mdcopters, it is deceivingly durable. It is light, weighing just at a maximum of 410 grams, and compact, roughly measuring 12 inches square and 1.5 inches tall.
For its camera, it is a step-up from that of its previous models, such as the AR.Drone 2.0, with an f2.2 fish-eye lens that has a 14-megapixel sensor and a 180-degree angle of view. Though it cannot physically move, it can be digitally panned and tilted to help get the shots the user is after. Also, it can capture 1080p full-HD resolution videos in MP4 format, which are recorded to the Bebop’s 8GB internal storage. For the photos, they can be captured as Adobe DNG raw or JPEG format.
The quadcopter has a GNSS chipset that is built with with Glonass, GPS and Galileo and allows the quadcopter to hover in place 2 meters above the ground and return to its take-off location on its own. It can fly in winds up to about 40 kmh and can reach speeds of around 75 kmh, with ultrasound and pressure sensors to keep it from drifting with the wind while hovering.
Accessories and Controls
Purchasing the Parrot Bebop will get you the indoor hull, 4 additional propellers with the mounting tool, 2 batteries, 1 charger and a micro-USB cable. But for an additional charge, you can have it with the Skycontroller, which is a large, clunky wireless controller that gives you discrete controls for the camera, 2 joysticks, taking-off and landing control, emergency motor cutoff and other necessary controls. In addition, it can be paired wirelessly with a smartphone or a tablet for first-person-view (FPV) flying.
What’s more, you can also have an amplified Wi-Fi radio and antennas that allow you to fly farther than you can with a mobile device. Speaking of battery life, the Skycontroller utilizes the same battery pack as the Bebop quadcopter, so you would get a total of 3 batteries in a bundle.
Like previous AR.Drones from Parrot, the Bebop can be up and running in just minutes. Of course, you have to charge the batteries up and install the FreeFlight 3 app from Parrot on an Android, iOS or Windows device. If you are flying indoors, remember to clip on the protective propeller hull, and that is all to it.
Also, remember that not much instruction is included in the box, and to figure out the controls, you have to download a user guide from the manufacturer’s site or check out the mobile app’s “Help” section, where you will find video and written tutorials for the drone.
Video and Photo Quality
Considering its cost, you cannot expect much from the Bebop’s camera. But if your objective is just to capture cool videos from the sky that you can share online, you will probably be happy with it.