Parrot Bebop 2
The pint-sized Parrot can be flown safely indoors and out. It has a 25-minute
battery life and records 1080p video and 14-megapixel still images (including
DNG format RAW files). The Parrot 2 supports Follow Me so you can have the
drone track you while you move. You can spring for a configuration that includes
a head-mounted display so you can get a virtual reality-style look through the
drone’s camera as it flies. Welcome to the future.
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The 1-pound Breeze is operated through
a smartphone and offers five automated
flying modes to ease newcomers into drone
photography. The modes include a selfie
mode (of course), a pilot mode for more
manual control as well as an orbit mode that
puts the Breeze in motion around a subject.
A journey mode sends the Breeze away from
the operator and then back, while a follow-me setting
ensures the Breeze stays on the trail of its operator. The drone’s onboard camera
can record 4K video, snap 13-megapixel stills and stream a 720p HD signal to a
mobile device while airborne. The Breeze uses optical flow and infrared positioning
sensors to stay in place whether indoors or outdoors and has an automated return-to-home function so users won’t have to worry about tricky landings.
This futuristic football has a built-in
4K/30p camera on a three-axis
gimbal that emerges from the
bottom of the craft. Unlike many
models, it also records very high frame
rate HD video—up to 120 fps at full HD or
240 fps if you drop to 720p resolution. It
uses a gesture-based controller so you can
wave commands at it. The PowerEgg can
also fly safely indoors thanks to its optical
No space? No problem.
These compact drones
can go anywhere.
DJI Mavic Pro
The Mavic Pro boasts a foldable design that shrinks the
drone down to a device that basically fits into the palm
of your hand and slips easily into a backpack or purse.
The Mavic Pro may be far more compact than DJI’s
Phantom models, but it doesn’t skimp on features. It’s
got a 4K camera that can record at up to 30p or full HD
at 96p and snap 12-megapixel still images in the DNG
or JPEG formats. The lens has a 78-degree field of view
and you’ll enjoy about 27 minutes of flight time with a
top speed of 40 miles per hour in Sport mode. It has
all the obstacle avoidance technology of the Phantom
4 but adds a few new features. For instance, it
recognizes gesture commands from its
pilot. You can put your hands in a Y-like
position and the drone will focus on
you. Frame your face with your hands
and you’ve commanded the Mavic to take a selfie.
In addition to object tracking, it offers a new Terrain
Follow mode that lets the drone maintain a constant
height while a subject moves on a slope. This is DJI’s
first drone that can also be piloted completely by
smartphone for closer-range flying.
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