This post is sponsored by Parrot. All opinions expressed are my own.
My wife sometimes wonders if I started a tech company just so I can get paid to play with all the latest electronic gadgets. Well, with the Parrot Bebop 2 drone in my hands, I think she may be right!
The Parrot Bebop 2 drone has a flight time of 25 minutes, can fly up to 37 mph horizontally and can lift vertically at a speed up to 13 mph. It has an on-board camera with a fish-eye lens which can take 14 megapixel photos or shoot video in 1080p full HD. It also has a pretty cool braking feature where it can tilt and reverse thrust to bring the drone to a stop in just over four seconds.
1080p full HD video
If you’re like me, the fun of flying a drone is seeing the point-of-view video that is captured from the drone. I was impressed at how crisp and clear the video looked, even while turning the drone.
In fact, here’s a short video compilation I put together from one of my flights with the Parrot Bebop 2:
If you can not see the embedded video above please use the following link: Parrot Bebop 2 Drone Aerial Footage
The recorded video is stored on the Parrot Bebop 2’s internal 8 GB storage. Using the free FreeFlight Pro app [iOS | Android] you can connect to the drone wirelessly and transfer the video to your device. I used my iPad mini for the task and it worked just fine.
Skycontroller and FPV goggles
My Parrot Bebop 2 came as part of a bundle which included a Skycontroller and FPV goggles. The Skycontroller is a standalone controller with traditional joysticks which I found made the drone a lot easier to fly compared to using a mobile device with an app. I should note that you can use either and that the Skycontroller isn’t required. Like I said, I just found the Parrot Bebop 2 easier to fly with the Skycontroller.
That being said, the FreeFlight Pro app opens the door for a lot more flying options. For instance, you can switch between sport mode (tuned for speed / racing) and video mode (tuned for video recording). Or you can learn how to do specific control sequences like a front flip (if you dare) or a barrel roll. The FreeFlight Pro app also allows you to view the video in real time as you are flying.
If you just can’t decide which controller to use, worry not. You can use both by connecting your mobile device with the FreeFlight Pro app to the Skycontroller via a USB cable to get the best of both worlds.
The other part of the bundle, as I mentioned, was the FPV (first person view) goggles. When you strap these on, your entire field of vision is replaced with what the drone camera sees. It is truly an incredible experience. It’s almost as if you are sitting inside the drone yourself!
Another incredible feature of the Parrot Bebop 2 is its ability to automatically follow you. You do this by selecting auto-follow mode in the FreeFlight Pro app and then identifying yourself (reshaping a rectangle around you on the screen) as the object you wish the drone to follow. Then start walking, running or whatever you want and the Parrot Bebop 2 will follow. This can create some incredible videos, especially if you take the drone along with you on vacation.
A word of caution though. Make sure you are in an open area clear of a lot of tall objects when using auto-follow mode. During one of my auto-follow tests, the drone cut a street corner sharper than I did and had a small run in with a tree branch.
Here’s a few tips from Parrot on how to best use auto-follow mode. You can also see the auto-follow mode in action.
If you can not see the embedded video above please use the following link: Parrot Bebop 2 Follow-me – Tutorial #2 – Auto-follow mode
If you’re looking for a good entry-level drone with some awesome features and without breaking the bank, the Parrot Bebop 2 is a great choice. And if you’re new to drone piloting, be sure to watch Parrot’s helpful Bebop 2 YouTube video tutorials before taking your first flight.