Two Affordable Quadcopters with Camera Capabilities
For this review I wanted to spotlight two quadcopters with camera capabilities; one for the intermediate level flyer and one for the younger kids or beginners. The first will be a very brief look at some of Parrot’s other products then we’ll jump to the commonly known Parrot AR 2.0 (Power Edition).
You may recognize the Parrot company name through their other drone products like their Jumping Sumo drone (non-flying) or their mini Parrot Rolling Spider (great for younger kids).
The Rolling Spider is a small handheld drone that is controlled through your cell phone. It weighs only 55g and has an 8 minute flight time.
One of the smaller quadcopters with camera capabilities, though the camera is positions straight down and can only take shots form that angle. Great for kids or beginners but it doesn’t have the power I usually look for in a drone.
If you are interested in starting with the Rolling Spider I’ve grabbed the link for you below.
Parrot also just released their new drone the BeBop which has the add-on option of an advanced SkyController remote. I haven’t tested this drone out yet so unfortunately I can’t give you a review of it yet.
If any of you venture out and pick up the BeBop (here’s a link to it), stop over by our Facebook page and let me know how it turns out for you so I can gauge whether it is an improvement or not.
Parrot AR 2.0 Power Edition Review
Back to the AR 2.0, what I really want to talk about in this post. The Parrot AR 2.0 has become one of the most commonly owned quadcopters with camera capabilities due to its moderate price and features.
You may have seen this drone sitting in the Verizon store and thought “that looks fun, I wonder if it’s worth the dough?” It is, well not what Verizon charges for it but I’ll share the link where you can get it cheaper. But first the specs…
Parrot AR 2.0 Power Edition Specs
- Maker: Parrot
- Flight time: 18 mins x 2 = 36 minutes (power edition)
- Camera capabilities: Yes
- Resolution: HD 720 p
- Video capabilities: Yes
- Live feed: Yes
- Flight range: 55 yards
- Additional features: The Director mode lets you program automatic movements so that you can shoot great videos just like a movie director.
- Experience level: Intermediate
What are the Pros and Cons?
If you’re not ready to drop $1,400 for the Phantom 2 Vision+ but are ready to upgrade from your beginner drone then the Parrot AR 2.0 is one of the top quadcopters with camera streaming to go to.
- Easy to fly. The AR 2.0 is quite easy to fly, which done through a mobile app that can be downloaded via your smartphone or tablet. You can do a few tricks with this drone as well such as flips through the air with ease. Keep in mind the more stunts you do the more you drain your battery.
- Live stream. The Parrot AR 2.0 has live feed capabilities allowing you to see in first person view as you fly. Video and still images can be recorded to either an on-board internal USB drive or recorded directly on the control device.
- Intuitive. There are two options for flying the drone; the first is by tilting your control pad forward, back, left, and right to fly it in the direction you wish. The second method is to use the on-screen joy sticks to fly. This method resembles the controls of PlayStation controller.
- HD camera. The Parrot AR 2.0 powers a 1280 x 720 pixel camera that captures 30 frames per second. You can also take still frames while in flight mode and either save via USB or send to your piloting device.
- GPS upgrade. You can purchase the Flight Recorder GPS ($120) to select waypoints that autonomously fly your drone at various elevations and speeds. The best way to show you is by watching the video below.
Unfortunately there are a few things about this drone I’m not crazy about.
- Occasional control loss. The first of which is the occasional loss of control when you fly too high. The transmitter isn’t as powerful as the DJI drones so if you fly too high the connection is lost resulting in the drone to plummet. Most times during the free fall it will regain sync and you have control again but there have been instances reported where it hit the ground. To avoid this I’d recommend not pushing it to the 164ft distance range, just keep it a little closer.
- Battery charge time. Though the Power Edition of the Parrot AR 2.0 does allow you to get 36 minutes of flight time from the two 1500mAh batteries it takes a couple hours to charge them up again and you do need to manually switch them over after 18 minutes.
- Glitchy. The flying software does take a while to start up but once it’s going it’s pretty easy to navigate.
While you shop for the AR 2.0 you’ll notice that there are 3 versions; the original, the power edition (which I reviewed here), and the elite edition (link here). The power edition provides you with the best battery pack for longest flight time. The Elite edition provides more hull options.
You’re probably asking “is this the best of the quadcopters with camera capabilities for me?”
Well, the Parrot AR 2.0 is a great drone but not completely without any flaws. Though I did point out some issues with this drone I believe that compared to others in the same price range, it is probably your best bet and is pretty fun to fly, especially with the stunts.
If you’re ready to grab one I’ve placed the link below for you to grab one.
My final review is for the exceptional movie quality Inspire 1.