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      Reviews — Parrot

      The Parrot Disco: Review

      The Parrot Disco: Review

      By Luke Maximo Bell

      The Parrot Disco is one of Parrot's latest drones. What makes the Disco unique from the rest is the fact that it’s a fixed wing drone. You’re probably wondering what the benefit of using a fixed wing drone is, and the answer to that question is speed and battery life. 

      Battery Life And Speed:

      The Disco claims to reach speeds of up to 80km/h or 50mp/h, which is faster than any mass produced drone on the market today. In my testing I actually got up to 100km/h or 70mp/h which is very impressive!

      The other benefit of a fixed wing drone is the battery life. Parrot claims that the battery life is up to 45 minutes, which is also longer than any other mass produced drone on the market today. In my testing I found that the Disco will do about 45 minutes of flight time if it’s in loitering mode. As soon as you start to pick up the speed you’ll start seeing battery life times of around 35 minutes, which is still very good in drone terms.



      Like all drones today, the Disco comes installed with a camera. It adopts digital stabilization which means the camera uses only a part of the sensor while cropping and rotating the image to get smoother video. This also allows you to pan up and down with the camera without any moving parts.

      The benefit of this is this is that the camera is lighter and there are less moving parts which can potentially break. The downside is that using only a part of the camera sensor drops the quality a fair amount.

      The video is still pretty good and suitable for a bit of fun flying and FPV, but it’s not going to match up to the 4K cameras on the DJI drones. It records at a maximum of 1080P at 30 FPS.


      Ease Of Use:

      The Disco is extremely easy to use. The wings clip on quickly and the controller is simple to set up. Just connect a smartphone or a iPad and the Freeflight Pro app automatically opens. From there the app is very intuitive. It even starts recording video for as you take off.

      The drone takes off and lands automatically. You simply push the takeoff button and throw the drone to launch. When you want to land you fly close to the ground and push the takeoff/land button again. As soon as the Disco leaves your hand it rises to a set altitude and loiters in a circle until you take control. It also features a return to home feature which works just as it should when the drone loses signal from the controller. Another cool feature of the Disco is that it’s actually impossible to fly into the ground as the drone will not let you fly below 5m unless you’re landing. The Disco has simply been made as easy to fly as possible. Anybody who has never flown a drone or plane before will have no problem learning.

      One disappointing thing about the ease of use of the Disco is that it uses internal storage instead of an SD card. This means you have to connect it to a computer using a USB cable. The storage is good at 32GB and will store almost 3 hours of footage.


      Controller And FPV:

      The Disco uses the Skycontroller 2 which is a welcomed addition. Unlike any drone controller I've ever used, it actually charges the device plugged in while in use. This is very helpful as these apps drain smartphone battery life very quickly. The controller is very ergonomic and houses dials for camera tilt, buttons for video recording and basically everything you need. The range is advertised at 2km, and in my testing I found this to be pretty accurate. 

      The Disco also comes with FPV goggles which work with most smartphones and are comfortable and easy to use. The FPV experience with the Disco is very cool, and a welcomed addition. It's fun and a much more immersive way of flying.



      The Parrot Disco FPV is a very unique drone experience unlike any other currently available. It’s fun and easy to use and FPV offers a very immersive way of flying. While the camera quality isn’t as great as some other drones on the market, it’s still good for sharing your experiences! I can honestly say the Disco is the most fun drone I’ve ever flown and fixed wings are a welcomed addition to the world of drones.

      Check out it's flight in Cape Town (Noordhoek beach)


      Parrot Bebop 2 Drone Takes To The Sky Epic Video!

      Parrot Bebop 2 Drone Takes To The Sky Epic Video!

      Like kids at christmas, the BlackSheep were super eager to try out the new Parrot Bebop 2 drone quad copter, with Skycontroller
      What a rad machine this drone is. Nifty and convenient, the time we spent with the Bebop was always completely awesome! Every flight, exhilarating! Every shot, mesmerizing! We wish we had another two batteries to extend the already long (25 minute) flight time that the Bebop has. The Bebop 2 is a fun drone to play with.
      Firstly, what comes in the box. 
      The Bebop 2 comes separately, and the Skycontroller is an add on package. we got the full package here, so:
      • 1x Bebop 2 drone
      • 1x Skycontroller (w/safety lanyard)
      • 2x Batteries (w/charger)
      • Plus a few extras, like spare props, prop tool, matte box (for sunny days), iPad holder etc. 
      FreeFlight 3 is the app to download to connect to your Skycontroller and/or Bebop 2 in order to gain access to the settings and view the FPV function. The app enables a person who hasn’t got the Skycontroller to be able to fly the Bebop 2, via Android or iOS. 
      The Skycontroller itself is an amazing contraption. With quite a cool aesthetic that makes flying the Bebop 2 tons of fun. Space in the centre of the controller to place either a smartphone or a tablet; A huge satellite antenna to increase it signal range up to 2km; Big but sleek controllers to create ease of flight control, we loved flying with this controller every time. and it’s very unique. 
      The Bebop 2. Incredibly easy to fly and outstandingly well poised in both good and windy conditions. With a push of one button it takes the air and just hovers there awaiting a command. Even at height the Bebop will just hover steady awaiting to be told its next move via inputs on the Skycontroller, all thanks to the stabilisation settings. Understanding the controls, Gaz, Yaw, Trim and Roll can be a bit tricky to learn, and keeping your orientation is the craft to master. But the Bebop makes all that quite easy to learn. It’s a great little machine to coax a willing learner into understanding the basics of quad copter flight. 
      The Bebop 2 like its predecessor has a built in camera designed in a way to make it quite sleak and slender and aerodynamic. A nifty little camera that shoots 1080p HD with it’s 14MegaPixel sensor, it’s capable of capturing some truly awe-inspiring imagery that this new age of drones has allowed us to capture. The camera has a digital stabilisation system that works wonders. It does compromise a bit of quality, but is quite effective. 
      Overall this is really great product from Parrot. With its ease of flight, great range and battery life, it’s easily a good choice amongst the market of drones out there. It’s small and convenient to quickly whip it out. 
      A couple downsides; it does take a while to connect to the sky controller, camera quality is not the greatest (but acceptable), parts availability is difficult, camera button on the Skycontroller was getting stuck and is not very user friendly, a few landing kinks including some hard landings, built in internal memory (8GB) without an option to increase, minor issues with dumping footage. 
      Compared to a professional drone, the Parrot Bebop 2 is really just an expensive toy. 
      BUT a really fun toy at that, with a pretty awesome cool factor! 
      We at BlackSheep certainly love it!

      DJI Phantom 3 VS Parrot Bebop

      DJI Phantom 3 VS Parrot Bebop

      By Karl Spangenberg

      The use of drones in the film industry has grown quite rapidly within the last three to four years and quite frankly, it is rather pricey. Luckily, however, there are much cheaper alternatives for the average user seeking to utilize such amazing tools for creating those awe inspiring aerial videos and photographs. There are many decisions that you will have to make before deciding on which drone you'll be purchasing. The usual set of questions regarding these machines, beside the price, are generally things like the flight time, durability, reliability and the most important part, the camera

      DJI Phantom 3

      The first drone that would come to mind would likely be the new DJI Phantom 3
      The Phantom 3 is the newest member of the DJI family and does not come as a surprise as to why it has become such a common choice among film-makers and hobbyists alike!

      The new Phantom 3 , just as its first and second generation counterparts, has the same iconic white plastic body that is still just as durable as previous models but has however undergone some rather interesting yet very helpful software upgrades that help you fly the Phantom much easier.

      DJI has now installed a system known as GLONASS which works like a refined GPS on the drone helping it to find more sattelites and find them quicker than ever before!. The best thing that DJI offers with the new Phantom is the option of three different package choices.
      The Phantom 3 standard,advance and the proffesional. Now let's look at the specs :

      The Phantom 3 standard includes the rather well built Zenmuse standard 3-axis gimbal supporting a 12 megapixel sensor capable of shooting at 2.7k resolution on 30 fps and carried at 40kbps
      The Advanced version has a rather better camera being carried. In the case of purchasing a Phantom 3 advance you will find yourself with a rather smashing Sony EXMOR 12.4 megapixel camera also shooting 2.7k resolution at 30 fps also at a 40kbps bitrate

      Now we come to the top of the line Professional version
      Also sporting a Sony EXMOR sensor but has a rather quick 4K resolution 30fps camera with a 60kbps bitrate!

      Now these new Brilliant options from DJI are definitely worth a look if you plan on making very well crafted aerial video or aerial photographs.

      But now there is another alternative aimed at the beginner learning to fly as well as learning to master the flying shot.The introduction of Parrot's new Bebop Drone.

      The bebop is a very surprising machine when you fly it for the first time. It's flying characteristics are extremely good and does give a feeling of confidence to the chap flying it!.

      The Bebop features a very nice 14 megapixel 14mm wide angle fish eye lens that is fitted inside the body of this drone.

      The interesting thing about this camera is the fact that it has a full 180° sensor that can be controlled from the Sky Controller or your android or apple device to set up the right angle for your shot! The camera on this drone uses a highly refined auto leveling system to stabilize all footage you capture as you fly with crisp image projection and zero distortion!

      Coming to the more hardware oriented side of things is where the bebop really starts to shine like the little gem it really is! The bebop features a feather light (almost 400g) fully reinforced ABS molded quadcopter frame and finished off with a very light yet extremely durable EPP (expanded-polypropylene) foam body.
      that protects the parrot p7 dual-core CPU and quad-core GPU with its internal 8GB flash memory built onto a magnesium shelf that essentially acts as a cooling plate that shields all software from electromagnetic interference!

      The difference between the Phantom and the Bebop are not that vast when you put them both side by side and compare them but in this case the two machines that will be compared will be the Phantom 3 professional and the bebop.

      The Phantom has a world famous reputation for being an affordable all-rounder and quite frankly it is the best choice that can be made. It is a very good machine to learn on due it's gimbal and camera being removable and of course the size of it. It's a large drone but it is big enough to handle wind quite nicely. It's GPS system works very well and has all the function buttons marked with nice icons in a very comfortable and easy to operate layout for the user.

      Parrot Bebop

      The Parrot Bebop on the other hand has all of it's function buttons layed out on a app which is a bit too crowded to concentrate on everything that's going on. Some of the functions, like the Emergency button, is well marked and at the middle-top of the tablet on the app. All the other nice features that can be utilized when filming or just when flying for fun require going into different menu's while flying which is not very user friendly.

      The bebop does become a very well tamed machine once the use of the Parrot skycontroller is incorperated and is definitely a neccessity if you plan on filming with the Bebop. It can be flown directly from the Parrot freeflight3 app (which is free) but is much harder to fly by use of the accelerometer on your tablet or smartphone. The one other issue with flying the Bebop from the App itself is that the drone will only fly as far as the WiFi connection will allow between the drone and the apple or android device.

      So coming to a conclusion on both of these machines, The DJI Phantom is mainly aimed at the beginner aiming to utilise this machine for professional filming in years to come with updates available every few months to keep it safe in the air and keeping you worry free when flying that perfect shot.

      The Parrot bebop is most certainly a very well thought out machine and is definitely worth looking at if you are a beginner looking to spend a small fortune to have a machine that is extremely cheap to maintain yet just as easy to fly,but not intended for the professional aerial film use, more for amature use to one-day move on to a larger more professional machine like the phantom.

      Get your DJI Phantom here

      Get your Parrot Bebop here