Welcome to our Community
Wanting to join the rest of our members? Feel free to sign up today.
Sign up

Switching from DJI

Seitenwerk

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 24, 2018
Messages
195
Reaction score
152
So as some already read in some of my posts on this forum, I just made the switch from a DJI Spark to a Parrot Anafi.

Made all the updates yesterday and just came back from my first flight.

So I thought it would be a nice idea to share my experience, especially from someone coming from DJI Drones.


So number 1 - Update: of course an update was required for the drone and controller. That’s not a negative thing as a brand new drone would surely get some updates. To my surprise those went really fast. It always took ages to update my Spark and usually at the end of the process the battery was drained. I will have to see how frequent those will be but from what i could gather from the interface it doesn’t seem to be a requirement to have each device on the latest firmware to even take off. Nothing worse than getting to a nice location, get your DJI drone out of the bag and boom: cant fly because battery isn’t up to date....

Number 2 - Disturbance: “Wait, the controller is already on and connected?“ As a DJI user, I was used to the constant beeping sounds of basically everything at every time. Switching on the controller? -> Beeep. Switching on the drone ? -> Beep.

That alone would have been ok, but if you are out on the field and press return to home and your controller starts beeping every second like you activated some kind of rescue beacon that really becomes a problem. As a drone pilot i don’t want to get the attraction of all neighbors just because I am trying to land this thing. And there is no way to turn off all those beeping alarms.

Also, it seems like there are way less pop ups and info windows getting thrown at your face when you are using FreeFlight6. Starting up the DJI go app usually gives me a “checking for firmware updates” -> “please update the no fly zones database” -> ok ok finished lets fly -> (app opens wifi settings)“please update your wifi password for security”....

So yeah, big plus again for parrot for not preventing me from actually using the product. The absence of no fly zones is surely another plus. While i have never been in a situation so far where the drone told my it wont fly i heard enough cases where the restricted zones were incorrect but pilots couldn’t do anything against it.

Number 3 - Noice: **** this thing is quit. I heard of it from all the reviews but wow. I can finally start this when hiking without having a bad feeling that everyone is watching me. The DJI Spark is already quieter than the DJI Air, but this is a whole new level. I get the feeling that because of the lower tones/sound, you can hear it better from afar, but the Anafi is like a ghost compared to my old Spark.

Number 4 - Flight Time: Flight time is incredible high. DJI claims 16 Minutes for the Spark if I remember correctly. But in reality you will usually just get around 12-13 Minutes. Considering that part of this is starting, landing, flying to a location and back, that’s pretty short. The Anafi claims to go for 25 minutes and in my first flight, i am pretty sure it reached that. After some time i had to look twice on the battery state as I couldn’t believe that my regular flight path only took some percent of the battery. It really makes difference having so much time on a single flight compared to buying multiple batteries with a short fly time.

Number 5 - Signal: So I after watching many reviews I wondered if the Anafi really had such a better WiFi range then the DJI drones. I am living in Europe, so all ranges are reduced. For the DJI Spark or the DJI MAVIC Air, that usually meant you couldn’t get further away than 150-200 meters without only having 1 bar left of the WiFi signal. At 200 meters the video signal usually got lost and the controller lost connection shortly after that. In some cases it was even worse. A simple tree (without leaves) could reduce that distances to 100 meters even when the drone was still in sight. It also depended on the direction the drone was facing, as the antennas had better reception on specific sides. Turning the drone in specific directions when already at a low signal could lead to losing connection.

My first test of the Anafi on the other hand was a different story. I made the same flight as i usually did with my spark. I went out to the famous 200 meter mark and still had full signal strength. Flying behind some trees while still maintaining sight made no negative impact at all. I am really positive surprised by the Anafis signal strength. If it maintains full signal even at such ranges I am much more confident flying with that drone at unknown locations.

Number 6 - Image Quality: Will keep that short. The specs of the Anafi are much better than that of the Spark so its no wonder the image and video quality is better. But besides of the higher resolution its also much sharper and especially in videos, its much less “blurry” then the DJI drones. That the Anafi only has a 2 achsis gimbal unlike the Air doesn’t seem to make much difference hear. I made the same video of the same trees i did with the Spark a few days ago and compared to the Anafi, the Spark video was a blurry mess. It’s like some kind of heavy compression gets applied to small details like leaves.


On the negative side, it took me some time to find out how to get the images and videos from the drone to my phone and tablet. The App allows you to “download” all files, but they are then just stored inside the FreeFlight6 app. You cant to anything with time expect for sharing them with other apps. What would have been a “must have” is to just store all those images/videos in you photos library as DJI does.

At least i found out what works for me: If you plugin the drone into an iPad nothing happens and it wont recognize the Anafi as an external storage like it usually does with all cameras. But if you plug and USB-C Hub into you iPad (or other USB hub depending on you iPad version) and then plug in the drone into the hub, the iPad will recognize it as a regular camera. Oh and as a side node, plugin in the Anafi into the iPad Pro will also charge the Anafi ^^
 
Last edited:

Agustine

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jun 30, 2018
Messages
3,494
Reaction score
2,061
Location
Ontario Canada
Nice review. It should be noted that if you are using a Android tablet or phone when you down load your videos or photos they do get stored in your photo library.
 

Seitenwerk

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 24, 2018
Messages
195
Reaction score
152
Nice review. It should be noted that if you are using a Android tablet or phone when you down load your videos or photos they do get stored in your photo library.
Interesting. Yeah that really kept me wondering as it is such a logical thing and DJI works the same way. Why should I download content when it’s not available afterwards beside looking at it inside the FreeFlight6 app
 

Seitenwerk

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 24, 2018
Messages
195
Reaction score
152
Update: ok i just found out what is actually happening. FreeFlight6 is not storing the images and videos in the camera role, but instead in the iOS file system. You can find it in the Files App under „On my iPhone“->“FreeFlight6“->“Media“.

Sorted by type. That’s quiet unusual for an iOS app but ok. Importing them to the camera role from there is easy.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Agustine

Seitenwerk

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 24, 2018
Messages
195
Reaction score
152
Yesterday I made another connection test: placed the connected Anafi on my lawn where I usually start, but then went into my house, closed the door and what can I say -> full signal strength ^^

My spark would have lost connection and I basically would have expected at least major signal loss with the Anafi but not even a single line went away. I wonder how they are achieving this.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Hawkeye Alaska

Seitenwerk

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 24, 2018
Messages
195
Reaction score
152
Just another thing I found: you can go into the „flying“ screen and actually edit most of the settings of the drone there even without your drone being connected. You can also play with the interface.

That wasn’t possible with the DJI App as the Button wasn’t active until fully connected to your drone.
 

Agustine

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jun 30, 2018
Messages
3,494
Reaction score
2,061
Location
Ontario Canada
Just another thing I found: you can go into the „flying“ screen and actually edit most of the settings of the drone there even without your drone being connected. You can also play with the interface.

That wasn’t possible with the DJI App as the Button wasn’t active until fully connected to your drone.
Some yes and some no. I find most are not active till it is connected.
 

Seitenwerk

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 24, 2018
Messages
195
Reaction score
152
Yeah that’s correct, some can’t work without connecting but you can adjust the profiles, controls, flying limits and other stuff.
 

Agustine

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jun 30, 2018
Messages
3,494
Reaction score
2,061
Location
Ontario Canada
Yes you can for sure. The one I was referring to are camera options. It would be nice to be able to cycle through the different settings without having to connect. You are very limited on what you can do there.
 

Seitenwerk

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 24, 2018
Messages
195
Reaction score
152
As i was experimenting with different photo modes today and inspected the various sizes of images the drone generates, I noticed another thing:

With DJI, you could of course also generate nice panorama images like „horizontal“ and others. Like in the FreeFlight 6 app, those would be downloaded and stitched together. But while the FreeFlight 6 app will generate a high quality image (and gives you a choice between two quality/sizes) the DJI App would only output a downsized pano stitch of 2870*1328. You could also do some editing of videos with the DJI App but the app would only render a 720p video regardless of the original quality.

That of course made the app pretty useless for quality work. Editing videos was more of a gimmick but low quality pano stitches were a no go. This way you were always forced to connect the SD card to your pc (as the app would not show the single images of the panos) to get the images and then stitch them yourself.

Its a real good thing that not only does the FreeFlight6 app show all single images of a pano, but also generates high quality panos out of them (8000*4000). I can always stitch them myself, but having the app do it on the fly in a usable quality is great thing.
 

Thefojizzle

Member
Joined
Jan 10, 2019
Messages
14
Reaction score
0
So I’ve been EXTREMELY torn between the DJI Mavic Air and the Anafi......so, any advise seeing is you had one and have switched? The Air just looks like more of a “polished” looking product. The Anafi though has SO many pluses. I don’t have a ton of money to throw towards something like this. So, advise before I buy is much needed.
Thanks in advance!
Josh
 

Seitenwerk

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 24, 2018
Messages
195
Reaction score
152
I am not sure why people think the air looks more polished? The Anafi has multiple key features like better camera, 4K, HDR, 21MP Sensor, tilting upwards, zoom, a lot quieter , increased flight time, better connection, better app, better tracking, better follow me, waypoints.

The air has forward and backward sensors but that’s it? Those are deactivated if you fly in sport mode and won’t help when obstacles are sideways anyway. And sensors don’t detect small objects like branches and other stuff so have problems with trees.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Thefojizzle

Thefojizzle

Member
Joined
Jan 10, 2019
Messages
14
Reaction score
0
To me, and his is just my opinion, the way the gimbal sits, the remote control, the materials used, just seems more robust on he air. I’m not knocking the Anafi at all. It’s just shear visuals. That’s why never having used either.......I’m asking users on here. Especially those who have used both. I’d rather buy a product that works well, has good customer service, and works easily, then buy something that looks nice and is garbage.
 

Seitenwerk

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 24, 2018
Messages
195
Reaction score
152
Yeah I fully get you. I just hear this opinion from time to time (and sometimes not because of the looks of the drone but because people think the the air is the higher quality product) coming from DJI drones I can’t agree.

Don’t get me wrong DJI from es are good and there is stressing for their success. But parrot on the other hand did a real good job with their last two drones making them a competitor.

All this aside: I think you can’t really go wrong with either of those drones. The prize difference may be worth a look as over here, the Air fly more combo costs over 1000€ and the Anafi extended only 600€.

I switched from my Spark mainly because I wanted higher image quality, as 1080p looked fine on mobile but was often really blurry on anything bigger. It was more of a coincidence that I discovered the Anafi after taking a look at parrots offering. I knew that they did a good job with their Beebop and Disco drones especially for the prize and then I found the Anafi. Knowing about all the problems and negatives I didn’t like about my Spark, the whole package Anafi provided was a surprise to me.

I loved my Spark but there were definitely things I didn’t at the same time. Like that it was not possible to use a cable for connecting the controller with your phone (you could actually try it, but there were many problems and DJI would log! you doing so which led to warranty problems if anything happened).

So you were forced to using WiFi, which could lead to interferences with your drone. At the same time connecting to your controller or your drone with your phone could sometimes take 5 minutes as the wifi signal was not found und switching off and on again (many had that problem) getting to a location and messing around just to connect for 5 minutes is no fun. Not to forget the well known update problems. Waypoints would have been a cool thing but were not available. There are several third party apps which have this feature, but using them will again give you warranty problems. They seem to be pretty strict with warranty. What really bothered me were all those beeping sounds from the controller when landing, doing a RTH, or obstacle detection. It’s like you are standing in the streets screaming „hey over here, I am the bad guy flying a drone!“. Also the noise is very very loud. I thought it was already to loud with my Spark, but the Air is even louder.
 

Latest threads

Members online

Forum statistics

Threads
3,972
Messages
36,096
Members
5,311
Latest member
dragon one