The Parrot Bebop 2 is a funky little drone that is descended directly from the Bebop 1. It is priced at a low cost of $550, which is about half the price of the new DJI Phantom 4. Is it as good as the Phantom? Perhaps not, but then again this is a matter of personal preference. Some people may argue that the Bebop 2 provides far more value for money than the DJI quadcopter. Others may say that the Phantom is a little too situational. Without any bias, here is the straight up comparison of the DJI Phantom 4 vs Parrot Bebop 2.
Both of the drones are quadcopters, with four arms for the rotors. They have both been designed for aerial photography and video, and as such come with cameras built into the body. However, first glance at the two makes the onlooker feel like the DJI Phantom 4 is the more professional of the two. They may not be that far off. The body of the Parrot Bebop 2 is made out of hard plastic and carbon fiber. This allows for a lighter, snapper drone. The body of the DJI Phantom 4 is made out of a lightweight magnesium alloy instead. The rotors and propellers on the Bebop 2 are manufactured using plastic, which feels a little cheap but are also low cost when it comes to replacements. The rotor and blades on the Phantom 4 are built out of carbon fiber instead, and aren’t as fragile. The Parrot RC drone is available in both black and white, whereas the Phantom is available only in white.
The top speed of both drones is faster than the average speed of a drone today. The maximum velocity of the Parrot Bebop 2 is about 18m/s, while the DJI Phantom 4 flies at a top speed of 20m/s (45mph). The maximum altitude of the Parrot Bebop 2 isn’t that high either, whereas the Phantom can climb up to a distance of 6km without losing transmission signal.
The Phantom 4 also has an active vision positioning system. This is a substitute for GPS when it isnt available. It makes use of ultrasonic and optical sensors as well as cameras to ensure that the drone stays away from nasty bumps while being flown in buildings or in crowded places with a lot of obstacles. The Phantom is able to hold its position upto 10m above the ground and 10m away from other objects in the vicinity.
Both drones are ready to fly out of the box and have a number of similar features. These include GPS compatibility and all of the added features that come with GPS, such as follow me, return home, automatic landing, hovering, and waypoint based planning and more. The DJI Phantom 4 also has TapFly and ActiveTrack from the smartphone app linked to the drone. ActiveTrack involves designating a target to track as well as a radius around the target which the drone must stay within. TapFly is an innovative feature which involves tapping the camera feed on the mobile device and having the drone fly to it. There is also an active collision avoidance feature which makes use of some optical sensors to prevent there being any accidents with the Phantom at any speed.
The range of the controller on the Parrot Bebop 2 is rather small, with a maximum range of about 100m. This is in stark contrast to the DJI Phantom 4, which has a range of about 5000m or 5km without obstacles or interference. Both controllers broadcast at 2.4GHz. The open source Skycontroller can be used with the Parrot Bebop 2, but not with the Phantom. The mobile apps for the Parrot RC drone are the Freeflight 3 app, and for the DJI drone it is the DJI GO app.
Size and Weight
The Parrot drone is smaller than the Phantom 4, and is also a lot lighter. It weighs only 500g, which actually makes it less of a public threat. Depending on where you are located, federal regulations about drone piloting may not apply to one of this size. The Phantom 4 weighs 1380g and must be registered with the FAA before it is flown.
Camera and Gimbal
Both drones have a built-in camera and aren’t compatible with external ones. The resolution of the camera on the Bebop 2 is 14MP and only 12MP on the DJI Phantom 4 quadrotor. The maximum possible video resolution on the Bebop 2 is 1080p FHD, whereas it is UHD 4K resolution on the DJI drone. Both drones have microSD slots for storage of images and video. The camera on the Bebop 2 is fixed in place, but the gimbal on the Phantom 4 allows for a (very limited) range of movement of the camera. The Bebop 2 also has an integrate HDMI out port. This is something the Phantom doesn’t have. The camera on the Parrot copter can only shoot still images in single shot mode. The Phantom supports burst shots, time lapses and HDR.
A live stream of video is supported by both drones. The live video is at 1080p HD on the Bebop 2 and 720p HD on the Phantom 4. The Bebop also supports First Person View and is compatible with any Virtual Reality headset.
The battery of the Parrot Bebop 2 is small, and has a capacity of 2700mAh. The Phantom 4 has a capacity of 5350mAh. This makes time of 25 minutes on the Bebop 2 and 28 minutes on the Phantom 4.
Are you a photographer who lives for the perfect shot? Well, the Parrot Bebop 2 may not be the one you want. The Phantom 4 has far sharper, better quality images and video than the Bebop. While it does cost a lot, the camera and the stabilization options alone make it worth the buck. However, getting something like the Phantom when you are a beginner or a casual hobbyist is a bad idea. The Bebop is the perfect quadcopter to have some fun with. VR compatibility and the small, zippy nature of the drone make this truer than it has ever been.