Getting airborne is an extremely simple process with all three drones: charge the battery and controller, download the companion app to your smartphone (DJI Go 4, Parrot Freeflight 6, Yuneec Pilot), follow the simple on-screen instructions and you’re ready to fly. If you’re a newbie, each drone offers a beginner mode that limits speed, altitude and range. These drones also record their location at take-off, returning to that point at the touch of a button. Additionally, the Yuneec Mantis Q features voice control for initiating take-off, landing, and certain camera commands (“Record a video”).
The primary function of a camera drone is to capture stable footage from the air, so the drone’s ability to remain composed in flight is vital. This is usually aided by a multi-axis, camerastabilising gimbal and positioning sensors. In comparison, the budget Yuneec Mantis Q comes up way short. Shoot at 1080p and the camera is kept fairly well-rooted via electronic image stabilisation (EIS). Boost the resolution to 4K and EIS stops, leaving footage at the mercy of the wind and the steadiness of your controller input. Disappointing.
The Parrot is a different beast. Hurtle the drone skyward and, whether it’s hovering or tracking a high-speed cyclist down a hill, the
Whether the Parrot Anafi is hovering or tracking a cyclist, its poise is catlike
poise is catlike, while three-axis image stabilisation works wonders to keep the camera locked on target. Movements are smooth and there’s immediacy between controller input and drone movement.
The Mavic Air is just as composed in the air. Those obstacle sensors add an extra layer of insurance, while the three-axis allmechanical gimbal keeps footage steady.
All three drones benefit from a Sport mode for high-speed flight. Both the Mavic Air and Mantis Q deliver whopping speeds of 44mph, with the Anafi falling behind at 33mph.
Battery life is the final battleground here. The Mavic Air takes last place with 21 minutes in the air, compared with 25 for the Anafi and an impressive 33 minutes for the Yuneec.
YUNEEC MANTIS Q