Consumers left and right are picking up drones. Some are good, some, not so much. However one trend that is developing from those purchases is aerial video. A good drone for aerial video is usually expensive, difficult to use, and just not worth it for the average buyer. However the Parrot Bebop changes that.
The Bebop is a consumer oriented drone that is meant not only for just average flight, but also for shooting aerial video. It’s pretty easy to use and can record solid video. The Bebop has about 8GB of on board storage which allows for about 40 minutes of inflight recording. Video taken with it is great with impressive stabilization. Even with the motors going and when moving around, shots are extremely stable.
The Bebop itself flies pretty well. It’s not the best I’ve ever seen, but for what it is it does well. Thanks to the included bumpers you can also fly in low areas with a bit more confidence that you’re not going to break a propeller. The Bebop can fly pretty easily in as much as a steady breeze as well.
To control the drone, you can buy the optional remote, but the average consumer probably won’t want or need to do that, especially considering the fact that it costs nearly $400. However out of the box you can easily control the Bebop with nothing more than a smartphone. Simply download the freeflight 3 app for either Android or iOS, pair the Bebop, and you’re good to go! I highly prefer a dedicated controller, but flying with the app works well enough. My main issue is that I never really feel confident using it as a method of control, especially when flying at a distance. However that’s not to say it’s hard to fly the drone. I was able to get the hang of it pretty quickly as was my younger brother and some of his friends.
Another somewhat low point was the battery life, which only lasts about 10 minutes, give or take, but that’s the standard on most drones. Luckily the battery is removable, so it’s not hard to keep going as long as you grab a spare. The battery also charges pretty quickly.
So overall, the Bebop is a sweet consumer drone, but should you buy it? If you’re looking to get into aerial video while saving a bit of money, this is a great choice. That said, you really can’t truly enjoy the Bebop without a hardware controller, and that changes the game in terms of price.