- 1 Parrot Disco with Skycontroller and FPV Goggles
- 2 Parrot BeBop 2 Drone with FPV Bundle
- 3 In conclusion
Anyone who loves photography and drones will love these unmanned aerial vehicles from Parrot. The Disco and the Bebop are excellent for taking photos and video from the air. They are fun to fly, too, with their FPV capability. Let’s take a look at them both to see which one will be ideal for you.
Parrot Disco with Skycontroller and FPV Goggles
When Parrot showed off the Disco at CES 2016, it got a lot of people excited. First off, the Disco is a fixed-wing UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle), not a quadcopter like the Bebop and a lot of other commercially available drones. It can fly faster and farther than a lot of UAVs that you can buy right now.
Here are some of the top features of the Parrot Disco fixed-wing drone.
Easy to fly
Parrot knows that not every drone owner knows how to fly one right out of the box. They made the Disco easy for new pilots to manage. It can take off when it’s lifted into the air and it can land automatically without help. These two features cut down on a lot of crashes.
The Disco has its own three-axis gyroscope, speed sensor, accelerometer, GPS, magnetometer, altimeter, and ultrasound to help it navigate flawlessly and all by itself if needed.
Stays on target
Put the Disco in “Loiter” mode and it will rise to 164 feet and circle around your chosen target. The FreeFlight Pro app will let you change the altitude and diameter of the circle the drone flies in Loiter mode.
If you use the Flight Plan mode in the app, you can select a path for the drone to follow as it flies. The built-in GPS will send it home when you’re done or the battery starts getting low.
Once it’s in the air, the Disco is simple to fly with the Skycontroller 2 remote control. Tilt the joystick left and the drone curves to the left just like you were in the cockpit yourself. The built-in autopilot takes care of the details like engine speed if that’s needed to handle the change in course. That’s important so you don’t stall out by accident and send the drone crashing down.
First-person point of view
While you fly the Disco, if you’re using the Cockpit Glasses or FPV headset, you’ll see what the drone’s nose camera sees. The video is streamed live right to the headset with less than a second of lag time.
Beautiful video and still shots
The camera onboard the Disco is the same as the one on the Parrot Bebop 2 with a few software upgrades like better white balance. It records and streams full 1080p HD video and takes 14MP photos. There’s no need to remember to start it when you launch the drone because it begins working automatically. It has 3-axis image stabilization, a necessity for clear shots and steady images.
Fun that lasts a long time
At a time when most commercial drones are limited to just a few minutes of flight time, the Disco can fly up to 45 minutes at a top speed of 50mph. The 32GB onboard memory lets you record the whole experience to share and review later.
The drone can fly up to 1.2 miles distant from your location, especially if you are in an elevated position with a clear line of sight to control it.
Use your own controller
If you happen to have your own remote control for flying airplanes, you can probably use it with the Parrot Disco. There is a module (sold separately) that can let you fly the drone in full manual mode.
Lightweight but strong
The Disco weighs only 1.6 pounds because it’s made from carbon tubes and expanded polypropylene foam. While that sounds lightweight, these are sturdy materials that protect the internals of the drone.
Pros and cons of the Parrot Disco
This is a drone that can fly farther and faster than many drones and take great photos and video. But it can’t hover like the Parrot Bebop 2 quadcopter and it needs a lot of space to land safely. In fact, you’ll want something like a soccer or football field to fly it safely. Instead of hovering, the best you can do is use the Loiter mode to circle around a targeted area.
There is no expansion slot for more memory. You’re limited to 32GB for recording video and photos. On the upside, this seems to be sufficient for the 45-minute flight time. You’ll just need to remember to download after each flight. You can do that with the included micro USB cable and a computer.
What comes with the Disco
The Disco comes with a SkyController 2 remote control plus the Cockpit Glasses headset. It has a USB cable for charging the 2700mAh battery and for transferring the video files to a computer or a Mac. It also comes with a wall charger. Besides needing to charge the Disco, the SkyController 2 needs to be recharged as well.
The Cockpit Glasses headset is compatible with most smartphones, either iOS or Android) as long as their screen size is 4.7 to 5.5 inches in size.
Plan on installing the FreeFlight Pro app on your smartphone to setup the Disco before your first flight. This app links the drone, the SkyController 2, and your phone through wi-fi. If you opt for the Flight Plan in-app purchase, you can create a flight path for your Disco ahead of time.
Now that you’ve seen the Parrot Disco, let’s take a look at the Bebop 2 Drone.
Parrot BeBop 2 Drone with FPV Bundle
Why would you choose the Bebop 2 Drone over the Disco? The Bebop 2 is a quadcopter which means it can hover like a helicopter. This may be ideal for you if you don’t have a lot of open space to fly and land it. It’s also handy for taking group selfies!
The Bebop 2 can fly up to 20 minutes on a charge and fly out to 328 yards. When you use the SkyController 2 remote instead of controlling it with only your phone, you can venture out to 1.2 miles away! Its camera is the same as the one built into the Disco—the only difference are some minor tweaks to its software.
While the camera is capable of recording 14MP photos and 1080p full HD video, it’s not 4K. But it can film in RAW, not just jpeg, and that’s very handy for serious photographers.
This fisheye lens provides a wide field of view as you pan across the ground. The 3-axis stabilization fights blur even when there’s a little wind.
The Bebop 2 has 8GB of built-in memory to record video and photos. You can transfer the files over Wi-Fi or with the included USB cable.
If you use the Cockpit Glasses headset included in the box, you’ll be streaming live video from the drone’s camera to your smartphone. Then it’s like you’re the one up in the sky flying!
Easy to control
Unlike the Parrot Disco, the Bebop 2 doesn’t need as much space to land because it’s a quadcopter. You can launch and retrieve the drone with just one button on the SkyController 2 remote.
The advantages of the Bebop 2 drone
If you’re new to drones, the Bebop 2 is a great investment. It’s inexpensive, easy to set up, and simple to control. Plus, it now comes bundled with the SkyController 2 remote and the CockpitGlasses headset.
First, install the FreeFlight Pro app on your smartphone to link up the Wi-Fi connection between the drone, the phone, and the SkyController 2. The app lets you view what the camera sees as it flies. Watch it on your phone screen inside the FPV headset for maximum enjoyment.
You can fly the drone without a smartphone by only using the SkyController 2 if you prefer. Then you can download the film it takes after it lands instead of viewing it live with the headset.
Bebop 2 is better than the original Bebop
Parrot Disco or Bebop 2—which one is the best?
If you had to decide between these two Parrot drones, which one is the best? Both are easy to fly and have high-quality onboard cameras. Maybe these points can help you choose:
- If you have a large open area for flying, and you don’t need the option to hover, get the Disco. The Disco has the longest battery life.
- If you have limited space for flying or you want to be able to hover in one position instead of circling, get the Bebop 2. The Bebop 2 is also a little smaller and easier to transport if you take it traveling.
We hope you enjoy your new drone when it arrives. Check back soon for more reviews of gadgets that make life easier and more fun!