The Parrot Bebop 2 is the “Me Too” drone. It may be a consumer-aimed product, but don’t kid yourself: The Parrot Bebop 2 is a fast, strong performer, a lot of fun, and capable of high-definition video.
The Power Edition FPV Kit — FPV is First Person View if you’re new to drones — includes the handheld Radio Controller and Goggles. Earlier Parrots flew by using WiFi to connect directly to a smartphone or tablet. The Parrot 2 flies either way. And the goggles? These are an “ooh”-and-“ah” addition that make you feel like you’re really flying — what drone enthusiasts call an immersive experience.
Bebop 2 Power Edition FPV Kit features:
The Parrot Bebop 2 ought to have a button that says “Start Here,” because for many owners, that’s exactly what they are doing — using the Bebop 2 as a starter drone to get into the hobby. Still, it’s a radio-controlled quadcopter that shoots electronically stabilized video and sharp stills. It can soar and dive, hover, and perform acrobatics.
If you have a younger pilot in mind, Bebop 2 is a good compromise between performance and price. It has performance stages that allow you to learn, then advance.
Bebop 2 costs hundreds of dollars less than drones that have many similar capabilities. It’s relatively easy to control, and unlike some more expensive drones, it can be flown with just a smartphone or tablet, without having to cart along the radio controller.
Bebop 2 is tough and more resistant to damage than some bigger drones. It has fewer moving parts to wear out and break. The body shell is made of carbon fiber, renowned for its strength, and Grilamid, a plastic used widely in the automotive industry for its damage resistance.
The compact size also makes transport easy, even in an ordinary backpack.
Want speed? Bebop 2 can top 37 mph.
Bebop 2 can fly up, down and around when you command it to, and it can stop and hover. If you don’t want to fly over a certain area — over nearby houses, maybe, a ball field where a game is being played, or a schoolyard where small children are playing — you can predetermine a limited flying area for your drone. Like a skilled athlete running a sideline, it will stay in bounds.
Much of what Bebop 2 does, including takeoff, return home and landing, requires you to press just one button.
Bebop 2 can fly 1.24 miles from you, and it can stay aloft for about 25 minutes.
You can command your drone by using the Skycontroller 2 radio remote control, or by using just your smartphone or tablet. The Freeflight Pro app, which enables all the commands, downloads at no charge.
The Bebop 2 camera records high-definition video — 1080p at 30 frames per second. It also shoots high-resolution stills, at 14MP.
And it stabilizes the video, so the finished product is largely shake-free. Rather than using a gimbal to steady the camera as the drone moves, the Bebop 2 uses a program to steady the video images. It digitally edits out movement on 3 axes, similar to how a 3-axis gimbal would prevent camera movement physically.
With First Person View, you see live what your drone’s camera sees. While video is recorded at 1080p, it transmits to your smartphone or tablet at a sharp 720p. FPV is great for racing.
Don the included goggles, the Cockpitglasses 2, for a whole new view. Viewing your drone’s flight through the goggles is the closest you’ll feel to true flight. Your feet will be firmly on the ground. Don’t believe it? Just switch to Direct View and you’ll see your controller, your drone — yes, and even your feet — without having to remove the headset or flip it up.
The view and feel that the goggles provide are ideal for racing your drone.
Freeflight Pro lets you share your video and sills. Imagery is stored in an 8GB internal memory. You can download those images to your computer. Use the computer programs you would normally use on your Mac or PC to edit video and still photos. Bebop 2 can shoot in JPEG mode, or in DNG or RAW, which give you more editing power.
The Bebop 2 Power Edition helps you create — and capture —the video you want. Magic Dronies, part of the included Follow Me program, allow the operator to press a button and have the Bebop 2 perform specific aerobatics while it shoots: Orbit, Tornado, Parabola or Boomerang. You’ll be at the center of it all, and your surroundings will be recorded at a variety of breathtaking angles.
Normally an optional pay service, Follow Me is included in the Power Edition FPV Kit. Linking to the signal with your smartphone or tablet, Bebop 2 follows along, wherever you go. Record your physical feats, whether you’re biking, rowing, hiking or climbing, to share with friends and family. Use it to record your baseball swing or the way you kick a soccer ball to improve your technique. Once the imagery is in your computer, play it as often as you like on your bigger monitor and compare it with subsequent video sessions.
Bringing your drone back to base is one-button simple. Just press the Return Home command and your Bebop 2 turns and comes back to you. And the Return Home function automatically triggers if the signal from your controller or tablet is lost for any reason — even if you accidentally fly too far away.