Today Parrot announced the launch of the Anafi, a portable drone that seems designed to take on DJI’s Mavic Air.
The Anafi is foldable, like the Mavic, and super lightweight. It’s only .7 pounds (or 320 grams)—compare that to Parrot’s Bebop, which weighs 1.1 pounds (or 500 grams)—and Parrot claims it can be unfolded in under three seconds, and in the air shortly after.
Parrot’s new drone has all the features you’d expect to find on a selfie drone, which means it can follow you around and take your photo using gestures and body recognition technology.
It comes with a camera that boasts 4K HD video at 100Mbps, 21-megapixels, and 2.8X lossless zoom. Also, according to Parrot, the Anafi’s camera is the first ever that tilts vertically at an angle of 180°.
4K Cinema (4,096×2,160) at 24fps; 4K UHD (3,840×2,160) at 24/25/30fps; FHD (1,920×1,080) 24/25/30/48/50/60fps
100Mbps max bit rate
Raw (DNG) and P-Log post-production formats
The Anafi has a respectable—but not mind blowing—25 minute battery life, can go up to 32 mph, and Parrot is touting it as “ultra quiet” (one of the key features of the Mavic Pro Platinum was that it was “60% quieter than the Mavic Pro”).
Users flying the Anafi with Parrot’s new app, the FreeFlight 6, can adjust video modes and choose between taking a 21- or 12-megapixel photo.
The Anafi also supports slo-mo, hyper-lapse shooting (which will speed footage up to 240 times), and a high frame rate where users can choose to film up to 60 fps.
In a head-to-head comparison with the Mavic Air, one stand out fact is the Anafi’s pricetag. Parrot is selling the Anafi for $699, while the Mavic Air currently retails for $799.
Following severe weather in a given area, insurance companies typically receive numerous claims made for the damage done to the roofs of those holding homeowner’s insurance.
To assess these claims, insurance companies have traditionally had to send out an insurance inspector or adjuster who physically goes to the site, climbs a ladder, and takes pictures of each roof for which a claim has been made. But climbing a ladder all day can be dangerous, not to mention time consuming.
Enter drone insurance inspections.
Using a drone, an insurance inspection can be done in 20-30 minutes, and is easy to streamline since the inspection involves the same shot list for every property. In an area that was just hit by a big storm, a drone pilot can go from one property to the next doing inspections quickly and efficiently.
Compare that to a traditional inspector, who would take over an hour for the inspection and charge 2-3 times more than DroneBase’s guaranteed payout of $70 per inspection.
Andrew Dean is a DroneBase pilot who has flown hundreds of missions for DroneBase.
Here is his account of the work he’s done:
[So far] this year I was able to do over 200 missions in roughly 3 months, and over 320 in 5 months.
There were numerous days where I was going pedal to the floor and doing 10 missions per day and pushing close to a thousand dollars a day. Ultimately it ended up leveling off at about 3-4 per day, which, allowed me to do about $5,000 per month for most of the summer and fall.
DroneBase is a large part of why, in my 3rd year in business for myself as a commercial drone pilot, I broke 6 figures. To say that I did that at 27 has been a true honor and I owe a big chunk of it to the guys and gals at DroneBase.
A Reel Highlighting Insurance Inspection Work Done by DroneBase Pilots
Of course, not everyone will want to work full time (or full time plus, as Andrew did), and there’s no guarantee that every area will have as much work as Andrew was able to find.
But at $70 for each inspection, with each one taking 20-30 minutes, you can do the math to determine how much you might be able to make working with DroneBase doing insurance inspections.
However, it is important to call out that a lot of insurance inspection work is seasonal. The work comes with the storm season, and will most likely peter out as that season ends—note that Andrew seems to have gotten the bulk of his work in the summer and fall, during hurricane season, which lasts from June 1 to November 30.
That being said, since today is the very first day of hurricane season it seems reasonable to believe that there will be plenty of insurance inspection work coming up soon.
Why Not Just Do Insurance Inspections On Your Own?
DroneBase insurance missions connect some of the largest insurance industries in the world directly with their pilot network.
As an individual drone pilot, gaining access to this kind of steady work might be difficult, and could require knowledge not just of flying but of marketing, sales, client communications, and how to process the images you collect.
DroneBase only requires you to fly the mission, take the pictures on your shot list, and upload them to the DroneBase site—no data processing or client communications are needed, and you don’t have to do any marketing or sales work to find customers.
DroneBase insurance missions are literally accept, shoot, upload, and forget.
– Vic Moss, Award-Winning Photographer and DroneBase Pilot
Of course, if you’re looking to grow a business with a team of drone pilots, you may want to go a different direction. But if you’re looking for work as a drone pilot that will start providing a payout right now, DroneBase could be a great way to go.
How Does It Work?
DroneBase provides mission-specific training for its pilots before sending them out into the field.
When a pilot chooses to fly insurance missions, they’re entered into DroneBase’s onboarding process. This process includes training with the DroneBase Operations Team to review the job requirements, scope of work, and pilots are also provided with tutorial videos and a training manual they can use to get up to speed, and to refresh their skills later.
After onboarding is complete, DroneBase emails pilots directly as new work becomes available in their area. Missions are on a first-come, first-serve basis, and all have a guaranteed payout.
Do you like to write? Are you a marketer looking to sharpen your skill set? Are you detail-oriented, a clear communicator and interested in the drone industry? Do you thrive in a flexible remote work environment?
Founded in 2014 and based in Nashville, TN, UAV Coach is a leading training, education and news company for professionals and hobbyists in the drone (UAV) industry. Whether it’s a farmer who wants data on his crops, a construction company that needs progress reports on its sites, a medical company doing last-mile blood delivery, or a fire department that needs to safely monitor wildfires, multiple industries are using drones to capture images, video and data from the air to save time, save money and even save lives.
Our mission is to help drone pilots be safe and smart operators. We provide both online and in-person training courses and also report on industry news to an email subscriber base of 50,000 international drone enthusiasts. Across our two websites — uavcoach.com and dronepilotgroundschool.com — we get over 300,000 page views a month. We’ve had over 10,000 customers use our flagship training course, Drone Pilot Ground School. Notable clients include Intel, The Wall Street Journal, General Electric, The Nature Conservancy, Lockheed Martin, and many others.
We value strong communication and a growth mindset.
The Digital Marketing Manager position is imperative to driving the top line of the company. We are looking for an exceptional individual who will be a thought partner to the CEO and COO. You will have leeway to hire and manage freelancers to accomplish goals. You will also travel with us to industry conferences in Las Vegas, New York and other locations.
Content creation: Research, write, copyedit and publish 3 news articles per week of 500-1,000 words on topics related to the drone industry, as well as occasionally create evergreen guides. Interview industry movers and shakers. Regularly review our existing product and regulations guides to keep content fresh. Plan content in advance and manage weekly content calendar.
Email marketing: Compile and send our weekly email newsletter to 50,000 drone enthusiasts worldwide. Experiment with tactics to grow our email list.
Community engagement: Manage our Facebook page. Respond publicly to customer reviews. Manage our community forum.
Search Engine Optimization: Continuously strengthen our online presence by building backlinks and following SEO best practices.
Reporting: Compile bi-weekly data for our performance scorecard.
Campaign management: Work with advertisers on multi-channel campaigns for the UAV Coach community as well as our own campaigns and promotions.
2–4 years of marketing experience, including digital marketing initiatives.
Interest in drones is a big plus.
Excellent writer and editor.
Can operate in a high growth business where change is constant and flexibility is key to ensure success for the greater team.
Project management rock star. Can plan ahead, track progress and identify roadblocks in order to meet deadlines and goals. Able to work within tight deadlines, adjust to changes in priorities, and balance short-term needs with long-term strategic initiatives.
Strategic thinker who understands the big picture and spends time on things that matter.
Relationship builder who feels comfortable approaching other industry players.
Knowledge of digital platforms WordPress and HubSpot is a plus.
Basic knowledge of HTML and Excel is a plus.
While this job is remote, we’re looking for a Nashville, TN area candidate.
Randy Scott Slavin is an award-winning director, photographer, and aerial cinematographer. He’s also the founder of the New York City Drone Film Festival (NYC DFF). He’s worked with big brands like American Express and AT&T, and his photography has appeared in Time Magazine, the Washington Post, and Gizmodo, among others.
We’ve been attending the NYC DFF for three years now, and this last year we became one of their media partners. Given all the different kinds of work Randy does, we wanted to sit down and pick his brain about flying drones, directing, and what it takes to put together an event like the New York City Drone Film Festival.
Randy Scott Slavin, NYC DFF Founder
You recently flew a drone on the Tonight Show, when Will Smith was on as a guest. Was it scary to fly so close to people while being filmed live?
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous about flying in front of Jimmy Fallon, Will Smith, and a live studio audience.
But I’ve been flying and working professionally with drones for a long time, and I’ve been in a lot of stressful situations, especially as a festival director.
So as nervous as I might get, I just try not to think about all of the stressors—the audience, the live set, and all that. I try to block all of that noise out and just be really zen when I’m flying in that kind of scenario.
Here is a clip from the Tonight Show—you can see Randy flying at :48
To make sure I felt really prepared I asked them if I could just do a lot of rehearsals. Once we established the route they wanted me to fly I flew it about 30 times, just going over and over it to get the path into my muscle memory.
We also did a live rehearsal, and Jimmy and Will were both really nice, so that helped calm any additional nerves I might have been feeling.
With all that preparation, when it came time to actually do the live shoot I wasn’t really nervous anymore—I was excited, actually.
There was even an ad libbed part—the whole thing where they’re scared of the drone and protecting each other wasn’t originally planned at all. It just happened on the spot.
Tell us about your background. How did you get into directing?
I’ve always been into cameras and camera gear—even before American Beauty came out, I was that guy who was always walking around taking pictures of everything.
A surrealist photo by Randy entitled Sanctuary
And when the mini DV camera came out then I was the guy with the video camera.
All of my friends were in bands and I really wanted to be close to them and participate in what they were doing, and filming them gave me that way in. Through that interest I ended up doing some work at MTV, when I was still finishing school at NYU.
After that work, I got into editing reality TV because it’s one of the best ways to make a living in New York City if you want to work in the film industry.
While I was doing that work, I was also directing music videos for friends’ bands and people in the scene that I knew, really just anything I could get my hands on.
And then in 2008 I won the special jury award for a music video at South by Southwest, and that really helped me launch my work as a director.
Randy’s award winning video from South by Southwest
When did you start using drones in your work?
Around the end of 2013 a skateboard film made by Ty Evans came out called Pretty Sweet, and it starts with this single shot that just blew me away. It just told the story so well—really, it made me kind of jealous. And it was shot with a drone.
The shot Randy’s talking about starts around :22 in this video
That got me so inspired, and made me want to start working with drones. Since then we’ve had Ty Evans as a guest at the NYC DFF, and Robert McIntosh—he was actually the pilot who built the custom rig they used to make that shot, and who flew FPV to film it.
Ty is amazing, and Robert is a true artist, a real innovator in his field. Robert has been building custom drones and doing creative things with them for a long, long time—he’s won at the NYC DFF and at the LA Drone Film Festival, which I also head up, many times because of his creativity. And he’s been doing this since way back when he was just attaching a crappy E-Case camera to a sponge on top of a drone that was made out of a Tupperware container, using open pilot and the first few kinds of flight controllers they had. Things like that, just super innovative.
Robert McIntosh’ award winning film from NYC DFF 2018
After seeing that shot in Pretty Sweet I started doing research, and bought my first drone. This was around the time that the first DJI Phantom and the DJI Flame Wheel came out as well as the WooKong flight controllers. It was just the very beginning of all this stuff.
I started watching a ton of drone videos online, which were still very few and far between, and I started shooting a ton. When I first started shooting with a drone I had to hard mount my GoPro on the bottom of my drone. It was a totally different experience just trying to get through shots in that kind of way, but it really trained me to be a good pilot, to really rely on the style of flying and not just on the gimbal being smooth.
A lot of my director friends saw the things that I was doing with drones and had me get on to their sets and shoot stuff for them. And that’s how Yeah Drones, my production company, was born, and it’s also how the New York City Drone Film Festival was born.
Tell us more about the creation of the New York City Drone Film Festival. Where did the idea come from?
had an aerial video that went viral called Aerial NYC—it was featured on Fox News and Time Magazine, and got lots of attention. It was crazy.
And I was thinking it would be great to send that video, or other drone footage, to a film festival that highlighted drone work. But there weren’t any festivals around that had that kind of category.
So I figured I’d start my own.
Randy’s Video Aerial NYC
What goes into organizing the festival?
It takes a ton of work. For the most part we’re a very small team—for most of the work it’s me, my event producer, my technical director, and my wife.
I think people might have a view of the festival that it’s huge and super successful, but the reality is that it’s a very small team of people who really care making it happen every year.
But for me the hardest part is making sure we’re just doing something that’s interesting, that the films we select are the best films in the world, and that we’re choosing things that are going to be extremely entertaining for the audience when they’re screened.
But yeah, we’re not the Tribecca Film Festival, where you have a team of thousands of people. I work directly with all the filmmakers, all the submissions, all the press, all the social media, all of the sponsorships, and I’m constantly toeing a line having enough sponsorship money to pay for things.
And there’s always a tension between work on the festival, my work as a director, and my obligations to my family. I have a four year old, and I want to make sure I’m taking care of her, and also still pursuing the work that really inspires me, which is directing. So it’s definitely a balancing act, and sometimes it can feel like just way too much, but we always manage to pull it off.
This year a number of the winning videos, including the Best in Show winner, were paid for by big companies with large budgets. Do you consider budget or production quality when you’re judging videos for the festival?
No, we don’t really consider either of those things in our judging.
I don’t care about who made a video, or how much money they have, or the production quality in terms of how the video looks.
My judging—and this is also guidance I give to our guest judges—is really just based on the creative merit of the piece.
Quattro 2, the Best in Show Winner at NYC DFF 2018
So just because a video was made with a huge budget, if it was boring, it’s not going to make it in the festival. This year Quattro 2 won Best in Show, and they had a ridiculous budget that let them go to all these amazing locations, use great gear, and all that. But last year the Best in Show winner was the Mixed Motion Project which was shot by two Bulgarian guys flying a Phantom 3. And that video is really incredible. So yeah, it just comes down to creativity.
Mixed Motion Project, the Best in Show Winner at NYC DFF 2017
Even if it’s a good concept that’s terribly executed, there’s a good chance it will still get into the film festival. To me, the winners are the ones that have great concepts that are also well executed.
But I would never look at someone’s video and be like, “Oh, that has a great concept but they shot it with a Phantom so I don’t want it at the festival.”
Robert McIntosh is another example. He’s won several times, and he’s never shot with anything better quality than a GoPro. He puts a ton of time, thought, and effort into his concept, and he really knows his camera gear and how to shoot, as well as the post process to make his footage look great.
It’s really a mix of creativity and taste that we’re looking for when we judge. Everything else—budget, production quality, overall appearance—all of that is secondary.
We heard you’re getting a big rig drone for the first time. What led to that decision?
Yes, I’m really excited. I have a Freefly Alta 8 coming my way.
I’ve never gotten into the heavy lifters before because I’ve just been so crazy about being able to have a lot of gear. But I’m excited because the quality of the drone and the quality of the flight controller is very high. Through my work with the New York City Drone Film Festival I get to talk to some of the best drone pilots in the world, and they all say that the Alta is one of the best drones out there for high end work—it flies amazingly, it’s waterproof, it’s extremely reliable, and it’s outfitted to carry world class cameras like the RED and the ALEXA.
Also, when you show up on a commercial shoot it’s nice to have a big, serious-looking drone, instead of a drone that looks like a toy—like a Mavic or even an Inspire. There is something real about the impression you make on the other crew members with the equipment you bring, and a big rig drone can help create the impression that you’re working with professional gear.
I’m also just tired of all the firmware updates required on DJI drones. As a professional who uses drones in his work, it’s annoying to have to answer a dozen questions every other time I turn on my drone, and I know a lot of other professionals out there feel the same way. Of course, I understand that as the biggest commercial drone manufacturer in the world DJI needs to provide this kind of accountability, but at a certain point you just want to go with something more professional. And I should also say that I love DJI’s gear and I don’t plan to stop using it—but yeah, I’m really excited to get the Alta.
The Enterprise After Hours will take place in the evening on the first day of the three day conference, on Wednesday, September 5.
The event will have special networking sessions in dedicated rooms for different verticals, including:
Aggregates and Mining
Inspection ( both energy and
Surveying and Mapping
One of the main reasons people attend conferences like InterDrone is to network—to catch up with old friends, make new ones, look for work or find new employees, and to generally mingle and learn more about the drone industry from other people who work in it.
This new after hours event is designed to foster these kinds of exchanges. The After Hours event will be broken up into different commercial sectors, so you can visit different rooms to talk to people working in different verticals.
In addition to the after hours event, InterDrone has created unique tracks with 60-minute panels and classes specific to each of the verticals mentioned above, which will be woven into the program.
InterDrone’s audience has become increasingly professional since its inception in 2015. With the addition of the Enterprise After Hours and specific enterprise tracks, we are ensuring we are delivering the most comprehensive program to the commercial drone industry.
– Katie Flash, Content Director, InterDrone
Since launching in 2015 InterDrone has been growing like crazy.
Last year the conference was selected as one of the “Fastest Fifty”—an elite list of the top fastest growing trade shows in the U.S. in any industry—by Trade Show Executive magazine. Shortly after receiving that recognition InterDrone was acquired by Emerald Expositions, the largest event producer in North America.
InterDrone, just like the entire drone industry, has matured. This was my third year 
attending, and the focus has shifted from consumer to commercial enterprise with track and
vertical presentations, and discussions matching the growth we are seeing out in the field.
– Romeo Durscher, Director of Public Safety Integration at DJI.
Right now InterDrone is the largest commercial drone show in North America. To give you a sense of their size, this year the conference is expected to draw more than 3,500 UAV professionals from around the world.
In addition, the conference will feature more than 125 sessions, panel discussions, and keynotes conducted by renowned industry experts, covering numerous commercial drone applications, and over 165 companies showcasing the latest hardware, software and drone accessories in the Exhibit Hall.