Though its existence has been known since May, Parrot has only now revealed the final details of its Bebop camera drone.
The Bebop provides an easier and considerably less expensive onramp to droneography than competitive solutions designed to hoist DSLRs and cinema cameras into the skies. This diminutive drone offers an integrated 14-megapixel camera capable of recording 1920×1080 video at 30 fps. It can also snap RAW stills in the DNG format. The f/2.2 fisheye lens captures a 180-degree angle of view and images are stored to the drone’s 8GB of internal memory (there’s no card slot). You can direct the camera and pilot the drone all from a single smartphone app.
Parrot will also sell an optional Skycontroller that lets you mount a tablet and use physical joysticks to navigate the Bebop. The Skycontroller also has a more powerful Wi-Fi radio that will let you fly the Bebop further (up to 2km) and higher than you would by simply using your mobile device.
The Bebop keeps itself stable via series of sensors including a 3-axis accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetometer, an ultrasound sensor with an 8 meter reach, one pressure sensor and a vertical camera to track the unit’s speed.
The lightweight Bebop weighs just 0.9 pounds with hull attached. It has a flight time of roughly 12 minutes.
If you want a really different drone experience, you can connect the Skycontroller to an Oculus Rift virtual reality headset via HDMI and get a “drone’s-eye view” of the world.
The Bebop ships next month and will cost $499 for a the drone or $899 for the Bebop and Skycontroller bundle.