The Phantom 3 Standard has a famous reputation for being an affordable all-rounder and quite frankly it is the best choice that can be made. The Parrot Bebop 2 on the other hand is most certainly a very well thought out machine. Both of them are fit for beginners, are lightweight and compact and deliver 25mins flight time according to the drone companies. Both drones can fly faster than the 15 m/s average (36 mph) and have the same flight features. So which one you’ll be purchasing?
Coming to the more hardware oriented side of things is where the Parrot Bebop 2 really starts to shine like the little gem it really is! The Bebop features a feather light (almost 400g) fully reinforced ABS molded quadcopter frame and finished off with a very light yet extremely durable EPP (expanded-polypropolene) foam body that protects the parrot p7 dual-core CPU and quad-core GPU with its internal 8GB flash memory built onto a magnesium shelf that essentially acts as a cooling plate that shields all software from electromagnetic interference!
The Parrot Bebop 2 has all of its function buttons layed out on an app which is a bit too crowded to concentrate on everything that’s going on. Some of the functions, like the Emergency button, is well marked and at the middle-top of the tablet on the app. All the other nice features that can be utilised when filming or just when flying for fun require going into different menu’s while flying which is not very user-friendly.
The Bebop 2 does become a very well tamed machine once the use of the Parrot skycontroller is incorperated and is definitely a neccessity if you plan on filming with the Bebop. It can be flown directly from the Parrot freeflight3 app (which is free) but is much harder to fly by use of the accelerometer on your tablet or smartphone. The one other issue with flying the Bebop from the App itself is that the drone will only fly as far as the WiFi connection will allow between the drone and the apple or android device.
The Phantom 3 Standard on the other hand, has a iconic white plastic body. It is a very good machine to learn on due it’s gimbal and camera being removable and of course the size of it. It’s a large drone but it is big enough to handle wind quite nicely. It’s GPS system works very well and has all the function buttons marked with nice icons in a very comfortable and easy to operate layout for the user.
The remote control reminds me of a scaled-down version of the one that shipped with the Phantom 2 Vision+. It’s streamlined, so there’s no need for a separate Wi-Fi extension module, and the AA batteries are replaced by an internal rechargeable battery. A micro USB port sits at the bottom to recharge. Four LED lights indicate the charge level, and a single power switch turns it on. A clamp sits on a metal rail to hold your smartphone—it’s big enough to hold an iPhone 6 Plus, but it can’t handle a tablet like the remote for other Phantom 3 models can.
Parrot Bebop 2: 300m (2000m with skycontroller )
Phantom 3 Standard: 1000m
The Phantom 3 Standard records footage at 2.7K (1520p) resolution at 30fps or 24fps with a 40Mbps bit rate. The Standard tops out at 48fps when shooting at 1080p, but can shoot at 50fps or 60fps at 720p. All standard lower frame rates—24fps, 25fps, and 30fps—are supported for those resolutions.
Image quality is on par with the Phantom 3 Professional and Advanced. The 1/2.3-inch sensor captures 12-megapixel JPG or Raw DNG images at a 4:3 aspect ratio. Image quality is similar to a point-and-shoot camera with Raw support.
While the Parrot Bebop 2 boasts a 14-megapixel camera that can capture 1080p video. For capturing images and video, the Bebop 2 takes a different approach than most drones: it uses a fisheye lens attached to the nose instead of an external camera mounted on a gimbal. Instead of using a remote to manually pan and tilt a camera, you can shift your focus within the wide field of view generated by the fisheye, a trick accomplished through software.
The Bebop 2 has done a nice job improving the quality of video when you are panned straight down to the ground, a viewpoint that is unique to aerial filming and can produce some magical results over interesting terrain.
Unfortunately, the camera itself hasn’t been upgraded much. When you compare the blurry, compressed footage to what some pilots shot at identical locations with camera from Phantom 3 Standard, the Bebop is clearly far inferior.
( Video via Patrick Jourdheuille )
The last choice may come down to the camera and price.