ANAFI features a 3-axis image stabilization system which combines the best of mechanical and electronic stabilization. The gimbal is balanced mechanically on two axis and is globally reinforced by a 3 axis electronic system. Embedded advanced algorithms prevent the rolling shutter effect. The entire system rivals the performances of a full 3-axis mechanical gimbal; however, it has a much lighter form factor.
Why create a hybrid image stabilization system?
When we designed ANAFI, our goal was to combine the following three features: provide true state-of-the-art image stabilization, offer users the possibility of creating spectacular videos from all angles, while keeping ANAFI ultra-compact and lightweight.
We analyzed several options and finally decided on a miniaturized 2-axis mechanical gimbal because it’s lightweight and it has the ability to tilt vertically at a 180° angle. Our expertise in electronic image stabilization algorithms allowed us to reinforce the mechanical system with a 3 axis electronic stabilization, increasing the image fluidity to unprecedented levels.
How does ANAFI’s mechanical image stabilization work?
The role of the gimbal is simple: keep the camera pointed towards the desired direction in all circumstances. It must therefore compensate for external disturbances, mainly the drone movements, vibrations and strong winds, so that the image remains stable in all conditions.
The gimbal’s hardware architecture is composed of two systems: an active stabilization system actuated by brushless motors, and a passive stabilization system made up of dampeners.
The active system aims at compensating large amplitude (tens of degrees) and low frequency angular perturbations (<20Hz), such as the drone’s tilt movements and gusts of wind when flying outdoor. The motors can move the camera almost effortlessly in standard flight conditions, but are also able to increase their torque in circumstances that require stronger stabilization levels. As the mechanical design is key, every single detail was scrutinized to reduce friction, unbalance and aerodynamic forces.
The passive system focuses on reducing smaller amplitude (around one degree and below) and higher frequency (>20Hz) agitations such as motor vibration, which are very common during flights. Special attention was paid to the design of the dampeners in order to reject all disruptions coming from the drone’s structure.
Additionally, Parrot’s high-end stabilization algorithms have been implemented into the gimbal’s processor, fed by an ultra-precise Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU). The IMU includes a 3-axis gyroscope and a 3-axis accelerometer. It analyzes the camera’s movements, thousands of times per second and reacts accordingly to keep the same level of smoothness in every flight scenario.
What does electronic image stabilization bring to ANAFI’s hybrid system?
We are pioneers in electronic stabilization and have been since the introduction of the Parrot Bebop drone, famous for its incredibly accurate EIS (Electronic Image Stabilization). Through the years, we perfected our algorithms to develop a true savoir-faire in powerful and advanced EIS. This has allowed us to produce ultra-smooth videos and photos with no loss in image quality.
To do so, we use ANAFI’s lens which has a 110° field of view. Our custom-made 21MP wide angle camera offers the right amount of margins for efficient EIS while recording in 4K.
While the mechanical gimbal already eliminates most vibrations and perturbations, the EIS makes sure that no deformations remains in the footage. Complementing the mechanical stabilization with our expertise in EIS, allowed us to reach advanced levels of precision of up to 4 millidegrees (0.004°).
Generally, the motors and engines tend to lose accuracy after several use cycles. Our EIS is there to ensure that the whole system remains effective, even after you’ve performed a hundred flights.
How does a 3-axis hybrid system compare to a 3-axis mechanical gimbal?
In terms of technologies, both system are similar. ANAFI’s hybrid image stabilization achieves an accuracy of up to 0.004 °. The drone is ultra-light, keeping in mind it has an integrated 180° tilt gimbal. This is what makes ANAFI unique in comparison to other drones on the market. Capture incredible, never-seen-before shots from below and immortalize your best moments with ANAFI, the flying 4K HDR camera!