Flying Dobby via the Do.Fun app offers reasonable real-time control but there seems to be about a half a second’s lag between making inputs and the drone reacting. On the good side, this helps keep Dobby from being too twitchy. You can see what Dobby sees via its front-facing camera, and you can snap photos and record videos via this view as well.
Dobby is happiest outside, where there’s lots of space to manoeuvre. Inside, Dobby was not quite as easy to control as it had to deal with updrafts created by its blades, and one of our carpets appeared to confuse its sensors. Otherwise, we liked the palm landing feature where you can direct Dobby to settle gently (or take-off) on an outstretched hand.
The last thing to note about flying Dobby is that this little guy is loud! While it would be nice to pull Dobby out of your pocket and subtly capture a selfie video, you’r not going to do this without attracting a lot of attention from passers by.
Dobby’s 13-megapixel, f/2.2 camera can handle video recording at 30 frames per second in full HD resolution (1080p). Dobby also takes photos with a frame size of 4208 x 3120, so there’s plenty of detail to be captured.
The camera’s image stabilisation helped iron out the bumps in our videos. Photos look decent too, and the lens doesn’t suffer from fish-eye distortion.
A new ND filter now comes in the box with all Dobby drones, which helps improve image quality in bright, sunny condition.
You can manually change the camera’s lens angle and even the pitch of the drone to ensure that the camera is pointing where you want it, such as straight ahead or towards the ground.
There are a few recording modes that help make capturing footage easier. With stills, you can tap the shutter manually, do bursts or set a timer.
With videos, there’s a clever 10-second auto-tracking video mode as well as an orbital mode, which is a pre-set flight path around an object or person while keeping the camera tracked on them. It’s the sort of shot you’d see in a big budget movie.
And this is where the whole ‘selfie’ thing comes into play. Dobby can be set to recognise and track faces, and even objects. A square box appears over the face or object you select on the drone’s camera, and then Dobby will hover, follow and continually point its lens at this person or thing until you stop it. So essentially, you could get Dobby to do things like capture your latest golf swing, record you climbing up a cliff face, or whatever dangerous or crazy pursuit you want to capture and show your friends.