Tag Archives: review

Parrot Mambo FPV … Like & Dislike

After a lot of flights … I reached some considerations. So, in a nutshell, what I like and what I don’t like.


Easy to control with the Flypad: Mambo responds very quickly to our commands.

Battery life...but if you don’t use camera and hulls. So 10 minutes with a “bare” drone…down to 6 minutes with a completely “dressed” drone.

You can use the camera  on a “Non-FPV” Mambo ( so you can buy only the cam and the cockpitglasses ). But see the Don’t Like.

It’s possible to adjust the interpupillary distance for a correct view. Remember to launch the FreeFlight Mini app and to activate the FPV mode before to use the Cockpitglasses.

The Mambo FPV idea: you can try a race drone without spend a lot of money. This drone is very not-expensive. But see the Don’t Like.

Don’t like

Sometime tot easy to connect : if there are some other wifi-networks around, it could be difficult. This is the correct procedure to connect Flypad & Smartphone.

  • Power on the Mambo (inserting the battery), there is not power button on the drone.
  • When the red lights start flashing green, power on the Flypad (pushing the ‘Parrot’ button).
  • Start the wifi on the smartphone and connect to the Mambo_XXXX wifi ( XXXX is the code of your drone).
  • Start the app FreeFlight Mini. Pay attention: perhaps there are some firmware upgrades.

The camera is not connected to the Mambo: the camera takes only the power from the drone ..so, if you want to download the videos, you have to take out the Micro-SD from the drone and put it on a Micro-SD reader. it’s not possible to download the videos directly from the app. But see the Like.

It not possible to record different flight-configurations…to use for different types of flights: I mean speed, speed-rotation, left/right speed..and so on.

You cannot use this drone for a true race: the video lag (due to the wifi connection) is rather hight: good for a “quite” FPV flight, but not for a serious race. The risk is to hit an obstacle that seems distant.

Conclusions: I like it! Easy to use and it’s an expensive drone for first steps towards FPV races.


Amarcord Photography: Nikon FM3A

To take a picture (technically) we need only three small things: aperture, shutter speed and focus. Three simple choices that today we don’t do anymore : it’s the camera that chooses for us . But to take a picture in that way, I mean automatically, is not the same: we don’t think over on what we are doing … and we do it in a hurry. We carry the viewfinder to our eye (maybe) and we click: the camera will choose the “best” exposure; of course we will get a photo , but it could be a better photo, but how? With that three small choices I told before. In the analogic “world” ( a lot of years ago ) we were obliged to set manually the exposure and focus … because there weren’t a lot of automatism in our camera. So I ‘d like to speak  about a very nice camera the Nikon FM3A … one of the last analogic film-based camera.

It was produced in 2001 when the digital cameras had spread like wildfire and everybody said that analogue was dead and criticized the choice of Nikon: why does it insist on an outdated technology? Often we need some time to get an answer to a question. I don’t know the answer, but I see that  the analog film still lives.

So pick up this piece of “antique” and we notice immediately by its weight that there is a substance! 570 grams (without lens) made of silicon alloy and aluminum with brass caps (as the cameras manufactured in the 70’s) : not plastic! This substance is not a quirk: it means good healthy and robustnesswith the added bonus that with this Nikon I can do even small household maintenance like drive nails or pulverize the coarse salt. I owned the FM3A since 2001 … and after many paintings on the wall, it still makes his jobs … taking pictures.

The first time I had in my hands the Fm3A, I tried to power on it… ACC! But where is the power button? I was not able to find it! Simple, just pull the film-advance lever!

In any case that lever must remain slightly open for shooting and so it can be use as a power button. Very simple!
Well, once powered on, I looked into the viewfinder and what I saw? Hundreds of figures that only hide what I wanted to capture? Nnnnooo! Only few informations … let’s see: shutter speed display with the exposure-meter indicator, exposure compensation, flash lamp, aperture indication and 12mm-diameter reference circle (  for focus indicator).

Now I’m ready to take a picture ( after I inserted a film into the camera )… how !? Very simple again: I can use the “priority aperture” by
setting  “A”  in the shutter-speed dial
then I choose an aperture on the lens
I compose the image and I press lightly the shutter button: if the exposure-meter indicator in viewfinder is in the range of the shutter speed display then I can press fully the shutter button
otherwise I have to change the aperture ( remember that we set “A” only once and to find a good exposure we have only to change the aperture on the lens ).

To be continued…