Review: Drift HD Ghost POV Camera

Cameras Pro Reviews

How does it compare against the competition? The HERO3 still has the best video clarity, though it has overly warm colors, followed by the HD Ghost and then the Contour+2 and Replay XD. The HD Ghost has the best usage factor, followed closely by the Contour+2, then the Replay XD, with the HERO3 way behind in this category.

Bottom Line
The Drift HD Ghost is an excellent 11MP high definition outdoor sports camera, that takes 1080p, 960p and 720p resolution videos with a slew of frame rate options. It has a plethora of useful and functional features, including a tough Gorilla Glass color LCD screen, built-in Wi-Fi, a two-way remote with indicator lights, a tough waterproof or water resistant body, a rotatable lens, and a stable mount system. The main menu system is intuitive and easy to use, and using the four camera buttons, any video and photo mode setting can be altered, and footage viewed or deleted. The nifty Tag/Loop feature captures a rolling window of video into flash memory, and saves it to permanency when tagged.

One of the highlights of the camera is the excellent form factor, which comes from the low profile body, stable mounting system, remote with large easy to use buttons and functional status indicator lights, loud indicator beeps for mode changes and the LCD screen. The 2-inch color LCD screen is used for leveling, camera settings, menu selection and recorded material viewing. Some of the icons and fonts for the settings are on the small size, and I found them hard to read for my older eyes. The mount system is one of the most stable on the market, but the lack of a vented helmet mount is annoying, since a semi-permanent surface mount is the only solution for attachment. Due to the camera body shape, a chest system isn’t feasible, so you can only do handlebar, helmet or goggle mounting. The built-in Wi-Fi lets the camera wirelessly converse with mobile devices using the Drift App to align the camera, change settings and modes, and download and view and delete recorded footage. I found App extremely useful for alignment and mode configurations, and would use the remote for normal operations. For some odd reason, the App doesn’t allow the video frame rate to be above 30fps. In bright and low light cameras metering worked fine, but in mixed light conditions, full light bursts could cause occasional washouts in the recorded video footage.

The camera took great footage with good clarity and realist colors. The excellent form and usage factor from the superb large remote with its useful indicator lights, LCD screen, menu system, stable mounts, loud mode beeps and rotatable lens all worked in synergistic harmony. Top it all off with the unique Tag/Loop feature, a long-lived battery life, built-in Wi-Fi and mobile interface, creates a great camera package.

Strengths

  • Excellent form and usage factor
  • Superb remote control w/ indicator lights
  • Loud mode change beeps
  • LCD screen
  • Stable mount system
  • Menu system
  • Tag/Loop functionality
  • Built in Wi-Fi
  • Mobile App
  • 11MP sensor

Weaknesses

  • Lens may be prone to damage
  • Menu setting’s parameters font and icons are small and hard to read
  • App interface doesn’t allow a higher frame rate (only 30fps)
  • Lack of a vented helmet mount
  • Video clarity great not the best
  • Washouts occasionally in mixed light conditions

MSRP: $399.99

Overall Rating: 4.5 Flamin’ Chili Peppers

Visit the Drift Innovations HD Ghost Website

 

Technical Specs:

  • 1080p [1920x1080] – 25, 30 fps
  • 960p [1280x960] – 25, 30, 48, 50 fps
  • 720p [1280x720] – 25, 30, 50, 60 fps
  • WVGA [848x480] – 25, 30, 50, 60, 100, 120
  • File format: .Mp4 / .Mov (H.264 codec, selectable)
  • Sensor type: CMOS
  • Field of view: 170° (1080p, 960p, 720p, WVGA)
  • Field of view: 127°, 90° (1080p)
  • 11, 8, 5 megapixel Still Photos
  • Lens focal range: 0.5m to infinity
  • Lens rotation: 300°
  • Zoom: x10 (digital)
  • Exposure: Auto / Manual
  • LCD Screen: 2.0″ TFT
  • Waterproof: 3m (9.84ft)
  • Microphone: Built-in, noise reducing microphone
  • Built-in memory: 256MB
  • Memory capacity: Micro SD memory cards up to 32GB
  • Inputs: 3.5mm external microphone (extension included)
  • Outputs: HDMI connector type C (cable not included)
  • Connectivity: USB Plug and Play, mini-B USB connector
  • Compatibility: Windows XP and up / Mac OS 10.2 and up
  • Remote range: 10m (32.81ft)
  • Radio frequency: 2.4G
  • Camera dimensions: 105 (L) x 52 (W) x 33 (D) mm
  • Camera Weight: 167g
  • Camera Power: 1700mAH rechargeable lithium-ion battery (included) (DC 3.7V)
  • Remote Control dimensions: 59 (L) x 48 (W) x 12 (D) mm
  • Remote Control Weight: 22g
  • Remote Control Power: 350mAH rechargeable lithium-ion battery (internal) (DC 3.7V)
About the author: Brian Mullin

Brian has been part of the Mtbr team since 2007, where he has become an integral member of the review and test staff, specializing in technical articles. He likes to push the limits in all the sports he obsesses in, whether it's mountain biking, whitewater kayaking, extreme skiing, or sport climbing. He takes those same strengths and a good dose of insanity to his reviewing and writing on mountain biking products, creating technical, in-depth and hyperbolic articles. Whenever he's not on the bike, he might be found watching MotoGP racing, otherwise look for him out on extremely technical singletrack.


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  • Vic says:

    How did you put the camera with the strap (on top of the helmet?

  • Aaron says:

    The real question is if you would pick this over a GoPro Hero 3

    -Aaron who recently watched leadville race

  • Patrick says:

    So you make a review for a camera and don’t include a video… The majority of the people are going to use this for video not pictures. The reviews on this site are mind bogglingly bad sometimes.

  • Bob says:

    Good info. Any plans for a review of Sony’s Action Cam HDR-AS10? Very interested to see how it compares to the models listed in this review.

  • Joe says:

    Hey Patches, maybe you should actually read the whole article before making mind bogglingly stupid comments. There’s a video on page 4…

  • Sadoldsamurai says:

    Yep, nice review..but like many others I have a go pro-which like it or not is the current ‘benchmark’..What would be useful is a simultaneous filming video. I’ve seen one comparing GoPro2 and a later GoPro3..its and ad and so I suspect the GoPro3 may have been slightly ‘enhanced’..
    cynical aren’t I :(

    • Brian Mullin says:

      GoPro does have a large editing staff of professional videographers, so there internal footage looks pretty good. We’ll have some comparison video out shortly, but it will only be all the new cameras against each other. GoPro HERO3, Contour+2, Drift HD Ghost, Replay XD1080, JVC, Sony. I personally try and only upload raw footage (no editing) from the camera, as it gives the best idea of what the camera outputs.

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