I am not exactly known for being the most active or adventurous person around (with the exception of a certain recent out of character adventure). However, even though I don’t experience it first hand, I do love watching the impressive feats (and unfortunate demises…) of other more adrenaline-fueled folk by way of their YouTube uploads.
Thankfully there is a great selection of wearable cameras these days that are available in all sorts of specifications to suit any wallet. Our friends at ActionCameras.co.uk send us one of their best offerings to try out for ourselves. The GoPro cameras are probably the most well-known wearable cameras, but it is good to know what else there is out there, so they kindly send us a Drift HD Ghost action-cam to test out for a couple of weeks.
What’s in the box?
The Drift HD Ghost action-cam comes with plenty of extras in the box that will allow you to attach the camera to almost anything. Included in the box is a remote control which gives you full control of the camera without having to fiddle around with the buttons on the side of the camera whilst you are wearing it. The remote has coloured LED lights along two sides that provide an indication of what you are controlling. The remote can work up to a maximum range of 10m, and provides full control over all settings, modes and recording options.
A number of different mounting options are provided for any eventuality, from a curved adhesive mount to mount the camera to a helmet, a flat adhesive mount, a universal clip, a goggle mount and a wrist strap. It really is extremely versatile, and I couldn’t think of anywhere that I wouldn’t be able to mount it that I wanted to.
Two different rear connector hatches are provided: one which is a fully watertight one to keep the interior workings of the camera dry underwater (for example the battery and memory card access slots), and the other has rubberised access hatches that allow access to external mic and USB ports for additional microphone and power inputs.
The camera comes with two rechargeable Li-ion batteries which each give about 3 hours of battery life and which can be charged by the standard micro-USB cable that is included in the box. If you don’t think 6 hours is enough, then this guy will happily charge via something like that Powermonkey Extreme that I reviewed a few months ago.
One one side of the camera is a 2″ LCD Screen (covered by scratch-proof gorilla glass) that lets you immediately playback your clips in full colour. That way you can make sure you get exactly the right footage you are after. If you don’t get it quite right the first time, you can keep trying until you get exactly what you want.
The lens on the camera has an adjustable field-of-view at 170°, 127° and 90°, and is rotatable around a 300° angle, which means you can make sure your videos are perfectly straight even if you aren’t able to mount the camera on straight. The whole thing is waterproof down to 3m, so it is ideal for watersports such as sailing, windsurfing, or even just mountain biking down a particularly wet and muddy hill in Wales in the middle of January (for example).
There is Wi-Fi capability, and the camera is compatible with a Drift App, that allows you to control and view the camera via a smartphone. Sadly I did not get an opportunity to test this out, but it certainly is a nice feature to have included.
What can it do?
There is a diverse series of modes from which you can select, including full HD video shot in 1080p and 60 fps. You can also shoot slow motion clips in 720p. Continuous Loop Video or ‘Video Tagging’ means you won’t miss a thing – you can capture up to the last 5 minutes which means even if you don’t have the camera rolling, you won’t miss even the most unexpected event.
In addition to great video, you can use the Drift HD Ghost action-cam to take amazing still photos (11MP), as well as time-lapse photos that can take a photo every 0.5, 1, 2, 3, 5, 10, 30 or 60 secs. In photo burst mode a burst of 5-10 photos can be taken for 1, 2 or 5 secs.
As I always seem to end up saying at the end of my hands-on reviews, this camera is not cheap. But you get plenty of kit with the camera, which means you don’t have to fork out extra cash for all the add-ons that you realise you need to get it to work how you want (which can quite often be the case after buying something like this).
Yet again – you get what you pay for. It’s not cheap, but does everything you could possibly want it to, plus gives you even more features that you didn’t even know you wanted!
If I was a bit more of an adrenaline junkie, I would definitely have this little guy on my Christmas wish-list. However, being more of the couch potato sort, I shall just hope that plenty of you guys have it on your wishlists instead, and I look forward to seeing the results uploaded to YouTube soon!
The Drift HD Ghost action camera is available to buy for £249.99 from ActionCameras.co.uk
If you don’t think the Drift HD Ghost is quite what you are after then Action Cameras have a wide selection of other wearable cameras, dash cameras, helmet cams etc, so head over to their site to see if you can find something else more suitable for your needs.
For more pictures of the Drift HD Ghost camera, check out our Facebook album here.