When we last took a look, the Drift HD came in last in our action camera battlemodo. It had a lot of features that we really liked, but image quality wasn’t up to snuff. The new Drift Ghost, however, promises even more features, not the least of which is a new set of optics.
The Drift Ghost still retains that built-in screen, but now it’s covered with hearty Gorilla Glass 2, which should help keep it from getting scratched. It now comes bundled with a rather clever two-way remote control. The remote (which is wearable), let’s you start/stop recording and change modes. The slickest part is that it has an LED indicator which lets you know when the camera is recording and when it isn’t. Very handy when it’s strapped to the top of your head. It’s a tiny detail, but extremely handy.
The Drift now has built-in Wi-Fi, allowing for control, playback and file transfers via smartphone apps. It’s also waterproof as-is to a depth of 2.7 metres. That’s probably waterproof for most of your adventures, and for others, you can get purchase a case that should be good for up to 55m deep.
There’s also a pretty cool trick on the software side called Flashback. It basically records footage into a five-minute cache that is continually dumped, unless you choose to tag it by saving it. In other words, you realise that awesome thing you’ve been waiting all day for happened three minutes ago. As long as it was in this mode and pointed in the right direction, you should be covered as long as you’re within that five minute window (though this mode will certainly eat batteries a lot faster than standby).
Hopefully the biggest upgrade is the new “seven element lens” on the Drift Ghost. This is the main reason we’re looking forward to checking it out. Footage on the Drift HD was really pretty dreadful. If they’ve truly fixed that, it could be a camera to consider. At the same time, with the Contour+2, the Sony Action Cam and the GoPro Hero 3 all being released in just the last couple of months, competition is stiff. Both the Hero 3 and the Sony can shoot 720p video at 120 frames per second. The Hero 3 can also shoot 1080p at 60fps (not to mention 4K video at 15fps). The Drift can’t do either of those things, which means no buttery slo-mo for you. That aside, we’ll have to compare frames to see how it all works out.