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Drift Ghost HD

Discussion in 'Electronics' started by friction, Mar 12, 2014.

  1. #1 friction, Mar 12, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 14, 2014
    Hey all,

    I haven't posted in a while but as I'm buying new gear for an upcoming Europe tour, so I thought I'd post about a few products as I try them out. This review is about this: http://driftinnovation.com/drift-ghost/

    • Weatherproof without a special case
    • Less conspicuous than many other action cams such as the Go Pro
    • Wide-angled lens can be re-angled for any mounting position
    • Wireless transfers of video files
    • "Video tagging" using the included remote to start recording from X seconds in the past, the current X seconds and the X seconds after that, where X is 15s/30s/1m etc
    • Good quality video, 1080p 30fps
    • Wireless link for transferring files is kinda flaky, but acceptable if you temporarily disable the remote control
    • 3-3.5 hours of battery life (depending on settings) goes quick, not sure how that compares to other cameras
    • 15s between footage being shot and being written to SD card, so unlikely to store the critical moment in a serious crash
    • The new "Car DVR" mode (requires latest firmware) which fills up the SD card with X minute clips then overwrites the oldest files on a continuous loop only works with external USB power, not useful in helmet-cam mode
    • Wireless link uses it's own Wifi network, not Bluetooth.
    • Drift App is really crash happy
    This camera retails for about $400, but I bought one through Kogan for $285 inclusive of freight and freight protection. The price has since gone up, but there is at least one other retailer on shopbot.com.au selling it for less than $300. I opted for the Ghost HD instead of the Ghost S because a 60fps/1080p framerate (120fps at 720p) just seemed unnecessary, and the extra battery life was minor. Kogan estimated 1-2 weeks delivery, I got an email informing me of a shipping delay 1 week in, and all up it took 2.5 weeks to arrive, no biggie.

    The camera came with a 3M backed mount clip (there's both a flat and curved included), and it seems pretty sturdy but I haven't yet riden in the rain and I'm a little worried it will lose adhesion. I'd have preferred a mount like the Sena SMH10, but maybe I'm just paranoid. I'll update this thread if the camera falls off and smashes to bits!

    I bought and installed an SD card, updating the firmware was nice and easy, and install the Drift App was pretty straight forward. However, while trying to get the right mounting position (the Drift App allows you to live stream from the camera wirelessly) I found that the connection kept dropping out. I have since discovered that using the phone's LCD panel to disable the remote control (even if the remote control is off) solves pretty much all connection issues, but since that seems so crucial I'm surprised the camera doesn't do that automatically when you enable wireless.

    Speaking of wireless, the camera actually makes its own mini wifi network, which means that to open the app you have to go to settings, connect to its wifi, download your videos, then reconnect to your normal wifi. Also don't forget to turn wifi off because it's a massive battery drain. Not ideal, but acceptable.

    The Drift App on iPhone looks nice, is intuitive to use, but crashes more often than L-platers leaving the store on a brand new bike. Regularly while downloading video the app just crashes to desktop, and you have to go and download the video again. Very annoying, but still easier than messing around with cables or SD cards. For 3 min clips (thanks to video tagging mode), wireless transfer is pretty handy, but for the 4gb files you end up with on continuous video mode, you'll want to go for USB cable or pulling out the SD card.

    To help get used to the camera I also bought a suction cap holder and mounted it to the car windscreen, but it's an awkward shape and design that makes a small camera require a large amount of windscreen real-estate. It would mount better to the dash itself, but my car's upholstery was a texture that doesn't like suction cap. In the car, the Car DVR mode works pretty well, when USB power is supplied the camera turns on, starts recording automatically, and turns off when USB powered is removed.

    The video quality is good, though even at 1080p number plates are simply too small to read at a safe following distance. Sitting at a traffic light, or passing a car and glancing down at the plate is enough, but your best bet is getting the external mike, putting it inside the helmet, and saying the plate number if you really need a record of it. There's plenty of comparison videos on YouTube so there's no need for me to upload my Captain Slow riding for you.

    All in all, it's one of the few out-of-the-box waterproof action cams, and its a convenient shape for mounting on the side or top of a helmet without drawing heaps of attention, which makes it the best choice for a helmet cam on the market at the moment. It's a pretty good product, and if they could just improve the app and the connectivity to the app (by auto-disabling the remote or something), it would be a fantastic product.

    I hope this review helps someone!


    Correct forum: Product Reviews > Everything Else
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  2. Thanks moderator for moving my thread, I made sure to read through all the areas first to make sure I was posting to the correct place, but somehow I missed it. Anyway:

    UPDATE: A couple of weeks ago was the first time I'd gone for a ride in decent rain (to and from work, 1 hour in the morning, 1 hour in the evening). By the time I got to work, the inside of the LCD display and the inside of the lens had developed condensation that basically made the camera useless.

    I think the problem might be that the cover on the back of the camera that holds the battery, SD card etc isn't sealing well enough against the rest of the camera, but I think that Drift's claim that the camera is "waterproof" is untrue. I light sprinkling, sure, but if the rain gets bad I'd put the camera in your pocket.

    This is really disappointing since it being waterproof was one of the reasons I purchased this particular camera.
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