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Drift HD Camera
|Price:||$259.94 & FREE Shipping|
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- Full HD for creating crystal clear footage.
- A playback LCD screen for lining up shots and playing back the footage right away and a rotating lens so you can mount the camera at any angle and any position to get that shot you are looking for.
- Standard 1/4" 20 mm thread for use with most tripods and a Micro HDMI connector for HDTV playback
- External power pack accessory offering (20 hrs. record time) and night mode so you can record in darker and duskier conditions
- What's Included: HD Action Camera, Remote Control, Spare rear cover, Goggle Mount, Curved and Flat adhesive mounts, Universal Clip, Velcro Strap, Lithium Battery, USB Cable, Quick Guide to get started
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|Sold By||RageCams||Big Birds LLC||Smile Electronics||Amazon.com||Amazon.com|
|Item Dimensions||1.29 x 4.1 x 1.96 in||1.25 x 4 x 2.25 in||6.7 x 4 x 2.8 in||3.33 x 1.55 x 2.02 in||1.66 x 4.25 x 1.65 in|
The Drift HD Camera is an amazing helmet cam with an exceptional array of features. It sports a compact housing which is 4.1 in. and it only weighs 4.23 oz. This small package records in full HD, has a LCD screen for lining up shots and playing back footage. This camera also has multiple mounting options, including a goggle strap so you can get the shot you want no matter what the angle. All of this in a compact easy to use forma; What more could you ask for".MicroSD memory capacity up to 32GB (card not included).Settings provide 25 / 30 / 50 / 60fps in 720p or 25 / 30fps in 1080p for the best resolution recording either slow-motion or fast moving action.Still Photo: 9 megapixel with Photoburst Mode you can take pictures every few seconds for as long as your memory card and battery lasts.Digital Zoom: Digital x4 (in 1080p, 720p/30/60fps & WVGA mode) so you can get even closer to the action or your friend in front.A rotating lens so you can mount the camera at any angle and any position to get that shot you are looking for (up to 170ø).User Friendly Control Panel in 15 Languages.Wireless Remote Control: that you can pair to your camera or any number of additional cameras to enable you to film what you want to record, not the boring stuff in between.Mounts: Multiple Mounting Design, Standard 1/4" 20 mm thread New goggle strap in addition to curved and flat adhesive mounts, paired with a universal clip for multiple mounting options.Standard 1/4" 20 mm thread for use with most tripods.Built-in Microphone & Speaker.2.5mm Mono Plug Input external microphones and a second rear cover to protect the camera when using an external mic or a USB charger.Micro HDMI connector for HDTV playback.Includes camera, remote control, spare rear cover, goggle mount, sdhesive mounts, universal clip, velcor strap, lithium ion battery, USB cable and quick start guide.Water Resistant.
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I checked the Drift Innovations website recently, and noticed that they changed their recommendation for SD cards. They no longer recommend Class 4 cards. Here is what they say...
"Class 10, SDHC versions – Sandisk, Kingston and PNY brands are recommended. We have found that using Samsung memory cards and also any SDXC versions can sometimes affect the cameras performance."
"We recommend compatible class 10 microSD card, purchased for a reliable source and brand - we use Sandisk Ultra class 10/UHS-1 cards."
SanDisk Ultra 32GB microSDHC UHS-I Card with Adapter, Grey/Red, Standard Packaging (SDSQUNC-032G-GN6MA)
So, I purchased the above card, but I continue to experience problems 1-3 that I listed in my review.
My reason for purchasing the Drift HD was to use it as a car camera. See the video for how I installed it in my car, and how well it functions as a car camera. The seller was PhotoAmerica (fulfillment by Amazon). I paid 190 bucks. The camera is made in China.
Things to note:
The strap to lash the camera to the headrest is mine. I was hoping that the Velcro strap that came with the camera would work for me, but it was much too short (it's meant to go around your wrist or goggles).
The goggle mount has several strap openings (some closed loop, some open loop); the open loop openings worked well for my setup (I simply slid my strap into the mount, instead of threading it--since my strap had non-removable connectors on each end).
In my application, the camera is installed upside down (since I wanted to show the view on the driver's side as well as the passenger side and the front). The rotatable lens worked great.
I am using the 1080p high definition (HD) setting at 30 FPS (170 degree field of view). I do not use the remote control. I did have the radio turned-on (not loudly), and the camera mic sensitivity is set to high, but you really can't hear the radio.
The vibration of the camera is due to the car and road vibrations; the camera mount and the headrest are secure.
The actual camera video is more clear than what you can see on the video that I posted to Amazon. It's possible that Amazon compressed the video when I uploaded it to this review, so it lost some resolution. HOWEVER, even when one car length away sitting in traffic, the license plate of the car in front of me is NOT readable using 1080p. That's disappointing.
I have the date/time feature turned-on. The camera shipped with firmware version 1.1.53.
I also purchased 2 flash cards:
Kingston 16 GB Class 4 MicroSDHC Flash Card with SD Adapter SDC4/16GB
Kingston Digital 32 GB microSDHC Flash Memory Card SDC4/32GB
Drift Innovation recommends Class 4 cards for this camera. The 32 GB card is my main card; the 16 GB card is an extra card, in case I need to loan my main card to the police.
When I first inserted a flash card, it would not come out of the camera. I had to stick a pin on the side of the card and gently wiggle it out. After doing this several times, the camera was "broken in" and the card popped-up normally. I tried both cards initially, and they both had the same problem; but after breaking-in the camera with one card, the other card worked fine as well (so it was not the card, but the camera).
I use the camera 6-8 times per week.
A couple of times a week, when I turn-on the camera, the camera beeps and a message on the display says "card error". When that happens, I turn-off the camera and turn it back on again, and it's fine.
The screen goes blank/dark some time during the recording (but the camera is still on). At that point, the camera is not responsive to any buttons (i.e., it cannot be turned-off by pressing/holding the select button). The only way to reset the camera is to remove/reinsert the battery. This problem happens infrequently: about twice a month.
I press the button to turn-on the unit; the light is green. I press the button again to start recording, and I hear a beep (so I think it is recording). I check it a few minutes later, and the light is still green. It's on, but has not started recording. At this point, I have to remove the camera battery to reset the camera. So, to make sure the camera is actually recording, I have learned to listen for the beep AND make sure the light is red (and also glance at the display to make sure the time/counter is advancing). This problem is infrequent (about twice a month) and intermittent. I suspect (but am not certain) that problems #2 and #3 are related. I have noticed less of problem #2, now that I am careful to make sure the camera is actually recording.
Because of these problems, I deducted 2 stars from the rating. For my purposes, it is more of an annoyance (and frustrating when I have to turn the camera off/on, then sometimes I forget to hit record...again). Removing/inserting the battery to reset the camera is not a big deal for me, since I'm in my car; but if you're in the field, in bad weather, and/or wearing gear, then it may be a problem. For someone who is using this camera for extreme sports videos, this may prove more of an issue...especially if you miss a good video due to a camera error (as described by another reviewer).
In order to achieve the exposure that I wanted, I had to set the Exposure setting to -2; the default is 0. At zero, the inside of my car looks great, but the outside is a bit washed-out.
I also purchased the following car charger: Motorola Vehicle Power Adapter mini-USB Rapid Rate Charger. The camera is attached to the charger when in-use, so I cannot comment about battery life.
When viewing a video, I use "Freemake Video Converter" to rotate the video; the program is free (go to CNET Download); the software has some basic video editing features as well. It can also convert the file to various other video formats. The camera stores videos using the .mov format.
To keep the camera from baking in a hot car during summer days, I installed window deflectors like these: WeatherTech Custom Fit Front & Rear Side Window Deflectors for Hyundai Elantra, Light Smoke. Then I roll down the windows a bit, so fresh/cooler air can flow into my car, and hot air can escape.
I would not buy the Drift HD again. I wish it didn't have the problems noted above, and I wish it could record a license plate clearly while sitting in traffic using 1080p.
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The mounting system is extremely flexible, and provides the user with many options. For example, the goggle mount works perfectly with my Dragon Alliance APX Goggles (Jet Stealth) and my Smith Intrigue ski helmet. The goggle mount easily accepts the goggle strap with two slots in the mount's bracket. The mount has tiny "teeth" - almost like Velcro - which grip onto the strap. In addition, there are rubber feet on the corners of the mount which are wider than the goggle strap. These rubber feet stabilize the mount against the helmet, and provide friction so that mount will not slide on the helmet. The wide base of the goggle mount gives it a very stable foundation. The other mounts (adhesive flat and curved mounts) seem to be well built. What's great is that the universal mounting bracket give you flexibility to switch between various mounting options very quickly. The ability to adjust the angle of the mounting bracket is a nice touch as well.
The video quality is very good. The only negative is the fish-bowl effect created by the wide angle lens, but this is well worth it in order to have such a large angle. The objects in the center portion of the frame are not distorted; only the objects in the outer portion of the frame tend to be warped. Again, worth it for the large high definition frame from a small package. The 60 fps setting on 720p is AWESOME as it allows for slow motion...which is going to be great on the terrain park.
The other thing that separated this camera from the GoPro and Contour for me is the LCD screen. This is great for being able to watch your videos while on the lifts/gondolas, but even better for making sure your alignment is correct. The GoPro offers an accessory for an LCD display, and the Contour GPS can work with your Android phone, but having this built into the camera is a nice convenience. It also is very helpful in allowing you to change options on the fly.
My only complaint is that there are no high capacity battery options for the HD Action camera. The battery is 1100mAh. Drift does offer a 1700mAh battery, but that only works with the HD170. However, they do offer an external power pack which will work. But I have a Mophie portable battery, which is USB and works just as easily with the Drift as it does with my cell phone (or any other USB powered device for that matter). So, I will keep the Mophie in my backpack and use that to power the Drift in case the battery runs out of juice. I will use this instead of purchasing spare batteries. The other back-panel that is included gives you access to the mini-USB port and external mic jack; this will work well with the Mophie.
Again, nice to have USB power as well as removable batteries as it gives you flexibility.
I will update this review after our ski trip!
I also own a GoPro and I am preferring Drift over the GoPro for the advantage of a Time/Date stamp.
I use my cameras to collect evidence of the dangerous and illegal driving that is going on around me. A Time/Date stamp makes it easier to pin point the time and day.
One thing to be aware of, This Drift camera records in .MOV format so you will have to download conversion/editing software to process and upload videos to YouTube.
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