Drift HD Action Cam ReviewJune 15, 2012
- Wrist remote
- LCD screen
- ens can be replaced if broken
- External mic plug-in
- Blowout in bright settings
- Underperforming internal microphone
- Memory not included
Its easy user interface and durable body make the Drift HD Action compare well against competitors, but its value-adding features (the LCD screen and remote control) help it stand out in the helmet camera market.
Overall, the Drift HD compares favorably with the competition, but its bells and whistles definitely make it worth a second look.
Remote controls and viewfinders are becoming more prevalent in the helmet camera market, but most cameras usually require purchasing them as an add-on package. Drift’s HD Action camera is the only one that carries them standard.
The camera’s side-mounted 1.5-inch color LCD screen allows for easy viewfinding when mounted on handlebars or other fixed positions. It also allowed me to check their footage immediately after recording, which is a great feature for us impatient folks. The screen also allows for easy navigation of the menus; swapping the camera’s recording format and switching from video to still images only took seconds. (We gave the Drift three bonus points for this smart feature.).
The remote control mounts on your wrist with a simple hook-and-loop strap, and it keeps things simple with just two buttons: record and stop. The remote was especially useful on mountain bike rides; a quick push of the button let me stop and start recording without having to reach overhead, making it easy shut it off for the boring uphill grinds and start the recording on the downhill sections. The website claims a 15-foot range, but in tests the remote signal seemed to peter out at about 8-9 feet.
It sports the industry-standard 1080p video, as well as the option to record in 720p and WVGA settings. Recording looked good in moderate-lighting situations (indirect sunlight, shady areas), and it recorded scenes with lots of motion without any blurring. The screen tended to wash out in brighter settings, though, and the transition from dark to bright (say, opening a garage door) was fairly slow. The on-camera microphone had trouble picking up sound clearly, but people who need audio can plug an external mike into the camera through its back panel.