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Drift HD Ghost action cam packs problem-solving features

Beyond its 1080p30 movie capture and waterproof body, the Ghost has useful extras to help it stand out.

Drift Innovation

With Drift Innovations' Drift HD Ghost, you can add one more action cam to the increasingly crowded market. But at least this one's a little more than another "me too" model.

Not the wide blocky design of camcorders like the GoPro, the Drift HD Ghost has a slimmer and longer body, like the iON Air or Sony Action Cam. Though the shape makes it less ideal for chest mounting, it is better for POV mounting on the side of goggles, masks, and helmets. The shape also gives it room for a built-in Gorilla Glass-protected 2-inch LCD for framing and playback and a battery big enough to supply up to 3 hours of recording time.

Built-in Wi-Fi will let you connect to Android or iOS devices via an app that's coming soon, which can be used to frame shots, change settings, start and stop recordings, shoot photos, and playback. You'll also be able to transfer movies to your smartphone for viewing, editing, and uploading.

There's a Mini-USB for transfers (and charging), too, plus a Micro-HDMI out and an external 3.5mm microphone connector.

Perhaps the least interesting part of the camcorder is its recording resolutions. Not that they're bad, just that they're pretty standard for the category. It records in MP4 and MOV formats in 1080p at 25 or 30 frames per second; 960p (4:3 aspect ratio) at 25, 30, or 50fps; 720p at 25, 30, 50, or 60fps; and WVGA at 25, 30, 50, 60, 100, or 120fps. Set to any of these resolutions at 25 or 30fps, the camcorder can simultaneously capture movies and photos.

Everything gets stored to microSD card (up to 32GB supported; no card is included). You can set it to record everything until you run out of space or use a Flashback Video Tag/Loop mode that shoots video in a continuous loop letting you save only events you tag up to 5 minutes after they happen, creating instant clips for sharing.

The Drift HD Ghost can also be used for burst shooting 5-, 8-, or 11-megapixel photos at up to 10fps as well as time-lapse photos, snapping off shots at 0.5-, 1-, 2-, 3-, 5-, 10-, 30-, or 60-second intervals.

Included in the package along with goggle and flat and curved surface mounts is a wearable RF remote for starting and stopping recordings in addition to changing shooting modes. Colored LEDs give you visual feedback so you know what you're doing. Plus, the remote can be used to control multiple cameras.

Add in that the whole thing is waterproof down to 9 feet without the need for a case and you have a pretty compelling alternative to Contour's and GoPro's offerings.

The Drift HD Ghost can be preordered today for $399.99 and ships later this month.