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Drift HD Action Camera

The Drift HD Action Camera puts action at your fingertips so you can record all those moments that other camcorders miss using mounts that attach to helmets and other sports equipment to a remote to control all the action.

Ease of Use, Performance: 21/25
Look & Feel: 21/25
Features 24/25
How much I enjoy 24/25

Total: 90/100

Drift HD

I’m not an action junky, you won’t see me out on the slopes of some mountain swishing down on my snow board or diving from a cliff while getting some fantastic video. I would like to do some mountain biking on trails in some of the picturesque parks of Northern Minnesota but I need to get a good bike.

Until then I have to content myself with tooling around the cities of Fargo, North Dakota and Moorhead, Minnesota checking out the wildlife along the Red River. Action video or action cameras are a newer way to capture the rush and fun of sports like mountain biking, parachuting and other dangerous sporting activities and are really getting popular.

Helmet cameras or action cameras are durable camcorders that are weatherproof and/or waterproof, should capture better quality video and basically allow a way to capture the adventure for others to view. While this area of technology may be a bit newer the use of cameras and how quickly manufacturers are coming out with better more fully featured ones nothing short of amazing.

An action camera needs to be durable as well as user friendly and I get the chance to try out my first one with some activities around my neighborhood. I received the Drift HD from Drift Innovation, a company that has been manufacturing action cameras for only a few years and is based out of London, England.

Whats in the Box

The Drift HD Action Camera is a point of view camera that has a 170 degree field of view and is sealed in a weather tight package for action video during your favorite sporting activity. The Drift HD comes with the camera with 2 covers, two tape backed mounts and one goggle mount, 4GB micro SD card with adapter, remote control, lithium battery, strap and instruction manual.

The Drift HD camera is powered by a lithium battery that is charged through the USB cable that is also used to download files as well as update the firmware. The camera does have plenty of accessories including a lens changing system where you can remove and replace the any broken lenses.

The Drift HD records video and audio in standard .mov format for handy editing but many software media players can play this format along with the direct play from the camera to an HDTV. The .mov format is not a supported format for most video players like an iPhone, iPod or Sansa View so at the least you will need to either convert the file or use a video player on a computer.

The Drift HD is a simple to use camcorder and does not have a lot of confusing menus or functions on the menu system, the four buttons control the camera or the two on the remote. In order to record you simply turn on the camera and press the record button or use the remote to record and zoom is done with the two arrow buttons.

Battery Micro SD Card

The menu feature on the camera is only available from the camera buttons while the remote only records and stops recording while the camera is powered up. You choose whether you’re in camcorder or photo mode as well as choose other options like what definition the video records or date and time from the menu system.

The Drift HD records video in 720p at 25, 30, 50 and 60 frames per second as well as 1080p in 25 or 30 frames per second along with a x4 digital zoom. The camera also can be used as 9 megapixel still camera with a photo burst mode that takes rapid succession stills.

The camera has a 170 degree lens so there is a wide view that will distort around the edges but you can zoom in for a little less distortion on the edges. The still images are not the best quality but this is really meant for action video, the still image camera seems more of a bonus function.

The camera does pretty good with the zoom but you do have to use the up and down arrow buttons on the camera to adjust this; it would have been nice to have a more fully functioning remote. While your camera is mounted on something like a helmet or a vehicle that you have to work to get to the camera adjustments can be a bit of a pain for things like zoom.

 Drift Power Pack & Waterproof Case

The main purpose of this camera is video and it does a very good job of showing the action and adventure of your favorite sport in high definition. Video looks good and is easy to edit on programs like Adobe’s Premiere Elements 10 and is viewable directly from the camera on Windows Media Player.

You can use the Drift HD to play the video directly to an HDTV as long as you purchase a micro HDMI cable which is the smallest size connection for HDMI. You can purchase a micro HDMI cable along with just about any other accessory needed from Drift Innovations but you will probably bet a lower priced cable at stores like Wal-Mart.

I had no problem editing my video with Premiere Elements 10 without having to convert the format and the video that I have published from the Drift HD looks pretty good. I did do some editing to fast forward a few parts of the more boring riding around but sections of note like the mounting of the camera on different things is clearly evident.

I used the goggle mount to secure the camera to the remote control tank, a bike helmet and my vehicles roof rack in the first parts of the video which was very easy to use. I then put the camera into the Drift HD waterproof case to try the Drift out in the Red River which kept the camera safe from the frigid water.

Unedited Picture

The camera is very buoyant and with the added air around the camera in the waterproof case you get a bit of extra security in that the camera will definitely float if it shakes loose of its mount while in the case. The Drift Waterproof case uses the same mount as the camera and you can use the goggle mount with its strap slots or the two self-adhesive mounts that come with the Drift HD to secure the camera.

The Drift also has the optional Power Pack you can purchase to give extra power to the Drift camera as well as other devices like cell phones, tablets and other on the go devices. The Drift Power Pack has a USB connection to charge devices or use the pack to power the camera as long as you don’t need to have the camera weatherproofed.  

The Drift Power Pack is a handy add on to the Drift HD camera and along with the Waterproof case adds a lot of functionality to the Drift HD out in the field. The Drift HD does make a great action camera but does have a few problems to go along with the great features.

I opened the remote to check out the battery and two of the four posts that hold the screws on the main body of the remote broke off. The third was partially broken off and only being held to the case by the rubber that seals the cover on, this means the cover is now only being held by one screw.

Drift Video

The remote can be used with a strap which will hold the back on but it will not keep out dust or water because the back is no longer secure but I can buy a new one if I feel I need one. The camera does not take very good still images but that is not the main function of the camera so it is not that much of a missed feature.

The Drift HD does cost a lot at about $370 which puts the Drift at the high end of these point of view action cameras, it does include a lot of good amount of mounts and features though. The Drift HD camera itself is a solid action camera and I had no problems with the camera itself or the mounts which are all durable and held the camera well in all my testing.

While I could not give the Drift HD a quick recommendation it does prove to be a good solid action camera and is worth serious consideration for a purchase. Check out the Drift HD at Drift Innovations and you can see more videos of the cameras in action.

Drift Innovations