Wonders of extreme photography
The Drift HD is a splash-proof, dust-proof, weatherproof, and dunk-proof camera primarily aimed at the extreme sports market. Clipped to a vehicle, helmet, or board, the concept is to record quirky angle type videos that give a sense of action that normal recording equipment can’t give.
The camera comes standard with a goggle/strap mount, alternative back with rubber doors for USB and microphone, RF remote, curve mount, flat mount, and middle universal clip.
The camera is small, weighs 119.91g and measures 104.14 X 50.00 X 33.00 mm. One of the things that differentiates it from other action POV cameras is the integrated 1.5-inch colour LCD screen which can be used to change settings, frame videos and pictures, and playback captures.
With the other offerings, the colour LCD is generally an optional extra, so there’s no way to see your video instantly onsite without additional AV equipment like a notebook or a tablet.
The green/red/blue LED next to the play/select button indicates various states.
On the bottom side, there’s the ratcheted standard tripod thumb screw receptacle – this means the camera can be placed onto a standard tripod for photos or filming. Supplied with the unit is a universal clip that screws into the tripod hole and has a ratchet mechanism so that the camera can be manipulated and held into any position. This then allows the camera to be fitted into a number of different mounting options.
Charging is done via the mini-USB port and battery life is quoted at around four hours. Drift also offers an external battery pack to extend your battery life (though the right generic external pack would most likely do the job as well since it just connects via mini-USB ).
The camera supports microSD memory cards up to 32GB card. Once your camera is connected to your computer and turned on, it will appear as a new drive which makes it easy to get your videos off the camera and start editing.
One of the Drift’s unique features is its rotatable lens. This means that the camera can be mounted at all sorts of positions, and you can then rotate the lens to get a straight and level image.
With a 170° view, you get a pretty wide field of view – you do get some distortion, but with a lens that wide you’d expect that.
The lens will actually rotate a full 300°. Combining the rotating lens and the ratcheted clip mount, the camera can be made to perform at all sorts of weird angles. The unit also has a 4X digital zoom, which for most people is pretty useless due to the reduced image quality.
The lens itself doesn’t have any real protection, but luckily the front lens is available as a spare part and can be replaced by removing the four screws should you damage your lens during your extreme action.
For sound, the Drift has an internal microphone mounted on the side of the unit. To keep its water resistance, the microphone is covered by a thin layer of rubber. This does limit the quality and pickup range of the microphone, and if audio is important to you, then for better audio quality it would be worth investing in an external microphone.
For starting or stopping recording, the remote control is supplied as standard. Being RF-based, you don’t need line of sight to the camera, and the range is rated at five metres. Because the camera’s so small and light, options for where you can mount it are endless. It gives you a unique view of the world you can share with family, friends and complete strangers on video sharing sites.
A technology enthusiast who has his own blog at www.itnewsblog.com.