Drift HD Ghost

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by Thinc2, Mar 19, 2013.

  1. darkstarmoto

    darkstarmoto Am I evil? Yes I am

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    Just a quick vid, no enhancing just cropped for length. Couldn't remove background noise with my free editing software so please forgive that.
    http://youtu.be/iO1rWb8E5I0

    You can use any of the settings but the playback will largely depend on your hosting site. I recorded the above in 1080/30, 270 fov, with no lighting effects. But looks like less in playback.
    #21
  2. Thinc2

    Thinc2 Paciugo

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    Finally purchased the Drift Ghost HD. First impressions:

    A lot of thought has gone into this camera. From the moment you receive it, it feels like a quality product. The packaging is well thought out - protective case and well presented - kind of like an Apple product. Gives you a sense of confidence upon receipt.

    The manual is clear and easy to digest - not overly complicated.

    The camera feels absolutely solid. All the controls are clear and work precisely. Buttons big enough to use with gloves.

    The menu is absolutely intuitive. It takes only a few minutes to be comfortable with the various functions. Having the screen on the device allows for easy changing of settings at any time..

    One of the reasons I purchased this instead of the Go Pro is that I don't like the teletubby look and overall form factor ofthe GoPro. This camera really solves that - the shape and form make sense.

    I really like the remote. It has two big buttons only, and a series of lights that clearly tell you what mode you are in. The buttons are big - you won't press the wrong one by accident.

    NOTE - while the camera is waterproof, the remote is not. Something to consider.

    Camera has the following features - none of which I have tested yet:

    Video tagging
    Timelapse
    Photoburst

    In each mode you can set:
    FOV
    Exposure
    Self Timer Burst rate
    etc.

    All easily accessible form the menu - nice.

    I charged the camera and the remote - had no connection issues between the two - just turned them on and they were synched already. Nice.

    Use: - I plan to use this mostly for still photos while I am riding - so I have not tested the video yet.

    I did test the three FOV for stills: 90/127/170 degrees. Here are the results:

    90 degrees
    [​IMG]

    127 degrees
    [​IMG]

    170 degrees
    [​IMG]

    Finally, downloading the pictures was a breeze. I hooked up to the Mac, and it recognized it as a camera in iPhoto. Just a seemless download of the pics. No drama.
    #22
  3. Unstable Rider

    Unstable Rider Moto Fotografist

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    Excellent.

    Saved me a bunch of research, I had the same quest and questions. :evil

    Like you, I am more interested in some fish-eye wide random stills while riding then video that looks like everyone else's after the first five seconds. This would not be my primary still camera, certainly, just another perhaps more candid option.

    Just me maybe.
    #23
  4. Thinc2

    Thinc2 Paciugo

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    Yup - same here. I miss a lot of pics while riding because i don't want to stop, and using a regular camera with one hand is a hassle.

    I will still carry another small point and shoot as well for when off the bike. I'm sure I will use the video occasionally when I have that one superb road to capture, but mostly it will be for stills.

    I did make one mistake - after taking painstaking care on where ti place the clip on my helmet so that it is aligned and looking straight forward, it turns out the FOV gets some of the helmet in the pic !!!! :becca

    Now i need to order a new adhesive attachment, and figure out how to remove the original one. What a pain.

    Good thing i started on an old helmet, one that is a backup.

    So the problem so far has been user error.
    #24
  5. Unstable Rider

    Unstable Rider Moto Fotografist

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    Not everyone has enough sand to admit such (understandable) oversights. I bet you save a couple of us the same pains though, so thanks :deal

    I was just Googling around myself here trying to get a look at the helmet mount....
    #25
  6. Lost Rider

    Lost Rider Roadie

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    Nice first impression review!

    I have a few suggestions for the mounting issue for you.

    First, use a hairdryer to heat up the mount and soften the double stick glue, then use an old credit card or hotel room key to get under the mount then it should peel right off while warm. If there's any residue left you can use the mount with some double stick tape to push, rub and remove the rest, after heating it up again.

    Also, you don't need to order more mounts, just go buy some 2" industrial velcro from home depot or some 3M Dual Lock tape. You can put a strip of it on the mount and an even longer strip on the helmet so you have room to move the mount around and framed how you'd like, you can even put a strip on the side and on the top of the helmet to give you options to get more than one camera location, along with putting a strip or two on you bike to further the locations to help give you options to make more interesting video. One facing backwards, one on the side of the bike shooting the front wheel, etc, etc. I usually put the hook side (plasitc not fabric loops) of the velcro on the helmet to make it less noticeable when the camera isn't mounted and you can get white or black velcro depending on your helmet to further the cause. Dual lock comes in clear making it even less noticeable, though you'll probable need to look on ebay for that. I use dual lock to mount the remote to my handgaurd on my bike too. Very strong stuff.

    Another suggestion, at least for video, is to import the files into iMovie, you must already have iPhoto set as default when a camera is connected and while you can import and view movies in it, you'll want to be editing movies in iMovie. You can change that in iPhoto>settings>import. Or just open iMovie while the card is connected and import there.
    Speaking of, if you have an Apple store nearby I suggest taking one of their free iMovie classes, it will forward your future movie making skills greatly, including what kind of shots you should look for to make fun videos, all of which is very simple once you get the hang of iMovie. If no Apple store check out all the built in tutorial videos in Movie Help.
    Having one camera angle with unedited video does make a video boring and look like millions of other boring videos, with just a little effort and education making videos YOURS and interesting are easy in iMovie. You can easily shoot photos all day and make then into a time lapse video if you're determined to just shoot photos too...


    Overall I shoot in 720 30fps, 170º. the narrower angles just don't work for me on a bike, like tunnel vision when moving and I miss the surroundings. Sometimes I shoot in 50fps when doing crazy stuff to have the option to do slow motion, but for the most part I don't since it increases file size and battery use, same reason I don't shoot 1080. Sometimes having the helmet in the shot is good, gives a point of view and perspective of where YOU are in the video instead of shots of some random road made by some random rider, but there's no right or wrong in how you shoot.


    Good luck



    Shot with a Ghost and edited in about 45 minutes in iMovie using one of their presets, not an award winner by any means but something that's fun for us to look back on:


    <iframe src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/57427638?title=0&amp;byline=0&amp;portrait=0" width="1279" height="719" frameborder="0" webkitAllowFullScreen mozallowfullscreen allowFullScreen></iframe> <p><a href="http://vimeo.com/57427638">Lost in Death Valley 2013</a> from <a href="http://vimeo.com/lostrider">Lost Rider</a> on <a href="http://vimeo.com">Vimeo</a>.</p>
    #26
  7. elron

    elron Still Standing

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    All good practical use tips...Question, watching a comparo utube vid, seemed like the Drift had the poorer audio and was not too good at low light, what is your your observation in that regard? (note vid used Drift 170 not Ghost)

    elron
    #27
  8. Lost Rider

    Lost Rider Roadie

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    when seeing online comparisons it's always hard to judge not knowing what the settings, conditions and how much post processing was done. It would be easy for a pro to make one camera look or sound better compared to another if they wanted.

    The audio is definitely better with the external mic being used, with the mic taped to the back of the helmet. I have mine set at the low "one bar" input level setting on the camera and rarely use the external mic out of laziness.
    You can tape some foam over the onboard mic to help with wind noise, but in the end it's a little crappy mic on most of these cameras and going down the road at speeds there will be wind noise, at least from my experience.

    I've had a few various helmet cams over the years, none of them have a large enough sensor to really have great low light shooting, all of them seems quite noisy when the sensitivity gets bumped up. For the most part most look great in good lighting conditions, and look not so good in low light. There's post processing that can be done to help with the noise, but you can only polish a turd so much... for me making MC videos is something I really don't want to spend much effort doing, I do that enough while doing video work on shows. I spend far more efforts in my photography usually when riding, but it's fun to have some short videos to look back on after a trip or share online. Easy to make in iMovie with little efforts and time once you get the hang of it. I use it more than Final Cut Pro just for simplicities sake for bike vids.


    Here's a somewhat boring clip shot with a HD 170 in challenging lighting conditions and some night riding, no post processing, no external mic, just crappy edits. For my purposes the image/sound quality is good enough to share online. I find the mic on the ghost to be just about the same, I keep it on low input setting for shooting while riding.
    In the end the content of what you're shooting and the editing will make a video "better" to document and share your ADVentures than having perfect image or sound quality IMHO.


    <iframe src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/56074410?title=0&amp;byline=0&amp;portrait=0" width="1279" height="719" frameborder="0" webkitAllowFullScreen mozallowfullscreen allowFullScreen></iframe> <p><a href="http://vimeo.com/56074410">Death Valley 12/12</a> from <a href="http://vimeo.com/lostrider">Lost Rider</a> on <a href="http://vimeo.com">Vimeo</a>.</p>


    This video also a HD 170 I was using an external mic.

    <iframe src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/20970642?title=0&amp;byline=0&amp;portrait=0" width="1279" height="719" frameborder="0" webkitAllowFullScreen mozallowfullscreen allowFullScreen></iframe> <p><a href="http://vimeo.com/20970642">BMW F800 R in the Malibu Canyons</a> from <a href="http://vimeo.com/lostrider">Lost Rider</a> on <a href="http://vimeo.com">Vimeo</a>.</p>
    #28
  9. Blakduk

    Blakduk Just trying to get by.

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    After using my Drift Ghost all weekend, I am now in a position to make a couple of comments!

    The menu is easy to use (someone somewhere bagged the menu - they're wrong).

    I agree with Lost Rider:
    A bit of helmet in the field of view is ideal. It is even better if you can get some of the bike handlebars/headlight protector.
    For off road riding, the 170 degrees is best, other FOV makes things too close and narrow, and with close by bushes etc, it is not easy to watch.
    I too go with the 720p, on the 60fps (edit 60fps). The memory usage is not worrying me as much (I don't upload to the net), and the higher fps seems to make some of the fast single track imagery a little bit smoother - although you only notice it when you compare it back-to-back with identical footage shot in 30fps.

    I've ordered a spare battery. Using the tag&loop function does hit battery life, I got 3 hours; but it was a 6 hour ride. I've ordered a 2500maH one from Hong Kong for only about $25, with car charger etc.......(!), the original is 1900MaH.

    The tag process, in my humble opinion would benefit from a plan where, when you hit the button it only records the last one minute, or maybe two minutes. (not the next 'multiplied by 2" time period added on after) I have found when riding that exciting bits happen when you are not expecting and you can't hit the button until they are over; "during" an exciting bit, it is bloody hard to hit the remote (I'm talking hard & fast single track), and if you set it to record the last minute to cover this, you then get two minutes of usually boring stuff after the event before it turns off again. Which will need to be cut out of the file later.
    Anyone else see this? I might suggest it to Drift Innovations, surely it is just a option to be released in a firmware upgrade?
    #29
  10. darkstarmoto

    darkstarmoto Am I evil? Yes I am

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    Went in and did some editing and finally got rid of background noise, also upped the quality.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=cBsj2WU2I0I
    #30
  11. Thinc2

    Thinc2 Paciugo

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    I have good news and bad news.

    The good news: Thanks to Lost Rider. The removal of the holder from the helmet using the hair dryer was super easy. Replacing with Dual Lock worked great and I now have multiple attachment options - that is a super solution.

    The bad news: My Ghost started to make interference/static noise when it was turned off and not in use. This happened with the WiFi turned off and the remote off and the device off.

    I contacted Drift by email and received a response within 5 minutes: "This noise you are experiencing from your mic whilst the camera is turned off, is not something a firmware update will fix. Unfortunately it is hardware fault in your camera. In which case could you please return the camera to the retailer, Amazon, to arrange your replacement under warranty. "

    so I went online and processed a no hassle return with Amazon - didn't even have to call their Customer Service, just printed a prepaid return label and was all set.

    It is absolutely great to deal with two such high quality companies that stand behind their promises. Great work by both Drift and Amazon. so glad i don't have to deal with some 3rd party.

    I am ordering a replacement Ghost - I like what I saw so far and will get another.

    EDIT: I did a search on Google before contacting Drift about the interference/static problem - I could find no other reports of anyone having a similar issue.
    #31
  12. atgatt

    atgatt Been here awhile

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    I myself have a hero 3 black. I bought that one mainly for the video quality which is very good. Alas...

    Here's my problem... I normally use it for vlogging so you need a microphone... whic:shogh costs extra... and you need to control the volume of the mic or you come off sounding like a heavy breather... which costs extra... and you have to cut a hole in your waterproof case to plug the mic in which is stupid and a PITA... and the form factor isn't great (I look like a tele-tubby)...

    My point being the drift ghost is a superior solution for vlogging and I wish I had bought that one. For vlogging the video quality isn't the most imporant thing.
    #32
  13. SeattleExplorer

    SeattleExplorer Adventurer

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    I had exact same experience. Audio crackling problem, no hassle return thru Amazon, re-order, all good with second device.
    #33
  14. SeattleExplorer

    SeattleExplorer Adventurer

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    Been using GoPro for couple years, tired of tellatubby look top of helmet, now trying Drift Ghost with good success.

    Remote is awesome. Big easy buttons, ability to switch modes (vid, stills, etc) is brilliant. Only nit is the LED blinking routines on remote aren't always intuitive but learnable.

    Vid quality is fine. Still quality is excellent. Finding I'm using it more and more for stills than vids, which surprised me as that wasn't initial mission but glad it's easy to switch back and forth between vid and stills with remote.

    Tagging is good feature but as noted above zaps battery as if recording everything (cuz u are). Also not incredibly intuitive and as noted above the regime they pre-program (record previous x-seconds, current x-seconds, and following x-seconds) doesn't make sense. I want to have it in tag mode, hit "record" and have it save to disk the last x-seconds, then hit record again when I'm done to turn off save to disk. "x" should be user selected as it is now. A "safe" preset would be 30 seconds.

    Mounting is a challenge. My biggest concern is one critical part, the piece that screws into the camera, comes with the kit but there's only one and there is no part available to replace it from Drift on their website or elsewhere. That part breaks or goes missing, and you have no way to mount the camera. Drift's customer support came through for me in a one-off request brilliantly, but they really do need to make that part available.

    Second mount challenge is the bulkiness of the pieces. Don't understand why they're so BIG and the design adds lots of wind noise to a helmet mounted setup. I wish they or third party would streamline the mounting.

    Having said that, the ability to rotate the lens is a big advantage over GoPro. And the mounting piece I complained about above is also flexible in ability to rotate it 360. Nice.

    So, bottom line, after about 10 hours of use, I'm glad I branched out from GoPro. I'll continue to use GoPros mounted to the bike at various attach points but my helmet cam of choice is now most definitely the Ghost.
    #34
  15. Thinc2

    Thinc2 Paciugo

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    Have you considered just adding dual lock to the back of the camera (and the helmet) and skipping the mounting system alltogether?
    #35
  16. SeattleExplorer

    SeattleExplorer Adventurer

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    Yes, though I'd like to modify the Drift clip that attaches to the camera and put the dual lock on it so I don't restrict the flexibility of mounts for the future. And also looking to mount the camera in a more forward position to remove the side of the helmet from the 170 fov frame. Trying to replicate the broad view of the GoPro mounted to top of helmet while avoiding the teletubby look.
    #36
  17. Thinc2

    Thinc2 Paciugo

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    That is what I ended up doing - putting dual lock on the clip so I could position the camera anywhere on the helmet i wanted.

    I realized that if I don't want the helmet in the FOV, I can just adjust the zoom ever so slightly until it disappears. So it's just a matter of picking zoom and FOV combination.
    #37
  18. rgoers

    rgoers Been here awhile

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    The Contour allows you to store 2 profile settings, which are selectable via a small switch inside the rear door. I have one of my pre-sets set to take a still photo every "x" seconds. This gives me "some fish-eye wide random stills while riding". :evil
    #38
  19. SeattleExplorer

    SeattleExplorer Adventurer

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    Hadn't thought of zoom to remove helmet. Great idea! Thx.
    #39
  20. Blakduk

    Blakduk Just trying to get by.

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    I thought so strongly about the foolishness of their x-secs past, x-secs current and x-secs future, that I sent a detailed email to their product support site. To their credit I received a timely and personal reply promising to look at it. Although I'm not sure they actually believe me.
    e.g. I gave an example of even a skateboarder.....trying a trick over and over again; you would only tag it (save) once you had successfully completed the trick - maybe set for past 30 seconds. No need for current or future x-seconds.....
    My example was having a bloke stack in front of me or rounding a corner, meeting a killer hill, conquering it, then wanting to record that. No need for current or future x-seconds, and certainly no chance of getting hands off bars to hit the record button DURING the terror!.

    Surely this could be given as an optional update to the firmware??

    Mounting.
    On one helmet I have it mounted under the peak. Brilliant for protecting the Ghost, for showing footage of the handlebars of bike and the terrain, and for happily knowing it is still attached.
    On another helmet it is on the side, still shows some of the helmet, some of the handlebars. But I did fall off and bang the side of my helmet on the ground.....not sure what would have happened had the Ghost been attached to that side.

    Settings: For close & fast single track, I still think the 720p with the 60fps is the best for showing motion. When stopping and looking around at longer scenes and the fine detail (e.g. leaves), the 1080p is clearer. Once again, this only really seems truly noticable when you actually compare almost identical footage back to back.

    edit: PS. Isn't it funny how you would have sworn there is NO way your head hit the ground, but THERE it is on the footage, "Clunk!!".
    #40