Drift Innovation HD170 Stealth Hands On Review
The new Stealth keeps me smiling.
Since it’s the winter here in Vancouver, British Columbia there are not a lot of options activity-wise if your going to be outdoors. We have a ridiculous amount of rain that can sometimes go on for weeks, but where there is rain in the city, there is snow on the mountains! The cameras I demo during the winter are usually going to involve slipping or sliding in some way, down a snowy, hopefully powdery, hill.
It’s 6am on a Sunday and I stumble into the washroom. I turn on the light and see the Stealth mounted to my mirror reminding me that I am supposed to document my trip from the minute I wake up… I decided to do this in order to make the video a little more interesting, besides the fact i want to see how comfortable I’ll feel editing my half naked self looking rough first thing in the morning.
I use the Head Band mount provided by Drift and find it’s actually quite comfortable. This is very handy when your not wearing a helmet and it’s a must if you want to do any activity outside and achieve that POV shot from your line of sight.
I jump in the waiting car and in less then a minute manage to mount the Stealth to the windshield via the RAM suction cup mount. I click the remote on my wrist and with a little “beep” the camera is recording the first leg of my adventure. One thing I notice right away is how easy it is to mount and unmount the drift from a 1/4”-20 thread bolt. I give it a spin and the Stealth makes like a helicopter and lands in the palm of my hand off the suction cup mount.
We make it to the base of the mountain and six of my friend are already gearing up. I check my gear and make sure I have an extra battery or two. NOTE: The Stealth has a optional Long Life Battery you can now replace the smaller one with. If you are going to be filming outside in subzero conditions, always have an extra battery! The new larger battery for the Stealth claims to give you up to 4hrs of recording time.. not in the cold though. The cold will deplete you battery life fast and I recommend to keep any extra batteries close to your body until it’s time to use them.
As we start what turns out to be an exhausting hike, I use the Stealth like a video camera. The shape and feel of the Stealth make it so easy to use. With the LCD display it makes filming breezy. I shoot in 720p mode 30fps until we reach the top. Then with four taps of the menu button, I switch to 720 at 60fps. Out of all the cameras I have used, the Stealth is by far the most user friendly camera on the market, period.
I spin the Stealth onto the monopod and get ready for some face shots!! It’s about -14°C with clear blue skies. I hit the remote and the Stealth tells me it’s rolling with a simple and clear “beep”. We shred down the backside of the mountain as i hold the Stealth in front of me capturing all the action. When we hit the bottom the boys crowd around me to watch the replay on the LCD screen.
NOTE: Don’t do what i did! Be sure to check your LCD screen to make sure your filming wide. I forgot that I was filming with the Stealth sideways and when you place the Stealth flat you need to rotate the lens halfway or you get this crazy vertical frame cutting out everything on the sides. If you watch the video of this you will see I split the screen with another camera giving the audience the impression I meant to do this.
We climb up the other side of the mountain and by now it’s almost 3pm. Another handy feature on the Stealth is the fact that you can adjust the exposure for lower light conditions. I also take a moment to change the mic sensitivity. When i reviewed the first run, the wind seem a little to strong for the mic and that is easily adjusted in your setup menu. Another great feature about this Stealth is the body is so rugged with no need for any extra housing. If i get it wet, I’m not worried.
We do one last ride, this time it’s all that I hoped for.. face shots, steep and deep.
Beside the fact that I had the lens turned the wrong way, the Stealth was so simple to use in the field and very reliable. The video quality is amazing, definitely in the top two for helmet mount cameras in my opinion. Now that the Stealth has the new resolution options, I think your going to be seeing a lot more of these black beauties making some very slick videos.