By Vernon Felton
Drift Innovation unveiled the Ghost-S today, calling it their latest and "most powerful" action sports camera to date. What does "most powerful" actually mean? In this case, better battery life, improved low-light performance, higher quality video and a ton of new features. More on all that in a minute. The Ghost-S will sell for $400 and will hit the streets on November 26th.
3.5 HOURS OF RUN TIME
Drift Innovation claims that their new battery will power the camera for 3.5 hours at 30 frames per second. That's a serious chunk of time.
HIGHER QUALITY VIDEO & PHOTOS
Drift squeezed in a new Sony CMOS sensor and 7-element aspherical lens. End result? The Ghost-S now has the ability to capture 1080 pixel footage at 60 frames per second and can also snag 12 mega-pixel still photos.
TONS OF ADJUSTABILITY
1080p at 60fps, 960p at 60fps, 720p at 120fps… You've got a lot of options here and if you want richer video and you're not sweating the file size increase, you can also adjust the bit rate on the Ghost-S. So, just to recap here, if you're the fiddling type, you can tweak the following: bit rate, zoom (10x digital), resolution, frame rate, exposure, field of view…and then there's video, photo, photoburst and timelapse shooting modes to play with.
BETTER LOW-LIGHT PERFORMANCE
Getting footage under tree cover that doesn't wind up looking like that unsatisfying Paris Hilton footage can be a pain in the ass. The Ghost-S now offers Scene Mode and the ability to choose from normal, vivid or low light settings. Scene Mode simplifies set-up relevant to the lighting conditions. In the low light setting, the Ghost-S adjusts automatically to provide the best image quality possible.
KNOW IF YOU NAILED IT
The Ghost-S features a built-in two-inch LCD screen (made scratch resistant by Corning® Gorilla® Glass), so you can see what you're filming or geek out and play back the footage you just captured. The Ghost-S also features a 300-degree rotating lens, which lets you nail shots while the camera is mounted on your bike, bars, helmet or wherever else you think Scorcese would put the damn thing.
CLONING & TAGGING—JUST PLAIN COOL
In Clone Mode, you can control modes, recording and settings on up to five different WiFi-linked Ghost-S cams at once. Admittedly, most of us can't afford five of the things, but think of the potential… One shot, at the same moment, from five different angles? Pretty mind blowing. It actually makes getting more than one camera seem like a genuinely good idea (which is technically called "clever marketing").
And then there's the new video tagging feature on the Ghost-S, which addresses the age- old problem of you filming something that you thought was going to look rad, but really wasn't….thereby leaving you with no memory left to film something actually worth watching.
In a nutshell, you enable video tagging mode and the Ghost-S records, continuously overwriting old footage with new. When you do something cool, just hit the “Tag” button and the cam will store the last 1, 2 or 5 minutes of footage (it’s buffered) in a separate file that won’t be overwritten until you authorize it. Impressive.
So there you have it. New camera. Lots of, er, new-ness packed inside it. The media will be lining up like hungry dogs to get one. We're no different. Look for a review in the future. Drift is promising a lot with this camera. Let's see how it pans out.