The Ghost-S has excellent battery life, good video quality and a wide choice of recording options
Sensor: Not disclosed, Sensor pixels: 12000000, Max recording resolution: 1080p (60fps), AV connections: Mini HDMI, 3.5mm microphone input, Size (HxWxD): 105x52x33mm, Weight: 171g, Warranty: One-year RTB
We were big fans of the Drift Innovation HD Ghost, and there’s a lot to like about the new Ghost-S, too. The two cameras may look alike, but their specifications and performance are quite different. The HD Ghost had a maximum recording resolution of 1080p at 30fps, but the Ghost-S is significantly more versatile.
The Ghost-S is capable of shooting 1080p video at upwards of 60fps, which is especially helpful during hectic action scenes. The camera also has improved 960p and 720p modes. The camera is capable of shooting 120fps video at 720p, which is great news for those looking for slow-motion video. If you’re willing to drop the resolution to 848×480 it’s even possible to record at up to 240fps.
The camera has a generous-sized 2in LCD on the side, and this is made from Corning Gorilla Glass so should be able to survive a few bangs and scrapes. The Ghost S is designed to be used without a case, so we’re glad to see tough glass has been used. The display proved useful for navigating the camera’s menus, as a live video view and for playing back our recorded footage.
The Ghost-S is designed to be mounted horizontally, so that it sits flat against most surfaces. This helps reduce vibrations and wobble due to the camera’s low centre of gravity. There’s a standard 1/4in-20 tripod mount in the base of the camera, so you can also use third-party mounts. The camera comes with a few mounts to get you started including a universal clip, goggle mount and some adhesive mounts for curved or flat surfaces.
The camera’s controls are simple, with all its buttons located on the side, for power, to start and stop recording and to navigate the menu.
On the back of the camera is a removable panel that protects the Mini USB charging port as well as the Mini HDMI output, to let you connect the camera directly to an external display for playback. There’s also a 3.5mm connection for an external microphone. With the rear cover securely attached, the camera is waterproof to 3m, and there’s also a waterproof case (£35, www.actioncameras.co.uk) available should you wish to record at depths up to 60m.
You can rotate the lens through 300 degrees, so you can mount the camera in any orientation and still have the video come out correctly. Oddly, the lens’ default position, when all sides are flush to the camera’s body, is oriented for when the camera is stood on its side instead of mounted with the screw on its base. This means you’ll need to remember to rotate the lens when the camera is mounted on top of something, such as when it was mounted to our HPI Racing Bullet MT off-road radio-controlled car, so that your video doesn’t come out sideways.
The Ghost-S felt secure when mounted and its low, squat body helped reduce any vertical camera wobble. This helped the Ghost-S record some of the smoothest footage we’ve seen during our high-speed test run. Video had nicely saturated colours with a good level of detail in the grass and foliage. Similarly, our static test footage was generally well exposed and we had no problems with noise and compression artefacts.
The camera’s apps are available for iOS and Android, and are easy to use. The apps allow you to adjust settings such as field of view, exposure and frame rate as well as triggering recording. The app also provides a live view of the camera’s sensor, but there was some noticeable lag and the feed wasn’t as smooth as we would have liked. Usefully, it’s possible to copy photos and videos to your smartphone to then easily share.
The Drift Innovation Ghost-S is simple to use and its large screen is useful for control and for previewing your footage. It’s more expensive than the Ghost HD, but has some useful extra features such as a greater choice of video recording modes. Battery life is also respectable, at 2hrs 18 minutes. The Ion Air Pro 3 Wi-Fi has the edge for image quality, but the Drift Innovation Ghost-S’s versatility wins it a Best Buy award.
|LCD screen size||2in|
|Video recording format||H.264 MP4|
|Video recording resolutions||1080p (60/50/30/25fps), 960p (60/40/48/30/25fps), 720p (120/100/60/50/30/25fps), 848×480 (240/200/120/100/60/50/30/25fps)|
|Max recording resolution||1080p (60fps)|
|Video recording media||MicroSD|
|Maximum still image resolution||4,200×2,800|
|Memory slot (card supplied)||MicroSD|
|Data connections||Mini USB|
|AV connections||Mini HDMI, 3.5mm microphone input|
|Battery life||2hr 18m|
|Battery charging position||Camcorder|
|Price including VAT||£330|