The latest action sports video camera to hit our desks is this HD version of the Stealth 170 from Drift Innovation, which records full HD 1080p footage straight to a plug-in memory card (also does 720p). The unit also has a 1.5in colour LCD screen, allowing you to preview action you’ve already captured or suss out camera angles while ﬁtting the unit to your helmet or bike – a feature that’s not yet standard on the Drift’s main rival, the GoPro HD Helmet HERO.
After charging up the internal battery (via USB) and slipping in the SD memory card from our ofﬁce Canon SLR camera, we then ﬁgured out how to attach it to the bike. We got the bar bracket tight on our carbon riser, but only where it had reduced to grip width. Frustratingly we wanted to ﬁt the bracket on the oversized section of the bar (next to the stem) but the bracket isn’t big enough to accommodate the 31.8mm bar diameter. We think this is something Drift need to ﬁx quickly as it seriously reduces the ﬁtting options on mountain bikes.
Helmet ﬁtting is easier, with pre-shaped plastic mounts that can be attached in seconds to almost any helmet, full- or open-face. While we’re on helmets, the other handicap for the HD170 Stealth is its weight. At 171g it’s not too heavy, but on a lightweight open face lid it can make its presence felt unless you’ve got it well strapped on, which can be uncomfortable on long rides.
We were impressed with the footage from our rides with the Drift. For all our concerns over its size and weight, the 300-degree adjustable orientation lens allows you to tweak the shot angle to compensate for odd mounting angles and then output pin-sharp pictures direct to your TV. The buttons and menu options allow fast management of data at edit time.