I’ve just packaged up the Drift HD Action Cam for return. It’s a shame, I think I probably just got unlucky and hit a faulty camera, but I’ve had a number of problems with it so I’m giving up and getting a different brand. I’ve had two main issues:
The camera doesn’t have the quality of “ruggedness” one would expect from an “action cam”. After wearing it on one single ride-out, the LCD screen got badly scratched. If I had known it wasn’t going to be able to stand up to normal helmet-mounted use, I’d have put a screen protector on it, but seriously if you have something called an “action camera” which is designed to be mounted on a motorcycle helmet, you’d expect it to be able to stand up to that kind of usage!
The camera would keep freezing. Once it happened, I’d have to remove the battery for it to boot up again. Worst of all, it would lose all of the footage recorded up to that point; on the SD card would be a 0 byte file. I lost over an hour of the Jetstream 125 ride out because of this.
To be fair to Drift and to the seller (WILD2010 on Amazon), they have both been great about handling these problems - simply superb customer service. For the first problem, the manufacturer actually wrote in response to my complaints “Indeed, we are changing the design of the camera and the material of the screen for our next generation of products”, and told me to return it to the seller for a replacement under warranty; the seller in turn offered me the choice of returning or living with the scratched screen and getting a £35 refund. For the second problem, the company went through a set of troubleshooting steps with me (trying different SD cards, different ways of formatting, etc) and in the end again asked me to return to the seller; I’ve now packed it up and will be sending it tomorrow.
I will certainly buy from Drift again - just not this particular camera, because I am going skiing next weekend and I can’t take the risk that a replacement will have the same problem. The Drift HD Action Cam is a brand new product, and it’s possible I’ve just hit teething problems, but I want something that has been around for a while. I’ve ordered a Contour Roam from Digigood on Amazon for £140; it’s been around for a long time now and hopefully this gives me the best chance of having a working camera for my trip!
It’s a shame - looking at the features and everything you get with it, the Drift HD Action Cam really is the best available on a price/performance basis, and if I had more time I would certainly try a replacement rather than a refund (I’d put a screen protector on the LCD). If it worked correctly, I think it would be hard to beat!