As many of our readers know by now, when MD decided to produce its own videos, we wanted nothing but the best equipment to provide quality HD (1080P) footage, including on-board POV footage that helped our readers feel that they were part of the riding experience.
We looked at all the options available in POV action, sports cameras. After viewing footage and comparisons available on the Internet, as well as features, we asked Drift Innovations if we could sample the Drift HD170 Stealth camera. Why? Because it combined several extremely important features to us that we could only find in this camera, including:
- An LCD screen that allows us to line-up and preview our shots.
- A rotating lens element that allowed us to set the perfect horizon for our shots regardless of the orientation of the camera when mounted on motorcycle or helmet.
- A simple remote control that we could wear on our wrist or place on the handlebar, for instance, that allowed us to turn the camera on and off, rather than being forced to record tons of video that we would later throw away.
- An integrated jack for an external microphone that I could place within my helmet, and set volume levels on the unit’s menu.
In addition, the video comparisons I saw told me that the Drift cameras had the most pleasing looking HD footage, beating the competition in terms of color and clarity.
We have now used the Drift HD170 Stealth and its integrated external microphone in each of the three video bike reviews published to our YouTube channels, including the Moto Guzzi Norge GT 8V (which was shot at 60FPS in 720P), the Honda CBR250R (shot at 30FPS in 1080P) and the Kawasaki ZX-14R (also shot at 30FPS in 1080P). Each of these videos is embedded below if you haven’t seen them, yet.
We have been extremely pleased with the performance of the HD170 Stealth. It has allowed us to produce the videos the way we wanted them produced, and avoid the trial-and-error hassle of lining up our video orientation without the aid of an LCD screen (which is lacking from most, if not all, of the competition). The availability of an external microphone jack has allowed to us introduce an element (onboard, real time audio commentary by the rider) that we wanted to incorporate to improve the viewer’s experience.
Also important for motorcycle action videos is aerodynamics. Rather than a mini-barn door, like some of the competition, the Drift HD170 Stealth has a sleek shape that has allowed us to ride at high speeds without even noticing that the camera is mounted on our helmet.
As noted earlier, by shooting in 720P, you can select 60FPS for smoother action video that can even be turned into slow motion footage during edit.
The basic Drift HD170 Stealth camera is available at what we consider a bargain price of $229.00 at mypov360.com, and includes the following in the package:
- HD170 Stealth Action Camera
- Remote Control
- Handlebar Grip
- Goggle Mount
- Head Strap
- Helmet Grip
- Universal Clip
- Velcro Strap
- Industrial strength velcro adhesive pad
- AV Cable for play back on TV
- USB Cable for downloading to a computer
- Quick Guide to get started
You can purchase an external microphone for $19.95. There are various options for mounting the camera on your motorcycle which we will discuss in a subsequent article. The helmet mount we used (pictured) was accomplished with the items included in the package, plus the external mic.
Drift has a new, smaller model called simply Drift HD, which is pictured above in the small photo adjacent to the HD170 Stealth. It is much smaller and lighter, and also incorporates some additional features that we will address in a future article on this model.