Drift launched the Ghost S today, the latest in their line of action cameras.  I still use their pre-Ghost HD model, and appreciate quite a few of the features, but I was well aware of the shortfalls compared to the latest models from GoPro and the like.  Never having been a fan of the form-factor of the GoPro and with the recent demise of Contour, it leaves me with the choices of Ion The Action, Drift and the new Garmin Virb.

The Ghost was definitely a step up from the HD but I didn’t feel it was enough of a step for me to consider upgrading, but with the release of the Ghost S I could be tempted.

A quick look at the specs shows some significant improvements over all the other players in the market. ¬†For me, the key to excellent footage isn’t absolute resolution, but frame-rate. It’s all good and well having huge, pin-sharp 1080p images but if the video doesn’t look smooth due to only a 30fps rate then it’s pretty much a waste of time. ¬†I’ve always shot at 60fps in 720 and found it to be a decent enough picture quality.

The Ghost S, however, ups the game to match the GoPro Hero 3’s framerates, offering 60fps at 1080p and 120fps at 720p, which should make for some amazing slo-motion shots.

Another new feature to the Ghost S is Clone Mode, allowing up to four other cameras to be controlled by one ‘master’ camera. ¬†This replicates your camera settings across the clones and means all 5 cameras can be started and stopped simultaneously from the remote.

The ‘dash cam’ mode is a feature I especially like, and while it’s not new, is still worth mentioning. In this mode it will record continuously but only store a pre-determined number of minutes of video on the card. ¬†This means that rather than fumbling for the start button or checking it’s on when something happens, you can just leave it running, knowing that you have it on camera, and just hit the button when it’s all done to save it to the card as a dedicated file.

The lens can still rotate 300 degrees but now covers 160 degrees but retains that at more framerates. ¬†With the earlier models, while it offered 170 degrees at 30fps, it would change to 130 degrees at 60fps. ¬†This more consistent middle ground will make life easier, as you are more likely to know you’re getting the shot without worrying about whether the field of vision has changed.

As with the Ghost, they’ve kept the LED lit remote so you can not only easily control the camera but also see if it’s recording.

3.5 hours of battery life is also an improvement, but with any action cam, I will be interested to see how that translates into real-world battery life in the cold conditions on the mountain.

I look forward to getting my hands on one to see if it lives up to the specifications.

See the Ghost S on the Drift website

You can buy the Ghost S from ActionCameras