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Drift Stealth 2 - Flaws

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TheArchitect
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PostPosted: 15:32 - 09 Mar 2015    Post subject: Drift Stealth 2 - Flaws Reply with quote

Not sure if this is the right place for this. Thought I'd give anyone thinking of getting this action camera a quick run down on the flaws I've come across so far..

Got mine just before Christmas and only started using it mid January.

Started off fine then I noticed it wasn't charging properly via the USB cable provided. Wrote to Drift and was told to use mains power to charge it and they recommended the Apple plugs. Did that and the camera started charging fine. Then the problem developed into the camera not holding charge, so I'd leave my house with 100% charge and 20 minutes into the ride it'd cut out because the battery was flat.

My mate has the same camera, bought at the same time from same seller. He's had no battery issues but he's been experiencing problems with the footage where it kept recording sound only with no video.

Anyway we've sent both our cameras off to the seller for repair/replacement. Needless to say I'm not too impressed with the quality of this product so far.

Just a heads up.
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Meef
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PostPosted: 15:34 - 09 Mar 2015    Post subject: Reply with quote

My mate also uses a Drift Stealth 2 and says it's a pile of shit and wants to upgrade.

I have a Drift Ghost S, never had any issues with it.

Drift Ghost HD is only 50 more than the Stealth 2 so I would've gone down that route if you bought the Stealth 2 to save money.
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PostPosted: 15:41 - 09 Mar 2015    Post subject: Reply with quote

My experience with Drift customer services was very good Thumbs Up
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Irn-Bru
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PostPosted: 17:00 - 09 Mar 2015    Post subject: Reply with quote

Agreed, customer service is brilliant but I had plenty of problems with the cameras. Went with GoPro this time around as I've got no plans to helmet mount it.
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Iain.
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PostPosted: 17:06 - 09 Mar 2015    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://i.imgur.com/Q7qrkrD.jpg

Not the most waterproof things in the world. Neutral
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DrSnoosnoo
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PostPosted: 17:59 - 09 Mar 2015    Post subject: Reply with quote

While on this topic. I have a Ghost HD, got a refurbished model from actioncameras on ebay.

Can't fault it so far. Battery lasts my commute for a day, which is just over 2 hours in total recording at 1080p 30fps.

Hasn't broke yet!
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Albigularis
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PostPosted: 18:22 - 09 Mar 2015    Post subject: Reply with quote

Iain. wrote:
Not the most waterproof things in the world. Neutral


I use my Ghost S in crazy rain and sometimes film my fish in their tank for the sake of it, still seems fine...

I have tons of issues with my Ghost S. If I turn it on and start to record straight away, it freezes - I need to leave it a few seconds. I get a random "low speed card" freezing error even with a class 10 drift-recommended card. Not been overly chuffed with it, but when it works, it works well. Great in daylight, but not great at night and the low light setting doesn't help, it's just the better of two evils...
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TheArchitect
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PostPosted: 18:35 - 09 Mar 2015    Post subject: Reply with quote

I went with the stealth 2 because of it's reduced size and weight compared to the other Drifts. Up until then I had been using my trusty Contour Roam 2 (which i've gone back to for now). Problem with the Contour was low light quality was dire.

For me the low light footage of the stealth 2 is brilliant compared to others, although the exposure is a bit messed up so I got mine turned right down.

Hopefully I get mine fixed or replaced soonish. Get paranoid if I ride without a decent camera since my last off. Sad
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Meef
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PostPosted: 18:48 - 09 Mar 2015    Post subject: Reply with quote

Albigularis wrote:
Great in daylight, but not great at night and the low light setting doesn't help, it's just the better of two evils...


I think your problem could be that you're recording 60fps on low light setting when recording at night.

Daylight I'll be at 60fps, but on low light mode you need to drop it to 30fps so each frame gets twice the exposure and therefore twice the amount of light in each frame. That way you should get crisp night time footage with no patchy bits or blurring.

If that doesn't work, return your Ghost S because mine copes well at night and there's likely a problem with yours if that's the case.
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Albigularis
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PostPosted: 20:29 - 09 Mar 2015    Post subject: Reply with quote

Meef wrote:
Albigularis wrote:
Great in daylight, but not great at night and the low light setting doesn't help, it's just the better of two evils...


I think your problem could be that you're recording 60fps on low light setting when recording at night.

Daylight I'll be at 60fps, but on low light mode you need to drop it to 30fps so each frame gets twice the exposure and therefore twice the amount of light in each frame. That way you should get crisp night time footage with no patchy bits or blurring.

If that doesn't work, return your Ghost S because mine copes well at night and there's likely a problem with yours if that's the case.


I always record at 30fps. It's not that it's bad... I just expected better.
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-Matt-
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PostPosted: 21:06 - 09 Mar 2015    Post subject: Reply with quote

Iain. wrote:
http://i.imgur.com/Q7qrkrD.jpg

Not the most waterproof things in the world. Neutral
Just for clarification - mines the 720 which is sold as 'weatherproof'. But yeah; didn't seem to like the weather or water that day Whistle...

Not to mention if we hadn't noticed it misting up and Aff hadn't opened it to dry out there and then it would probably be completely dead now Thumbs Down

Has been okay since then in the rain though, but I wouldn't risk it in torrential rain for hours on the motorway again after that incident Sad
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barrkel
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PostPosted: 00:20 - 10 Mar 2015    Post subject: Reply with quote

-Matt- wrote:
Not to mention if we hadn't noticed it misting up and Aff hadn't opened it to dry out there and then it would probably be completely dead now Thumbs Down

I rode from Austria to London through Germany and many (at least 7) heavy downpours on one long thundery day last summer, with my Drift HD Ghost attached to my helmet, using the back that has two rubber caps covering ports, rather than the fully closed back.

Obviously it didn't last the whole day - I only turned it on occasionally to capture the end times I was riding through - but it did fog up on the inside - both inside of lens and inside the screen on the side.

I did not open it up, it dried out on its own. I took the battery out and left the door open to help. As far as I'm aware, it never got damp enough to stop functioning or short-circuit.

I generally give mine a few seconds to warm up before I try to start recording. It needs to register the amount of free space on the card at the very least (i.e. wait for 100% free to go down to whatever is realistic). Sometimes - about 15% of the time - it fails to record with a beep-bloop apology, but it always starts recording properly on the second attempt.

I would buy another one (this is actually my second). I will never buy a GoPro as a helmet cam. I think the mounts all look ridiculous.

I use 2 batteries in rotation using a standalone charger, so I don't need to rely on dodgy USB cable charging. Mini-USB is just a bad cable standard. I use three 32GB U1 (= Class 10) SanDisk cards in rotation, and I use a separate card reader for those too. Basically, I never plug a cable into mine.
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-Matt-
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PostPosted: 00:44 - 10 Mar 2015    Post subject: Reply with quote

barrkel wrote:
I rode from Austria to London through Germany and many (at least 7) heavy downpours on one long thundery day last summer, with my Drift HD Ghost attached to my helmet, using the back that has two rubber caps covering ports, rather than the fully closed back.
Quote:
it did fog up on the inside - both inside of lens and inside the screen on the side.
Hmm thats interesting. Is that this Drift? I haven't kept upto date on all the Ghost/Stealth variations http://store.driftinnovation.com/uk/cameras/drift-hd-ghost

Claims waterproof to 3 metres; but sounds like the same symptoms of lense fogging and screen distortion, except mine was only classified 'weatherproof'. It always was, and has been since - was probably taking the piss wearing it the day before it packed up in the weather I did, but thats interesting if a newer 'waterproof' model had the same problems. I paid 100 for mine over a year ago too, the ghost HD's still seem to be going for more than double that Shocked

Should point out also; mine wasn't just fogging up when it had a fit; it completely died. Wouldn't record or respond at all Thumbs Down

Quote:
I generally give mine a few seconds to warm up before I try to start recording. It needs to register the amount of free space on the card at the very least (i.e. wait for 100% free to go down to whatever is realistic). Sometimes - about 15% of the time - it fails to record with a beep-bloop apology, but it always starts recording properly on the second attempt.
Other than the torrential rain incident mines been perfect to be honest. Had a problem with corrupted files a couple of times, but that was after not formatting the card for ages. I always format it now rather than 'deleting' through the camera which seems to of stopped it.

Quote:
I use 2 batteries in rotation using a standalone charger, so I don't need to rely on dodgy USB cable charging. Mini-USB is just a bad cable standard. I use three 32GB U1 (= Class 10) SanDisk cards in rotation, and I use a separate card reader for those too. Basically, I never plug a cable into mine.
Snap. Not sure about the Ghost models, but mine runs happily off these generic digital camera batteries Mr. Green 2.75 each. Have 5 or 6 now I think Razz

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Arfa__
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PostPosted: 10:02 - 10 Mar 2015    Post subject: Reply with quote

Temperature can really affect battery life.

I know on my Roadhawk Ride, in warm weather I can get 80 odd mins from it. But when it's hovered around 0-5C I'm lucky to get 35 mins before it cuts out. Apparently this is as expected and just a limitation of the battery technology.

Does this tally with your experiences of very short battery life on occasions?
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Ali in Austria
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PostPosted: 10:25 - 10 Mar 2015    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was a Drift fan for a number of years. I can't fault the camera. Had an issue with a Drift HD when it went out of focus. A dodgy batch apparently and immediately sorted by Actioncameras.co.uk. No other issues but changed to GoPro which do a much better job IMHO.

Recording issues can be down to the SD or Micro SD card itself. By from a reputable source as often budget suppliers aren't selling what they claim to be.

Use a Class 10 or better or the newer formats UHS-1 or 3 which are Class 10 and better.
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Ali in Austria
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PostPosted: 10:28 - 10 Mar 2015    Post subject: Re: Drift Stealth 2 - Flaws Reply with quote

LondonCommuter wrote:
Then the problem developed into the camera not holding charge, so I'd leave my house with 100% charge and 20 minutes into the ride it'd cut out because the battery was flat.



The battery doesn't appear to be holding the charge and may be isn't charging properly in the first place. It could just be a duff battery or it could be it has been left in a discharged state. These type of batteries don't take kindly to being left drained for prolonged periods and will run down in a couple of weeks if left in the camera.
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TheArchitect
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PostPosted: 12:01 - 10 Mar 2015    Post subject: Reply with quote

Arfa__ wrote:
Temperature can really affect battery life.
Does this tally with your experiences of very short battery life on occasions?


good point..could be, it has been quite cold of late and I've not yet been out in temperatures exceeding 10C since I've had it. I hope it isn't the case in this instance though as in their promo vids they show snowboarders and Skiers using it.. I'm sure they'll be "piste" off if the battery died before they could get to the front of the ski lift queue!!

Ali in Austria wrote:

The battery doesn't appear to be holding the charge and may be isn't charging properly in the first place. It could just be a duff battery or it could be it has been left in a discharged state. These type of batteries don't take kindly to being left drained for prolonged periods and will run down in a couple of weeks if left in the camera.


Only problem with the Stealth 2 is that the battery is fixed internally and not removable. So any battery issues aren't going to be easily fixed.
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PostPosted: 20:40 - 24 Aug 2015    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dartman wrote:
I've used my Stealth for about half a year and haven't had any problems with it. In fact, I'm extremely fond of it. Smile I'm thinking even about buying Ghost and use both simultaneously.

I've heard that they are helpful, but don't plan to check it myself. Wink



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Rogerborg
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PostPosted: 23:35 - 24 Aug 2015    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dartman wrote:
I've used my Stealth for about half a year and haven't had any problems with it.

It's just super-awesome that you signed up just to tell us that. Have a *PLONK*.

Counterpoint, my Stealth gets at the very most 2 hours rather than the headline 3, the buttons are a sod to use with gloves on, and several times I've turned it off at at the end of the day with 80% charge or so, verified that it's off, turned it on the next day and it's bawwwed about being at 0% and shut down.

Not a quality piece of kit, not worth the money over an SJCAM 1000 or 4000.
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trevor saxe-coburg-gotha
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PostPosted: 05:57 - 25 Aug 2015    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dartman wrote:
I've used my Stealth for about half a year and haven't had any problems with it. In fact, I'm extremely fond of it. Smile I'm thinking even about buying Ghost and use both simultaneously.

chris-red wrote:
My experience with Drift customer services was very good Thumbs Up


I've heard that they are helpful, but don't plan to check it myself. Wink



Drift's google bot's doing its work quite well.
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BrownTrousers
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PostPosted: 06:36 - 25 Aug 2015    Post subject: Reply with quote

I got one as a gift at Xmas.

Love the size and shape, video quality good and no issues with battery life.

But, the screw attachment that holds the back on (for access to charge point. Sd card) did fall apart last month so now it is a right pain to put back on and will probably let in water. Thumbs Down
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tactical_pancake
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PostPosted: 07:21 - 25 Aug 2015    Post subject: Reply with quote

Had no end of problems with my drift ghost s. Feel the whole thing was a rippoff and I'd never buy from drift again. It's clearly not a 'one-off' as loads of people have had problems. Mad

When it works the footage is decent, but whether it works is a big if. Rolling Eyes

I had it start malfunctioning half way through my europe trip.. switching itself off, corrupt files, needing to take the battery out to reset it. I just gave up for the remainder of the trip and lost out on loads of footage. Sad

When back I tried to troubleshoot it, got a faster memory card ('extreme' version). It now *sometimes* works in normal recording mode, it seems more prone to problems in tagging mode.

It also malfunctions when plugging in a usb battery for extra recording time, and the charging is unreliable.

As a programmer, I suspect the problem is crappy software / hardware. I suspect part of the problems may be they have missed out on putting in a decent memory cache on the device, before writing to the flash card. Afaik Flash card write speeds are very variable during use, due to house keeping etc, and if the codec is trying to write stuff and it doesn't get written in time, you get an error message (best case) or you might get a crash (worst case). Either case the file will be corrupt.

It seems they don't do a check for these error situations, as I've never had any error messages, just crashes and corrupt files.

The solution is to have some internal memory (a gig or so, very cheap these days, 50p) and write from the codec to a cache in the internal memory. Then have a separate process / processor writing from the internal memory to the flash disk. If this is done, then the variable performance of the flash disk doesn't matter, only the average write speed.

As for the battery / charging issues, this just suggests they don't know what they are doing.
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daesimps
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PostPosted: 07:57 - 25 Aug 2015    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rogerborg wrote:
I've turned it off at at the end of the day with 80% charge or so, verified that it's off, turned it on the next day and it's bawwwed about being at 0% and shut down.


That's actually a fault that caused me to have mine replaced this month after 23 months of ownership. If I charged my HD Ghost and powered it on and then turned it off (either immediately or after recording) the battery continued to discharge to a totally flat state in about 1 hour. They changed it under warranty and the new one worked fine for 2 weeks. Then it stopped charging completely, which I tracked down to a dodgy USB port as wiggling the cable (any cable) made it charge.

I contacted them about the failed one and they've just replaced it again, but this time upgrading me to the Ghost-S for my inconvenience. I do have to say that whilst their products are a bit ropey their customer service is brilliant. Just a shame I've had to try it out so much.

I considered/had other makes, but really love the rotatable lens and the remote/tagging feature. Both are things I couldn't do without. Now if someone else releases a product with those features I'd be very interested. Even better would be if Drift made theirs a bit more reliable.
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Rogerborg
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PostPosted: 08:42 - 25 Aug 2015    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, right, my Stealth also requires a mains-powered USB source (not included) and takes ages to charge even at an ostensible 2A.

BrownTrousers wrote:
But, the screw attachment that holds the back on (for access to charge point. Sd card) did fall apart last month so now it is a right pain to put back on and will probably let in water. Thumbs Down

The round plastic wheel on top of the screw? Mine detached too, I glued it back on (on noes, warranty void).

For all these tales of woe, when it's charged up and I don't accidentally mash the mode or resolution buttons, it works pretty well. Decent image, reasonable mounting options, clever rotatable CCD, not too bulky. The features are there, they just need to make them all work at the same time, all the time.

Good job, Shillbot, you managed to provoke more criticism of your employer's product. Thumbs Up
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