The other strap-it-on-and-get-rad cameras out there — the GoPros and the Contours and the Ions — are all pretty sick in their own right. But for ease of use, no camera is sicker than Drift Action’s HD Ghost cam.
It has enough capability and pure oomph to keep up with the competition — it captures 1080p at 30fps and 720p at 60fps, and it can talk to your other devices via Wi-Fi — but it also comes stock with features other cams make you pay extra for: an integrated 2-inch color LCD screen; big, meaty navigation buttons on top of the camera; and a wrist-mounted remote control that lets you start and stop recording from up to 30 feet away. The whole thing’s waterproof up to 9 feet, too, so mountain biking through a rainstorm or snowboarding during a whiteout doesn’t require a separate waterproof case.
Now, 1080p at 30fps isn’t the best in class. The best camera for slow-mo footage is the GoPro Hero3 (also $400), which offers double the frame rate at 1080p. And all those additional features — the remote, the LCD screen, the waterproof case — are available in some form or another with other cams, albeit usually at an extra cost. What makes the HD Ghost stand out is how easy to use it is. Thanks to the clearly labeled buttons and the intuitive menu on the LCD screen, I was able to ditch the user guide and still access the majority of the Ghost’s functions.
The wrist-mounted remote is great, too. The controls can be operated with heavy gloves on, and the buttons make changing settings, swapping functions, and checking out the footage you just captured remarkably easy. Colored LED lights on the watch-sized unit let you know what mode the Ghost is in, as well as the camera’s status.