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 Post subject: Re: Camera Choices
PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 6:01 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 25, 2011 11:02 am
Posts: 164
Location: Central New York
I've read some good things about the Swann Freestyle, no personal experience but it sounds like a good camera with a good price

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 Post subject: Re: Camera Choices
PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:12 am 
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Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2012 9:27 pm
Posts: 491
Tom Kirkman wrote:
Of course, nobody will like the same thing, that's why there are so many choices.
Any camera is better than no camera.

Quoted for truth!


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 Post subject: Re: Camera Choices
PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2012 7:40 pm 
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Joined: Sat May 14, 2011 2:41 pm
Posts: 12
I got the Drift Ghost for xmas. Though it will be a couple of weeks before I can actually get it on the water, I have to say that it looks pretty promising. There are a couple things I have discovered so far in just playing around with it that potential kayakers/buyers might want to know.

First, the remote control/status indicator does not appear to be waterproof. I can't find any mention of it being water proof in the material that came with it and the rubber cap that covers the USB charging socket is referred to as a "dust" cap in the manual. Having a remote with large bright LEDs to indicate the mode of the camera was a big selling point for me because I have always found it very difficult to know if my old Kodak Playsport is on, off, recording, etc in the bright Florida sun. I think that I am going to have to figure out a way to waterproof the remote. Seems odd that a fully waterproof camera would not come with a waterproof remote.

Secondly, and this is probably true of the other similar cameras in it's class, the "field of view" settings appears to do nothing but crop out the perimeter. I tested different settings on still photos and compared them with the full wide angle shot where I cropped it in desktop software and the wide angle distortion in the remaining image appeared to match the camera's narrower setting. So about the same thing as a digital zoom where you are just throwing away pixels and gaining no real quality. I am just speculating here, but I assume it does the same in video mode but of course has to scale it back up to 1080P or whatever you shoot in with the corresponding loss of sharpness.

None of this is a deal killer for me. Being able to easily manage the camera in adverse conditions, video quality in intense lighting conditions, and durability in the harsh conditions of ocean kayaking are what matter to me. And that is going to take some field testing before I have an opinion on any of that.

On the positive side, the smartphone app is very cool, allowing you to see the camera image real time on your phone and control most of the settings. This was a recently added feature that was not originally included and required me to do a firmware upgrade to implement.


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 Post subject: Re: Camera Choices
PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2012 8:40 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 19, 2005 6:29 pm
Posts: 1992
Location: High Point, NC
I have the older Drift Stealth model. I have drenched the remote unit on that one repeatedly and have never had the slightest problem with it. However, I have no idea what would happen if you submerged it for a prolonged period. I feel pretty confident that a good splash here and there isn't going to hurt it, but I'd have to stop short of saying that it cannot be harmed by submersion. I just don't know.

I will say that my current camera has impressed me enough (I shoot on just 720dpi) that I plan to buy a Ghost model as soon as my dealer has them in stock.


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 Post subject: Re: Camera Choices
PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2012 9:37 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 12, 2007 5:17 pm
Posts: 509
Location: Auckland NZ
I have a toshiba camileo bw10. It is waterproof,simple to use, says "full HD 1920*1080" on it and was as cheap as chips. I dunno how well it compares to anything else because it is the only waterproof digital video camera that I am going to own until it breaks but it serves me ok. If you want to check out the results have a look at my you tube channel Stobb0 (last o is a zero!).


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 Post subject: Re: Camera Choices
PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2013 8:00 pm 
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Joined: Sat May 14, 2011 2:41 pm
Posts: 12
I finally got down to Florida with the Drift HD Ghost (DHDG) and got it out on the water for some field testing. Since the only other water proof video camera that I have is my two year old Kodak Playsport (KP), I will have to make any quality comparisons to that as a reference point keeping in mind that the KP is about one fourth the price of the DHDG. I believe the KP is the same camera as a couple of other re-branded cameras found in that same price class as the KP that I have seen mentioned on the forum.

The first issue that I ran into with the new DHDG is that there is no place to attach a leash or float which I like to do for both kayaking and snorkeling. There is a plastic mounting adapter that has a couple small holes that you could get some fishing line through but I don't use the adapter. I will probably try to epoxy a pad eye to the camera body.

The second issue that I ran into was that after mounting on the kayak and before I could even get the kayak in the water the inside of the view screen fogged up as it sat in the sun for about 5 minutes. The camera had never been taken outdoors before that. The fog cleared after I returned for the day and the camera was inside for an hour.

The third issue I found was that the battery indicator has three bars but only two bars ever show even on a fully charged battery. I have two batteries and both show the same behavior so probably a software problem. I did upgrade to the latest firmware as is required to run the iphone app. Also one of the batteries fits too tight and I have to really work at getting it out of the camera.

The iphone app is a little flaky with an occasional crash. It locks up in playback mode unless you pop it into full screen mode within the first two the three seconds of playback. The wifi connection is fine for transferring still photos to your phone so you can immediately email or post to social media sites but I found it too slow to be practical for videos of any length.

Video quality on the DHDG is better than the KP but I would not rate it as good as my iphone, particularly with contrast and color accuracy. The KP is poor at handling high contrast subjects and the HD Ghost is better but not great. Also the color accuracy was not very good on the DHDG in the early morning light with a heavy shift towards yellow. Some green palm trees came out totally yellow in the video. It may have been affected by the bright yellow reflecting off of the Tandem Island which occupied about 20% of the field of view. As the sun got higher in the sky the color accuracy improved.

The DHDG had smoother motion at the highest resolution and frame rate than the KP, probably due to a faster processor / newer generation of chips.

I like the wider field of view of the DHDG(170 degrees) over the KP. The fisheye distortion actually adds an interesting dimension to both the still photos and the videos.

Still photos on the DHDG are very good and very easy to take. They can even be taken while recording video with just one push of the remote's action button. I have always considered the KP still photos almost unusable so this is a big advantage over the KP.

It was impossible to determine which camera handled wind noise the best as it was so dependent on orientation of the microphone to the wind, but I think they were about the same. Audio pick up of normal speech at about 4 feet had a little bit more gain and clarity on the KP.

Neither camera has a lens cover.

Given all of the above I would not pay four times the price for the DHDG, but the killer feature on this camera for kayakers is the two way remote control and it works great. It is color coded so you can see the mode the camera is in and whether it is recording or not. Although you cant see the LEDs of the remote in the direct Florida sun light, all you have to do is shade it with your hand and they are plainly visible. As I mentioned in my earlier post my only concern is that the remote may not be fully waterproof.

Combine the two way remote feature with the limited wifi capability, feature rich iphone app, video tagging function, and pretty reasonable image quality and I have to give it a modest thumbs up for kayakers.


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 Post subject: Re: Camera Choices
PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 10:48 am 
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Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2012 9:27 pm
Posts: 491
good review, the fogging issue is a fear of mine as well, but if push comes to shove i know that gopro sells little moisture absorbing strips to put in the hero3's case.


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 Post subject: Re: Camera Choices
PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 11:20 am 
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Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2012 9:27 pm
Posts: 491
oh, found this yesterday. doesnt come out till june, but a great idea
i'll just leave this here...
http://gizmodo.com/5977191/angled-lens-case-turns-your-smartphone-into-a-gopro


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 Post subject: Re: Camera Choices
PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 4:44 pm 
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Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2009 4:07 am
Posts: 91
Location: Byron Bay, NSW, Australia
We tested a whole bunch of cameras in the last month at work including Sony action cam and GoPro black.
We need them for commercial work with aerial platforms.
The GoPro black was the clear winner.
The remote is great in the kayak as well, so I got the GoPro black.


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