If you're in the market for an action camera that's good to go right out of the box, then the Drift Ghost-S is hard to ignore. Like last year's Drift HD Ghost, it's waterproof to 9 feet without the need for a case, has a built-in 2-inch LCD for reviewing your footage, a lens you can rotate to suit your needs, WiFi connectivity to your mobile, and a two-way remote. Of course, it also shoots video at full 1080p HD and takes 12-megapixel stills. Already, on paper, Drift's cameras are some of the most feature-rich options available, but this year's S model sees the addition of a 60fps shooting mode at 1080p so you can grab high-quality slow-mo shots. The Ghost-S adds even more control over your video with a choice of scene settings – similar to those you find on compact still cameras.
What's more, Drift has worked hard to improve the battery life, and it's promising around 3.5 hours of continuous recording at full HD – impressive. We definitely appreciated the extended use we got between charges, and it certainly relieves some anxiety, letting you focus on your chosen activity. What about that all-important video quality? We found the Ghost-S to consistently deliver natural colors and sharp images, even when shooting in poor light in an overcast city park. Autumn's orange-leafed tones were represented authentically against the less-colorful cloudy skyline. So often cameras in this category can struggle in low light, usually at the expense of image quality. The Ghost-S however seemed to handle these dimmer conditions well, with light fading significantly before any hint of image deterioration or struggling with color balance – a definite thumbs-up there.
With its impressive lineup of features, excellent performance, long battery life, and ease of use, the Ghost-S has suddenly become our go-to helmet cam. [$399; driftinnovation.com]