But don’t expect Drift Innovation people to tell you.
I bought the Drift HD camera for recording some group sessions at work. The picture quality of the GoPro camera is superior but only the Drift HD has the magical 2.5mm external microphone ‘in’ jack that lets me capture high quality audio from a wireless mic at the same time.
Good quality audio is often overlooked in favour of the image but poor audio ruins more videos than poor image. If you’re trying to communicate (and not just dazzle with snowboard stunts) then audio quality ends up being more important than picture quality. Can you find a reasonable digital video camera with a socket to take an external mic? Can you buggery.
My first experience of the Drift was good; I liked the ‘wide angle view’ but was annoyed that it mysteriously stopped and restarted recording at about 42 minutes into our 90 minute session. I had a big class 10 Micro SD so I couldn’t understand why it was stopping – and restarting. I didn’t want my session in two chunks, dammit, because that meant I had to edit the thing together and that meant hours of struggling MacBook, overheating trying to handle several Gigabytes of video in one go. Not ideal.
I contacted Drift Innovation via a support ticket and via Twitter. I described exactly what was happening: “Stops recording after about 40-42 minutes, consistently, and restarts…why?” Nobody could answer me. Eventually Drift Innovation support came back to me saying “Well, your camera is obviously faulty, you are welcome to send it back”. Which I did for a refund.
I bought another one and it arrived today. I charged it up (4hrs) and then started a recording to see if it would record past 40 minutes. Guess what? It didn’t. I did some more searching until I found, in the small print of the manual pdf, a sentence that says:
“Note: If the video being recorded is very long, the video file will be separated into multiple files every 3.6 GB (i.e. every 40 minutes in 1080p). This is automatic – you do not need to monitor this process. The camera will resume filming after a few seconds, once the file is saved. Please be patient while the file is saving.”
Well, that settles that. Shame that Drift’s support staff don’t know about it.