Drift HD stops recording after 40 minutes…

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.


  1. Rick Thompson says:

    Perhaps…well next time try to express yourself on a decent way: “stops recording after 40 minutes” is not what was happening to your camera…… the device was just cropping the files as any digital camera does! Read the manual or goggle basic stuff before annoying people.

  2. Sam Deeks says:

    Hi Rick thanks for your comment but I disagree with you.

    From a consumer point of view ‘stopped recording after 40 minutes’ is EXACTLY what it was doing. And restarting recording. I found nothing in the help files, nothing on the support forums and neither the online drift Twitter person OR the support person who responded to my ticket thought to say “Hey, your ‘stops recording after 40 minutes’ isn’t a problem, dude, it’s mean’t to do that”. I’d have understood that. Instead they said “Wow, your unit must be faulty please send it back for a refund” which I did and promptly bought another one. That camera did the same thing so I went searching even harder, at which point I found a reference to the file cutting at 3.6Gb.

    Nothing I’ve ever come across in my experience of video cameras leads me to expect the Drift (or ‘any digital camera’ as you say) to crop files at 3.6Gb size. And it’s NOT there in the promotional blurb or – as I’ve pointed out – on its website, its support forums or its tech help. YOUR attitude towards my post is because you already KNOW that piece of information and you’re judging me as if I somehow, miraculously, also should have. I didn’t.

    Now I know what it does, I’ll work around it. And I’ll stick with Drift because it has the ‘mic-in’ socket which sets it apart from the GoPro.

Speak Your Mind


Spam Protection by WP-SpamFree