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Verdict: 
A great value and strong performing action cam
Weight: 
97g
Drift Stealth 2 HD Action Camera
9 10

The Drift Stealth 2 HD Action Camera brings together good quality recording and easy use in a small package. It has several key features such as the ability to be used in any position and I particularly like the colour coded LEDs to help distinguish which mode you are in. More mounting options out of the box for road cyclists would be good though.

Normally, using an action cam on my helmet makes me feel a little like a Teletubby, with this thing sticking up from my head looking like I'm trying to find a television signal on the go.

The Stealth 2 HD doesn't do this so much though, partly because of its small size but also because it isn't too bulbous in shape. At 80 x 42 x 27mm, it's much smaller than some other cameras in this category. It's also light, at 97g, so it doesn't feel like you're adding a huge bulk to your helmet. Its low profile also means you hardly notice when it's on, and you barely notice it when turning your head.

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Fitting it is simple, as it comes with three brackets: one flat bottom adhesive base, one curved bottom and a helmet strap. Although it was possible to use the adhesive bases on my heavily vented helmet, I preferred to zip tie the helmet strap base on, so I had the option to take it off and re-use it.

Drift Stealth 2 HD Action Camera - back.jpg

Drift Stealth 2 HD Action Camera - back.jpg

You can get a specific mount for a vented helmet, as well as a handlebar mount (and a number of other accessories), but neither are included in the package – they have to be bought separately. Having them in the package with the camera would be nice.

Fitting the camera into the brackets is simple: screw a base onto the bottom of the camera and then slide into place. It's easy to do without looking at what you're doing, and simple to tell when you have attached or detached it properly.

The camera has several different settings: filming (1080p, 960p, 720p), single shot photograph, multi shot photographs (time lapse) and burst photography. It means the camera has a nice variety of uses on and off the bike.

Drift Stealth 2 HD Action Camera - top.jpg

Drift Stealth 2 HD Action Camera - top.jpg

The results are crisp and clear. The videos are recorded straight to .mp4, making them easily usable by almost any player; the images are saved as .jpgs, which again are easy to open in most viewers. Plugging in the camera via micro USB makes it appear as a hard drive, and it's simple to export the videos from the camera.

The camera is easy to operate, with three rubberised buttons on the side of the unit. These are on/off/start/stop recording, mode and select. I found them easy to locate while riding, and even with full-fingered gloves.

It's clear to see which mode the camera is in because of a well-thought-out colour coding system on the screen and LED at the front. It means no missed film, or filming rather than taking a photo.

I think my favourite aspect of the camera is the 300-degree lens rotation, which means it can be used in a variety of positions and angles, with a white arrow clearly showing which way is 'up' in the recording. It genuinely gives it a far better range of uses compared with most other cameras I have used, where this kind of work needs to be done through relatively complex menus or even in post production.

Getting media from the camera is relatively simple through either the phone app or by connecting directly to the computer. Both are simple to use, either by connecting to the camera's wifi network on a phone, or a micro USB cable. The only issue I had was that the screw-on cover covering the Micro Flash card slot and USB connection slots was quite fiddly to get back on fully, requiring some jiggling.

The camera itself doesn't come with a memory card, but can take external cards up to 32GB. I found that recording at 1080p, I would fill a 4gb card in about an hour. The battery life would allow me to record at this level for around 1.5 hours, which is fine. I don't think I'd want to record for longer than this, and I can't imagine I or anybody else would want to watch my footage for that long!

> Check out other cycling gadgets and gizmos here - perfect Christmas presents?

With an RRP of £149.99, the Stealth HD represents really good value for money, when you consider that the GoPro Hero 4 is £329.99 and the equivalent Sony Action Cam £249.99. And at the time of writing it's actually reduced to £99.

Overall, I was very impressed by this little camera. It is less Teletubby-esque than most others I've used and has several neat features. Some more road cycling-specific accessories would be nice in the box, and the rear panel could be easier to install, but this is really just nitpicking at what is a great value and strong performing action cam.

Verdict

A great value and strong performing action cam

road.cc test report

Make and model: Drift Stealth 2 HD Action Camera

Size tested: Compact, Black

Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

Drift Innovation says: "The ideal action camera for every day use. Easy setup and even easier to use with continuous loop recording to ensure you never miss a beat, along with wide angle lens, long battery life and a durable, aerodynamic and weatherproof design which will ensure that no matter the conditions or experience you will capture the moment."

It is easy to use, its size and weight mean that it doesn't get in the way and the LED lighting means you can see exactly what function is currently in use.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Camera Dimensions 80 mm (3.15") x 42 mm (1.65") x 27 mm (1.06")

Camera Weight 97 g (3.41 oz)

1/4 Inch Thread Yes

Battery Power 1500 mAh internal lithium-ion battery (DC 3.7 V)

Max. Recording Time 3 h

File Format .mp4 (H.264 codec)

Sensor Type Aptina 3MP CMOS Sensor 1/3"

Lens Focal Range 3.38 +/- 0.5

Lens Rotation 300° continuously rotatable

Replaceable Lens Yes

Photo Mode 5, 8, 12 MP

Still Photos While Filming 2 MP

Photoburst Mode Up to 3 photos / second

Timelapse Mode 3 MP

Video Tagging Yes

Car DVR Mode Yes

Zoom No

Exposure Auto / Manual (-2.0, -1.0, 0, +1.0, +2.0)

Max. Bit Rate Up to 20 mbps

Screen 1.3" Mono Graphic Backlit LCD

Water Resistance Weather Resistant

Do not submerge in water without Waterproof Case!

Weather Resistance Rain, Snow, Dust, Mud

Freeze proof to -10°C (14°F)

Microphone Built-in microphone (no external microphone input)

Memory (internal) 256mb SLC Nand Flash + 2GB DDR2 SDRAM

Memory (external) microSD and microSDHC memory cards up to 32GB

Inputs No

Outputs Micro HDMI connector type D

Connectivity USB Plug and Play

Micro-B USB connector

System Requirements Windows XP and up; Mac OS 10.2 and up

Wi-Fi App Drift Connect

Remote Control Optional

Remote Range 10 m (32.8 ft)

Radio Frequency 2.4 G

Remote Dimensions 59 mm (2.32") x 48 mm (1.89") x 12 mm (0.47")

Remote Weight 22 g (0.77 oz)

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10

Well made, small and light, combined with easy to use buttons and a secure attachment process. What else do you need?

Rate the product for performance:
 
9/10

Video is clear, audio is crisp and the lens rotation is great for using it in a variety of angles.

Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10

It is rainproof and can be used down to -10°C without any additional protection, which is good. Also, a tightly held cover means water and dirt won't get inside easily.

Rate the product for weight, if applicable:
 
9/10

It's very light and with a low profile; you can almost forget it is on your helmet.

Rate the product for value:
 
9/10

Brilliant value compared to its competitors.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Very well, it was easy to use, the LED lighting meant I could quickly see what was happening, and the pictures were clear.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The size - I didn't feel like a Teletubby.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Perhaps some more road cycling specific mounts?

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Overall rating: 9/10

About the tester

Age: 27  Height: 6 ft  Weight:

I usually ride: Cannondale Supersix Evo 6  My best bike is:

I've been riding for: 5-10 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking

George spends his days flitting between writing about data, running business magazines and writing about sports technology. The latter gave him the impetus (excuse) to get even further into the cycling world before taking the dive and starting his own cycling sites and writing for Road.cc. 

When he is not writing about cycling, he is either out on his bike cursing not living in the countryside or boring anybody who will listen about the latest pro peloton/cycling tech/cycling infrastructure projects.  

13 comments

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50kcommute [77 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

i've got a drift ghost s - awesome camera's, but a bit heavy vs go pro

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LarryDavidJr [347 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

Fly-6 on the back, soon to have Fly-12 on the front...is this the last one I need so I have something to point in the direction I'm looking?  Or am I starting to look like traffic-droid? 

I would be interested to see how it comapres to the similar size-and-shape chinese import affairs available on ebay for around 40 quid or so, drawbacks of support and warranty not withstanding.  How about buying a bunch of them in and trying them out road.cc?  Tech sites like TechMoan and the like have reviewed these but the view from using them purely as a cycling cam would be interesting.

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chalky46 [4 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

Battery life is poor. I wish I could find one that lasts 3 hours for my 1 week commute. I like to charge everything once a week.

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MrWigster [9 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

Would suggest the Mobius camera (link) hands down over this, smaller size and a third of the price at £50!

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giskard [65 posts] 1 year ago
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I did consider the Drift Stealth 2 but the fact that the battery isn't user replaceable put me right off.  I contacted the manufacturer about this and was told that there were no plans to offer a battery replacement service and even for someone skilled with a soldering iron, it wasn't really possible to replace the battery without rendering the camera useless.

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DAG on a bike [81 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

Sorry to be negative, but that's not exactly what I would call stealthy...

"surreptitious; secret; not openly acknowledged"

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KoenM [87 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

"The results are crisp and clear." Tip to the author, if u review a camera, then let us see the quality, not to hard to include a youtube video for example. Because videoquality is the SINGLE most important thing about a videocamera it shouldn't be just a small line in the whole review, it should be the focus. If all other things are good but the video is (excuse my language) crap, than it should be a failed product in my opinion, certainly in this day and age.

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LarryDavidJr [347 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
KoenM wrote:

"The results are crisp and clear." Tip to the author, if u review a camera, then let us see the quality, not to hard to include a youtube video for example. Because videoquality is the SINGLE most important thing about a videocamera it shouldn't be just a small line in the whole review, it should be the focus. If all other things are good but the video is (excuse my language) crap, than it should be a failed product in my opinion, certainly in this day and age.

 

The problem with that, is that YouTube will compress the video using its own compression settings, so you won't be seeing what you actually get.  They'd have to put the originals up somewhere for download.

Valid point though.

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Pilotdavo [1 post] 1 year ago
0 likes

Nice camera but terrible mounting systems. I sent it back after attempting to attach it to my bike with the supplied mounts. Needs a Garmin 510 type option with bands to attach to the stem or bars. I would not want to ride about with a camera stuck on my swede.

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keirik [148 posts] 1 year ago
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1.5 hours is long enough battery life? not really, how about 4 hours?

 

the only reason i can see for a camera is for recording when that white van takes me out.

any non-commuting road rider is going to be out for a lot longer than 1.5 hours, so unless you can arrange for your collision to happen in the first part of your ride its basically a lump of unnecessary weight on your helmet.

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sizbut [26 posts] 1 year ago
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Strangely, having seen the various Garmin ads for this light, this is the first time I've noticed any mention of what I consider the best feature, that is attaching to the underside of the bracket on which I have my Garmin. That's more attractive to me than actually interfacing with the Garmin (which is good since I only have an 800).

 

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macrophotofly [261 posts] 1 year ago
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I have to agree with a few of the other comments, this is not a great review.

  • No mention of the battery standby time (okay so 1.5hrs video recording but does it last on an 8hr bike ride with the usual approach of making several small video clips?)
  • or how long the timelapse works for? Any different size options for timelapse?
  • Still not clear if you can swap the battery, but if not why is a price comparison being made with a GoPro4? Surely the price comparison should be with the substantially cheaper Hero+?
  • The real competitor to compare with could be the GoPro Hero Session - would have been nice to see a side-by-side size photo plus weight and other details compared
  • Video quality of this verses Session and Hero+ in a video clip would make this review useful
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Shades [338 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

I got one of these as a bit of commuting security from 'arsey' drivers that I seemed to encounter more regularly.  The first one wouldn't charge but it was replaced and no issues so far.  I get about 2 1/2 hours out of it between charges.  The main criticism is the lack of imagination when it comes to mounting it on a vented helmet.  The sticky mounts work best on a motorbike helmet and they could have come up with a great system to loop through a vented helmet which you can transfer between helmets.  There is a vented helmet mount (bought seperately) but it looks completely over-engineered.  I found an old velcro strap and use the goggle strap mount supplied.  With the field of view I find it easier to set up strapped to the side of the helmet.  If it's on top you can end up getting a bit too much tarmac if it's not set up right.  Anyway, it does the job; if I want action footage, then the GoPro comes out (As a security camera, the GoPro only lasts an hour and is best bar mounted as it just doesn't look right on top of a helmet).