We live in an age where smaller, lighter, and faster applies to everything we do, from our phones to our computers, from our audio listening devices to our video games, and even to our camcorders. They even have their own category—action cams—and you can buy them to fit into the palm of your hand, increasing their usage on the go and in never-before-attempted scenarios, like surfing, biking, skiing and base jumping. To that end, a company called Drift just announced the new Stealth 2 action cam. Weighing only 3.4 ounces, it's 40% lighter than its predecessor, the HD Ghost.
This versatile action camera includes all of the bells and whistles POV shooters have come to expect: Full HD 1080p at 30 fps, 720p at 60 fps, Wi-Fi connectivity for app-based control, and a rugged, water-resistant body. But the Stealth doesn't settle for being just average—several features really make it stand out, most notably, a 300-degree-rotatable lens. That's right; you can rotate the lens within the body by turning a ring on the front. The advantage of this is that the camera doesn't need to be level. Of course, you can always find mounts, such as ball heads, to level the camera, but the extra protrusion isn't ideal if you want to keep the camera flush with the mounting surface, such as the side of a helmet.
"...Stealth doesn't settle for being just average—several features really make it stand out, most notably, a 300-degrees rotatable lens."
Another feature that sets the Stealth 2 apart is a wide, but not super-wide, 135-degree-field-of-view lens (most action cameras have an FOV of around 170 degrees at their widest). If you are going for the skateboard video look—the effect of capturing the entire world in one shot—the Stealth's not going to give you that. But it means less copping in post, and therefore quality loss, for those times you want a tighter shot, putting more emphasis on the subject.
To keep things small, Drift has forgone an onboard color LCD screen. Let's face it, you are probably mounting this camera anyway; besides, who can really judge a shot based on a 1" screen? There is a low-power-consumption LED screen so you can quickly check what mode the camera is in, remaining battery, remaining card space, and other helpful parameters. For live monitoring and remote operation, you'll want to use the Drift Connect App, coming soon for Android and iOS. Please note, this is a new app; the previous Drift App is not compatible with this camera.
Mounting is crucial to an action cam’s success. With the included Universal Clip you have access to the full spectrum of propriety mounts from Drift, including suction cups, handlebar mounts, a vented helmet mount, a surfboard mount with FCS plug fitting, and a shoulder harness. The camera also includes a goggle mount, and flat and curved adhesive mounts in the box to get you started. Apart from Drift mounts, there is 1/4"-20 socket on the bottom of the camera for mounting on more conventional camera supports, such as tripods or camera poles.
Regardless of which way you go in terms of mounting, there are two must-have accessories. The first is the Two-Way Remote Control. The Two-Way Remote is a great choice where using a smartphone for remote operation is impractical or the phone could be damaged. Not only does it allow you to change settings, start and stop recording, and take photos, it features a status display showing the same data you can see on the camera itself.
The other must-have is the Stealth 2 Waterproof Case, a housing made specifically for this model. As noted, the naked camera is water-resistant, fine for rain or even a splash here or there, but not sufficient if the camera might be submerged. The Waterproof Case features a 131' depth rating, which is more than deep enough for most recreational scuba diving, not to mention snorkeling and surfing.
For more information on the camera, as well as popular accessories to go with it, please visit the B&H website.