Reviews |Drift Ghost XL Pro

Drift Ghost XL Pro Review

Drift XL Pro review
Review

Price when reviewed

£249

$279

Our Verdict

The innovative rotating 360º lens and slim line form of the Drift Ghost XL Pro make this action camera stand out in a competitive market.
Mount it how you like, horizontally, vertically, or at a jaunty angle; a quick rotation of the lens ensures your shooting landscape and level.
This is the only camera with that ability, and the design and features still make this latest Drift stand out against other action cameras with a design that has changed little over the years.

The Drift Ghost XL is designed to be mounted and used; there’s no touch screen, advanced AI features, or story modes; this camera captures the action at incredible quality wherever you are.

Over all other action cameras, the Drift is the one you want if you need to helmet mount or mount on anything that doesn’t naturally provide a horizontal mounting option.

For

  • 360º rotating lens
  • Solid design
  • Great video quality

Against

  • Framerates and resolutions limited

What is Drift Ghost XL Pro?

Drift action cameras are one of the original manufacturers and are known for an innovative design approach that enables you to capture a level horizon; however, the camera is mounted.

Like the GoPro Hero10 Black and Insta360 One RS, the Drift Ghost XL Pro can be mounted horizontally as you’d expect; however, it can also be mounted vertically or at an angle. While the other two cameras can also do this, the footage they shoot will need to be sorted out and cropped to correct the orientation; with the Drift, you rotate the lens, and the orientation is correct.

Even more impressive is that if you need to mount the camera at an angle, say from a roll cage, then a quick lens rotation and the footage is once again level. No other action camera enables this ease of functionality.

Drift XL Pro review

While many now offer intelligent horizon levelling, the quality of the video footage cannot match that of the Drift Ghost XL Pro, which can shoot a level horizon natively.

While the Ghost XL Pro offers plenty of mounting options, it doesn’t offer quite so many advanced features. There is a screen, although it’s a mono LCD rather than a full-blown colour touch screen.

There are also no in-built story modes or many other fancy features or modules that we have come to expect from GoPro or Insta360; the Drift Ghost XL Pro is just a pure no-fuss action camera.

The Drift Ghost XL Pro is the action camera you want on a track day or any race, mounted to a yacht mast, roll cage or helmet. The Drift cuts back on the features that few of us ever actually use after the first week and delivers one of the best-performing action cameras on the market.

However, the paired back design will not be for everyone; if you’re looking for a camera for the family or vlogging, this may not be the camera for you; the Drift Ghost XL Pro is most at home with those seeking action.

Build and Handling

Simple and solid essentially sums up this action camera. The sleek design makes it a perfect option for side mounting on a helmet, and with a huge array of mounts available, attaching it to almost anything isn’t difficult.
You also have the advantage over all other action cameras: it doesn’t have to be level, either the right way up or upside down; you twist the lens to get the horizon correct.

Regarding the build, the Ghost XL Pro is roughly the same size as the Insta360 ONE RS and GoPro, and when it comes to building quality, it comfortably sits alongside them as a premium action camera option.
The styling is minimalistic with the small rotating lens mounted at the front, mounting on the base, logo on top, the small mono screen on the back, three control buttons along one side and the battery and MicroSD card door on the other.
The battery is integral, but at 3000mAH, it’s considerably larger than most other action cameras and, with the right setting, will last up to 7 hours, which is impressive.
Besides the build quality and the design being minimalistic and sleek, there’s little else to comment about the camera’s build.

Drift XL Pro review

Mounts are always an important factor with any action camera, and here the Drift utilises its style of clip mount. While this isn’t the GoPro three-prong style universally used by many manufacturers in practical use, it offers a far more rigid connection with anything it’s mounted to. In the past, before decent EIS, this mount proved itself for its robust build and reduction in vibration when compared with the GoPro equivalent.

Touch and voice control have made controlling action cameras exceptionally easy in the last few years. However, the Drift Ghost XL Pro has non of that. Sticking with the pure ready-for-action stance, a small LCD screen on the back shows the mode and setting, battery life and SD card capacity, and that’s about it.

The three buttons enable you to scroll through the options and update them as required. The display’s colour changes for each screen, making it easy to recognise which section you’re in. While using the LCD screen and carousel-style navigation is relatively easy, it does feel like you’re stepping back in time.

The small screen and direct control buttons are only used to start and stop recording, and if you want to change any settings, then the fastest route is through the App.

The App is a relatively standard affair with the ability to quality change options and settings and gets a live view feed directly from the camera. There’s also a very simple to set up and use a direct live stream to either Facebook or Twitter.

Features

Unlike many other action cameras that pack in seemingly hundreds of features, the Drift Ghost XL Pro is seemingly light. From my perspective, the main feature that makes this camera stand out is the rotating lens. It makes this camera something different and an excellent option for many extreme and motorsports enthusiasts.
Alongside that feature, there’s also the ability to shoot at 4K@30fps, 2.7K@60fps, and 1080p@120fps.

One of the most impressive features is the internal battery that can provide up to 7 hours of battery life when recording at 1080p or 4.5 hours at 4K. To put this into context, that’s over double that of the standard GoPro battery.

As you’d expect from an action camera, the Ghost XL Pro is IPX7 waterproof, so there are no worries about dropping it in a puddle or mounting it on a surfboard.

Drift XL Pro review

Keeping with the waterproof features, a waterproof adapter enables you to connect to accessories such as a mic or external power source. This I like as it means that you can mount and essentially not have to worry about the power going to the camera or record a voice-over through the action if required, perfect if you’re thinking about a bit of rally driving!

EIS is as standard as is the LCD rear screen, flashback tagging, a dash cam recording mode, and built-in Wifi and BlueTooth enable you to connect to the remote.

One last big feature is the LiveStreaming option through the App. This couldn’t be easier to use; enter in your details, connect and before you know it, you’re online broadcasting to your followers.

Performance

When it comes to using the Drift Ghost, XL Pro is one of the easiest action cameras to use. It’s been designed to be as simple as possible, even when using gloves or underwater. The large button closest to the lens starts and stops recording with the light changing to indicate that the recording has started; another press to finish.

Out on trial, and the mounting options are well beyond the GoPro or, for that matter, any other action camera; want to put it on your bike forks? Not a problem; attach and rotate the lens.
The Drift Ghost XL Pro beats the ease of use and mount options of any other camera on the market by a long stretch.

When it comes to using the Drift Ghost XL is one of my favourite cameras. It’s easy to understand and operate, and most importantly, the quality of the video matches the quality of use.

Drift XL Pro review

So often, you get an action camera with great promise only to find that the quality of the video lets it down. With the Drift Ghost XL Pro, you must remember the GoPro10 Black and the Insta360 ONE RS. This is a premium action camera, which shows in the footage’s quality.

Firstly the clarity of the image is excellent, skin tones are well reproduced, and it handles changes in light quickly and smoothly. The EIS is good, although unfortunately, not up to HyperSmooth or RockSteady standards. Still, the mount is far better and provides a far more steady base, so the quality of the footage, unless using a GoPro mount, is excellent.

When the EIS kicks in, you will see a level of warping, but it’s nothing too much to worry about.

The other point is that in low light conditions, the camera fairs well. Usually, action cameras, even the GoPro, suffer from lacklustre footage in lower light conditions; here, the Drift seems to cope ok.

At the end of the test, the Drift Ghost XL Pro put in a solid performance; being able to mount the camera in ways that would usually be impossible gives you plenty more options when it comes to filming and enables plenty of fun. In use, it performs well with the large buttons and beep, enabling you to easily operate the camera even if you can’t directly see it.

While it’s a shame that the resolution and framerate options are limited, the quality of the footage at 4K and 1080p is excellent.

Final thoughts

So often, manufacturers produce cameras that are good all-rounders, or in the case of the GoPro Hero10 Black and the Insta360 ONE RS, they’re good at everything. However, even after weeks and months with the cameras, there are still functions and features that I’m only just finding and more seem to be being added every week.

However, with the Drift Ghost XL Pro, you know that you have one of the best action cameras on the market. It doesn’t try to please everyone or cram in all the features you can think of; it just provides you with the core, and there’s a lot to say.

Drift XL Pro review

For motorcyclists, this is the camera of choice; its sleek, low-profile design sits easily on the side of a helmet. For motorsports, the ability to rotate the lens to get a level horizon is a godsend when attached to a roll cage.

The one downfall is the resolution and framerate options. At 4K, the maximum framerate is 30fps, ok for static and slow movement but not great for high-speed action. 2.7K at 60fps is very decent, and the 1080p 60fps is also superb with the option to extend to 120fps. It’s a shame the camera doesn’t extend the framerate to 4K at 60fps, but that’s the only real fault I can find with this otherwise excellent camera.

Ultimately, if you’re looking for a camera for the family or vlogging, this isn’t the camera for you; if you want to capture superb action footage, then the Drift Ghost XL Pro is an ideal solution.

guest

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments