The two biggest players in the helmet cam industry, Contour and GoPro, haven’t updated their camera lineups for a while now. released its Contour+ and Roam models last summer and GoPro released the HD Hero2 at the end of 2016. During our extensive testing, we found both companies make great cameras, but Sony is set to enter the market with its $199 Action Cam, so the pair needs to raise their games — and Contour does just that With its logically named follow-up to the Contour+, the Contour+ 3 is an important step forward in many ways. In addition to delivering 1080p video, it offers many design and software enhancements that include the ability to start and stop recording using your smartphone. The price is also $100 cheaper than the previous year’s offering — and that’s despite the fact that it comes with a
The company first hit 1080p with its ContourHD line back in 2009. Since then we’ve followed the evolution of this camera series. The cameras have kept their familiar form since then, but with each upgrade, their functionality has become more advanced. With the Contour+2, they have improved upon what they have already achieved. This is a small, cool-looking device, the dark plastics and the brushed metal barrel that holds the internals of the camera working well together. This bag has sophisticated branding printed on the side, which does not detract from its overall clean appearance. The control at the top is the most important There’s no question about it, Contour’s slider is the best. The camera begins to record as soon as you knock it forward. As you slide the slider back, it will stop. Although there is still a beep, now it’s moot, as the power button has been removed. The slider is textured and easy to find, even with gloves on. Also, the raised slider is still easy to use even with gloves on. No longer do you even need to think about turning on the camera before shooting. All you have to do is move the slider forward. A manual lock has been added to that slider, meaning you can make sure recordings stop only when you want them to. Three LEDs are now located behind it to display the status of the recordings. A battery, a memory card, and a GPS device are arranged from left to right. They turn from green to red as they slowly exhaust themselves, while the GPS indicator flashes as it attempts to find a new location. Even though the Bluetooth toggle button still sits ahead of the slider, pressing it now is easier than it was The best consumer helmet camera, the Contour2, is reviewed here. On the back, instead of a power button, there is now a status button. Tap it, and all three indicator lights illuminate, so you can see how you’re doing, and the alignment laser will be activated. This camera makes a triumphant return with the laser on the front which shoots out a red line that can help you quickly orient it. This camera has a cylindrical appearance but has a cleverly designed innards that can be freely twisted through Due to its rotatable nature, the Contour line is more appealing than ever. Like before, its largely cylindrical shape hides its clever, twistable innards that turn This is why, regardless of which way you mount it, you can be assured that your footage is correct. A grooved extension follows the barrel, which is shaped like a barrel of all older models so that old mountings can be used. It comes with a threaded receiver on the underside, so you can simply screw it onto any standard camera mount and overlook those grooves if needed. Also on the underside is an audio input covered by a rubber door, which makes it much easier to connect. It simply means that you can run your own microphone solution if the internal microphone fails to meet your standards (which is likely to happen). The back has two more doors that flip open to reveal the mini-USB port for charging (no micro) and HDMI socket for getting a direct feed of digital Additionally, the entire back of the phone flips open to reveal the 1,050mAh battery (the same as before), along with a microSD card (a 4GB card is included In addition, you’ll find a mode switch, so you can easily switch between the two
As a result of this, Contour users are mainly connected using the same old Storyteller software, which has not changed much since then — that is to say, it is clunky and slow. The only improvement is that it now includes some additional functionality to make it more useful, especially when sharing your footage. Before, if you wanted to embed your Contour clips with GPS metadata — map, altitude, speed, etc. — you had to create a proprietary embed code. There wasn’t a way to bake it right into the video. As a result of the +2, everything changes. If you’d like to hide any of those figures, you can do so with the new version of the software. The new software will let you overlay a map, altitude, and speed on your video. The overlay can be selected for which corner of the video, and then it can be directly uploaded to YouTube. You can also export a GPX file of the coordinates from the camera, which can then be imported into a range of tracking applications, such as As well as the desktop applications, the mobile applications were There has already been an update to the iOS app, and there will be a fix soon for the Android version, we are If you use the iOS app, you can still use it as a remote viewfinder, connecting over Bluetooth and getting a live stream of the footage to help you align the camera. In the future, though, you will be able to begin and stop the recording In this case, if you’ve mounted the camera on the roof of your car, you can start it and stop it without having to remove your racing harness first. This can be done by a member of your pit crew (or by yourself if you want).
This is the first series of phones to come with a waterproof case, a first for the +2 This kit is similar to the Underwater Mount Kit, which you are probably familiar with. There is a slider on the top so you can start and stop recording, and a status button on the back so you can check weather. It’s effective down to 60 meters. Our first impression is that it does not have crack-prone latches like the GoPro, but it feels secure when closed. Backlit LCD screen. We’re pleased to report that the GoPro’s latches also lock onto any sliding mounts. As well as the low-profile adhesive mount, you get another adhesive mount with a rotating base, which is good for sticking to smooth surfaces like motorcycle helmets. By rotating the camera around, you can point it in the opposite direction if that is your preference. During our years of experience, we have found that 3M adhesive, used as double-sided adhesive in both of these mounts, sticks on very well during even extreme speeds without damaging the finish. Contour will also be making available a range of mount kits if you don’t find those options sufficient. also tested out the Moto kit, which sported two more adhesive mounts (one for each side), a rotating flat surface mount, a flex strap that works well with handlebars, and a PanaVise suction cup for fixing your camera. the PanaVise mounts extensively on shoots in the past and found that they stay locked down even when the speeds are well into the triple-digits, such as on a stunt airplane’s wing, for instance. Furthermore, the kit comes with a little bag so that you can carry all that mess around.
Since cameras like this are meant to be on the go, we slapped the +2 on the side of a helmet and took it for a spin. But before we did so, we charged it up over a USB cable and hopped into Storyteller to adjust the Our video was recorded in 720p60 for a motorcycle ride, then switched to 720p30 for a bike tour. The GPS was always on, and it was set up in 5Hz mode for better precision (recording five times per second, rather than the usual one). A few seconds after taking the camera outside, we were happy to see that a GPS lock was acquired after only a few green blinks. Without further ado, we flipped the recording slider forward and started recording. Initially, we tried the rotating helmet mount within the waterproof case, then switched over to the PanaVise suction cup mount and tested that both inside and outside of In the end, we attached the strap mount to the handlebars of a road bicycle and went for a ride. We mostly recorded in 720p because that gives us the best field of view (170 degrees). As a result, the camera’s field of view was limited to 125 degrees at 1080p, and the increased resolution didn’t seem worth it for the reduced angle. There is a 60fps mode by default, but you can switch to 30 if you wish, or, if you really want to capture every moment of the action, you can select the 120fps option — but at 480p only. In the following review of the Contour2 helmet camera, we find it to be among the best on the market. Captured footage looked bright and clear, though the compression was a bit heavy. It’s natural for the tiny sensors in these cameras to perform their best when there is tons of light available, and indeed this is As I rode around on a sunny day, the scenery was stunning as I saw fields and trees that whizzed by on the sides of the road. Although the camera had a hard time coping with the dark morning bicycle ride, with many long shadows, its sensor performed Although the waterproof case provides some protection from direct sunlight, we did notice some visual aberrations. There was a hint of distortion at the corners of the video from the edges of the lens and a little internal reflection of the sunlight occasionally appeared. The biggest problem of the Contour line remains the noise that is produced when the sun shines, so you won’t want to use it when the sun is shining. It’ll be difficult to keep the breeze from blowing whenever it’s sunny. Even so, sound quality is still a bit lacking, with the front-mounted microphone picking up wind noise at speeds above 20 miles per hour. As a result, there shouldn’t be any problems playing it out on a snowboard and skateboard, but if your +2 is mounted out in the wind, you might want an external microphone. As promised, the new waterproof case does improve things somewhat, but it also mutes most of what else is going on. As before, though, there’s a line-in for audio, so you can use a cheaper external microphone to fix this. You can get distortion-free audio if you place it somewhere out of the wind.
Audio and video quality are neither a step forward or a step back for this helmet camera compared to others. On the other hand, with 1080p recording in a package of this size, and an audio line-in that lets you plug in anything, it could be argued that this doesn’t offer a lot of advancement in the digital realm. Besides the addition of a fully waterproof case, the improvements here are improved wireless viewing and control from mobile devices over Bluetooth, easy video sharing, and a $100 discount from last year’s MSRP. This is still about $100 more than the GoPro HD Hero2, but the GPS tracking and wireless functionality more than make up for it. There are many great things about the Contour+2. As for which one to wear on his helmet, it would be that one.