The Contour+ Helmet Camcorder from Contour incorporates the best aspects of the company's roster of earlier helmet cams and adds some key features that make this the ultimate action-sports recording device. First off, Contour includes an HDMI output on the Contour+, thereby eliminating the computer as a pesky hurdle to clear before you can watch your footage. Now you can simply connect the camera to the HDMI-enabled TV in the lodge or back home, and instantly you're reliving those epic downhill runs.
Second, the lens on the Contour+ is seriously wide to capture the full breadth of mouth-watering vistas. Two modes are possible. At 170°, the flat-front lens still exhibits minimal distortion & fisheye effect. At a still-wide 125°, the lens can capture the full HD 1920 x 1080 progressive formats. (Format and lens parameters are selectable in the included Storyteller software; the camera gets updated via USB.)
Because the Contour+ is designed from a minimalist standpoint (helmet cams should, of course, enable hands-free operation), there's still no built-in monitor. However, an ingenious application of Bluetooth technology allows you to frame a shot before you drop in. The camera's included ConnectView card is a Bluetooth radio, and on your iOS-based or Android phone (iPhone 4, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, and 3rd/4th-gen iPod Touch; Android OS 2.2.1 and above) you can use a downloaded app to connect to this device – and view a live shot of the hill you're about to tackle.
This gives you the visual you need to frame your shot. Twist the front end of the fixed-focus lens to rotate the sensor itself and level out the horizon. (There are also degree markers on the lens for a low-tech approach to this task.) Its 270° range of rotation serves the needs of just about any mounting configuration, including upside-down.
The Contour+ records high-definition video compressed as H.264 and wrapped as convenient MOV files, for the widest compatibility with not only the included Storyteller editing software but most other NLEs as well.