REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
Contour+ Helmet Camcorder
 
4.0

(based on 18 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (7)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (8)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (2)

88%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Easy to use (12)
  • Great picture quality (6)
  • Good in low light (3)
  • Great sound (3)
  • Image stabilization (3)

Cons

  • Poor in low light (3)

Best Uses

  • HD shooting (6)
  • Travel (5)
  • Documentaries (4)
  • Home movies (4)
  • Movies/short films (4)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Enthusiast (6), Casual user (4), Pro videographer (4), Semi-pro (4)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (17)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Excellent camera - Very pleased

I've had the camera for about two weeks. I bought it to document a sporting event I was going to be participating in till I broke my ankle (on camera btw) while training....Read complete review

I've had the camera for about two weeks. I bought it to document a sporting event I was going to be participating in till I broke my ankle (on camera btw) while training. I have been using it mounted to a helmet with a mount made from the included mounts and also fixed to a bicycle using the universal mount I purchased separately.

Since the firmware update the advertised features work. Currently the Storyteller software will not allow editing of all the new settings but there is an easy to understand configuration file on the camera that can be edited to make easy adjustments.

The Storyteller software is not so great. It's basically a playback and library application. It is not an editor. I haven't really experienced showstopping bugs but there are quirks like not correctly reflecting configuration changes on the camera when you make them. The settings will end up like you want but checking them later will show them as wrong. Sometimes the moving map will not move on playback.

If you want to do anything meaningful with the GPS data outside of storyteller you will need a 3rd party software like Dashware. It can integrate data into your video but not a full-on moving map like storyteller. Another reviewer here said the GPS will only take one sample per second but that's incorrect. The GPS will sample at up to 4hz (4 times per second).

The image quality is great outdoors or indors with good light. I mostly only use the 720p 60fps setting and find that generally the picture is great and fisheye distortion is not too bad. I have other fisheye filters for a canon camera and the image edges are much more fuzzy with that setup than on the Contour +.

The audio on POV cameras is always a challenge. On the contour plus that is no different but it does have two options to help in that area. One is an external audio input. I connect my own lavaliere mic with an effective windscreen that does a great job of keeping the wind noise down but still getting most of the natural sounds. The other helpful thing is that you can set the audio level for the internal mic and for the external mic separately. This is an awesome change in the new firmware.

I think the available mounts are just okay. Not a very big selection and it could definitely use more variety. Do yourself a favor and get the Universal Mount. Creativity is rewarded.

I've had good luck with the bluetooth and an ipad. I wish the android app was out, though.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Nice start, but some serious issues

I loved the form factor, and I was tremendously excited about taking this cam on a 2 week sailing trip, but the software and electronics engineering left a lot to be desired.Read complete review

I loved the form factor, and I was tremendously excited about taking this cam on a 2 week sailing trip, but the software and electronics engineering left a lot to be desired.

1.
It was nearly impossible to get the camera to reliably connect via BT. It worked about 10% of the time.

2.
That putting the camera in record mode disabled the BT, and therefore your ability to monitor what you were filming, is bad design. How do you know when you're no longer pointing at the target?

3.
That when you stop recording you have to manually reinitiate the BT connection from the cam, the device that's supposedly being controlled by the Ios device, makes no sense. What's the point of making it wireless if that's the case?

4.
The lack of non-tactile switches for the BT and power was really annoying. The audible feedback used vs. the clear feedback of a mechanical switch changing state is no contest. The record and power buttons were so small, that I couldn't tell if I was pushing them or not.

5.
In addition, the power button, which felt as if it was covered with a rubber membrane, was so small, that the only way I could get my not that large fingers to reliably actuate it, was to use my fingernail, which is not a good thing when pushing on a rubber coated switch, as it will eventually tear it.

I felt bad that this device didn't work out. I really wanted it to. But the nearly insurmountable difficulty in establishing the BT link (which should have been easy given how commonplace BT is), combined with what I think are some serious design flaws, left me no choice but to return it.

John

PS:
As an electronics engineer with over 25 years of experience charged with keeping a wide variety of electronic devices working reliably, AND meeting an end users needs, I was not a newbie to learning a new device.

Reviewed by 18 customers

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(1 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

 
1.0

Nice start, but some serious issues

By jdhinckley

from vermont

About Me Video Enthusiast

Verified Buyer

Pros

    Cons

    • Complicated To Operate
    • Poor Controller Design
    • Unreliable Bluetooth

    Best Uses

      Comments about Contour+ Helmet Camcorder:

      I loved the form factor, and I was tremendously excited about taking this cam on a 2 week sailing trip, but the software and electronics engineering left a lot to be desired.

      1.
      It was nearly impossible to get the camera to reliably connect via BT. It worked about 10% of the time.

      2.
      That putting the camera in record mode disabled the BT, and therefore your ability to monitor what you were filming, is bad design. How do you know when you're no longer pointing at the target?

      3.
      That when you stop recording you have to manually reinitiate the BT connection from the cam, the device that's supposedly being controlled by the Ios device, makes no sense. What's the point of making it wireless if that's the case?

      4.
      The lack of non-tactile switches for the BT and power was really annoying. The audible feedback used vs. the clear feedback of a mechanical switch changing state is no contest. The record and power buttons were so small, that I couldn't tell if I was pushing them or not.

      5.
      In addition, the power button, which felt as if it was covered with a rubber membrane, was so small, that the only way I could get my not that large fingers to reliably actuate it, was to use my fingernail, which is not a good thing when pushing on a rubber coated switch, as it will eventually tear it.

      I felt bad that this device didn't work out. I really wanted it to. But the nearly insurmountable difficulty in establishing the BT link (which should have been easy given how commonplace BT is), combined with what I think are some serious design flaws, left me no choice but to return it.

      John

      PS:
      As an electronics engineer with over 25 years of experience charged with keeping a wide variety of electronic devices working reliably, AND meeting an end users needs, I was not a newbie to learning a new device.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

      Share this review

       
      5.0

      Excellent piece of equipment.

      By Gus.

      from Queens, NY

      About Me Casual User

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Easy to Use

      Cons

      • Needs a longer battery li

      Best Uses

      • Bike terrain

      Comments about Contour+ Helmet Camcorder:

      So far, I'm a very happy customer. Easy to use and to set up. I wish it came with a longer battery life. It needs more memory.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • Yes

      Share this review

      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      4.0

      Prepping this for Fast & Furious Six

      By Brian Dzyak

      from Encino, CA

      About Me Pro Videographer

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Bluetooth settings adjust
      • Bluetooth viewing
      • Easy to Use

      Cons

      • Framerate - no 2398
      • Poor In Low Light
      • Poor Sound

      Best Uses

      • Documentaries

      Comments about Contour+ Helmet Camcorder:

      It's just out of the box and I'm prepping it to shoot Behind-the-Scenes for my next big car movie, Fast Six, starting in June. (I used GoPros extensively for Fast Five and The Bourne Legacy). So far, I'm happy with what I'm seeing. The best feature is the bluetooth connection to my iPhone so I can see what I'm framing up. (GoPro's BacPac suffers from placement that can be difficult to view when the camera is locked down where I want it.)

      I also love that I can adjust some of the settings via Bluetooth. I do wish I could START/STOP the camera remotely, though. That feature would earn this camera another star.

      I also wish that Contour and GoPro would offer a 23.98fps option and a variable built-in zoom, but for now, Contour is a great camera and is heading in the right direction with features that professionals are looking for.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

      Share this review

       
      5.0

      nothing comes close

      By Lucas

      from Encino, Ca

      About Me Video Enthusiast

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Easy to Use
      • Good Image Stabilization
      • Good in Low Light
      • Great Picture Quality
      • Great Sound
      • Large Clear LCD
      • WORKS EVERY TIME

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Documentaries
        • HD Shooting
        • Home Movies
        • Indoors/Low Light
        • Movies/Short Films
        • Travel

        Comments about Contour+ Helmet Camcorder:

        MOUNTIANBIKING, SURFING, BORDING WHERE EVER LOVE IT

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

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        (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

         
        4.0

        Wait...This ain't just a Helmet Camera!

        By mattskerritt

        from seattle WA

        About Me Pro Videographer

        Pros

        • Easy to Use
        • Great Sound

        Cons

          Best Uses

            Comments about Contour+ Helmet Camcorder:

            I'm a video producer by trade, and these are an important part of my process, as very cool and effective 'B' Cameras in myriad situations, from Interviews to performance video, and most points in between. They rediculouly wide lens provides a cool alternative view of the world, and although it's vignetting may be an issue to some people looking for a more traditional look, I've not yet found a reason NOT to use them. Sometimes we use them for lock-down BTS shooting of us... shooting!
            They look great... Outdoors, and in brightly lit areas, these are especially sweet.
            I'm giving it 4 stars instead of 5 because of a couple things:
            The Autogain kicks in in lower light situations, and there's no way to turn that off - and it adds a goodly amount of noise.
            Not great for professionals, but probably not a problem for most folks...
            I'd like to have slightly more nuanced software for making the changes to the settings.
            And they should start making an external battery charger... or maybe they do? so you can charge one battery while using another in the camera.

            Otherwise, this it a great product.
            As long as there is enough light, these have a really nice, clean look to them.
            Other upside is: the streamlined shape (WAY superior to that'slr' shape of the GoPro) and the hardy housing, and the super-duper easy on-off interface.
            And it a real-time HDMI output!!! WOOT!!! Major ups on that, boys.

            It still needs a little tweaking to be a serious camera - but it's already better than the Go-Pro... it's only real competition.

            I recommend it!

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

            Share this review

             
            4.0

            Fun to use

            By Wheeles

            from Bismarck

            About Me Pro Videographer

            See all my reviews

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Easy to Use

            Cons

            • Poor In Low Light

            Best Uses

            • HD Shooting

            Comments about Contour+ Helmet Camcorder:

            Great for getting those POV shots. These types of shots can really make a project stand out. Vidoe quality is axactly what you would expect from a camera this size.

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

            Share this review

            (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Nice unit

            By MalteseBippy

            from NYC, NY

            About Me Casual User

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Easy to Use
            • Good Image Stabilization
            • Good in Low Light
            • Great Picture Quality
            • Great Zoom

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • HD Shooting
              • Home Movies
              • Movies/Short Films
              • Travel
              • Weddings/Events

              Comments about Contour+ Helmet Camcorder:

              Nice lens, great resolution, versatile.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

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              (0 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

               
              1.0

              i wont buy this product again,

              By nico

              from chile

              About Me Semi-pro Videographer

              Pros

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • HD Shooting
                  • SportsAction

                  Comments about Contour+ Helmet Camcorder:

                  last august i bought a contour + camera. In november, the power wicth was broken, .
                  bad quality. best option in the market today and much less cost. new drift and gopro

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

                  Share this review

                   
                  5.0

                  Excellent camera thats easy to use,

                  By E

                  from Orlando

                  About Me Video Enthusiast

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                        Comments about Contour+ Helmet Camcorder:

                        I like that you can use your cell phone to set the shot and change the camera settings. Worth every penny. it only comes with the small mounts. look into the suction cup mount.

                        • Was this a gift?:
                        • No

                        Share this review

                         
                        5.0

                        Contour+, simply the best

                        By Nando

                        from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

                        About Me Semi-pro Videographer

                        Verified Buyer

                        Pros

                        • Easy to Use
                        • Good Image Stabilization
                        • Great Picture Quality

                        Cons

                        • Limited Zoom

                        Best Uses

                        • Documentaries
                        • HD Shooting
                        • Travel

                        Comments about Contour+ Helmet Camcorder:

                        The new Contour+ is a piece of engeneering. Lot's of features, including the long awaited bluethooth streaming to iphone. The new steel like finish is a fine touch to a classic helmet camera.

                        • Was this a gift?:
                        • No

                        Share this review

                         
                        4.0

                        Happy with it.

                        By Gearhead Flicks

                        from Houston, TX

                        About Me Semi-pro Videographer

                        Verified Reviewer

                        Pros

                        • 2 lens settings
                        • Compact
                        • Easy to Use
                        • Great Picture Quality
                        • Light
                        • Quick On
                        • Various software settings

                        Cons

                        • No waterproof housing
                        • Price of additional mount
                        • Wall charger additional

                        Best Uses

                          Comments about Contour+ Helmet Camcorder:

                          i will be making car videos and will integrate it with high-end video shots. The video quality is nice and flexible with the wide angle and fisheye options. I really like the ability to mount the camera and if it's not level you can just twist the lens area and the camera rotates within the housing. The iphone preview is pretty cool and only works when it's NOT recording...it's only for aim before you record. The camera talks to you with series of beeps and colored flashes so understanding them really helps. It comes with 3 mounts that sticker to whatever you place them on... onetime use really... so choose wisely.

                          BUY THE TRIPOD MOUNT because it's a pain to rig something on your own. Trust Me.

                          I've very happy with it so far.. it's been 2 weeks.

                          oh, also buy a 32gig micro SD card NOW. the 2gig fills up fast!

                          • Was this a gift?:
                          • No

                          Share this review

                           
                          4.0

                          Good, with realistic expectations

                          By AK flyer

                          from Anchorage, Alaska

                          About Me Video Enthusiast

                          Verified Buyer

                          Pros

                          • Easy to Use

                          Cons

                            Best Uses

                              Comments about Contour+ Helmet Camcorder:

                              Use: affixed to the exterior of an aircraft, using the waterproof housing

                              What's great: simple to use, ultra wide angle lens, very decent recording quality for the price, waterproof case.

                              What's not so great:
                              Battery life only lasts reliably about 35 minutes at 60fps

                              Bluetooth sync to iPhone to see the image/orientation/adjust exposure is a great idea, but it constantly drops the connection which is really annoying when you're in a hurry to get ready and go.

                              The plastic mounting devices BREAK and are not designed for repetitive use/release. Plan to be inventive when it comes to mounting for your needs.

                              Despite a few annoying drawbacks, I'm keeping the camera. The image quality is good (shooting for web videos) enough to be encouraging, and a step up from this camera gives me heartpounding sticker shock. I'm going to make it work.

                              Buy the polarizing filter,too. Makes a huge difference for snow/glacier scenes/prop artifacts.

                              • Was this a gift?:
                              • No

                              Share this review

                              (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                               
                              4.0

                              Great cam for action shots

                              By Igy

                              from Zurich, Switzerland

                              About Me Pro Videographer

                              Verified Buyer

                              Pros

                              • Easy to Use
                              • External mic input
                              • Great Sound
                              • HDMI connector

                              Cons

                              • No image stabilization
                              • No zoom
                              • Poor quality accessories

                              Best Uses

                              • Action Shots
                              • Home Movies
                              • Movies/Short Films
                              • Travel

                              Comments about Contour+ Helmet Camcorder:

                              I'm still testing this cam and so far it's a good buy over all. It's placeable almost everywhere and has an impressive lens angle. I used it on my motorbike, car and on RC-Buggy. Too bad that image stabilisation doesn't come with the camera and depends fully on the mount used. I got some really shaky results with the RC car though.
                              Image quality in HQ mode is good, but not as good that you could rely on it only. As a pro I certainly expected a bit more. Furthermore, the distortion of the lens in HQ720p with an angle of 170° is almost fisheye like. Well, some like that, some not.
                              I like the Bluetooth connection to my iPhone for alignment and setup of the cam. This works really good and makes operating the cam much easier.

                              Pros:
                              - Nice and easy handling
                              - Good quality for such a small cam
                              - Perfect for action shots in and on cars, bikes, or even at the rollercoaster - just on everything with wheels or legs ;-)
                              - Windshield mount is great and of surprising good quality

                              Cons:
                              - No image stabilization
                              - Lens distortion maybe a bit too high
                              - Many accessories like the mounts are made from rather cheap plastic.

                              • Was this a gift?:
                              • No

                              Share this review

                              (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

                               
                              5.0

                              Excellent camera - Very pleased

                              By Billy

                              from San Gabriel Valley, California

                              About Me Semi-pro Videographer

                              Verified Reviewer

                              Pros

                              • Rotatable lense

                              Cons

                              • Poor selection of mounts

                              Best Uses

                              • Action Sports

                              Comments about Contour+ Helmet Camcorder:

                              I've had the camera for about two weeks. I bought it to document a sporting event I was going to be participating in till I broke my ankle (on camera btw) while training. I have been using it mounted to a helmet with a mount made from the included mounts and also fixed to a bicycle using the universal mount I purchased separately.

                              Since the firmware update the advertised features work. Currently the Storyteller software will not allow editing of all the new settings but there is an easy to understand configuration file on the camera that can be edited to make easy adjustments.

                              The Storyteller software is not so great. It's basically a playback and library application. It is not an editor. I haven't really experienced showstopping bugs but there are quirks like not correctly reflecting configuration changes on the camera when you make them. The settings will end up like you want but checking them later will show them as wrong. Sometimes the moving map will not move on playback.

                              If you want to do anything meaningful with the GPS data outside of storyteller you will need a 3rd party software like Dashware. It can integrate data into your video but not a full-on moving map like storyteller. Another reviewer here said the GPS will only take one sample per second but that's incorrect. The GPS will sample at up to 4hz (4 times per second).

                              The image quality is great outdoors or indors with good light. I mostly only use the 720p 60fps setting and find that generally the picture is great and fisheye distortion is not too bad. I have other fisheye filters for a canon camera and the image edges are much more fuzzy with that setup than on the Contour +.

                              The audio on POV cameras is always a challenge. On the contour plus that is no different but it does have two options to help in that area. One is an external audio input. I connect my own lavaliere mic with an effective windscreen that does a great job of keeping the wind noise down but still getting most of the natural sounds. The other helpful thing is that you can set the audio level for the internal mic and for the external mic separately. This is an awesome change in the new firmware.

                              I think the available mounts are just okay. Not a very big selection and it could definitely use more variety. Do yourself a favor and get the Universal Mount. Creativity is rewarded.

                              I've had good luck with the bluetooth and an ipad. I wish the android app was out, though.

                              • Was this a gift?:
                              • No

                              Share this review

                               
                              4.0

                              Great camera but GPS is way off

                              By Levant

                              from Woodbridge, Ontario, Canada

                              About Me Video Enthusiast

                              Verified Buyer

                              Pros

                                Cons

                                  Best Uses

                                    Comments about Contour+ Helmet Camcorder:

                                    The image quality is great. I use it for skydiving and my only complaint is that that GPS is way off, by 100s of feet; the altitude off by 1000s of feet.

                                    • Was this a gift?:
                                    • No

                                    Share this review

                                    (1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                                     
                                    5.0

                                    Amazing clarity and a lot of fun

                                    By mike

                                    from Los Angeles, CA

                                    About Me Casual User

                                    Verified Buyer

                                    Pros

                                    • Easy to Use
                                    • Good in Low Light
                                    • Great Picture Quality

                                    Cons

                                    • No image stabilization

                                    Best Uses

                                    • Documentaries
                                    • HD Shooting
                                    • Home Movies
                                    • Movies/Short Films
                                    • Travel

                                    Comments about Contour+ Helmet Camcorder:

                                    We really like this camera. The picture quality is very good and it is simple to use. Wind noise can be an issue with the built-in microphone but we also bought an external mic that helps a lot.

                                    • Was this a gift?:
                                    • No

                                    Share this review

                                    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                                     
                                    3.0

                                    Contour +:Promises a lot, yet to deliver

                                    By Wings

                                    from Seattle

                                    About Me Video Enthusiast

                                    Verified Buyer

                                    Pros

                                    • light weight
                                    • Small size
                                    • Variety of mounts

                                    Cons

                                    • Features that do not work
                                    • Lack of testing
                                    • Poor In Low Light

                                    Best Uses

                                    • Alternate angle shot
                                    • Bright Light
                                    • Tight space

                                    Comments about Contour+ Helmet Camcorder:

                                    Intended to use this camera for alternate views of skydiving. The size, form and variety of mounting options should make it ideal for this application. Too bad Contour cannot seem to deliver what they promise. Several features do not work, but they promise a firmware fix. things that don't work: bluetooth connection disconnects after 10-15 seconds, playback thru hdmi, the iphone app when you do get a bt connection. medium light performance is terrible they gain is way too high. maybe Contour will fix these problems with firmware updates as promised, I hope they do.

                                    • Was this a gift?:
                                    • No

                                    Share this review

                                     
                                    4.0

                                    Contour+ is a great buy

                                    By AG

                                    from Salinas, CA

                                    About Me Casual User

                                    Verified Buyer

                                    Pros

                                    • Easy playback
                                    • Easy to Use
                                    • Excellent Design
                                    • Great Picture Quality

                                    Cons

                                    • No zoom

                                    Best Uses

                                    • Auto Sport

                                    Comments about Contour+ Helmet Camcorder:

                                    I use this product for kart racing. After comparing the Contour+ with the other offerings, I chose Contour+ for it GPS tracking, HDMI output, and iPhone app for setting up the camera. The picture quality is excellent.

                                    The GPS tracking feature is nice for following my performance on the track. I wish the 1 second GPS sample rate could be set lower for greater accuracy.

                                    The iPhone app is excellent and simple to use for making sure the camera alignment is set exactly the way you want, and configuring the camera settings.

                                    I really like the form factor. The camera is much sleeker and is far less obtrusive then some of the alternatives.

                                    The pricing seemed a bit steep at first, but you get a fair amount of included accessories that make it a much better value.

                                    The one drawback was the Free Story Teller app (Mac Version) from Contour. It was a little buggy. I had playbacks freeze even after copying the movie file to the computer. Most issue resolved with a reboot of the software.

                                    • Was this a gift?:
                                    • No

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