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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.
Location is a central element of any story, and the GPS receiver in the Contour+ tracks exact location, speed, and altitude while shooting hands-free HD. The slick feature links personal footage to a specific place and adds interactive depth to your story. Employing AssistNow, the camera enjoys a faster time to first lock with GPS
Video is only one part of the story, which is why the Contour+ is equipped with an external 2.5mm microphone jack. (There's also a built-in mic; both options capture a mono AAC audio track that's doubled for left/right ears.) This crisp audio capability allows you to interview characters from friends and fellow athletes to random people that appear in your shots
Running short on space is a huge hassle, which is why the Contour+ stacks all your footage on a removable microSD card. Compatible with cards up to 32 gigs, the setup allows an easy swap to a fresh card when you've filled the first one to capacity. (The camera comes with a 2 GB card to get you started – which will hold approximately an hour of footage)
With a burly, water-resistant aluminum shell, the Contour+ is made to take a beating in extreme environments from raging storms to muddy tracks
Dialing in the ideal angle is a critical component to capturing unique footage. Contour+ makes it easy with three included custom body, gear, and vehicle mounts, for the full spectrum of sports from shooting and skiing to high-octane motorized activities
Contour+ is specifically set up for capturing the perfect visual. A six-element glass lens captures up to 1080p video. (At 170°, it can capture 960p, 720p, and 5 Mp photos. At 125°, it's capable of full 1080p capture.) Adjustable white balance lets you dial in the right setting for each location. The Contour+ also expands normal perspective with a f/2.8, super-wide-angle lens, integrating peripherals and backdrops that get cropped with a narrower focus
The TRail mount system enables the Contour+ to be attached to the included mounts and still others from Contour. There's a fast-change battery latch for switching out or charging the included Lithium-ion battery, which, when fully charged, runs for 2-2.5 hours. The rear door features pass-throughs for the HDMI and USB ports
Bluetooth v2.1 is employed for the camera's connection to a smart phone, at EDR (enhanced data rate)
The included Storyteller (compatible with Mac and Windows computers) facilitates the connection between your camera and your computer – with just a few clicks you can offload videos from the microSD card via USB 2.0, and configure camera settings as well. Editing is as simple as clicking an "Awesome" button to pull out the best parts of your story. Then you can become the ultimate producer by adding a title, description, and tags. Watch your run on the interactive map that lets you see and control the action as it happens