on 7 October 2011
Image quality - Is very good during daylight conditions and dusk but at night don't expect much (which is kind of obvious). Comparing videos with cameras that also feature Full HD, the differences (if any) aren't decision makers. The image options are adequate but they are also the same as other cameras like this.
Sound quality - The use this CountourHD as been getting is mainly on a motorbike so the biggest problem has been the recorded sound. Above 80 km/h, due to wind noise you will not record the exhaust's sound; this is with the camera mounted on your helmet or behind the windshield of the bike. Newer models have the mic in front of the camera or attachable mics. Compare videos and do some research. If sound at high speeds is important to you, consider other newer models. Besides the above situations the audio quality is good and you have the option the raise the mic gain if it's recording to low.
Built quality - The design of the camera is sturdy and aerodynamic (on a helmet it stayed put with the adhesive mount at speeds of 270 km/h). The descriptions say it's impact resistant (but to say just this is a bit relative). For more safety against damage you have a silicone cap and the waterproof casing. Things like lasers built in for alignment and an easy record switch are a plus (newer models have a raised knob and instant ON, which is better).
Acessories - The accessories that are boxed are good but they are for sticking to one surface and never taking off again, so you're limited. Also, they are flat and not so good for curved surface like helmets. The camera should come already with the Universal Mount, since it has threaded hole, standard of all photography equipment; this would allow you to purchase lower priced mounts, such as suction cups and handlebars mounts. The SD card is of low capacity and you should order 8 GB or more with your purchase.
Others - For playback of the videos you should have newer graphics card, i.e. AMD HD5xxx and up, or nVidia 3xx and up, so that it's the graphics card that does the decoding of the video stream and not the CPU (previous models won't help since they don't have decoder). This is part is just a note because of other reviews mentioning requirements.
Veredict - For the price you pay (135 pounds) it's definitely worth it. It gets 4 stars because you could have better mounts out of the box and mic captures a lot of wind noise. Newer models are better but they are also more expensive; the rating doesn't come down cause of that since you're given options.
on 21 April 2010
Though a little fiddly to get out of the well packaged box.. Once out, there's enough charge on the battery to play with your new toy..
The flat surface attachment sticks very well, (but leave 24hrs to set and clean with ipa first).. Even after a bike crash, the camera stayed putt, and showed no damage at all..
Very simple to use, though the switch in an ideal world, would have a raised knob, so its easier to slide whilst wearing cloves.. even so, its not much of a problem..
Video quality is very very good, even on SD setting..
Bad points: Accessories are quite expensive (£16 for a second flat surface mount)
Adjustments can only be made from connecting to a pc/mac - apart from adjusting hi/low quality.
The microphone is very sensitive, so some trial and erros is needed to get that perfect range..
Still giving this camera a 9/10 tho...
on 1 April 2012
It took me a long time to make up my mind between this contour and the go pro.. In the end it was the contours sleek looks that won me over as i couldnt imagine myself doing mountain biking with the bulky Go pro strapped to my head! Well anyway when i decided upon the contour i was next left with the dilemma of which contour!! i was stuck between the roam and the older but higher spec VholdR.. they both cost the same so money was not an issue.. In the end i went for the older model as it had the 60fps option which i deemed quite important for fast action recording.. In retrospect i can see how the roam benifits from lots of tweeks made after a couple of years experience! Firstly the slide record switch on the VholdR is flat and quite awkward to use especially with gloves..this has been rectified on the roam also the power button on the back has been greatly improved.. Also the roam comes with more rotateing options on the lens.. i didnt think this would be an issue but there have been moments where i could have done with it! Also when the lens is set in the 'neutral' position there are a couple of millimeters play which is very annoying and quite off putting especially if you expect to be traveling downhill at high speed over rough ground, the last thing you want is your lens rattleing from side to side.. this is apparently an issue with a lot of reviewers.. luckily for me i dont have it set in the neutral position so it hasnt been an issue to date.. But now for my major gripe with the contour! i could not get the software to upload on my windows vista computer.. In fairness to the contour support team they were fantastic.. spending hours with me on the fone trying to sort out the problem.. But alas to no avail.. apparently there is some hitch with vista and the quicktime player needed to view my videos and it seems impossible to rectify.. its just a pity this wasnt made aware to me on the contour website prior to purchase! i am thankfully at least able to upload and view my videos on my daughters windows 7 laptop...
Oddly enough i am still very happy with the contour, i love its simplistic stick it to your helmet and go approach! i would however have liked a HDMI socket so i could just connect it to the tv etc.. this is available on the top of the range model but i dont see why it shouldnt be on all models... Also i think contour should have included a few more mounts with the camera.. mine came with a goggle mount as standard which is only of use to skiers! i had to buy the vented helmet mount seperatly which works fantastic!!! I just wish some of the big players like Sony JVC Panasonic etc would jump into the market!! would for sure drive down the crazy high prices both contour and go pro charge and greatly improve quality!!!
If you want to check out the contours quality take a peek at my youtube videos.. try typeing in contour HD masseys woods ... that should take you there!!
on 14 October 2011
I thought I'd try something different to the dogcam, and after favourable reviews on here bought a ContourHD 1080p.
Things look promising out of the box, and I download the software. This allows you to set up a few things on the camera, like date and record quality. Take a few test shots, seem ok, but where is the editor? Read the book, there isn't one, but you can click the 'awesome' button and select a piece of video to upload to their own website and share with fellow owners. Pointless. I checked the site, full of kids racing round on skateboards. Awesome indeed. A youtube uploader would have been of value perhaps. Other than setting the cameara up, no point in ever loading the software. Still, windows movie maker will open, edit and upload the footage no problem. Next, mounting it to my motocross helmet, thats why I bought it after all. Follow the instructions and attach to the helmet as instructed. Once cured after 24 hours, it says you can slide in the camera and pull the insert out, then press back in in the right place for vertical alignment. Well I pull, and pull and what comes off is the whole thing complete with the surface of the helmet! Examining closer, I have to break a chunk off the side and prise it out with a screwdriver, so strong is the velcro used. Next attatch the safety lanyard - apart from you cant because the hole for it is way too narrow. Finally managed it after loaning a dental pick. So, reattached to helmet with new glue, off for a test. You turn it on, align horizontally by use of the two laser dots, (read pointless gimmick), and record by sliding the large switch along the top. This works well, its positive and easy to use with gloves. Whats totally unforgivable, and makes the whole camera near useless is that it will go out of standy after 15 minutes, and turn completely off. So now the easy record function is rendered useless, as you have to get to the back and press the little on button again. Now for anyone out for the day, you want it ready and waiting, just to record the action bits. (awesome in their language).
As far as the video quality - well once I replaced the supplied SD card with a fast one its just fine. Thats just fine as in the same as my camera phone, the same as the £15 ebay mini camera I bought. Nothing amazing, but just fine.
So, in conclusion,
Good points - good battery life, ability to make quality changes, helmet mount arrangement (once you get it to work)
bad points - hopeless software, feels a bit flimsy.
Unforgivable - 15 minute standby time out thats not adjustable.
Ok - A few weeks on after using the camera a bit more. Perhaps I was a bit hard on it, but most still stands.
The support site were very quick to respond to my comments about the 15 minute timeout, but have no plans to change it. They suggest I make a quick few seconds recording every 10 minutes to keep it alive. Not really an ideal solution.
The laser dots - well I have to confess the first day out I had it pointing too low, so for the next ride out I used the dots to illuminate a wall at just the point I look at, and that days footage was much better, so maybe they are of use, but there is no need to have them automatically come on every time you turn it on. As an aside, the camera points slightly upwards to get a full forward view.
Video quality - I compared it with my phone and cheap ebay camera. That was unfair, after a few rides out I note that it copes with changes from dark to light quickly and well, does not distort with motion, in fact I'll now say I think its better than just fine, its good. OK very good, but thats from my limited experience.
on 16 September 2013
I got one a year ago. Bought it for our motorcycle trip to the US. Would you like to see me riding the bear tooth highway? Well, not luck as the camera did not record. would you like to see me riding Glacier National Park? Well again the camera failed. After MANY emails with their help desk, going through all suggestions and patronising questions (is the battery charged, is there a battery in, is there a memory card in, update software, switch on and off, get it blessed by local priest etc... Ok joking on that last one!) ... anyhow, never recorded so I was finally told to send it back.
i got a replacement sent. Great.
Just been riding from London to Romania and back. Would you like to see me riding the Transalpina? Or the Famous best road in the world (according the Jemy Clarkson) the Transfagarasan highway? Well you can't cause the piece of sh*te that is this camera once again let us down over and over again. I replaced the battery. I replaced the memory card that was provided with it. All of a sudden with a new memory card it started working again. So we decided
to ride back to do the Transfagarasan again. Well guess what happened next? It stopped recording once again.
So in conclusion, this is a total waste of money and it has ruined already 2 biking holiday. So it is going to the bin. Do not waste your money. It will fail you. 2 cameras and same issue? Just garbage.
on 18 September 2012
I've been very pleased with this camera, it was a bit of a mission to get it set up, work out how to open the back and get the card inserted, I thought the instructions could have been better. But once set up it is good, very easy to use. The only real disappointment for me was the editing, I had hopped to use imovie to edit as I'm familiar with it which doesn't seem to work, so I downloaded the software but unfortunately it doesn't edit, you have to download other products which is a bit of a pain.
on 3 September 2011
I've owned this camera for a few months now and i'm very impressed with the picture quality and ease of use, plugged it into my computer with no problems, everything worked as it should, my only gripe is the cost of the mounting hardware,i bought the waterproof case because it had the threaded hole in it meaning i could make up my own mounting system, in all a very good product.