Contour+ video camera
Contour+ preview: an all-weather video camera that's meant for the extreme sports junkie
- Good video quality from our testing so far
- Wide, wide, wide lens
- Packed with extra features
- It's a pricey piece of tech
- Adding accessories drives the price up further
The Contour+ action camera is, from our testing so far, a brilliant device. Its video quality is good in its highest quality mode, and there are a few other quality settings which offer versatility. It also feels very sturdy -- we accidentally tested this, with thankfully positive results -- and it's reasonably easy to operate with a little training. The advanced features make tweaking video settings a breeze -- its wireless iPhone integration is excellent.
Price$ 699.00 (AUD)
The Contour+ sets itself up as the king of action cameras. If you're keen on recording your whitewater rafting, or downhill mountain-biking, or motorsports track day outing, it'll handle itself capably.
The lens is great and video recording quality is surprisingly good for its compact size. However, the price tag restricts it to serious enthusiasts — and anyone with special mounting needs or looking to go underwater will have to fork out even more.
From our limited time with it, the Contour+ seems to be one tough unit. It's built with a water resistant aluminium shell, with high quality plastic and rubber for the mounting points and rear access door. It's strong but isn't too heavy — we can't see it adding too much weight to a snowboarding helmet, for example, and it's light enough that it shouldn't put excessive strain on a mount if it's being shaken.
The front lens element rotates to let you level the camera no matter what angle it's sitting on — the range of motion covers 90 degrees anticlockwise from dead centre and a further 180 degrees clockwise from dead centre, so you've got an almost unrestricted range of motion for mounting the Contour+.
The retail pack for the Contour+ comes with two flat surface mounts, which rotate through a full 360 degrees, and a 'profile' mount which looks shaped to clip the Contour+ onto a smooth bike or snowboard helmet.
We put one of the rotating flat surface mounts onto the Contour+ to test it out, and found it a little tough to take off. After a lot of straining the mount came flying off... and the Contour+'s lens barrel smacked into the table we had been testing the camera on. The Contour+ was perfectly fine — not even a dent or a scratch — but the table suffered a deep rice-grain-sized gouge; like we said, the Contour+ is tough.
The feature we've loved most so far about the Contour+ is Connect View. Through a little Bluetooth card plugged into a port in the rear of the Contour+, the camera can sync with and connect to an iPhone 4 or Android smartphone. A free downloadable app lets you change various settings like white balance, exposure compensation, contrast and sharpness, as well as resolution and quality settings.
You can also muck around the camera's microphone (internal or external) or integrated GPS. Most interesting though is the camera's ability to stream low quality video at a reduced frame rate, helping you fine-tune the camera's aim. In our testing so far this has proved invaluable — setting up a shot means no wonky horizons or blocked lenses during playback.
The Contour+ can shoot in either 1080p or 720p — 1080p gives you a 130-degree field of view while the reduced 720p res lets you use the full 170-degree lens. Similarly, you can pick NTSC or PAL frame rates of 25 or 30fps in 1080p, and an additional 50 or 60fps option opens up at 720p. There are three quality settings — medium, high and maximum (but interestingly no 'low' setting — Contour clearly thinks highly of the Contour+'s video quality). You can also select a continuous photo mode which takes 5-megapixel snaps every three, five, 10, 30 or 60 seconds. H.264 .MOV files are output.
The Contour+ records to MicroSD; the camera comes with a single 2GB MicroSD card but you can use a card of up to 32GB. A USB cable for charging the camera's battery, a mini-HDMI cable for viewing playback or monitoring the camera's output on a LCD TV, and a microphone cable for attaching an external mic are all included. You also get Contour's Storyteller software which lets you edit video, check saved GPS data, and post the resulting clip online.
We'll hold off on sharing clips of the Contour+'s video quality until our full review, but we're happy to report that at 1080p 'Max' quality video is clear and detailed, even in low-light scenarios. Being able to set specific exposure and white balance settings means video quality is more consistent than on cameras without these controls. The 720P 50/60fps mode also seems to do a great job of capturing frames clearly for half-speed playback.
We're going to put together a few videos of the Contour+ in action for our full review. Stay tuned!
Join the PC World newsletter!
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Lexar® Portable SSD
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Google Daydream VR headset
Huawei Mate 9
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Acer Swift 7
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Surface Pro 4
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Oppo R9s Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- 2 Samsung 2017 QLED Q7 TV: Full, in-depth review
- 3 HTC U Ultra phone full, in-depth review
- 4 Gigabyte Aorus GA-AX370-Gaming 5 AMD Ryzen AM4 motherboard review
- 5 Venom Blackbook Zero 14 laptop review
Latest News Articles
- HBO brought its best shows to life at SXSW with an awesome escape room
- AT&T will acquire Time Warner for US$85.4b in content play
- Facebook adds Apple TV and Chromecast support as video push ramps up
- Remocam review: This security camera can control your home appliances
- Logitech's C922 webcam is the revered C920's vastly upgraded successor
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- And the 2017 winner of the Formula 1 Best Pit Lane Boom Gantry is...
- Behind the scenes with Team Walkinshaw at V8 Supercars Melbourne 2017
- First look at the Formula 1 2017 pit lane in Melbourne, Australia
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTSocial Media ExecutiveNSW
- FT.Net DeveloperACT
- FTKey Account ManagerVIC
- FTProject SchedulerACT
- CCSolution ArchitectNSW
- CCBusiness Analyst- Data GovernanceNSW
- CCFirewall EngineerNSW
- FTSolution ArchitectVIC
- FTSenior Applications Support AnalystSA
- FTTest ManagerWA
- FTService Desk Consultant - Entry Level / GraduateNSW
- CCAgile CoachNSW
- FTICT ManagerNSW
- FTIncident and Problem ManagerVIC
- FTLead Change Manager- Culture & Process ChangeNSW
- CCPerformance AnalystQLD
- FTProject Co-OrdinaterNSW
- TPAEM DeveloperNSW
- FTCitrix ArchitectNSW
- CCLead SAP SRM DeveloperACT
- TPSenior Agile Business AnalystVIC
- CCSystems EngineerACT
- CCService Desk AnalystNSW
- FTEmail Production SpecialistNSW
- FTJunior-Mid Level Implementation CoordinatorQLD