Contour+ video camera
Contour+ review: a video camera for extreme sports junkies
- Excellent video quality in daylight, good in low light
- Very sturdy and light construction
- Smartphone app control can be finicky
- Internal microphone is not built for speed
If you're an action junkie, keeping track of your exploits -- whether it's for posterity or for bragging purposes -- should be high on your list of priorities. The Contour+ makes that task easy; it's a very convenient, very simple and very sturdy 'fire and forget' solution for recording video where weight and size are important factors. Apple or Android smartphone control is a great setup tool that comes at no extra cost, and about the only design flaw is the poor internal microphone. The Contour+ is pricey, but it's an investment we think is worth making for a really, really cool piece of tech.
Price$ 699.00 (AUD)
You can also use the app to see a live view of what the Contour+ is aimed at — it’s a very reduced resolution and only runs at about 5 frames per second, but it’s more than good enough for adjusting the camera’s orientation and making sure the horizon is straight. However, the app occasionally crashed in our testing, and the camera settings didn’t work until we updated the Contour+’s firmware to the latest version. With a little more work we think the Contour+’s app integration could be an excellent and unmissable feature. In its current state it’s still invaluable, but reliability isn’t 100%.
You can’t watch the Contour+ over Bluetooth while it’s filming, but you can output live 1080p video through the camera’s HDMI port. This is a feature that will probably only be used by broadcasters or videographers at something like the X Games, but it’s good to see it included.
The Contour+ has a built-in GPS, which can be enabled or disabled using the Contour app. It takes a couple of minutes to find a lock when you’re in a built-up area, but after that keeps a track of your location every second or so and saves it embedded with the video file. Recording location, elevation and speed, it can be viewed when you’re playing back video from the Contour+ in Contour’s Storyteller app for Windows and Mac OS X. It’s not pin-point accurate, since there’s always a degree of error in GPS tracking, but it provides a pretty close approximation and works well in sync with Google Maps to track your actions.
Contour+: Video and image quality, setup, and performance
We stuck the Contour+ on top of a car and drove around to test the camera in different lighting conditions — midday, dusk, night and during rain. Yes, yes, we know — this isn’t as extreme as the Contour+ is intended for, but we’re busy people and we’re no good at sport. Anyway, if you speed the video up you can pretend we’re race car drivers. We used the Contour app over Bluetooth to adjust the lens’ rotation and tweak video settings. We did miss the horizon alignment lasers that other Contour cameras have built in, but these aren’t a big deal.
The Contour+ is able to record 1080p video in excellent quality given its diminutive size. 720p mode is less detailed as you’d expect, but the benefits of the wider field of view are immediately evident. We think the 1080p setting was just fine for our on-car testing, but the wider 170 degree angle would come in handy on top of a bike helmet or surfboard.
The 1080p mode records in either 25 or 30 frames per second, while the 720p mode includes these as well as a 50/60fps mode. There’s also a 4:3 ratio 960p resolution (25/30fps), and a time-lapse still capture mode that takes 5MP photos with a variety of intervals.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Sony Xperia Z5 Premium review: Is the world ready for a 4K phone?
- 2 D-Link Taipan AC3200 Ultra tri-band modem-router review
- 3 Dell XPS 13 (2016) review: Making the very best Ultrabook
- 4 Microsoft Surface Book review: The verdict on Microsoft's first notebook
- 5 Telstra Wi-Fi 4GX Advanced III review: Testing the world's first 600Mbps wireless hotspot
Best Deals on PC World
Latest News Articles
- Nvidia's pricey Shield Android TV adds some value with 4K YouTube and Netflix HDR in US
- Netflix's Fast.com download tester takes its war against slow ISPs directly to the user
- Nearly 100 classic NFL games headed to YouTube
- Netflix isn’t big on virtual reality for the obvious reasons
- Netflix loosens up streaming video, letting users choose their cellular speed limit
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- CCEnd to End Project Manager - PMO and GovernanceVIC
- FTTechnical LeadNSW
- FTService Desk AnaylstNSW
- CCProject Manager - Healthcare DomainSA
- CCApplication System EngineerACT
- CCSenior Business Analyst - NV1VIC
- CCSr Service ManagementACT
- FTBI / Business Intelligence Designer / ArchitectNSW
- CCSenior IT Security Specialist-SANS, ISC2, ISACA, ITILNSW
- CCBusiness AnalystACT
- CCICT Fleet and Equipment Audit ResourcesSA
- CCProject ManagerACT
- CCPHP / Magento E-Commerce DeveloperNSW
- CCDelivery Manager - Integration SpaceVIC
- CCAWS Developer/LeadNSW
- CCSkilled Sitecore / .NET DeveloperNSW
- FTInfrastructure Specialist VMwareNSW
- CCSolution ArchitectNSW
- CCSenior Business Analyst, Marketing SystemsNSW
- CCBPM / Java DeveloperNSW
- FTData EngineersNSW
- FTHadoop Operation EngineerNSW
- FTSenior Business Analysts - Payments or Disaster RecoveryVIC
- CCProject CoordinatorACT
- FTSolution ArchitectVIC