Contour+ video camera

Contour+ review: a video camera for extreme sports junkies

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  • User Reviews (1)
  • Buy Now 3
Contour Contour+
  • Contour Contour+
  • Contour Contour+
  • Contour Contour+
  • Expert Rating

    4.50 / 5
  • User Rating

    4.50 / 5 (of 1 Review)

Pros

  • Excellent video quality in daylight, good in low light
  • Very sturdy and light construction

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Smartphone app control can be finicky
  • Internal microphone is not built for speed

Bottom Line

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.

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In bright daylight conditions video quality is very good, but even in low light the Contour+ does a good job of capturing detail without significant colour noise or graininess in video. If you remember to lower the camera’s exposure when you’re using it at dusk or at night — so that it doesn’t try to over-expose the video to create a ‘daylight’ look — there’s only a very small amount of colour noise in dark areas of the frame.

The Contour+’s video modes do take up a fair amount of memory, though. The Contour+ records in .MOV h.264 files with AAC audio, which are reasonably efficient, but Full HD 1080p video does suck up the space. With the bundled 2GB MicroSD card inserted, the camera’s 1080p maximum quality mode lasted a little over 14 minutes in our testing. High-speed (60fps) 720p video only lasted 21 minutes. You can use MicroSD cards of up to 32GB in size, but this is an additional cost.

The integrated microphone is, in our opinion, the weak point of the Contour+. You can use an external microphone (there’s a socket in the camera’s back) if you have one handy, but we think most casual users will opt for the internal one. We gave it a pretty hard run by testing it on top of a car at high speed — at low speeds it’s OK, but above 40KM/h or so the wind noise is unbearably loud. We wish Contour had included a wind cut menu setting or a wind sock accessory with the Contour+.

We have no doubts about the Contour+’s strength and durability. Like we wrote in our preview of the Contour+, we accidentally hit it against a bench-top, really really hard, and the bench-top came off second best. Similarly, we drove through sun and rain and bugs and smog at highway speeds and there’s not a single scratch on the Contour+’s front lens element. If anything, we’d doubt the strength of the mounts before the camera itself. After a dozen repeats of mounting and un-mounting the camera, the plastic on the top of the rotating camera mount was looking a little fatigued. We think there’s a market for permanent metal mounts that will stay strong over a long time.

Contour+: Conclusion

The Contour+ is an expensive toy, especially if you’re going to buy a couple of extra mounts, a larger MicroSD card and an external microphone. It is excellent for the purposes it’s designed for, though — recording footage in a wide range of environments, at a variety of quality settings, in a compact and extremely sturdy package. If you are an extreme sports enthusiast or if you can find a niche that the Contour+ suits, we can’t see how it would disappoint.

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Rachael Hansford

4.5

1

Pros
Really tough metal body, light, water resistant without a case & looks good :)
Cons
A bit pricey, but worth it. You get what you pay for I suppose.
• • •

I love it. Took it skiing in NZ last week and the footage is AMAZING. Even when blown up on 60" TV, its crystal clear. Came with 3 mounts and even a HDMI cable! We were able to play the footage from the camera in our hotel room when we pulled the pin each day. This made for heaps of laughs! Some epic crashes and the thing just keeps recording! The GPS feature is awesome! It even records your speed down the run. Handy tool when telling 'stories' in the evening about how you were 'screaming' down the mountain.

We even dropped the thing in the carpark on concrete and its good as gold. Best of all, you don't look like an idiot wearing it, like the other brand we saw others using that looks like a little square plastic toy.

I would recommend this cam to anyone. We have owned several over the past 5 years and the Contour is definitely the easiest to use. Love that iPhone viewfinder feature!

We got ours from Team Moto in Springwwod Qld. Thanks for your help in choosing a camera guys! All the best Rach.

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