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)
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.
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.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Smart LED Bulb LB130
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Lexar® Portable SSD
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Acer Swift 7
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Google Daydream VR headset
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Huawei Mate 9
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Surface Pro 4
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Dell XPS 13 laptop
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.
- LG G6: unboxing, hands on review and detail shots
- Samsung Galaxy A5 2017: unboxing, hands on review and detail shots
- And the 2017 winner of the Formula 1 Best Pit Lane Boom Gantry is...
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTSocial Media ExecutiveNSW
- CCAutomation Test AnalystQLD
- CCSAP FICO Support AnalystWA
- CCVMWare Automation ArchitectACT
- FTServer Engineer l Windows l VMWare l Active DirectoryNSW
- FT.Net DeveloperACT
- FTJunior Network EngineerNSW
- FTICT Business Development Manager - Technical Products/SolutionsQLD
- CCProject Manager - Security DomainVIC
- FT.Net DeveloperNSW
- FTQA LeadNSW
- FTWeb BA LeadQLD
- CCDevOps Developer - TelcoVIC
- FTCitrix EngineerNSW
- CCProject MangerWA
- FTBusiness AnalystQLD
- CCTechnical Business AnalystVIC
- CCSenior Full Stack Web Developer - Port MacquarieNSW
- FTNetwork Services ManagerQLD
- FTWeb DesignerACT
- FTSQL Server DBA- 2016 RDBMS, SSIS, SRS, Certified DBANSW
- FTBusiness Analyst - Online / DigitalQLD
- FTSenior Applications Support AnalystSA
- TPBI Report Developer - SSRS SSIS SSASNSW
- FTData Analyst LeadSA