Contour ROAM video camera
This cheap waterproof video camera is a great tool for all-weather fun
- Low price
- Good image quality
- Waterproof to 1 metre
- Alignment is a guessing game
- Changing exposure settings requires a computer
Contour's cheapest camera is also its most versatile -- it's waterproof to a depth of one metre. This should make it great for all-weather sports (think surfing, skiing, whitewater rafting) where other Contour models or competing sports cameras require a bulky waterproof case. The quality of the video is good, the camera handles low light reasonably well, and plenty of accessories are available. It doesn't have the Bluetooth viewfinder option of the more expensive Contour+, and you'll need a computer handy to change video quality and other settings.
Price$ 299.00 (AUD)
When we looked at the Contour+ video camera we were impressed with its video quality and size, but of more value was its miniature construction — it easily fit in a pocket, or could be thrown in a backpack. What made it great was the extra Bluetooth functionality that turned a smartphone into the camera’s viewfinder, allowing easy position and exposure adjustments. Contour’s new ROAM doesn’t have this feature, but it is the same convenient size and is also waterproof to a depth of one metre. We put it through a few tests to see how it performed.
Contour ROAM: Design and setup
The Contour ROAM is largely similar to the Contour+ in design. It’s got a bullet-shaped chassis that’s constructed from aluminium and strong ABS plastic, with a single sliding switch up top and a single button on the rear — tap the rear button to turn the camera on and power up the alignment laser, and slide the top switch to begin and end recordings.
The ROAM has two rails on its sides, which can be used to attach the camera to Contour’s wide range of accessories. To test the ROAM we used a windshield mount and one of the flat surface mounts we tested the Contour+ with. There’s also a 1/4” tripod screw in the camera’s base.
The plastic surround for the rear button pops up to reveal the camera’s innards, exposing hidden buttons to reset the camera and format internal memory, as well as a slot for the MicroSD memory cards that the Contour ROAM records onto. There’s no battery slot as the ROAM’s 1350mAh cell is inbuilt. You can use MicroSD cards of up to 32GB in size in the Contour ROAM, although for recording Full HD 1080p video you’ll want them to be Class 6 or faster (this means a few extra dollars). It’s not a huge expense to buy a card or two, though — we found Sandisk Mobile Ultra 16GB SDHC Class 6 cards for around $40 online.
Tap the button on the rear of the camera, and a bright red alignment laser shines from the front of the Contour ROAM just above the lens. You use this to set the correct horizon and angle of the camera and its lens — which can rotate over a 270-degree range of motion, working well with the ROAM’s three possible mounting points to almost always allow a perfectly level field of view. We did notice that the alignment laser was not very useful in bright light, though; if you’re setting the ROAM up in bright light you might find it difficult to fine-tune what it’s looking at.
Next page: Ease of use and video quality
Join the PC World newsletter!
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Google Daydream VR headset
Acer Swift 7
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Huawei Mate 9
Lexar® Portable SSD
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Surface Pro 4
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
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 Kogan curved 4K UHD 55-inch LED LCD TV 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.
- Samsung Galaxy A5 2017 phone: Full, in-depth review
- LG G6: 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
- CCApplication Support Specialist- Bathurst or Port MacquarieNSW
- FTTest SpecialistSA
- CCLevel 1 IT Support OfficerACT
- FTSenior Technical Consultant - Microsoft / VMWareVIC
- FTNetwork EngineerACT
- FTUX DesignerNSW
- TP.Net Software DeveloperQLD
- TPSenior Project ManagerVIC
- FTEnterprise ArchitectQLD
- FTAgile CoachACT
- FTInfrastructure ArchitectVIC
- TPProject Support Officer - Data and Information ManagementVIC
- FTSenior Business Analysis - FinanceQLD
- FTJava Developer - Short team Contract @ CanberraNSW
- TPJunior Software DeveloperQLD
- FTService Desk AnalystsSA
- FTBillings Integration ArchitectVIC
- CCWeb Devops EngineerNSW
- TPSenior Test AnalystQLD
- FTPHP DeveloperNSW
- CCOracle WebLogic AdministratorNSW
- FTSenior Performance AnalystQLD
- FTTechnical Solutions ArchitectWA
- TPTest AnalystNSW