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Contour+2 Review
Published on January 1, 2013 by Che_Moderator

With the current popularity of ruggedized compact video cameras, there are primarily two big names in the market. GoPro with the Hero3, and Contour with their top of the line Contour+2. Both systems have their merits and draw backs, so we are not going to turn this into a Coke or Pepsi / Nikon or Canon type debate. At first glance, you will notice a few things about the Contour camera. Most noticeably, it is metal and has a much lower center of gravity than the GoPro. Spec wise the cameras are pretty much on par with two exceptions. The GoPro Hero3 Black Edition will do a higher frame rate at 720p (120fps) and 1080p (60fps). This feature can be nice when trying to do a lot of slow motion effects, or if you are shooting extremely high-speed sports. On the other side of the table, the Contour+2 is GPS enabled. This allows you to embed telemetry and maps not only with the included software, but also with 3rd party software such as Trackvision.
 

Contour+2 GPS Camera
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In the box you get everything shown below. A nice feature is the included cable for an external mic, and the micro to SD card adapter. The included flat surface mounts, work well as a helmet or flat surface mount. Additional specialty mounts can be purchased here, directly from Contour. If you already own a tripod or ballhead, both the camera and the waterproof case have a consumer standard 1/4 x 20 thread pitch attachment point.
 

Contour GPS Camera With Waterproof case
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The case itself is very well build. Waterproofing is accomplished with a large easy to operate cam mechanism and silicone seal. The status button is operated with a plunger style button similar to the GoPro case. The record button is manipulated with a magnetic slider on the top of the case. There is not any way to turn on the Bluetooth once the camera is in the case, so be sure to take this into consideration. While not an issue for most users, be aware that the case may not be fully compatible with some tripod quick mount systems. In our case we had to file ~3mm off the latch to be able to open the case when it was mounted to the tripods quick mount plate. If you use the side mounted proprietary system this would not be an issue. In the waterproof shell the camera will float in both salt and fresh water.
 

Waterproof camera HD
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One of the strong points for the Contour, is the free software they provide. Using either your Android or iPhone, you can stream video from the camera to the device. In addition you can also change the two pre-defined recording settings. You can also set the camera up to go into photo mode and take a photo at an interval you define. Even more impressive is the Storyteller software from Contour. Storyteller allows you to inlay a GPS map of your video, as well as a telemetry panel of speed, elevation, and distance. While you can export the video, the .gpx file, or both to Contour.com, you cannot export the video and inlay to your PC or youtube without additional software.
 

Iphone Contour Camera
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Behind the back cover you will find the battery, connection ports, card slot, and video 1 or video 2 selector. Battery changes are fast, and the HDMI, and USB port are easy to access. You can actually access both the HDMI and USB without opening the back cover via dust covers.
 

Battery for Contour
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User reviews are all well and good, but what is a video camera review without video samples? Below you can see sample images from the camera, as well as a quick video of its features. If you wish to view it in a larger format, you can view it at native 1080p resolution by clicking the youtube logo at the bottom right of the video.


 



In conclusion, Contour has really stepped it up with this update to the popular camera. While there are some features we would like to see added, and a few quirks, it is overall a very impressive product. If you are mounting your camera to a helmet, I would say the Contour Roam and Contour+2 have a real advantage over GoPro due to its lower center of gravity. Add to that the GPS options, and it is a really strong product. Because this camera is price-fixed we suggest purchasing directly from Contour-Contour+2. From time to time they do go on sale here however so it might be worth a look.
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