Lens rotates; iOS app connects via Bluetooth; Connects with Mod Live goggles;
Short battery life; Low photo resolution
This excellent wearable action camera records high-quality video, sports a rotating lens and lets you use your smartphone as a viewfinder.
Capturing your feats of derring-do and sharing them with others has never been easier. The Contour+2, the company's latest-generation helmet cam, has all the smart designs of its previous devices, such as a rotating lens and multiple mounting options. This year, it's added a few new tricks, such as the ability to stream to an iPhone or even ski goggles. Find out why this $399 camera is the one to take outdoors.
The back of the Contour+2 houses a plastic cover with two smaller rubber covers that protect mini USB and a mini HDMI ports; pop open the large plastic cover to access the microSD card slot and battery.GoPro Hero3. On the bottom of the Contour is a tripod mount, as well as a rubber cover for a microphone jack. Contour sells a number of different mounts that allows you to hook the camera surfaces, such as handlebars or a surfboard.
While the Contour+2 can take slight splashes of water, an included waterproof case will protect the camera to depths of up to 60 meters.
Bluetooth makes it easier to pair the Contour than the Drift HD Ghost or the GoPro Hero3, both of which require you to use your iPhone's Wi-Fi connection. The Contour uses Bluetooth to beam an image to your phone.
Uniquely among helmet cams, the Contour camera can also pair with goggles via Bluetooth that have Recon Mod Live technology, such as the Oakley Airwave ($599). That way, users can see in the goggles themselves what the Contour is recording. While potentially distracting when skiing -- it's best not to look down -- Recon Mod Live is an incredibly cool feature.
We generally liked the video quality offered by the Contour+2 camera. Despite overcast skies, colors were vivid, such as the blues, reds and greens of ski jackets. Contrast also looked good, and there wasn't much in the way of visual noise. The GoPro Hero3 has the edge here; it's footage was slightly darker, but it had even greater contrast and better color saturation.
When filming 1080p video at 30 frames per second, we were able to record only about 30 minutes worth of video before our 4GB card ran out of space. Fortunately, the Contour+2 can accept cards up to 32GB in size.
Contour estimates the battery will last between 2 to 2.5 hours. In our testing, we got 1 hour and 58 minutes of continuous recording WVGA video at 30 fps. That's better than the GoPro by nearly half an hour, but 90 minutes less than the Drift HD Ghost, which got nearly 3.5 hours.
|Size||3.8 x 2.4 x 1.3 inches|