Contour GPS HD Camera Review



ContourGPS
ContourGPS HD Camera. Click to see larger.

When the Contour GPS HD Camera first arrived in our office, there was an abundance of excitement revolving around this little camera. With so much build up increasing our expectations, we were pleasantly surprised upon opening the box. The camera offers a familiar design to its relative, the ContourHD 1080p, retaining the sleek, smooth body we’ve all come to know and love. But it feels more substantial in your hand than its predecessor… suggesting that they’ve beefed up the construction methods, increasing the durability factor. In any case, read on to find out our thoughts and opinions on this great little camera. We hope it helps you to make an informed decision, narrowing the search for a camera that’s just right for you.

So lets take a look at what comes in the box with the Contour GPS Camera:

• ContourGPS Camera
• Rechargeable Battery
• MicroSD Card (2GB)
• 2 Rotating Flat Surface Mounts
• Goggle Mount Rails
• Lens Cap
• Goggle Mount
• 2 Mount Tethers
• USB Cable
• Quick Start Guide

Lots of good stuff to get you started.

Now, let’s cover the specifics:

• 1080p Full HD at 30fps, 960p Tall HD at 30fps, 720p Action HD at 60fps and 720p Contour HD at 30fps.
• Built in GPS Receiver.
• Water Resistant Aluminum Shell weighing in at 5.3oz / 150 grams.
• 5 megapixel Still Photo Capture at intervals of 1, 2, 5, 10, 30 or 60 seconds.
• Expandable Storage -  SD Memory Capacity up to 32GB.
• 135º Angle of View in 960p and 720p, 110º in 1080p.
• Newly Designed Omnidirectional Microphone.
• Rechargeable Lithium Battery.
• Multi Sport Mounting - package includes Goggle Mount, 2 Rotating Flat Surface Mounts and 2 Mount Tethers for camera security.
• Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7; Mac OS X 10.5 and later.
• 180 day manufacturers warranty.

helmet cam    helmet cam
Contour GPS, Locking Back Latch. Click to see larger images.

Right off the bat, this camera is different. I mean, it resembles its brethren, sporting Contour‘s great, original design… it’s sleek, cool, smooth and light… but the Contour GPS is still a little different. There are a few additions and alterations that put this camera into a place of its very own. Holding the two cameras at same time suggests that the Contour GPS has been beefed up a bit. This lends a bit more peace of mind, in terms of the cameras capabilities in those extreme, rough and tumble situations. It doesn’t stop there… in addition, the Contour GPS also addresses some previous concerns about the original ContourHD 1080p Camera. For instance, the back cover on the previous design wasn’t all that it could be… and for some, had the periodic tendency to flip open, exposing the battery and memory card, eliminating any protection they were getting from the elements. With the all new Contour GPS, this has been fixed, replacing the previous cover with a latching and locking back cover that isn’t going fly open in the middle of an extreme adventure.

Another sweet improvement is the new record switch. Requiring a good amount of pressure to move between the record and off positions, now there is no fear of accidentally bumping the switch, which was previously easy to slide with no effort. The new Contour GPS record button also houses the GPS unit, adding a bit of height to the camera… which I think totally adds an added sharpness to its silhouette. The down side to this button is that it makes the Contour GPS too tall to fit into the existing Waterproof Case. However, to rectify this, Contour is on it, and will be releasing a Waterproof Case specifically for the Contour GPS in Spring 2011.

I am also a fan of the Contour GPS’s Angle of View. It is just wide enough, without overly distorting the imagery. Wide angles lenses are great for recording action sports, no question, although personally, I think 110º in 1080p and 135º in 960 and 720 are totally sufficient, taking in the scene without too much of a fish eye effect. But hey, that’s just me!

I find it handy that the Contour GPS sports a range of indicator lights as well, it is always letting you know what’s going on. The blinking light on the front of the base systematically blinks green until a GPS signal is acquired, in which case it turns solid green. This is definitely a handy feature, because it lets you know that your engaged, instead of just hoping that you are. Directly behind the GPS signal light, at the back of the base of the camera, you’ve got a second light that engages when your memory card begins to reach capacity and finally, on the back of the camera at the top, you have a battery light, which indicates when you are reaching the end of your battery’s life. These are some pretty convenient features that make up for the lack of an LCD screen.

How about Pros and Cons…

Pros

• Outstanding HD Video Quality.
• Durable, rough and tumble body.
• 5 MP Still Photo Capabilities.
• Built in GPS, documenting speed, altitude and location on an interactive map.
• It comes with a lens cap… no more scratches!
• Slim, Sleek and lightweight.
• Rechargeable battery.
• Newly Designed Omnidirectional Microphone for better audio capture.
• Default data recording rate is half of the ContourHD 1080p, which provides the same high quality recording, while using half the space.
• Replaceable lens in case of scratching or breakage.

Cons

• No LCD screen, but this does keep the camera streamlined.
• Not waterproof without a Waterproof Case.
• Settings have to be configured through Contour’s Storyteller Application.
• The Storyteller Application is still a little buggy, but Contour is working on this issue.

Let’s Get Down to the Nitty Gritty of the Details

Built in GPS

Since this is a GPS enabled camera, it makes sense to talk about the GPS feature before getting too deep in the thick of it all. So GPS, that’s right, built right into the recording switch. What’s cool is the fact that the GPS light blinks until it acquires a GPS signal, when it locks onto a signal, it then turns to a solid green, letting you know that it is engaged.

The inclusion of GPS is a pretty cool feature, as it enables you to log a load of information like your speed, altitude and location while locating your position on an interactive map. This is a great tool for documenting new trails and pinpointing specifics about your rides and journeys. It is also a great way of improving your game, because with all this information you can review previous excursions for improvement on your timing and technique.

So, yes, you can shoot with GPS on all the time, but it is only uploadable using Contour’s Storyteller Application, where you can edit your videos and upload to contour.com to preserve all of your information, sharing it all with Contour’s online community. From here, you can imbed your GPS enabled video to share pretty much anywhere on the web.

But you don’t have to shoot with GPS on. You can configure the camera through the Storyteller Application and turn GPS off. So, GPS is optional, which was a nice surprise.

Check out the Contour GPS Enabled Mountain Bike Video From Alaska below:

And here is a Motorcycle Track Lap Video:



A Mess of Mounting Options

helmet cam
Contour GPS Included Mounts. Click to see larger image.


The Contour GPS offers so much in terms of mounting options! In the box you get a Goggle Mount, 2 Rotating Flat Surface Mounts and 2 Mount Tethers to keep the camera secure. The way the Contour GPS mounts to its accessories is via the TRail mounting system. The mounts slide and lock into the grooves on the body of the Contour GPS, greeting a snug, secure and stable bond. This is a great beginning… but the options are really endless when it comes to mounting, because with the range of compatible Contour mounts on the market… the sky is the limit.

HD Video Speaks the Truth


Contour GPS Test—How are Bison and a BMW M3 related?


This camera is hooked up with the ultimate in HD recording modes, but what would you expect from a company like Contour… who prides themselves on top quality, crystal clear footage to bring your most memorable moments back to life overtime you hit play.

So, what are the modes? First off we’ve got True HD 1080p - filming at 30fps, next in line is Tall HD 960p - filming at 30fps, followed by two 720p modes. Action HD 720p records at 60fps - providing buttery smooth footage that looks amazing during playback… the other 720p mode is Original HD mode, recording at 30fps, providing a smaller file size. No matter what you are planning on filming, the Contour GPS has got you covered with the perfect recording mode… and that is really nice to know.

Field of View - Keeping Your Eyes on the Prize

The Contour GPS sees through a 135º lens when shooting in Tall HD 960p and in both 720p modes - Action HD and Original HD. When you switch over to True HD in 1080p mode, the Contour GPS swaps down its field of view to 110º. The great thing about this wide field of view is that you capture the entire scene, without any fear of over distortion, because the lens isn’t over the top in terms of width.

Photo Mode - That’s Right this Contour Takes Still Photos too!

The ContourHD 1080p did not take still imagery, which wasn’t a huge deal, but now that the Contour GPS does take 5 megapixel stills, excitement begins to grow! This addition may seem small, but it really adds a whole new level to this camera. Just configure setting one or two to take continuous photos at intervals of 1, 2, 5, 10, 30 or 60 seconds and try documenting your next attempt at heroism in a sequence of stills. I haven’t quite done this yet… but I did get out in the neighborhood to snap some samples, just so you all can see how the photo mode works. It snaps photos through the full 135º field of view, taking in a whole lot of the scene, providing an almost fish eyed effect. Perfect for action sports!

ContourGPS    ContourGPS

ContourGPS    ContourGPS
Click to see larger images.

Wait, I Think I Heard Something…

You know how some cameras just don’t cut the mustard in terms of sound recording? That can’t said about this camera! Contour has gone all out with the development of their new omnidirectional microphone, which ups the ante in audio capture. The Contour GPS’s mic has changed positions from the previous HD model, finding its new home directly below the lens at the front of the camera. In a comparison video we’ve done to really note the sound quality improvement, wind noise is drastically reduced… and you can really head the sounds of the bike clearer. Take a listen and see for yourself.

The Contour GPS Doesn’t Forget a Thing

helmet cam
Contour GPS SD Card. Click to see larger image.

The cool thing about all these new little gadgets is the fact that they all incorporate such a high internal storage capacity. The Contour GPS is no different, because it can incorporate an internal SD card up to 32GB. This means no matter what, you’re probably going to come home with space on your card… and if you happen to run out, hopefully you had the foresight to toss an extra card into your bag… It does pay to think ahead after all.

I will tell you this, we have been passing this camera around the group here since we got it… we’ve got an 8GB card in there… and we still haven’t filled it up! You basically get an average of 15 minutes per GB at 1080p, 960p or 720p at 60fps… in 720p at 30fps you average at about 30 min per GB.

What About Battery Life?

helmet cam
Contour GPS Battery. Click to see larger image.

The Contour GPS sucks its power from a rechargeable lithium-ion battery… so not only are you doing something nice for the environment by not tossing out batteries… you are also giving yourself a nice, long battery life of up to 3 hours. Need to keep shooting? Grab an extra battery and keep it charged in your bag… just in case.

Durable Doesn’t Always Mean Heavy

The durable construction of this unit allows it to be used in some heavy hitting situations. Built from a tough, water resistant aluminum shell, the Contour GPS remains lightweight, sporting a streamlined silhouette, that really is perfect for mounting anywhere. Weighing in at a minimal 5.3oz / 150 grams, the Contour GPS is provides the best in versatility, because it really doesn’t hold you back in any way.

Designed to work perfectly with Contour’s TRail mounting system, the Contour GPS is perfectly compatible with all of Contour’s existing mounts. However, due to the new, more substantial record button which houses the GPS unit, this camera doesn’t fit into the existing waterproof case, but Contour is working on a case of its very own, to be released sometime this winter.

A major improvement in the body design of the Contour GPS has been made with the inclusion of the new locking back latch. This eliminates any fear of the latch opening to expose the battery, memory card and heart of the camera to the elements. In addition to this, the new, stiffer record button is much more difficult to accidentally knock into the on or off position. These welcome changes provide peace of mind when you are tearing down a super bumpy trail or a wet, muddy slope.

Tell Your Story with Contour’s Storyteller Application

Storyteller Software    Storyteller Software

Storyteller Software    Storyteller Software
Screenshots of Contour’s Storyteller Application. Click to see larger.

In order to utilize your GPS information, you need to import and share your videos via Contour’s Storyteller Application. Most move editors don’t support the ability to edit videos with embedded GPS, they will simply strip this from the edited video, allowing you to only upload video that has been “trimmed” or has come straight out of the camera. Were know that Contour is working with video sites and editing software companies to help them support GPS video, but as of now, its still in progress. The good thing is, that GPS enabled videos can be embedded and viewed on any webpage.

Through the Storyteller Application, you also configure your camera settings, assigning specific recording jobs to positions 1 and 2. You can also cut up and edit you videos, mix in some cool tracks, apply the interactive map and GPS information for export and posting to contour.com. Compatible with both Mac and PC, the Contour GPS and the Storyteller Application can be utilized by anybody.

Short Comings

Ok, there are not many things I don’t like about this camera, in fact, I would say I like pretty much everything about it, aside from the waterproof case issue.

LCD screens are great additions, but I guess the addition of one would totally have made the camera far too bulky. I mean configuring everything through the Storyteller Application is easy enough, but it is kind of an extra step.

Other than that, I am pretty much down with this camera.

Summary of the Contour GPS HD Camera

If you are the kind of person who is serious about video making, this camera is an ultimate choice for you. Giving you a creative edge and the ability to incorporate your stats and position, the Contour GPS combines all of the features you loved about Contour’s previous cameras, while incorporating a bunch of great new ones - not to mention some improved physical additions.

The Contour GPS HD Camera embodies quality and versatility and will definitely become a welcome addition to anyone’s camera gear. Surpassing the other GPS cameras on the market with Contour’s ongoing integrity and dedication to perfection, this camera is definitely changing the way people shoot and share video.

If this sounds like a piece of equipment you can see yourself falling in love with, you should check it out. Also find out what Christie from Contour has to say about their great new camera, at Interbike 2010.

Offered at a price point of $349.99, the Contour GPS HD camera is a steal.


Have we missed anything?  Perhaps there are additional things you would like us to test?

Please leave your comments and / or questions below.


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Comments

By Robert
20 11 2010 at 12:03 PM

Excellent review and it’s got me wanting one even more.


By PointOfViewCameras
20 11 2010 at 02:10 PM

Thank you Robert, we are very excited about Contour’s new GPS camera.


By Jean
22 11 2010 at 08:12 PM

Very good review, covers all aspects except it doesn’t cover all sport aspects of waterproof. What I mean is that, is the camera still safe to use in snow conditions? Does it matter if it’s dry or wet snow, etc…
Otherwise amazing review, thanks


By PointOfViewCameras
23 11 2010 at 09:16 AM

@Jean. Thank you for the props. The camera is water resistant which means it will handle light rain, mud and any kind of snow you throw at it.

In spring 2011, Contour will be releasing a waterproof case for the Contour GPS which means you will be able to use this camera for surfing, wake boarding and all other water sports. DOes that help?


By Mark Vaden
23 11 2010 at 06:13 PM

DashWare (www.dashware.net) now supports extracting gps data from Contour GPS. DashWare allows you to overlay the gps information with customizable gauges and embed directly into the video.


By Eugene
24 11 2010 at 07:01 AM

I’m interesting in more information on embedded GPS video, but searching google doesn’t bring up anything useful. Can you maybe point me somewhere?

Thanks


By PointOfViewCameras
24 11 2010 at 08:01 AM

@Mark. Sounds very interesting. Please get in touch with us. If your software works well we would like to offer it to our customers.
Thanks, Mike


By PointOfViewCameras
24 11 2010 at 08:12 AM

@Eugene Which GPS enabled camera do you have?
For the time being Contour GPS data is displayed besides their video player (on a map) when you upload the video to their website. But, as you can see in above comment from Mark, they might have something that works. We will be testing their software to see how well it supports the different GPS enabled cameras.


By Alexander
25 11 2010 at 04:43 AM

Awesome review! i will soon be ordering mine from Belgium! wink

does the dashware software work properly?

does the type of memory card matter?
would a class 6 or 10 be better for recoring quality than a class 2 or 4 card?


By PointOfViewCameras
25 11 2010 at 12:34 PM

@Alexander Thanks so much! We are just about to test out the dashware software. Please subscribe to our blog to stay in the loop.

We have been selling MaxFlash cards with very good results. 1000’s of people are now using them with Contour cameras and they work great.
http://pointofviewcameras.com/accessories/memory-cards/vholdr


By Mark Vaden
26 11 2010 at 12:07 PM

@Alexander You can download a trial version of DashWare at www.dashware.net. The trial version lets you do everything except create new videos. Any work you do in the trial version is saved and carries over if you decide to buy the full version.


By Raman
06 12 2010 at 11:25 AM

thanks for the review


By Joe
06 12 2010 at 06:19 PM

Hi I want to use the contour for hunting and alot of times will be filming in low light conditions could you tell me how good it is in low light? What is the LUX rating on them?


By GSA Dave
08 12 2010 at 08:51 AM

Great review. I have ordered one for Christmas and am excited to try it out documenting my motorcycle adverntures with it. The GPS feature is going to be very helpful in keeping track of where footage was shot. It’s difficult to keep track of that information while riding.

Thanks for the review.


By PointOfViewCameras
08 12 2010 at 10:25 AM

@GSA Dave Good stuff Dave! You will be super happy with it I’m sure. It’s a great camera for motorcycle riders.


By PointOfViewCameras
09 12 2010 at 10:15 AM

@Joe In regards to low-light conditions from Contour tech support:  “The ContourGPS is generally intended as a daytime, outdoor camera for well-lit situations. As such, if the primarily use will be in low-light situations, it’s worth keeping in consideration that such situations are not the camera’s best strength. The camera can technically film in settings as low as 3 lux, but the quality of the image will deteriorate to a good degree.”

This goes for most wearable cameras. On a positive note, the camera does let you adjust exposure setting to brighten up your video.


By Nic Hart
19 12 2010 at 12:48 PM

I am looking for specifications of the logging rate for the GPS component of the Contour GPS.

The promo film indicates that GPS data is recorded “multiple times per second”.

Exactly how many times per sec’ is this ?

Is it possible to set this logging interval up with the software ? and can the raw data file be viewed separately.

Cheers, Nic


By PointOfViewCameras
20 12 2010 at 10:17 AM

@Nic Hart Looks like currently, the Contour GPS logs GPS data once per second.


By Nottarg
20 12 2010 at 08:55 PM

Can you confirm that “the camera itself is the charger” ?  Is there a seperate charger available ?

Can I download get the manuals somwhere (Camera and software) ?

Thx


By PointOfViewCameras
21 12 2010 at 10:18 AM

@Nottarg. Yes, camera is a charger in it self. We do sell
separate chargers, batteries.

Here is the Contour GPS Manual Download in English, Français, Español, Deutsch, Italiano.


By Rosanne
21 12 2010 at 07:34 PM

How well does this camera do in terms of downloading video’s on a mac. I heard there were some issues?


By Rhett Cole
23 12 2010 at 10:12 AM

I do testing on the highways and wonder how well the cracking would show up through a windshield mount?  Also I’ve read that the video cannot be copied straight to DVD.  Can it be processed to convert to DVD?
Thanks in advance!


By PointOfViewCameras
23 12 2010 at 10:20 AM

@Rhett Cole Very interesting application, that’s for sure. The suction cup mount should work very well as you will be able to position the camera as close to the road as you need to. We recommend this RAM mount since it’s the most durable one we sell.

You should be able to export video to a DVD format from any video editor (if you are planning to edit the videos you take), or simply copy the individual video clips from the camera to the DVD.


By PointOfViewCameras
23 12 2010 at 10:23 AM

@Rosanne The Contour GPS works great with all MAC computers. No problems what so ever.


By Rich
29 12 2010 at 11:25 AM

Does the embedded G:PS data transfer to the Macintosh iMovie video editing software?  I am currently using a Sony 1080p video camera with built-in GPS and iMovie logs GPS data from it.

On another note - how long does the Contour GPS take to lock on, outside in an open area?  Will it stay locked on under a tree canopy in the woods?


By Dane Sorensen
31 12 2010 at 10:39 PM

Your video titled “How are Bison and a BMW M3 related?” demands an answer.
First of all - great camera.
However, if you are going to promote it’s virtues, I’d suggest that sourcing footage from someone who has the bovine intelligence of said Bison - mounting the camera so the door pillar obscures half of the direct ahead vision - indicates all too clearly how Bison and a BMW M3 ARE related. A Bison was driving the M3?
With the window mount it would have been all too easy to get a fully clear ahead shot ...mmmmmm grin


By Mike
01 01 2011 at 10:18 AM

@Dane, glad you like my footage grin This was my first go with the Contour GPS which as you know doesn’t have a LCD to preview your footage. Mounting the camera directly on the front windshield would showcase the view ahead but none of the car’s interior would have been captured

I like you idea of letting the Bison drive next time. This way I’ll have both hands free to capture the video from few extra angles…


By PointOfViewCameras
06 01 2011 at 02:54 PM

We have been sitting on this news for several months now and finally are able to announce it to every one (since Contour just officially released this at CES)!

Contour Connect View lets you view your ContourGPS Camera videos live on your mobile phone!  Check out our blog for all details.


By 22Tango
09 01 2011 at 09:12 PM

I received a Contour GPS for Christmas and still don’t know how the GPS feature works, despite I’m a GPS fanatic and have a Garmin 496 in my airplane, buying my first GPS in 1990.

The video is fantastic for a device this size (my degree is in television ) and this tiny Contour camera is stunning.

Pros… The Quicktime file easily loads into Apple iMovie HD…

The additional “Cons” for me,
#1. How and where do you get the data for the GPS info? It doesn’t show up on my Windows computer nor my Mac.
#2. There is no mounting device so the camera cam be affixed flat to a dash, like dashcam videos law enforcement has.  Contour missed the boat, thinking only young kids want to attach this camera to handle-bars on a bike or the side of a helmet. I want to affix this to the panel of my airplane and the vertical fin, but they don’t make a plate this camera will attach to in order to do this.

Lack of a viewfinder isn’t a big deal for me.  think they came out with Bluetooth so the image came be seen on my iPhone, I’ll have to check that out.

#3. In looking at their website, I see no option to purchase addition memory cards for this rascal.

But the BIG issue for me, HOW DO YOU SEE THE GPS LOG AND TRACKING INFO? Nothing in the tiny manual mentions ANYTHING about how to see or use this feature.


By PointOfViewCameras
11 01 2011 at 03:30 PM

@ 22Tango Nice Christmas gift grin

Let me address your concerns:
1) the GPS data is embedded in the movie file. Once you upload it to contour.com using their free “story teller” software you will be able to see the GPS date and map overlay along the side of your video. You can embed that video on any website - like we did with the two videos in this review.

2) I have a perfect mount for this application -  check out the RAM suction cup mount

3) We sell all sizes of memory cards for the Contour and other cameras.

Hope this helps. - Mike


By gravity
25 01 2011 at 10:59 AM

Wondering, how well does this pick up people talking??


By PointOfViewCameras
28 01 2011 at 05:15 PM

@gravity
The Contour GPS features a new Omnidirectional microphone to better capture audio. Plus you can control the Mic gain to increase or decrease its sensitivity. In shorty, yes it does very well in recording people talking.


By Redgie
02 02 2011 at 09:14 AM

This looks excellent but do you think this would be suitabel to wear when running. I dont want to wear a helmet everytime but i would wear a hat. Any solutions to this??


By PointOfViewCameras
02 02 2011 at 03:03 PM

@Redgie
There might be quite a bit of bouncing the video if you’re using this while running. However, you can wear the ContourGPS without a helmet by using the new Contour Headband Mount or with the Universal Mount attached to the Hatcam.


By Pete Petersen
11 02 2011 at 11:47 AM

I am a hunter and would like to see how it performs out in the woods in low light. Dawn and Dusk


By PointOfViewCameras
15 02 2011 at 10:41 AM

@Pete
You can adjust the exposure settings on the Contour GPS camera through the Contour Storyteller Application. While the camera works best in daylight conditions, it will also work in dawn/dusk lighting.


By John
24 02 2011 at 02:01 PM

I’m very interested in the Contour HD for use (mostly) from the small cockpit of my Mustang ll sport aircraft.  From the video examples I have seen, the downside when shooting through the propelllor is that the blades are usually visible in asimtar shape and this becomes very distracting.  I note a filter kit is available.  From another flyer’s experiments using Go-Pro (sorry) he used ND filters of 1.4 (strength?) and pretty much elimnated the prop view.  So my question.  Before laying out the cash, which I can’t do as an experiment only, would a ‘system’ with filter be available to rent for a couple of days?  Without the assurance of getting rid of most of this prop motion, the camera would be useless to me.  Thanks for your thoughts on this.  John


By PointOfViewCameras
28 02 2011 at 10:15 AM

@John
A Neutral Density filter will resolve the issue of aircraft blades from appearing as if they are still by blurring them in the video. The Contour cameras have an optional Lens Kit which includes a 37mm and a 43mm lens adapter rings so that you can you use the camera with most standard camera lenses.

We do not offer cameras for rental use and do not have ND filters in stock. We do however sell the ContourHD 1080p, Contour GPS, and the Contour Lens Replacement Kit. Camera lenses can be found at a variety of camera and electronic shops.


By Myles
29 04 2011 at 06:02 PM

HI, Just found this review as I am looking for small HD cameras to mount to my my helicams. Very nice
It was mentioned that the GPS information is imbedded into the video.
Is it possible to have altitude, speed and co-ordinates displayed on the video itself when playing the files back?
What I mean to say, is it possible to have the information displayed on screen like a heads up display showing real time speed etc.
Thanks!


By PointOfViewCameras
02 05 2011 at 08:51 AM

@Myles
The GPS data is displayed in a separate Google Map window when you view the video in the Contour Storyteller application. You can use a program such as DashWare to embed the GSP data in skins directly onto the video itself.


By Baret
27 05 2011 at 12:18 PM

Thanks for the indepth review on this. I’m really interested in this model now. The camera is rated as water resistant - but how water resistant is it? I assume a wipe out in snow would be OK. Would melting snow get into the electronics? But what about rain or even mist/fog? Most companies may or may not warranty products due to water damage, so if it did get slightly wet - how resistant would it be?
I’ll most likely use the underwater housing for heavy surf or kayaking to be safe. But even that, I didn’t see a depth rating for the housing. Likely not recommended for scuba, but waht about shallow water snorkling?
Thanks, B.


By PointOfViewCameras
31 05 2011 at 12:06 PM

@ Baret
The ContourGPS is water resistant and can handle light rain, mist, and snow. If you have any snow caked onto it, you’ll want to wipe most of it off before it melts as it could seep through the back hatch. The waterproof case is perfect for heavy rainfall, splashing and submersion up to 180’ / 60m.


By Felipe
29 06 2011 at 04:48 PM

Am I able to edit the video in photoshop
CS5 or lightroom ?


By PointOfViewCameras
30 06 2011 at 09:13 AM

@ Felipe
Photoshop and Lightroom are photo editors and can not be used to edit videos. To edit videos you would need to use a video editor. If you use a PC with Windows 7, you can use Windows Movie Maker which is included for free. If you’re on a Mac, iMovie is included. If you want to stick with the Adobe CS5 suite, then you might consider using After Effects.


By Mark
03 08 2011 at 06:44 AM

I assume this review was written before the Bluetooth card was released that allows you to use your smart phone as a view finder? Great little feature!! Just a shame the camera records in .MOV format - the only downside for me!


By PointofViewCameras
03 08 2011 at 12:59 PM

@Mark
Yes, this review was done before the Connect View or Android App came out in 2011. The Bluetooth capability definitely makes this camera stand out from the rest. The majority of POV cameras record in either MOV or MP4. If you have a problem viewing or editing the raw MOV file, you can easily convert your files. We suggest Streamclip, a free download from Squared5 for PC and Mac.


By Randy Forbes
05 08 2011 at 06:01 PM

Let’s REALLY fall in love with this camera. Give me 1080P with a 60 frame rate and a way to interface with flat screens that have composite, VGA, and component, in addition to HDMI inputs. ALSO, give us the option of using a narrower - that’s right - NARROWER field of view to go along with the ultra-wide you feature with the PLUS. I shoot large-formation skydiving and ultra-wide just doesn’t work outside & above the formation. Thanks.
-Randy Forbes


By PointofViewCameras
08 08 2011 at 09:01 AM

@Randy Forbes
Some great suggestions! Contour is always working on designing the next generation of innovative POV cameras.


By mikec
11 08 2011 at 05:00 PM

Has anyone tried the camera for use while playing tennis yet? What mount would be recommended for that sport?


By PointofViewCameras
12 08 2011 at 01:34 PM

@mikec
Not sure how well it would work, but we’d suggest using the Contour Headband Mount for this type of activity where you’re not wearing a helmet but need to mount the camera to yourself.


By mikec
13 08 2011 at 05:25 PM

OK, have to ask. Your answer seems somewhat doubtful that it would work well for tennis. Why is that?  Is it just because of it being mounted without a helmet, versus with a helmet, or other reason(s) as well?


By PointofViewCameras
19 08 2011 at 08:09 AM

@mikec
The headband mount is your best option to capture your point of view, but the video you get out of it will vary on the movements of your body during the game. If it’s a serious competition and you’re having to run around a lot, you might end up with bouncier video than desired. Alternately, you could mount the camera to the pole to film yourself in your side of the court.


By Sean
24 08 2011 at 04:43 PM

How did the DashWare program work out for this camera?


By PointofViewCameras
25 08 2011 at 09:21 AM

@Sean
DashWare allows you to easily overlay your telemetry data into skins on your videos taken with the ContourGPS and Contour+.


By Sean
25 08 2011 at 02:53 PM

@POVCameras
Does the dashware have a mapping feature like storyteller? I am looking for a stand alone program that does not need an internet connection to function.


By Kevin
28 08 2011 at 06:30 AM

How do I load the movie files from storyteller, or the camera into iMovie?


By Jackie Smith
29 08 2011 at 07:58 AM

Hello there, nice review but I want to ask about the price of Contour GPS HD Camera? Can you provide me more details and if it worth to buy it?


By PointofViewCameras
29 08 2011 at 03:06 PM

@Sean
Dashware can be used without an internet connection. It does not use Google Maps as Contour Storyteller does, but instead can overlay a visual course or track of movement, particularly useful for laps in racing. Storyteller requires an internet connection in order to load the map data from Google.


By PointofViewCameras
29 08 2011 at 03:45 PM

@Kevin
There are a number of ways to import videos from your ContourGPS into iMovie. If you’ve already imported your videos into Storyteller and deleted the originals, you can load Storyteller and select the video you wish to export. Click File > Export > Export Movie to save the .mov file to your computer. If the files are still on the camera’s microSD card, you can import the native .mov files directly from the memory card into iMovie. To import files from your computer or the memory card into iMovie, click File > Import > Movies and select the file(s) you wish to import.


By PointofViewCameras
29 08 2011 at 03:49 PM

@Jackie Smith
You can find the pricing in USD, CAD, and GBP on our website. Just click on any of the “ContourGPS” links in our review.


By Roy Mallen
15 09 2011 at 06:03 PM

I am looking for a good dash cam and I am wondering how easy it is to erase video you no longer need and don’t want to upload.


By PointofViewCameras
19 09 2011 at 08:27 AM

@Roy Mallen
There is a format button on the back panel to erase all data from the MicroSD card.


By Leonardo Ruiz
16 12 2011 at 01:24 PM

Hi, I will like to know more information about the lens camera of the ContourGPS.  The parameters I need are:  Focal length, pincipal point offset, radial lens distortion, Decentering distortion, fiducial marks, image scale, earth radius. Do you know where can I find this?


By PointofViewCameras
19 12 2011 at 10:30 AM

@Leonardo Ruiz
We’re checking with Contour to see if we can get you information regarding these detailed specifications.


By PointofViewCameras
20 12 2011 at 11:53 AM

@Leonardo Ruiz
We have heard back from the engineers at Contour and they have advised that these values are not available as the lens is a part that they source and not one that they designed.


By Jon
25 12 2011 at 03:18 AM

Is it possible to attach the camera in a “normal” bicycle helmet?


By PointofViewCameras
27 12 2011 at 10:42 AM

@Jon
Yes, you can use the Contour Vented Helmet Mount to attache the camera to a “normal” bike helmet.


By Panagiotis Bobolakis
01 01 2012 at 04:41 PM

Hey guys,
little question.
I want to buy the camera for recording and tracking my skiing. Do I need to buy the waterproof case for skiing?

Best Regards


By PointofViewCameras
03 01 2012 at 09:56 AM

@Panagiotis Bobolakis
The ContourGPS is water resistant and no case is needed for use when skiing. If the camera gets caked with snow, brush any off before going indoors.


By Stuart
21 01 2012 at 10:50 AM

What about macro-style capability? I could do with a rugged video camera for veterinary teaching purposes, but need to be able to get up close. How close can it focus? Thanks.


By PointofViewCameras
24 01 2012 at 03:01 PM

@Stuart
The ContourGPS has a fixed focus lens of approximately 2’ (.5m) to infinity and would not be suitable for close up or macro subjects. For anything within a couple feet, you’d be best to go with a camera that has adjustable focus or consider the olloclip with a Macro lens for iPhone 4.


By Sam
19 02 2012 at 04:56 PM

so me and my friends were using a contour hd to film snowboarding tomorrow. my friend let me take it home to edit a video but it says the files are not compatiable with imovie. help??


By PointofViewCameras
20 02 2012 at 11:22 AM

@Sam
The ContourHD records to a .MOV (Apple Quicktime Movie) file and should be easily imported into most versions of iMovie. If you’re getting this error, you may need to convert the file first. We suggest Streamclip, a free download from Squared5 for PC and Mac.


By Martin Mosley
25 03 2012 at 01:15 PM

I only seem to be getting 64minutes battery life from my contour GPS. I want to use for microlight trial flight videos which can last over an hour. Advertised as lasting 2.5 to 3 hours. Why is this so far out.


By PointofViewCameras
28 03 2012 at 03:18 PM

@Martin Mosley
Battery life can be affected by recording mode, quality, GPS, Bluetooth and temperature. If you’re recording at a high resolution and quality with GPS turned on, this will increase the amount of power the camera needs.


By Ian V
19 08 2012 at 01:03 AM

Hey, I have a Contour GPS and love it, can you tell me which software is best to edit these, I see lots of great clips on the Contour storyteller site however haven’t been able to manipulate my movies nor add a sound track.


By PointofViewCameras.com
20 08 2012 at 10:28 AM

@Ian V
You can use the Contour Storyteller app for basic clipping to upload your videos directly to the Contour website with GPS display options. You can also use almost any video editor for more advanced editing options. For beginners, we suggest Windows Movie Maker (included with Windows 7) or iMovie (included with Mac OS X).


By Gareth P
24 08 2012 at 11:22 AM

Hello

I was hoping you could help me figure something out. Is it possible to set the contour camera’s to record over the oldest data on the card automatically when the card is full so as to allow for continuous recording which we can then stop and save if something cool happens?

Thanks. Gareth


By PointofViewCameras
28 08 2012 at 02:19 PM

@Gareth P
There is no way to automatically record over existing data. The camera will stop recording automatically once the memory card is full. If you don’t have anything you need saved, you can format the card to clear everything off and start recording again or pop in a new card.


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By scott
19 12 2012 at 08:22 AM

The camera works great HOWEVER, the battery fit can be an issue…if the paper skin around the battery it can be a pain to remove it…not to memtion it wont secure by the red battery release tab.  I have to use a piece of paper and place it on the back so the battery will be forced down to power on….other wise i love the camera….


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