Vholdr Contour HD Hack- Using the VIO Mount On ContourHD Cameras
I have previously written some articles reviewing the Vholdr ContourHD point of view video camera (Initial review and followup with an article on various mounting options). Both times I have not been very happy with the ContourHD’s mounts which I have lambasted as being poorly thought-out.
I am told that Vholdr is coming out with improved mounts. While I’m waiting to see what’s in their pipeline, the folks at pointofviewcameras.ca approached me to look at some other accessory mounts they sell. Their VIO “Double hook and loop” accessory mount in particular struck me as an interesting product that could be adapted for use with the ContourHD
At $8.95 I found the VIO mount to be a very worthy and cheap addition to a videographer’s grab-bag of tricks. It’s a stable mount that’s easy to move around from various positions on a bike. In a short period of time, I’ve found three worthwhile mount positions giving you different interesting POV videos (and one mount position that I thought was kind of boring but maybe you’ll like it). I’m sure it won’t be too much trouble to come up with more ideas so please feel free to shoot some ideas my way in the article’s comment field.
THE VIO MOUNT
There’s not much to the VIO mount. It’s basically a flexible rubberized mount. There’s two round surfaces; one for the Vholdr (or VIO as the case may be) and one surface to attach to a round surface - like a bike frame. Velcro’ed webbing is supplied along with a buckle. It sounds pretty simple but the combination of a rubberized surface with a nice webbing and buckle harness and strap system allowed me to get the Vholdr attached to a helmet and to a bike frame a lot more securely then the stock Vholdr-supplied goggle and vented-helmet mounts.
The big advantage I found with this mount was that, once you set it up, it was very easy to swap the mount around on various parts of the bike and/or body. It takes less then a minute to move the mount around on your bike. The mount is also very secure once you put it on your bike; at least as secure as the adhesion qualities of velcro. I hit the mounts with my legs a few times while biking and the ContourHD and mount stayed fastened to the bike. Having said that, I dare say that a good crash will probably knock the mount off the bike as the velcro will likely give way.
VIO mount with the Vholdr ContourHD attached - ready for use
SETTING UP THE VIO MOUNT
Because the VIO pencil form factor is smaller in diameter then the Vholdr you’ll have to do some re-arranging and re-packaging of the VIO mount so it can work with the Vholdr ContourHD. Here are the instructions along with pictures.
Firstly, unwrap all the webbing. Lay the webbing on some surface. Put the camer on one of the round rubber surfaces as pictured below.
Wrap the long end of the webbing over the top of the camera and put it through the buckle. Cinch it firmly but not too tight (that’ll be the next step). Both pictures below show how you should perform this step.
Now pull the webbing through the other end of the buckle and cinch the webbing tight. You’ll be left with a long “tail” of webbing that flops free. The camera will now be cinched tight against the rubberized round surface of the mount.
Here’s the end product ready to go on some round surface. Remember that “tail” of webbing. You loop it around something round (like a bike tube) and then secure the camera onto that round surfaced object. You’ll want to put the Vholdr-supplied hooks around the buckle so you don’t lose that camera. Note that obviously you can rotate the camera around on the rubber mount surface to get the right angles.
SOME SAMPLE MOUNTING OPTIONS
1. Side Helmet Mount
This is a vast improvement over the stock Vholdr-supplied vented helmet mount. For one, it works on all types of vented helmets (unlike the Vholdr mount which straps were too long and required particular helmets or cutting and sewing). This VIO mount is also more stable then the stock Vholdr mount. The rubberized surface gripped my helmet securely and the webbing and velcro harness let me tighten the mount against the helmet very securely. Moreover the rubberized mount also compresses so the mount felt very secure.
I was hoping that the field of view would let me get a bit more of a look of my front wheel while maintaining a good POV angle on the trail but I was unable to achieve this effect. I’ll try to experiment with methods of getting this mount lower on my torso so I can approximate the POV of the Go-Pro chest-mounted harness system. Any suggestions in that regard are appreciated.
Side Helmet mount (Vholdr-supplied vented helmet mount also pictured - on the top of the helmet)
2. Top Tube Mount looking forward
This is a pretty basic mounting option that’s self-explanatory as seen from the pictures below. I can’t say that I particularly care for the POV. It’s interesting perhaps because you get to see the handlebars and bike turning but I don’t get a sense of involvement in the action with this POV. The footage I got from this POV is stable
VIO mount with the Vholdr on the top tube looking forward
3 . Downtube looking downThis is a pretty cool angle that would work very well for a trail with lots of skinnies and/or air. Otherwise, on fast sections of trail you’re not going to see a lot of action and get a lot of blurred ground footage. Used sparingly you can get some cool footage of your bike’s rear shock and/or your scabby legs doing their thing.
4 .Top tube looking back
This is another self-explanatory mount. Make sure you orient the Vholdr so the bulk of the camera is as high as possible so the swingarm doesn’t contact the camera. Footage is very stable. You’ll hear a lot of brake and shock action.
It’s an interesting perspective seeing the suspension work. Also you get the vantage point of seeing the trailing rider (you can also get this by using the Vholdr-supplied goggle mount on a backpack). Unfortunately, on steep trails where you get behind your seat this has the tendency to become a crotch cam.
VIO mount on top tube looking backwards. NOTE - in the top tube, make sure to mount the ContourHD the way up pictured in the photo to give yourself clearance from the swingarm.