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Frequently Asked Questions.
ContourHD1080p FAQ

Here are the commonly asked questions about the VholdR ContourHD1080p Camera.
  1. What are the ContourHD1080p video resolutions?
  2. How do I set the time on my camera?
  3. How do I adjust the video settings on my camera?
  4. How do I adjust the lighting settings on my camera?
  5. What is the field of view for the ContourHD1080p?
  6. What file format and codec does the ContourHD1080p record to?
  7. What memory card is accepted by the ContourHD1080p?
  8. What is the average record time for a memory card with the ContourHD1080p?
  9. Does the ContourHD1080p record sound?
  10. What type of battery does the ContourHD1080p use?
  11. How long will the battery last?
  12. Is the ContourHD1080p compatible with Windows and Mac?
  13. Can my computer play HD video?
  14. What are the PC requirements to playback 1080p video?
  15. Is the ContourHD1080p waterproof?
  16. When I try to recharge my ContourHD1080p, the red charge LED blinks once and goes out. The battery doesn't charge. What do I do?
  17. I scratched the lens protector on my ContourHD1080p - what can I do?
  18. How do I format or reformat the Micro SD card?
  19. Is it OK to charge the battery over night?
  20. I plug my ContourHD1080p into my PC and it is not recognized. What do I do?
  21. What is the operating temperature range of the camera?
  22. What can be done about excessive wind noise?
  23. Can I manually adjust the focus on the camera?
  24. Can anything be done about contrast issuses in excessively bright environments (ie. snow glare, cloud reflection)?
  25. Is PAL or NTSC playback supported?
  26. How can I get started doing more advanced editing for my videos?
  27. How long is the warranty?
  28. Will the ContourHD1080p hold up to paintball impacts?


1. What are the ContourHD1080p video resolutions?
ContourHD has two video settings; with a single switch (HD on top and SD on the bottom) located inside the back door you can easily select between HI and LO while out recording. Since you can only have two settings for the camera at one time, the default settings have been set as 1080p for HI and 960p for LO. See Camera Specifications.

Resolution Frame Rate Window Size Record Time Field of View
1080p 30fps 1920 x 1080 15 min/GB 100°
960p 30fps 1280 x 960 15 min/GB 135°
720p 60fps 1280 x 720 15 min/GB 135°
720p 30fps 1280 x 720 30 min/GB 135°
WVGA 60fps 848 x 480 60 min/GB 90°
Resolution Image Quality Battery Life Record Time/GB CPU Processing Power
1080p Best Low Low High
960p Excellent Low Low High
720p @ 60 fps Great Low Low High
720p Great Medium Medium Medium
WVGA Good High High Medium

Things to know:
Clipping in Easy Edit Software creates bit efficient files intended for playback on VholdR.com or through the Easy Edit Software. After clipping, the bitrate may be significantly reduced and the quality of the clipped video may be diminished from the original video.
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2. How do I set the time on my camera?
Setting the time with the Easy Edit Software is automatic and simple. First, start Easy Edit Software. Then connect your camera to your computer. If the clock is wrong, you will be prompted to update the clock. Just select “Update Camera”. Eject and disconnect your camera. When it beeps – you are set to go.

If you don’t want to set the clock, when you connect, you can do it later by highlighting your camera and then selecting “Configure Camera” from the “Tools” Menu. The “Time” tab will indicate if your camera clock matches your computer time. If it needs to be updated, you can simply select “Update Camera” Eject and disconnect your camera. When it beeps – you are set to go.

To safely eject your camera on a Mac simply drag the camera icon on your desktop into the trash can. For a PC you will want to select Safely Remove Hardware icon from your toolbar and then select the camera device drive and select Stop then OK.

Things to Know:

  • If you wait an extended period of time to disconnect the camera, your camera clock will be incorrect.
  • If you connect your camera to the computer before starting the Easy Edit Software, you may be falsely alerted that your clock is incorrect.
  • If you disconnect you camera without safely ejecting it, you may see a write disk error dialog.
  • If the ContourHD1080p battery is dead for an extended period of time (e.g., more than an hour), the camera time will be reset.
  • If the camera time is invalid and has been reset, then both the memory and battery status lights will flash red twice when you boot the camera.
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3. How do I adjust the video settings on my camera?
Configuring the video resolution and bit rate is simple with Easy Edit software. Start your Easy Edit Software, connect your camera, highlight your camera, and then select "Configure Camera" from the "Tools" menu.

On the "Video" tab you can configure the resolution settings for the HI and LO switch on the camera along with the video bit rate and the microphone gain. The resolution settings and bitrate will have an effect on the image quality, battery life, record time allowed per GB, and computer processing capability required for smooth playback. The microphone gain controls the volume of the microphone for the camera. Once the settings have been chosen, select update camera and safely eject your camera. You will hear one beep to signify that the updates have taken place.

Resolution Settings:
Resolution Image Quality Battery Life Record Time/GB CPU Processing Power
1080p Best Low Low High
960p Excellent Low Low High
720p @ 60 fps Great Low Low High
720p Great Medium Medium Medium
WVGA Good High High Medium
Things to Know:
  • Easy Edit Software does not play videos above 720 @ 30 fps smoothly
  • Clipping in Easy Edit Software creates bit efficient files intended for playback on VholdR.com or through the Easy Edit Software. After clipping, the bit rate may be significantly reduced and the quality of the clipped video may be diminished from the original video.
Bit Rate Settings:
  Image Quality Battery Life Record Time/GB CPU Processing Power
Max Best Low Low High
High Excellent Medium Medium High
Default Great High High Medium

Microphone Gain:
For high action video where there is a chance of picking up noise generated by the wind, you will want to be between the range of 0-33. For low action video where wind noise will not be a factor, you will want to be within the range of 33-59.

0 - No audio captured in recordings.
33 - Reduces audio volume that is recorded and is ideal for in action video.
59 - All audio is captured and is ideal for walking and recording conversations.
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4. How do I adjust the lighting settings on my camera?
Adjusting your lighting setting is simple with Easy Edit software. Start your Easy Edit Software, connect your camera, highlight your camera, and then select "Configure Camera" from the "Tools" menu.

On the “Lighting” tab, you can choose from preset lighting conditions (i.e. Everyday Outdoor, Extra Sunny, etc.) that will automatically configure the variables to provide the best video experience. You can also select “Edit” if you want to customize any of the settings (Contrast, Exposure, Sharpness, or Metering).


Contrast Setting:
Contrast determines the difference in brightness between light and dark areas. Higher contrast emphasizes texture within an image by differentiating between the brightness of the light and dark areas.

44-60: Best if you are looking for the richest colors and you have plenty of light. The lower the contrast the richer the color, but if you go too low the colors will look a bit cartoonish.

60-70: Better for low lighting conditions as it will help to distinguish between objects within the image and not blur them together. Your images will have brighter lights and darker shadows.

Exposure Setting:
The exposure of the camera will determine how much light is allowed into the lens. If you are filming in low light conditions you want more light coming into the camera, which means your exposure should be greater than 0. The reverse is true if you have super bright conditions and want to darken the image so the camera can better see the details, which means you want an exposure number less than 0.

-3 to -1: Best for bright conditions
 1 to 2: Best for darker condition

Sharpness Setting:
The sharpness determines the calrity of the fine details of the image. For everyday use you will want to use a setting of 3.

1 to 2: Best for low lighting, but produces less detail in images
4 to 5: More defined in the detail of the image, may require a higher bitrate for best results.

Metering Settings:
Metering for the camera determines how the lens measures light from the onjects tht you are filming.

Average Metering – Averages the lighting from the entire image. This will be the best option for highly varied lighting or dark conditions as it will help to balance the lighting for the entire scene.
Center Metering - Determines the light level from the center region of the image. This option will be best for your everday outdoor use.
Spot Metering - Light level is determined from a small portion at the center of the image. Center metering is suited for optimizing the very center of the video and is generally not well matched to high motion.
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5. What is the field of view for the ContourHD1080p?
The field of view does vary depending on what video resolution setting you are using. If you are recording with a resolution of 960p or 720p you will have a field of view of 135 degrees. The 1080p and WVGA resolution settings will give you a 110 degree field of view.
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6. What file format and codec does the ContourHD1080p record to?
The ContourHD1080p uses H.264 video codec, AAC audio compression, and a .mov file type. Your videos will be accepted by almost all HD video editing programs and players. H.264 has become a standard for video compression, and by using H.264 your videos will be more user-friendly as well as deliver the highest quality video with the smallest file sizes. See Wikipedia for more on H.264.
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7. What memory card is accepted by the ContourHD1080p?
ContourHD 1080p records to an internal microSD memory card, which means there are no wires and no separate recorders. We include a 2GB card in the box when you purchase the camera, but ContourHD 1080p is compatible with up to a 16GB microSD memory card. Although many microSD cards are compatible with the ContourHD, we cannot guarantee that all microSD cards are compatible with the CountourHD. However, we have tested the following makes, classes, and capacities of micro SD cards with the ContourHD 1080p. Tests were conducted in both 1080p and 960p modes for short (less than one minute) and long (+45 minute) video recordings.

SD Card Class Capacity
Generic MicroSD Class 4 8 GB
SanDisk MicroSD Class 2 8 GB
Centon MicroSD HC Class 2 16 GB
Transcend MicroSD Class 6 6 GB
Kingston MicroSD HC Class 4 8 GB
SanDisk MicroSD HC Class 2 16 GB
MaxFlash MicroSD Class 2 1 GB
MaxFlash MicroSD Class 2 2 GB
MaxFlash MicroSD Class 4 4 GB
MaxFlash MicroSD Class 4 8 GB
MaxFlash MicroSD Class 2 16 GB
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8. What is the average record time for a memory card with the ContourHD1080p?
ContourHD1080p will record different time lengths depending on what video resolution setting you are using and bitrate you select (default, high, max). Your record times will also vary slightly in cold weather conditions, with older memory cards, and bitrate setting. Below is our list of estimated record times for each resolution at its default bitrate:

  Resolution Record Time
Full HD 1080p 15 min/GB
Tall HD 960p 15 min/GB
Action HD 720p 15 min/GB
ContourHD 720p 30 min/GB
Fast SD WVGA 60 min/GB
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9. Does the ContourHD1080p record sound?
Yes, ContourHD1080p uses an embedded microphone that is located on the bottom of the camera. With the ContourHD1080p you can customize the microphone gain of the camera following the instructions for #3. How do I adjust the video settings on my camera?
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10. What type of battery does the ContourHD1080p use?
The ContourHD1080p uses a rechargeable lithium-ion battery, located inside the back door of the camera. We use a rechargeable battery to save you money and to save the environment. You can recharge your own battery whenever you want to keep recording all the action, and you don’t have to worry about purchasing AA’s. We even included a quick check feature on the camera to tell you how much battery life you have left.

The primary method for recharging your ContourHD1080p is to use the included USB cable that connects the camera to your computer. We also sell chargers for your car and your wall outlets. Generally, ContourHD1080p takes four hours to completely recharge when the camera is off and connected to your computer. See ContourHD Accessories.
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11. How long will the battery last?
The ContourHD1080p battery will last up to three hours (180 minutes) when recording in the various resolution settings. However, the battery life is reduced in cold weather conditions and is reduced at higher resolution and bitrate settings.
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12. Is the ContourHD1080p compatible with Windows and Mac?
The ContourHD1080p and VholdR's Easy Edit Software are Mac and Windows compatible. When you connect the camera to your computer it will show up as a standard USB device. The camera comes with a simple installation file to help you quickly install the Easy Edit Software. VholdR's commitment is to make action video easy to shoot and share, and so the Easy Edit Software makes it nearly automatic to import, clip, and share your videos to VholdR.com.
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13. Can my computer play HD video?
As we say, HD video is beautiful, but not all machines can play it smoothly. If your ContourHD1080p videos appear a bit choppy on your computer, don’t worry, there is nothing wrong with your camera; your computer is just having a difficult time playing the videos. You can do small things like close all other programs when playing your video, chose lower resolution or bitrate for future videos, or upgrade your graphics card and RAM so that your computer will be better suited for playing rich HD video.
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14. What are the PC requirements to playback 1080p video?
1080p and 960p both have great appeal from a video quality perspective. This amazing quality is achieved by capturing high quantities of data compared to standard definition video formats. Playback and editing of these data-intensive video formats can be problematic if your computer does not have the necessary resources to effectively process large amounts of data very quickly. Under-resourced computers will result in choppy playback of high-definition video files.

We have conducted some testing in order to determine computer requirements for 1080p playback. Playback testing was performed on a desktop computer. Laptop performance should be similar. Please note that we used Quicktime 7 as our media player. Also note that testing was done without any other application running on the computer.

MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS

Windows XP
  • 3.2 GHz single core
  • 4 GB DDR2 800Mhz RAM
  • 512 MB +VRAM w/a 1920X1080 resolution or higher
Windows Home Vista
  • 2.8 GHz dual core
  • 4 GB DDR2 1033Mhz RAM
  • 512 MB +VRAM w/a 1920X1080 resolution or higher

RECOMMENDED REQUIREMENTS

Windows XP
  • 3.2 GHz dual core
  • 4 GB DDR2 1366Mhz RAM
  • 1 GB +VRAM w/a 1920X1080 resolution or higher
Windows Home Vista
  • 2.66 GHz quad core (i5 or higher)
  • +4 GB DDR2 1033 or 1366/DDR3 16003Mhz RAM
  • 1 GB +VRAM w/a 1920X1080 resolution or higher
The test results above only involve playback of 1080p video. 1080p video editing performance will vary significantly based upon the video editing program used.

If you plan on upgrading your computer to better process video from your ContourHD 1080p, you should consult a professional to make certain to select parts compatible with your motherboard. For example, some older motherboards will not support DDR2/DDR3 memory or graphics cards with 1GB or greater ram.
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15. Is the ContourHD1080p waterproof?
The ContourHD1080p is water resistant. This means it is designed to withstand normal exposure to the elements (rain and snow or occasional light splashing) during recreational activities. It is NOT designed to be submerged or exposed to pressurized water or intense wave action, such as waves or severe rain storms. The optional waterproof case for the ContourHD1080p will however make it suitable for water sports.
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16. When I try to recharge my ContourHD1080p, the red charge LED blinks once and goes out. The battery doesn't charge. What do I do?
This is usually an indication that the battery is unable to charge. Check the USB connector and ensure this is properly seated in the camera and in your computer. Also, check that the battery latch is fully engaged to hold the battery securely in place. If none of these remedies improve the situation, and if your camera is under warranty, please contact Point of View Cameras support and provide your order number and the serial number of your camera.
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17. I scratched the lens protector on my ContourHD1080p - what can I do?
The plastic lens protector of the ContourHD is designed to be replaceable. Replacement lenses are part of our replacement lens kit. In addition to three replacement lenses, this kit also includes a screwdriver for removing the camera bezel, filter adapter (37mm), replacement bezel, and zipper pouch to keep all these items together.
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18. How do I format or reformat the Micro SD card?
Please be certain to save your video files before reformatting the SD card. If you do not, you will lose ALL information once the SD card has been reformatted.

To reformat the Micro SD card on a PC:

  1. Insert the SD card in your computer
  2. Click the "Start" button and go to "Computer"
  3. Find the SD card in the listing for "Computer"
  4. Right click on the SD card, and select "Format"
  5. Use Fat 32 w/ default allocation and select the "Quick Format" box

To reformat the Micro SD card on a Mac:
  1. Find the “Disk Utility” (should be found by going to your “Applications” folder and then your “Utilities” folder)
  2. Select the SD card drive and select “Erase”
  3. Use MSDOS FAT setting and select “Erase”

If the instructions above do not resolve recording related issue, then please try this process (Mac only):
  1. Find the “Disk Utility” (should be found by going to your “Applications” folder and then your “Utilities” folder)
  2. Select the SD card drive and select “Erase”
  3. Use MSDOS FAT setting and select “Erase”
  4. Click on the “Partition Tab
  5. Select the pull-down menu beneath the text “Volume Scheme:” labeled “Current” and select “1 Partition”
  6. Click the “Options...” button
  7. Select “Master Boot Record” and click “OK”
  8. Verify that the format is selected as MS-FAT under “Volume Information”
  9. Click the “Apply” button
  10. When you get the dialog box, click the “Partition” button
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19. Is it OK to charge my battery over night?
It is ok to charge your battery overnight. The maximum time that your battery will need to charge is four hours; however, it is ok to charge your battery beyond that. Although, we do not recommend consistently overcharging your battery.
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20. I plug my ContourHD1080p into my PC and it is not recognized. What do I do?
The ContourHD1080p is a USB plug-and-play device and does not require any additional drivers beyond the generic USB mass storage drivers that are included with every computer. Camera detection issues are almost always hardware related.

If your computer is not detecting the camera as a removable device when you click on "Computer" or "My Computer" (or mounting to your desktop on a Mac), please conduct the following troubleshooting steps below to diagnose the problem.

  1. Make certain you have recorded at least one video on the camera's microSD card. Some computers will not detect the camera if there are no video files stored on the camera's microSD card. The video file does not to be very big - simply record a video for 5 seconds, then plug the camera into the computer with the USB cable and see if it is recognized.
  2. The microSD card must be properly seated in the camera before plugging the camera it into your computer with the USB cable. With the camera disconnected from the computer, remove and reinstall the microSD card in your camera, then re-plug the camera into your computer with the USB cable and see if it is recognized.
  3. Connect the camera to a completely different USB port on the computer. USB ports can be bad or even have variations that can lead to compatibility issues with certain devices.
  4. Use a different mini-USB cable to eliminate the possibility of a bad cable. The USB cable supplied with the ContourHD cameras is a standard USB cable used by many cameras, MP3 players, and cell phones.
  5. Plug the camera into a completely different computer. This step will clarify if the issue is local to the camera or the computer.
  6. If you have a microSD card reader, remove the microSD card from the camera and plug it into your computer with the card reader. If the card is readable, reformat the card following the instructions from #16. How do I format or reformat the Micro SD card?, then reinstall the card into your camera and reconnect it to your PC. If the microSD card is still not readable through the card reader on your computer, either the card or your USB port on your computer is defective.
  7. Attempt to read the microSD card on another computer with the card reader. If it is still not readable, you likely have a defective microSD card. If the card is the original 2GB SD card we shipped with the camera, please contact Point of View Cameras Support so we can replace it.
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    21. What is the operating temperature range of the camera?
    The operating temperature for the camera ranges from -15°C to 40°C. This information can also be found in our Product Information Guide.
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    22. What can be done about excessive wind noise?
    You will encounter wind noise with most action sports that take place at faster speeds. VholdR has designed the camera and firmware to optimize your audio experience for action sports in general. With the Easy Edit software you are able to adjust the microphone gain for the ContourHD1080p to ensure that you are capturing the best audio possible. Please refer to #3. How do I adjust the video settings on my camera? for the recommended settings for the microphone gain based on the activity and exposure to wind. Additionally, some of our users’ suggestions to reduce wind noise can be found on the VholdR forums.
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    23. Can I manually adjust the focus on the camera?
    The ContourHD1080p has an auto focus lens and cannot be manually adjusted. The camera is designed to focus on whatever is in the center of the image screen. Objects at a different focal length than the object in the middle of the image screen may appear blurry. Note that the ContourHD 1080p has a MINIMAL focal distance of 0.5 meters, or about 18 inches. The camera may have difficulty focusing on objects closer than the minimal focal distance.
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    24. Can anything be done about contrast issues in excessively bright environments (i.e., snow glare, cloud reflection)?
    The ContourHD1080p’s firmware is designed to automatically adjust white-balance to account for some changes in lighting and contrast; however, it is optimized for normal, bright days. The newer version of firmware for the ContourHD allows you to manually configure the exposure setting to compensate for brighter lighting conditions or darker lighting conditions. Please refer to #4. How do I adjust the lighting settings on my camera? for the suggested settings.
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    25. My mount seems a little wobbly, what can I do to stabilize it?
    In order to achieve the most stability, make certain that the camera is pushed as far forward in the mount as possible – this will help stabilize the camera. With the goggle mount, make certain the mount is positioned as close to your goggle lens as possible. If you believe there is a problem with the fit of your camera in a mount, please contact Twenty20 technical support.
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    26. Is PAL or NTSC playback supported?
    The ContourHD1080p records in a digital format which will allow for you to play back your videos on any computer. If you are interested in watching your videos on a PAL supported television, you will first need to use editing software to export the video as PAL or NTSC DVD.
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    27. How can I get started doing more advanced editing for my videos?
    Many editing programs will accept .MOV files, which is the format that the ContourHD 1080p uses to record video files. If your the editing program does not accept .MOV video files, you will need to convert your videos to a file type that is supported by your software with a program such as MPEG Streamclip. We do not recommend any specific third party editing software applications.
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    28. How long is the warranty?
    Point of View Cameras offers a 60 day return policy. In addition to our return policy, Twenty20 warranties the ContourHD for 180 days from the date of purchase of product, unless otherwise indicated by your local government’s warranty laws. The warranty applies only to defects in material and workmanship and not situations caused by impacts or abuse. For complete VholdR warranty information, please refer to the Product Information Guide.
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