ContourHD 1080p Review

Cameras Pro Reviews

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Reviewed by Brian Mullin http://www.gramslightbikes.com

The ContourHD 1080p is a small, light and compact video camera, that is easy to use. It has an excellent usage factor, combining a mechanical start/stop recording slider, loud and distinct indicator beeps for mode changes, a 180 degree rotatable lens and a superb dual Laser leveling feature for horizontal alignment. The camera records in a vast array of high definition video resolutions up to 1080p, and has proven itself to take excellent footage with great clarity and realistic colors.

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The ContourHD 1080p is a POV (point of view) high definition sports CMOS camera, that can record video footage in 1080p, 960p, 720p and SD formats. It records data onto a MicroSD card (2GB included) up to 16GB in size, and is powered with an internal rechargeable Li-Ion battery that gives around three hours of recording time. The small and light camera is mostly made of plastic, and use a fiberglass lower body, with a protective anodized aluminum barrel surrounding the lens and electronics, and its impact, shock, and water resistant. The camera attaches to an assortment of mounts, including a goggle, flat surface, universal adapter (camera and RAM), vented helmet (optional) and handlebar (optional), using their proprietary TRails system.

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The kit comes with the ContourHD 1080p camera, a flat surface and goggle mount, an instruction guide, a USB cable, a rechargeable 3.7V 1050mAh Li-Ion battery and a 2GB MicroSD card.

Video Resolutions
The ContourHD 1080p can shoot in High Definition (obviously), in five video resolutions. It can shoot in 1080p (widescreen) at 30fps, 960p (full frame) at 30fps, 720p (widescreen) at either 30 fps or 60 fps, and SD at 60 fps. The 720p 60 fps allows for slow motion playback, which is pretty cool to watch. Each of the video resolution’s are captured at different bit rates, which entails varying recording times and storage requirements, meaning greater resources are needed for the higher usage formats. The resolution settings are done within Contour’s Easy Edit software on your local computer, since the camera itself doesn’t have a user menu interface for configuration. You can preset two video resolutions for the camera, which can then be changed by using the Hi/Low switch on the inside back of the unit. The camera records in two viewing angles, unique to its video resolution, so 1080p and SD are 110 degrees, while 920p and 720p are at 135 degrees. It uses the H.264 video codec, AAC audio compression, and a .mov file type.

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About the author: Brian Mullin

Brian has been part of the Mtbr team since 2007, where he has become an integral member of the review and test staff, specializing in technical articles. He likes to push the limits in all the sports he obsesses in, whether it's mountain biking, whitewater kayaking, extreme skiing, or sport climbing. He takes those same strengths and a good dose of insanity to his reviewing and writing on mountain biking products, creating technical, in-depth and hyperbolic articles. Whenever he's not on the bike, he might be found watching MotoGP racing, otherwise look for him out on extremely technical singletrack.


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  • George says:

    I have one of their original vholdr cameras, and have had issues with it from day one. They had me send the camera back to them twice and I still have the same issue. However now they wont support the product since I’ve had it for over a year.

  • leel says:

    That’s pretty much bang on including comments re mounts

  • Sir Bikes says:

    No matter what camera you choose, the most common problem I see with pov video is shaky video due to poor mounting. It’s not necessarily due to the mounts provided by the manufacturer, although there’s always room for improvement. It also has to do with how and where you mount the camera. It has to be very solid and stable – not just the mount, but whatever you mount it to. My secret is counterweighting. You can see my setup here:
    http://www.sirbikesalot.com/entry.php?fid=311

    Check out my latest video using the Contour HD. This little camera has impressive video quality. Its weakness is anemic, noisy audio (electronic noise):
    http://www.sirbikesalot.com/entry.php?fid=348

    It’s very, very difficult to film fast moving objects in the woods, esp. on a sunny day, with any camera, let alone a small pov camera with a small lens.

  • tanpatnode says:

    I recently got one to use and i LOVE it! The only thing i do wish it had was an option for an external mic. I went on a mountain bike ride and it worked great. For some reason it was a little shaky but I had it mounted on my bars so it got whatever the fork missed. Now I would like to try a Hero. Compare the two!

  • Bob Ramsay says:

    Just want to say thanks for the great review of the Contour 1080. I’ve had mine for a while but haven’t been able to use it to it’s best ability, you’re article has really helped me understand the camera. Well done, cheers

    Bob

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