Questions on Contour HD Cameras

Grey

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I know that this is something not usually seen or talked about here, and if this is not the right place to post it please move or delete, but if anyone has experience with this stuff I am just looking for some insight. Recently I have been really getting into the video aspect as I go along in my photojournalism stuff and I have gotten a decent video camera for around 500$. Though recently I have really wanted something that would be able to use while actually doing something(not able to use hands) and is HD. I found this.

http://contour.com/camera/contour_hd

Now I really liked the idea of this for use during water sports, and they do have a waterproof casing you can buy. They have mounts for surfboards and the like but I question the strength of a helmet mount during some higher speed water sports. Though I really have no idea. If anyone has any insight on how durable the mounts are or just the camera in general would be appreciated.
 

pardus

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Looks very interesting.

I was told by a friend who is a TV producer to get a hero camera. Not sure about the mounts on either camera but they both sound pretty cool.
 

Grey

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I have looked into the GoPro cameras as well. What I have found in the comparison of the two is that the GoPro has overall higher quality of video, but when it comes down to durability the contour is better due to how small its overall profile is. It is mounted usually in a way that keeps it closer to the thing it is mounted on. I guess the decision it comes down to is what you are doing while using the camera.
 

pardus

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A review on the contour camera from B&H...




Most Liked Negative Review

Not quite the quality I expected
I intend to use this product for action video in a variety of motorsports applications. It's a nice, compact and self-contained unit that produces 1920 x 1080P full HD video files. I just received the camera and tested it, however, and I wasn't too pleased with the results. The video quality is pretty poor in low to medium light conditions, but I didn't expect miracles here. In spite of its wide-angle lens, which is most ideal for depth of field, the video shows considerable blurriness in the outer third of the frame. When I contacted customer service to know if this is "normal," I was told that it's just unavoidable becuse of the lens they've chosen. So, plan on having to crop your video to less than full resolution if you desire a sharper image from corner to corner. Additionally, the playback through their included software is terrible. It appears to play only about 1 of every 10 frames, so it's virtually useless. Another inquiry to customer service revealed that the software is incapable of playback at resolutions greater than 720x480 30fps. So, the software provided with the camera is incapable of playback at the resolutions that make the camera appealing. A fix for the software is not expected until late in the first quarter of next year. The only silver lining is, because the video is captured on a Micro SD card, the files can be pulled off the card and viewed via Quicktime or any one of many popular video editing software packages. Last but not least, the camera doesn't include a 1/4-20 tripod mount. The only mount included is an adhesive one-use mount, so if you plan to use it in a variety of locations, you'll need to purchase a separate mounting bracket.

This camera is in price range where it competes with cameras that have zoom lenses, image stabilization, and a host of other features. The one bonus of the Contour is its compact size. But the features and quality that you sacrifice to get the small size may not be worth it for some users. If you have a application were you can strap up a small camcorder instead, I suggest your consider it because the image quality will be considerably better.
Also its not imaged stabilized. Unlike the hero camera.
 

pardus

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I have looked into the GoPro cameras as well. What I have found in the comparison of the two is that the GoPro has overall higher quality of video, but when it comes down to durability the contour is better due to how small its overall profile is. It is mounted usually in a way that keeps it closer to the thing it is mounted on. I guess the decision it comes down to is what you are doing while using the camera.

True, pros and cons for both.
 

Grey

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Also after looking at the link you gave it seems the GoPro gives you a package of stuff(including different mounts) when you get the camera for much cheaper then when you just get the contour by itself. Hmmm....
 

Grey

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Really what I want to see is if either of these cameras and the way they are mounted to a helmet will survive a head first crash into the water during a high speed water sport, or will I lose a 300$ camera to the grand Mississippi. Ill give an example, don't have to watch the entire video, just watch long enough to get the idea of the speed.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l2PTAu5v5EY

If this guy were to fall off and hit the water face first, how would the mount hold up? Well not when he is in the air, but if I were to be thrown off I would like to know it would be okay.
 

peefyloo

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I personally have no idea about the technical aspect, but my daughter uses a GoPro when she wakeboards and hasn't had any durability problems. Still works like the day she bought it.
 

Grey

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I personally have no idea about the technical aspect, but my daughter uses a GoPro when she wakeboards and hasn't had any durability problems. Still works like the day she bought it.

Any mount made for wakeboarding would be solid I would think, though it is good to hear it works well since that is something I would be using the camera for. I have seen problems with mounts that use suction and is not adhesive, do you know which kind it is?
 

Grey

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Also searching for a Tech Bag that would be good for the gear I always have on me. After doing much searching through the internet I have not been able to find something that would best suit the type of gear I would like to have in my bag. Even Camera bags made for these this type of stuff does not look right since they either are too big with too much space or too small.
I will give a list of the gear I carry or plan to carry.

1. http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canoneos1d/ Canon Eos 1 with a 28-135mm lens

2.Medium sized laptop (also looking to buy)

3.Regular sized hand held video camera

4.One of the two HD non hand held video cameras that have been mentioned here.

5.Various mounts and accessories for HD camera

6. Batteries/Flashes for my Canon

I need something durable and in-side padding so my gear wont be slamming against each other if I am running etc. Also preferably a single sling bag, makes it much easier to get to my gear faster. Again I am searching this myself and not asking you guys to do the homework for me, but seeing as some of you guys might have experience in carrying tech in such a way I thought it this would be a good place to ask.
 

peefyloo

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She has a strap mount for a vented helmet and another one called a "KiteHero." She uses that one the most. It is the same that is pictured in this video:

 

Dame

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Also searching for a Tech Bag that would be good for the gear I always have on me. After doing much searching through the internet I have not been able to find something that would best suit the type of gear I would like to have in my bag. Even Camera bags made for these this type of stuff does not look right since they either are too big with too much space or too small.
I will give a list of the gear I carry or plan to carry.
1. http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canoneos1d/ Canon Eos 1 with a 28-135mm lens
2.Medium sized laptop (also looking to buy)
3.Regular sized hand held video camera
4.One of the two HD non hand held video cameras that have been mentioned here.
5.Various mounts and accessories for HD camera
6. Batteries/Flashes for my Canon
I need something durable and in-side padding so my gear wont be slamming against each other if I am running etc. Also preferably a single sling bag, makes it much easier to get to my gear faster. Again I am searching this myself and not asking you guys to do the homework for me, but seeing as some of you guys might have experience in carrying tech in such a way I thought it this would be a good place to ask.
I've had to carry cameras, laptops and other gear like that as well. (Or if I'm lucky I get someone to carry it for me.) But right before SHOT this year I went looking for a new bag to make it easier. Tenba has the best bags for all that gear out there. I freakin' love their bags. I use one of their small Messenger bags and I can fit a netbook, a camera body, three lenses, power and data cables, and my personal stuff like ID and phone.

I'm attaching an article I wrote for a client on their bags. Check them out at http://Tenba.com (no I do not get any kind of kick backs, LOL).
 

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Grey

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Thanks alot Dame, alot of those bags look exactly like what I am looking for. I have alot of freelance jobs coming up, including two that are the years biggest events around here. The John Deer Classic and Bix is a really busy time and it means alot of running around for me so these bags will be perfect. I will look into getting one of these and give an update on how it works out.
 

Dame

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Thanks alot Dame, alot of those bags look exactly like what I am looking for. I have alot of freelance jobs coming up, including two that are the years biggest events around here. The John Deer Classic and Bix is a really busy time and it means alot of running around for me so these bags will be perfect. I will look into getting one of these and give an update on how it works out.
No problem. I was exactly where you are now, about six months ago. The bags are well worth the price and there are so many different lines that you can find a solution to carrying just about anything in the way of video and computing equipment.
 

pardus

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She has a strap mount for a vented helmet and another one called a "KiteHero." She uses that one the most. It is the same that is pictured in this video:

Thanks for that, there are a ton of related vids on youtube relating to mounting and breaking mounts from the vid you posted.
 

pardus

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The TV show One Man Army has contestants wearing what looks like the contour camera, footage looks pretty good.
 

Grey

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After looking and searching through tons of reviews and just going through lots of user made videos I have decided on the GoPro's new Hero 2 camera with water sports package. Also getting wrist mount and floatation thingy(In case it comes off while doing water sports) as add ons. Lucky for me I decided this as parentals were asking for christmas lists. Unlike my sisters I usually only ask for a couple of things and this year this was it. So It should be in my hands by the 25th and the fun will begin. I will try and post some video so others may see its awsomeness, should not be too long since my good buddy loves to snowboard.

 

pardus

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I've purchased the contour and fittings to mount it to my ACH. Looking forward to using it.
 

Grey

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Thats awsome! I had been looking at different ways to mount a camera and I saw that thinking it would be something you would be interested in. If you ever get the chance I would love to see any video you got.
 
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