Contour+ is our new favorite sports camera

There's a new king of the sports camera hill and it's called the Contour+. This camera packs in every trick in Contour's book, including GPS location technology, smartphone connectivity via Bluetooth, and an established rail-mounting system. It also brings a few new tricks in the form of an HDMI output, a microphone input, and a higher-quality, superwide-angle lens.

Here's a wee bit of inside baseball: If you've checked out a recent episode of Car Tech Live, you've likely already seen the Contour+ in action. We've been using the HD sports camera to record the in-car footage for our On the Road segment for the past month. We've found that while not nearly as rugged as our previous favorite, the GoPro HD Hero, the Contour+ hardware is much easier to use, particularly when paired with the free Contour app for iPhone. (An Android version is just around the corner.)

Check out the full review of the Contour+ to see just how it earned our Editors' Choice award.… Read more

Contour sports cameras go semi-pro with new Contour+

The ContourHD and ContourGPS sports cameras are compact, rugged, and (most importantly) inexpensive action cameras that are great for recording epic videos of extreme sports. We use a few of them (along with the competing GoPro HD Hero cam) to record segments for our Car Tech videos and we see them all of the time at motorsports events suctioned to the hoods and roofs of high-powered race cars and auto enthusiasts' daily drivers. Not to rest on its laurels, Contour is adding an upper tier to its line of sports cameras with the Contour+, a prosumer level HD camera that … Read more

Crave giveaway: Wearable ContourGPS HD camcorder

First, congrats to Kyle of Astoria, N.Y., for winning last week's Seagate Slim drive. Now onto this week, which has an extreme theme.

For those who are into shooting action sports--or just like the idea of a wearable camcorder--we're serving up the ContourGPS, a tube-style HD video camera that's helmet-mountable. When we reviewed an earlier version of it a couple of years ago, we liked its design and thought it offered great performance for a helmet cam (other mounts are also offered) but was a little lacking in the features department.

Well, since then Contour has … Read more

Helmet-cams get location-aware with ContourGPS

We're fans of the ContourHD wearable camcorder. It's easy to use, captures great looking high-def video, and is rugged enough to survive the occasional knock and bump--in fact, we use the 1080p model every week to capture on-the-road footage for Car Tech Live. Today, Contour announces that the latest feature to come to its line of HD helmet-cams: location awareness in the new ContourGPS.

The ContourGPS sports a similar industrial design as the previous ContourHD cameras but the devil's in the details. The most obvious change is the new hump on the record slider. This hump houses … Read more

VholdR boosts ContourHD resolution to 1080p

It figures that the day after we decide to give the VholdR ContourHD wearable camcorder our coveted Editors' Choice award, that VholdR would go and announce something better. This, dear readers, is what we like to call a "good problem."

The cleverly named ContourHD1080p takes the standard ContourHD's 720p HD resolution and bumps it up to--you guessed it--1080p. All of the features that we loved in the original will still be there in the new unit, including the rotating wide-angle lens assembly, the rechargeable lithium ion battery, and the dual frickin' laser beams.

What's new is a plethora of additional recording modes. In addition to the original 720p/30 frames per second HD and 480p/60fps SD modes, the ContourHD1080p adds:

Full HD - 1080p (1,920x1,080 pixels) at 30fps Tall HD - 960p (1,280x960 pixels) at 30fps Action HD - 720p (1,280x720 pixels) at 60fps

Additionally, with the use of the included Easy Edit software, you can set the contrast (high, medium, or low), metering (center, average, or spot), and exposure (-4 to +4). Its microphone sensitivity can be adjusted as well, which should help to reduce some of the wind noise that we found when testing the standard ContourHD.

So, should you wait for this new model instead of picking up the current ContourHD?

Well, that depends. According to VholdR, the ContourHD1080p is aimed professional videographers, while the standard HD is for enthusiasts. Yet, the ContourHD1080p weighs in at an MSRP of $329.99, only $40 more than the 720p model. However, introducing more options for exposure and metering could confuse casual users and take away from the simple point and shoot nature that so endeared us to the standard ContourHD. We'll wait and see how the controls pan out before making final judgment.

In the meantime, check out a video of the ContourHD1080p in action after the jump.… Read more

ContourHD wearable camcorder delivers 720p video, shoots lasers

The ContourHD by VholdR is a tube-style camcorder designed to be worn as a helmet camera for recording extreme activities. But this is Car Tech and I'm a car guy, so I mostly tested the camera using the optional suction cup windshield mount. After reviewing the footage, I'm rather impressed.

The ContourHD features an attractive design, but a limited feature set. Unlike its competition from GoPro and Oregon Scientific, the ContourHD isn't submersible and doesn't feature a still-photography mode or a viewfinder, optical or digital.

But what the ContourHD lacks in bullet-pointed features, it makes up … Read more

ContourHD: Extreme version of Flip MinoHD

Yes, you could, in theory, strap the Flip MinoHD to your ski helmet, hit record, and see what happens. But a couple of companies are making extreme YouTube-friendly camcorders, and VHoldR's second-generation model is billed as "the first HD wearable camcorder."

VHoldR says it maintained the simplicity from its earlier standard-definition camcorder, but "seriously improved" the video quality, field of view, memory capacity, and the audio experience in the ContourHD. The camcorder is powered by a removable, rechargeable, lithium ion battery. It has a slot for a microSD card (it accepts cards up to 16GB … Read more