back to article Contour GPS Bluetooth camcorder

Contour has been making a lot of noise recently about the new wireless viewfinder feature for its HD range of helmet cameras. With these units being necessarily small, the idea is that the viewfinder bulk is taken care of by using your phone's display, with a Bluetooth connection streaming the pics and video. Simply download a …

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WTF?

Am I being stupid?

I just watched the clips on youtube. There's a 960p and 720p clip. Both are available on youtube only at maximum 480p res - doesn't that defeat the object of the previews? Also on both of the extremely short videos, the first 50% of running time is just a load of compression artefacts. Is that what happens for the first few seconds whenever you record anything with this?

One last thing, the 960p recording is labelled "low quality" - is this referring to the resolution, or some other setting?

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How rugged?

For example, if I were to mount this in the front bumper of my car, would it survive a high speed run over the moors, or a trackday?

Image quality looks usefully better than the 'flip' type cameras based on the previews...

Steven R

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Rugged

I have one of the earlier ContourHD cameras, the 720 version, they are all based on the same shell. I've used it on the side of my bike crash hat for the last year in all weathers with no problems, including being hit by a wall of water at 60mph coming from a truck driving through a massive puddle going the opposite way.

For recording a run over the moors you would probably want the adapter that converts the fitting to the old style 1/4 inch screw instead. Also fitting it higher up may provide a better video, use a nanoclamp and fit to a roof bar.

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Quite expensive

Although image quality is OK.

CPU/Encoder/decode chip $15, camera sensor $15, GPS $10, PCB $5. Case $50 (?), optics, hmm, dunno. Software development, well not enough it sounds like.

End user cost $450

Still, all prices come down fairly swiftly nowadays.

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Anonymous Coward

Not quite

There is some very good stabilization at play here.

Definitely way out of your usual "granny's shaking hands holding a camcorder" league.

That alone is in excess of $100.

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Not quite so expensive...

Quick bit of checking on Amazon, the camera's going for about £228 (use your conversion rate here), so about £100 below RRP. Me tempted, me very tempted. And with a waterproof case at less than £30...

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Anonymous Coward

Want one...

Have had the standard 1080p version without GPS for a number of years for snowboarding and mountainbiking and love it. The problem has always been checking that the camera angle is what you were expecting before throwing yourself off the mountain for a one-off run. That's why they've included bluetooth, not watching clips back in their entirety - you're supposed to do that back at the pub afterwards on a laptop with your mates. Knowing for sure that the footage will be good is worth the upgrade cost on its own for me.

The chunky start/stop slider is one of the best features compared to something like a GoPro hero as you can actually operate the Contour using gloves and without needing to take your helmet off to check if it's on.

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Umm...

> And with a waterproof case at less than £30...

Why do you need a waterproof case for a waterproof camera?

I agree about the impressive stabilisation. It's up there with what I get out of SteadyHand, and that's slower than real-time on an i7.

About the resolution, if I read it right 1280x960 gives you the fish-eye effect, 1280x720 doesn't.

Tempting, but a bit expensive for me. Have a look at the Looxcie - same sort of thing, not ruggedised but allows full control over Bluetooth.

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