Contour Launches Connect View Card and Viewfinder App

Mar 22, 2011 at 0:58
by CONTOUR Cameras  

Contour, today announced the availability of its ConnectView card and Viewfinder App for iPhone and iPod touch. The ContourGPS camera is a hands-free video camera designed to capture location and HD video.

The ConnectView card is inserted into the ContourGPS camera and connects it with iPhone or iPod touch over Bluetooth. Once the connection is established, the Viewfinder App enables iPhone or iPod touch to act as a live viewfinder.


The ConnectView card is compatible with iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 3G and iPod touch (3rd and 4th generation).



“This changes the game in hands-free video,” states Contour CEO Marc Barros. “With this solution, we've overcome the limitation of a video camera lacking a wireless screen. Now when your camera is mounted you can actually look at a screen to line up your shot and change your settings in real time. Hands-free video just got a lot more hands-free.”


To use the new feature, ContourGPS video camera users must:
Update the firmware on their ContourGPS camera.
Purchase the Contour ConnectView card ($29.99 MSRP) from Contour.
Download the free Viewfinder App from the App Store.

The Contour Viewfinder App is available for free from the App Store on iPhone and iPod touch or at itunes.


For complete instructions and additional information, visit contour.com/mobile.

The ContourGPS camera brings together three of the hottest trends: mobile, location and video. It goes beyond being just a camera—it’s an all-in-one platform that offers innovative software in conjunction with a vibrant online community. Customers can record, post, and share their video adventures while tracking their path, speed, and elevation on a map—all at the same time. A rugged video camera made specifically for the estimated 100 million outdoor enthusiasts around the world, ContourGPS makes it easy to capture video from within the action and share it online in seconds.
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123 Comments

  • + 15
 I have to say that it is a cool little feature for sure. The ability to line up is a nice touch, and the GPS feature is actally very good fo those people who are out there maping and making trails.
  • + 12
 cool thinking. innovative way to let you see what you're shooting.
  • + 8
 I guess this is contours take on Go Pro's new lcd screen. The downside of the Go Pro screen is that i cant see the shot when its on my helmet which makes this app really usefull. i just cant stand the look of the contours footage. so Contour and Go Pro,if your reading this, do a collaboration!
  • + 9
 Matt, We're definitely reading. What is it about the footage you don't like? It shoots in the exact same resolutions as other cameras. Seriously- you tell us and we'll work on it.
  • + 5
 i think people seem to like extreme wideangle lenses...

for me, its the lack of mounting creativity that puts me off a contour. Can't criticise anything else and this new card at $30 seems great value for the functionality it adds.
  • - 2
 i think the overall quality of the video is worse, not necessaries the resoloution.for example, my sony handycam shoots full HD, and so does my canon t2i. same reoloution, but the video on the t2i is way better. you get what im saying?
  • + 7
 Its true, the extreme wide angle seems to work out really well as the camera can pic up almost everything from the track to the sky. I find it really irritating when all you can see is the track much like in that cam zink promo youve got above. And other than darker areas the Go Pro seems to cope better with colours and changing light. I can only speak from what i have seen from contours as i have never used one. duncanp is also right in saying that there isnt enough mounting facilities for the contour.
  • + 5
 no android?? sad Frown Frown Frown Frown Frown Frown
  • + 2
 I agree. Sure the contour is "hd" but there's something about the GoPro "look" that makes it sweet, just like people are now using 7ds and t2is to get that DSLR "look," people are now trying to get that GoPro "look."
  • + 22
 I really appreciate that an actual contour person is answering questions.
  • + 3
 Well comparing it to hand-held cameras is unfair due to things like sensor size and lens quality because on these helmet cams everything has to be smaller, I'd say (I own a Contour HD) as said it's the wider angle and mounting that makes the Go Pro better. I can never seem to get the goggle strap mount to work well, though this I've found varies depending on what helmet you've got because of the shape and forms. E.g with D2's the surface area that the mount touches is actually tiny so it's very shaky.
  • + 1
 This is a really cool idea and looks awesome for contour/iphone users but I think ill stick with my gopro and Droid
  • + 12
 Danny- PM me your address and I'll send you a better mount for biking.

The goggle mount is known to be shaky and it's something that one of our engineers (who is a DH racer, so he gets how it does work vs. how it SHOULD work) is working on fixing right now. There is nothing more important to us than making the product as kick ass as possible. And, being that we have some pretty hard core mountain bikers on staff, myself included, you can bet that getting things right for you guys is a top priority. We've got some cool stuff slated to drop this year that I think will be awesome for mountain biking.
  • + 3
 I have used both cams in production and like both for what they are meant to be used for. The only major difference I see in the footage is the Contours inability to cope with direct sunlight in the shot. It sometimes produces a digital looking glitch off the sun that ruins the shot. Please work on this as I think you have a great product. Also when 60fps is compress to a lower frame rate the audio glitches horribly and creates a beeping sound that will blow out your speakers and eardrums if your not careful. Awesome to see the new tech though!
  • + 2
 Danny and Duncan. There is a better mount for biking for the Contour. It involves adapting the VIO Hook and Loop mount to use wit the Contour like so. pointofviewcameras.com/blog/pov/article/using-vio-mount-on-vholdr-contourhd

With this little $10 accessory you can get rear-ward view, BB view, fork mount, frame - mount. All with decent stable footage
  • + 1
 @Leelau, yes I see your point but I don't see how you'd use that on a full face helmet or any lid with very little vent holes.
  • + 4
 lol, nobody is going for that "gopro look." the only huge difference b/w the two cams is the super-wide angle of the GoPro. they both shoot at the same resolutions and comparing their quality to handheld cams or DSLR cams, if even funnier
  • + 1
 Danny on the full face helmet you put the velcro strap around the chin of the helmet. The POV vantage is really nice because it's quite low on the head so you can get the handlebars in the view. Plus the rubber part of the mount does a nice job absorbing a tiny bit of shake
  • + 1
 this and the go pro are now a lot closer and easyier to compare howevery i think i will still prefere my go pro as the footage seems that much sharper and the colours seem much brighter i also find the go pro a lot less shaky as in the footage however i do like the neat turn on and off feature on the contour and i think that if go pro themselves can take advice of that and make the menu and turn on and off better then is will defanatly be the superior product
  • + 5
 The reasons why I prefer GoPro to Contour:

-More durable. Replacable housing is a big bonus.
-Modular. GoPro's little adapter at the back of the camera has many potential uses...
-More mounts. Because of the crazy housing, you can mount it about anywhere.
-Higher image quality. More dynamic range, less noise, higher bitrate(?). Essentially "better" pixels.

This is an AMAZING idea from Contour, but I'm sure GoPro will pick up on it fast. Hopefully they (EITHER company) comes out with a receiver device with a composite/component/HDMI so you can plug it in to an external monitor, not just an apple product. Actually another thing I'd like from either company would be manual exposure control too with auto-exposure shift settings as well...
  • + 1
 personally i like the non-super wide angle that contour has, i also like the sleek design of the contour better, and when using a go pro i found that for every shot i had to ask my freind "is it recording" because the little buttons dont let you know which mode is recording or not and the contour has a simple slider and a loud *beep* when recording . This is an awesome idea and got me more stoked to buy a contour gps!
  • + 1
 shasta go pro has already made a device you can plug in and view your shot and you can plug your go pro in to your tv and watch teh footage raw
  • + 2
 Yeah, I'm saying that a wireless transmitter would be great because then you don't need a non-waterproof skeleton case or anything to plug the component cable into.
  • + 1
 @deadatbirth, i wasn't comparing the camera to a dslr, but how people try to get it's look. If you knew anything about cameras, you'd know that resolution isn't all what makes quality good, but camera design and lens as well. Look at gopro's footage and then contour. There is a clear difference besides the wide lens. People say it is a "video game look."
  • + 9
 ... need to support for other platforms too, not the S-Jobs crap only.
  • + 5
 ya like get something for android to
  • + 4
 The promo starts with the "Record, Post, Play" icons. Will the new ConnectView card allow users to wirelessly transfer video back to their iPhones for on-the-spot editing & internet upload? While the video quality might not be as good as the GoPro or Contour, the pom-cam is looking pretty awesome for those that already have iPhones.
  • + 2
 This is just the first of many versions of what we'll be able to do with the app. I can't say for sure what future revs will feature, but there are tons of possibilities.
  • + 2
 Looks sick but pretty retarded aiming the camera at the ground while he was riding for the advert!! One of the main points of it is to make sure you're getting a decent shot and are aiming the camera in the right place which they couldn't even get right in the ad hence they barely used any footage at all from the contour cam!
  • + 4
 Ha.. I guess it depends on what you want to see. I see people preferring all types of different angles in their videos.
  • + 2
 When you watch the footage on a video such as Standards new flick "The Storming" on Bluray it looks epic. Looks like Sammy has a massive HD camera strapped to his head the quality is so good
  • + 1
 Hmm, very cool idea and definitely some killer tech. Personally though, I REALLY don't want to have to take my $400 iPhone with me in order to set up the shot. My GoPro LCD is still in a waterproof, super shock-proof, housing.

Like I said, from a technology standpoint this is sick, but usability-wise, I like my GoPro and LCD. (plus, I HATED dealing with Contour's support people, no offense guys, but get with it).
  • + 1
 I've never ridden without my phone with me so I find no problem riding with it and being able to use it...Though contour's idea is great I would rather use the iPhone 100% or not at all in my opinion. I prefer the www.pom-cam.com Smile but you might call me bias...
  • + 2
 i like the idea that you can use your iphone to view the camera feed of the contour. only problem is, i don't have an iphone. i guess android users like me should just live under a rock. LOL!
  • + 5
 Mountainguitars - we'll be serving up an app for Android soon!
  • + 1
 Good point, we are trying to pack as much punch into as small of a package as we can. That is the point. We should be able to do it. Look at how computers have gone from big desk tops to things you can carry around in your pocket and have a lot of the same functionality.
  • + 1
 FINALLY!!! when i first started using helmet cams i wasted many hours of video cuz it wasn't pointing where i wanted it too. this is going to be so cool, especially since its coming out for android too!!
  • + 1
 I have the older contour full HD 1080p jobbie without bluetooth. I was wondering is there a way to connect my micro "blue tooth dongle" to it so i can use my iphone 4 as a viewfinder???.
  • + 1
 You would need a Contour ConnectView card and your iPhone 4
  • + 1
 Been in touch with Contour in the Uk, they say what i suggested will not work...
  • + 1
 get the credit card out big Dave Wink
  • + 1
 Cant afford one right now,and mine is not a Year old yet.Saving all my pennies for France. I dont really need a new Contour as mine is fine, new mounts is the only thing i am in the market for.
  • - 1
 GoPro already has an LCD attachment for their cameras. Or you can slap on a an extra batter pack. I'll still take my GoPro. Its a wide angle lens anyway. If you miss the shot with that thing on, you are doing something seriously wrong.
  • + 11
 The difference is that if your camera is mounted on your helmet you'll still be able to aim your shot, which is something you can't do with a GoPro if it's already mounted in your helmet.
  • + 3
 Yeah, wtf was killsdeer4fun's comment about anyway? There's no use for a viewfinder that you can't see.. Could this app be used to view the video you just filmed? I'm sorry if it said it in the text already.
  • + 1
 ive been using a gopro for a long time and like killdear says, if you miss a shot your doing something seriously wrong, the fisheye lens on the gopro allows for much more to be in the viewfinder than any contour video

gopro vs contour comparison

www.pinkbike.com/video/151302
  • + 5
 FregoS- we're hoping to be able to add that functionality down the road.
  • + 1
 if its mounted on your helmet cant you just take your helmet of and line it up..?
  • + 1
 Anybody know the best way to get one of these in the U.K? Just checked the contour website and they don't do overseas sales...
  • + 1
 Spoony - here you go pointofviewcameras.co.uk
  • + 1
 Cheers!
  • + 1
 That's pretty rad. And anyway, I'd take a Contour camera over a Teletubby (Go Pro) any day of the week. It just looks 10x better while riding.
  • + 17
 looks like your buying a camera for the wrong reasons then
  • + 1
 So gutted I only got my HD 2mths ago and didn't bother getting the GPS model as I didn't need that feature, if I knew connect view was coming I would have bought the GPS 8(
  • + 1
 has Contour been able to stabilize it's mounting system yet? Every Contour video I've seen on a rough trail is quite bad. It's been what holding me back from buying one.
  • + 1
 Hi Dave-
We're constantly rolling out new mounts. Cam was using the profile mount in this video, it's one piece of soft pliable material which helps to dampen vibration from the trails. I use it on my downhill bike (chainstay and fork) as well as my helmet. We're coming out with a mount soon that will strap to any tube on your bike and is quite stable. The mounts are getting much better every day.
  • + 1
 that's great news, thanks for the reply. I'm going to head over to your site and check out some of the videos.
  • + 1
 I haven't had any issues with my Contour GPS and bumping around. If your using the goggle mount, some people don't tighten their goggles enough which can be an issue.
  • + 2
 Dave - the mounts have improved dramatically; I thought the old mounts were terrible and the achilles heel of Contour. I've only used for skiing at the present but will also use for biking for whenever I get off skis. The flaw in the old mounts was that there was play between the plastic rails and the camera itself. Now there is a definite security of tightness between mounts and rails. That removes one source of potential play. The other source is that the goggle mount can move around on the helmet but that can be solved by using the permanent sticky mount directly to helmet, or vented helmet mount or like mtnbyker says tightening the goggle. Note you have to tighten the goggles a lot more than you might otherwise think to remove play.
  • + 1
 This won't work with a iPod Touch 2nd generation then? This is dissapointing because I have a Contour GPS and would like to use this...
  • + 1
 Thanks Lee!! You are the pov cam man!
  • + 1
 Seems pretty useful with room for development on the app. And good to see Contour listening to people in the comments.
  • + 1
 woah thats actually not a bad idea, but if im gonna ride with my iphone which I do anyways I would just buy a POM cam haha.
  • + 1
 FWIW, we're stoked for AT and POM. It's a killer idea.
  • + 1
 Im not sure i would want to ride with my smart phone in my pocket they aren't exactly know for their sturdiness
  • + 2
 does it play back the video?
  • + 2
 Currently it's just a live viewfinder, but playback is definitely something we'd like to add soon!
  • + 1
 Contour any more news on the android app ????
I'm off to the Alps in 4 weeks and was hoping it would be out by then ????
  • + 1
 It should definitely be out w/i four weeks.
  • + 1
 Hope GoPro makes one for the Iphone and the Android as a blue tooth backpack Smile
  • + 1
 Looks like Cam Zink riding his Evil Bike at Duthie Hill on DWB probably right before Thanksgiving weekend.
  • + 1
 I'd buy another Contour if you guys could create one with image stabilization. All helmet cams lack this feature.
  • + 1
 IS would be really nice but it would put the cost through the roof. Maybe look into a helmet cam with a CCD sensor. There's the VIO HD and another one which name I can't recall. It helps avoid rolling shutter effect which is endemic to POV cameras in general
  • + 1
 It's a matter of cost and size, I believe. There are a lot of things these small cameras could do, but it all adds weight, bulk and cost. I think we're all probably trying to pack as much of a punch into as little of package as possible.
  • + 1
 that sucks.. I just bought a gopro haha those thing s look sick.
  • + 1
 well i might have to cross over from go pro after seeing this
  • + 1
 why new tools is only for Apple why not Android or another system
  • + 1
 Coolart, we will be developing this for Android too. We just have to start somewhere and we started with Apple.
  • + 1
 i beg you contour make it for the ipod touch please! that is, if you can.
  • + 0
 Coop- It already works with iPod touch! Chaching!
  • + 1
 and how does that work? without internet?
  • + 1
 It's not via internet- it's via bluetooth.
  • + 1
 Which is better overall GoPro of Contour?
  • + 2
 Hard to say. Before I would say GoPro because the Contour's mounts were terrible. Now that Contour has improved so much, I'd say its a tossup. One thing the GoPro has which Contour doesn't have is the chest-mount; which is POV that many people like and use. At some point I'll probably do a head-to-head between GoPro and Contour so you can compare video quality - I'm still undecided as to which camera has the best video quality. So to sum it up it's a close tie. It's good that there's competition though as both companies are innovating and continuously improving - I bet that's because of the healthy competition between them in large part
  • + 1
 They're both good cameras - no doubt. They've just got different feature sets. You need to pick the one that works best for you. They look REALLY different and operate differently. Obviously we're biased for the Contour. I won't go into a sales pitch here, but if you'd like to know more about the Contour please feel free to check out our site at Contour.com.
  • + 1
 Thanks for the feedback.
  • + 1
 I've used both the Go Pro and the Contour, as well as many other cameras out there. I love the chesty mount of the Go Pro and the wide angle lens. With the chesty mount you can shoot forward or wear it backwards for shots of your friends trying to catch up. However, I love the weight and ease of operating with the Contour as well as the new mounts such as the XL bike mount, locking flat surface mount, which has a smaller foot print now. With the ability to adjust your exposure on the fly with your iphone makes me favor Contour a little more. For a complete day of riding, the light will constantly change. To be able to on the fly change your settings is a great improvement! Thats a quick summary of my 2 cents.
  • + 1
 this is the same Jump that in in VOD at :55 sec
  • + 1
 nice, one of the few things i like about contour
  • + 2
 MAKE IT ANDROID TOO!!!
  • + 1
 See below comment about Android. It's coming!
  • + 1
 yes! any idea how far that is away?
  • + 2
 most likely end of April....ish?
  • + 1
 It makes sense to pick one platform or the other for the initial roll out, and although Android is growing faster than iOS, iOS still has greater market share. Might as well invest in the iPhone version up front, get some usability/feature feedback to leverage for an update whilst rolling out the Android version.

Cheers for coming up with and executing a really nifty concept! Now if I could just come up with the cheddar....
  • + 1
 Contour, with the upcoming Android app, will it use the same card as the iPhone one, or will it require a different card? My company has a couple of GPS's and am just planning for all eventualities since we have MANY different phones throughout the office.
  • + 1
 Unissamog, the Android app won't require a card at all. There's something about iOS that requires a card. So you're set as is!
  • + 1
 What about us Symbian users?
  • + 1
 Android version on the way??
  • + 1
 So does this work with the Contour 1080p?
  • + 1
 This only works with the ContourGPS. The 1080p does not have the bluetooth chip built in. Sorry about that Frown
  • + 1
 No problem, I have a 1080p on order...looks like I might trade up for the gps!
  • + 1
 Definatly something to make it stand out from the fantastic gopro.
  • + 1
 Absolute Genius
  • + 1
 Love it.
  • + 4
 Ya, but it needs something like this so you know the angle looks good before you ride
  • + 1
 @sakucee We'll be coming out for an app for Android soon too!
  • + 1
 I wonder if this would work with a POM on your bars?
  • + 1
 Like LTRider asked above, Does it have the ability to play back video on the iphone, ipod, after you have recorded a run?
  • + 1
 Not yet...but we definitely want to do that in a future version.
  • + 1
 nice...looks like I'll have to buy another contour when you do!
  • + 1
 Im sure that the Contour works ideally for many winter/ extreme sports.

However, the mounts for non-google wearing non-ownhill MTBers are all too shaky. For regular XC MTBing I think people will struggle to find a good stable mount, which invalidates ever other positive point about this potentially excellent camera.

This is why the Hero is a popular choice with MTBers. Get the poor mounting issue sussed and youll leapfrog ahead IMO for MTBers.

Also the direct sunlight glare I suspect is a trade off for low light performance which is positive for XC MTBers who like heading through woods. Low light performance is a bit plus in the UK. Perhaps also consider options to switch modes so that the dark gloomy foresty UK users and bright sunny California users can tweak settings to suit the (or lack of) sunlight/conditions.

Also its really hard to tell different versions of the hardware mounts apart (e.g. two versions of the bar/frame mounts to date) - perhaps you could start selling them with a version number? Or provide a guide on your website that is easy to find to help identify the current version? I makes buying them online a very risky proposition.

The shakyness comes from the weight, so might be worthwhile considering a future desgin that allows the the camera/lense detaching from the body - (bullet cam style) for those that want to put the battery and guts in the backpack. Something for another model perhaps?
This design might make the chest mount a viable option as well.

This ViewFinder App is a brilliant idea, but I wouldnt want to perform playback, as the battery life would be drained too much but an Android version is a great idea.
  • + 1
 Hey Jazid,
Thanks for your thoughts. I mentioned in a comment earlier about our mounts.We've got lots happening w/ mounts that are already vastly improved over the mounts of past. Putting any camera on your handlebars is going to provide with some shaky footage if you're on a gnarly rocky/rooty trail. It's the nature of the sport. There are lots of options for mounting elsewhere. If you'd like more info, check out this video specialized did... it's all about how creative you want to be! contour.com/stories/5000-vertical-feet
  • + 1
 www.pinkbike.com/video/158490 Or this video!

Helmet/action cam footage is a good nutrition supplement for your video needs.
  • + 1
 Yes! I love this video!
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