A First Look At The New Contour+ Video Camera

May 12, 2011 at 15:08
by CONTOUR Cameras  


Contour, a market leader in hands-free video cameras, today announced Contour+, Contour's first camera for the broadcast and pro-sumer markets. The Contour+ marks the next progression in hands-free video and represents the company's continued focus on leading the market’s innovation. The Contour+ is now available at Contour.com and retail partners for $499.





Nowhere on Earth is off limits to filmmakers and other visual storytellers, but there are plenty of places standard pro cameras can’t go,” said Marc Barros, Contour CEO. “Contour+ delivers high-quality video, audio, location data and streaming capabilities anywhere there’s a story to tell. Today, anyone can be a documentarian or filmmaker, and we’ve created the most affordable way to give pro-sumers, broadcast and filmmakers everything they need to tell incredibly rich stories from right within the action.




The hands-free and wireless technology that has established Contour’s technical leadership in the market is augmented with progressions in the lens, first-ever features in the hands-free market, and more to create a new era in the technical side of storytelling. The camera's powerful and unique combination of technical features has piqued the interest of industry tastemakers including Film Producer and Freeride Entertainment Director, Derek Westerlund:

bigquotesHands-free is a big revolution in the camera space, but we haven't had anything that was progressive enough to use on professional shoots until now. The Contour+ allows me to capture great POV shots and will help bring the movie's story to life. The Contour+ is the new standard for next generation, high-quality, hands-free cameras.





Greg Tracy, a renowned stunt driver and filmmaker who has worked on feature films such as “Bourne Ultimatum," “Wanted," and "The Town,” looks forward to using the new Contour+ on his upcoming professional shoots.

bigquotesWhen I'm shooting action, I love to put the audience in the middle of it and experience it first-hand. With the Contour+, I'll be able to do this like never before. With its professional-grade lens, connectivity options and size, the Contour+ is the perfect tool for my demanding production work, and it won't break the bank.



The next progression in hands-free cameras lets explorers:

• Expand Field of Vision: A six-element glass lens delivers 1080p video quality, an adjustable white balance to dial-in details and a 170-degree field of view to clearly integrate peripherals and backdrops in each shot

• Deliver Live Action: Streaming video via HDMI and an external transmitter broadcasts the action in real-time

• Stay Connected Better than any POV Camera: Built-in Bluetooth connects to a mobile phone, creating a wireless viewfinder to check the angle; a HDMI port allows instant replay on a laptop or widescreen direct from the included microSD card

• Capture Crisp Audio: The first external 2.5mm microphone jack on any hands-free camera helps distinguish featured audio from ambient noise

• Benefit from Contour’s Signature Elements: Three resolutions, four frame rates and a five-megapixel still mode are available to customize the shot; an internal interactive GPS receiver tracks speed, location, and elevation at four frames per second

• Shipping today from Contour.com, the Contour+ is also available from Amazon.com; B&H Photo, Video, and Pro-Audio; Gear Co-Op, Paragon, and Samy’s Camera. Contour’s complete collection of high quality, easy-to-use cameras, including the ContourGPS and ContourHD, provide a variety of solutions to fit every adventurer’s need. The company helps people further share their stories with its free apps and online community.


Learn about the Contour GPS we saw at Sea Otter here.


About Contour: Contour is a market leader in the hands-free video camera category. Producing simple, thoughtfully designed and intuitive adventure storytelling tools, Contour, enables modern day explorers to use video and location-based video to relive and replay their personal tales of action, adventure and travel, sharing them with world at the touch of a button. For more information about Contour please visit www.contour.com.
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88 Comments

  • + 18
 I have had use of both, and I think that the contour is far superior.
They are easier to turn on/off with the slide switch, less bulky, better sound quality, and better made than the gopro, and they have rechargeable batteries which last, so you don't have to keep buying expensive lithium batteries which don't seem to last that long in the gopro.
Contours are the bomb. Period.
  • + 6
 The Gopro's come with rechargeable battery's, sounds like you have only used the SD one.
  • + 7
 lol I have the SD one it gives a whole new meaning to shit
  • + 3
 Contour does 1080p @60fps?
  • + 23
 Just because the contour is easier to turn on and its batteries last a bit longer thar doesnt make it a better camera.
The gopro's picture quality is much better, it has a much better lens with a much bigger field of view, way more mounting options and about sound quality all you have to do is switch the backpiece with the other one it came with.
And yeah the gopro is more weighty and more bulky but its much less likely to break.
The gopro is also cheaper.

Just go on the gopro site then the contour site to compare the footage (gopro is clearly better)
  • + 3
 Too bad every go pro footage piece i've seen ahs that annoying ass clicking sound in it.
  • + 3
 caliber, go get yourself the go pro HD version. SD's sucks!
  • + 6
 Why is Caliber38heavy getting negative propped? He started off his statement with his own opinion. I have used both, and I too prefer a Contour Camera. Everything Caliber38heavy said are legit reasons. @Oliscale I don't know if you used either camera, but I could easily show you clips I'v taken using both GoPro and Contour, and you could not tell the difference. In my opinion, Contour quality matches GoPro if you take the time to set it up correctly. As for less likely to break, I have had my Contour Camera come out of a mount(because I didn't click it all the way into the mount, my mistake) and go flying 20 feet down to Concrete, and it has one scratch, but absolutely nothing is wrong with it. Very strong. I don't see it breaking. I'm not trying to push Contour onto you, I have just used both, and you strongly defended GoPro, so I thought I would bring up the positive points for Contour. Cheers.
  • + 1
 This bumps up contour in the eyes of pros for sure...streaming HDMI out, nice lens quality and adjustable WB, along with the already wifi controllability is nice. Not gonna sell my GoPro and get one, but GoPro had better step up to the plate SOON!
  • + 1
 just a couple of days ago i bought a gopro hd hero..the movies i take its much different from the movies i saw on gopro site...
i am not satisfied from the image quality........i am trying to sell it now... Frown
  • + 1
 i have a contour hd and the quality im getting from it is far better than some on the contour website and is quite a bit better than anything ive seen on the gopro hd also someone said its alot more likely to break than the gopro? well the gopro has a plastic outer shell the contour has what seems like a machined metal body.. you do the figuring i have never use the gopro but to me when helmet mounted it seems a bit top heavy (i dunno someone with one tell me) i literally wouldn't know mine was there.
  • + 1
 also hd streaming - are we going to see these mounted to wc riders bikes for f1 esque coverage at world cups i hope so. having said that i doubt many pros would want anything strapped to their bikes at race run time
  • + 2
 GoPro's are clearly better than Contours, take a look at what the TV programs use e.g Top Gear...... Ever wondered what camera is sat in the corner of the car when Jeremy chatting on??? It's a GoPro. What does the gadget show use to do it's recordings when their out and about on bits of random tech??? GoPro.

The TV companies know what camera is better hence they use GoPro's. Period.
  • + 1
 they've also used gopro in myth busters in discovery channel.
  • + 1
 great well when im i go to bust some myths when im on the trail ill wish i had a gopro,
  • + 13
 the GoPro is just better and cheeper, it is everywhere and can be used for mulitple purposes, i used it on the bike, car, board and everything, plus i can find the parts in most stores. not one board store has a contour. I see go pro's all the time, even on TV shows. It even has a bigger battery pack and a screen pak, which makes taking vids way easier. Contour may be good, but they're late to the party.
  • + 10
 Shark555- No doubt GoPro makes a great camera and you do see them everywhere. But we've also got mounts for bikes, cars, boards, diving, goggle straps, picatinny rails, vented helmets, full faces, roll bars- the list goes on. We're also on lots of TV shows but the cameras are pretty hard to spot b/c they're super low profile.
  • - 13
flag p-romano (May 13, 2011 at 9:03) (Below Threshold)
 Contours are purely helmet cams, Gopros are mountable cameras. end of story. gopro dominates
  • + 1
 I was watching national geo channel about US wildlife marshalls(i think?) and they had contours attached to their lapels to catch everything said/ done etc. Thought that was pretty smart and a good deal for Contour, must have made a butt load from that.
  • + 4
 So if contour are the better camera, why can't I hook two up and do 3D with software that the maker provides???
  • + 5
 Perry- I don't think we said we're better than anyone. We're just offering different features than other camera companies, and we're excited about the potential that they bring. 3D is definitely a hot topic right now and something that GoPro is doing really well. That being said, you can really shoot 3D with any two of the same camera, whether it be ours, theirs, or the other guy's.
  • + 5
 I have the 3d GoPro setup and its bullshit. after processing the footage it barely looks 3D. not worth the time and and money spent on the $100 3D case. they only made it to keep up with the current 3D craze. unless your using 3d cinema cameras don't bother.
  • + 1
 let's give contour cameras a break. isn't it nice to know there's something to compare our gopros with? but the way i see it, the only way contour can overtake gopro is if they bring their prices down. lower than gopros. unfortunately, i don't see that happening.
  • + 1
 I find them basically equal between image quality, fild of view, functionability and other things balance out but the advantace Gopro has over Contour is the ways it can be mounted
  • + 5
 I don't think Contour needs to bring their prices down. GoPro and Contour market to different subjects. This article clearly stated this camera is for "broadcast and pro-sumer markets." GoPro markets to everyone and their cousin. The external monitoring and sound input are clearly aimed a more professional market. Both the GoPro and Contour have their place. Selling more units of a product proves nothing about the quality. Porsche sells fewer cars than Ford but that says nothing of their quality. To each their own but I like the direction that Contour is headed.
  • + 3
 I dont think there is any reason to hate either, be stoked that we now have AFFORDABLE options out there for helmet cameras, that are of high quality, does anyone remember the bulky ass little bullet cams you had to have attached to another camera inside your back pack, now that shit was whack, i think its rad that we now have full HD cameras that arent 4000 dollars, that can be used for any sport or event you can imagine, and that we have options, clearly both have pro's and con's, but honestly, they are so miniscule, both take nice HD picture and can be mounted easily, so in my opinon they are both pretty rad haha.
  • + 2
 I have a GoPro and I'm very happy with the quality and features it provides. I'm glad that Contour is stepping up their game though - that means that GoPro will have to do the same. Nothing drives innovation like competition does, and we all benefit from it! Instead of bashing one brand or the other, just be thankful we have a choice Smile
  • + 2
 Great news, got a Contour 1080 jobbie and will be saving for this new model.Nice to see they have sorted out the microphone issue at last, no more wind tunnel video clips.Picture mode too, blooming marvellous. Lets see some sort of dampening mounts now Contour and they will be perfect...
  • + 2
 With all this GPS stuff and all that jazz it's sounds like this will eat through your memory. Looks quality though, however I did feel the article sounded like a pushy car salesman... "The contour+ enables me to film anywhere like never before and gives the viewers a first-hand expericence, thanks to the contour+ with all it's wireless, GPS, stainless steel awesomeness".
  • + 3
 The GPS recording takes up a tiny fraction of memory compared to the video, less than 0.01% I would guess, the main issue with GPS is it using more battery power.
  • + 2
 sounds like a compelling package - having said that all discussion is worthless without having seen any videos of the new contour+.

As a chestcam user I wonder the following: has anyone ever managed to mount a contour on a fullface helmet without having a part of the helmet in the view?
  • + 1
 I did it last year during my France trip. It was attached to my peak on my Full face 661.
  • + 1
 That might be a little more shaky I reckon. I tried to fit the GoPro on my new D3, and it fits perfectly underneath the visor with the curved adhesive mounts.

Can't figure how to accomplish that with the Contour yet. However I'd like to give it a try, cause the thing that bothers me most on the GoPro is the bad on\off buttons.
  • + 1
 Take a look at my few France pics and video clips, its more stable than my normal skid lid by far..
  • + 1
 I have mine on my goggle strap, and if you position it properly, there is no helmet in it. I don't have any vids on pb, but I have had no helmet in it several times. The trick is to place it further back, where it isn't angled towards your helmet and is facing forward more!
  • + 3
 I have managed quite easily to keep the picture helmet free with mine, i have a 661 evo. personally love the cam, the picture quality is amazing and it is very easy to use.. here is a video i took with it fairly recently, the quality has been massively downgrade by pb but hey.. www.pinkbike.com/video/179318 and it is very easy to eradicate the peak from the view if you want to, but i dont mind it. the mount used was the goggle mount, and considering the helmet is a loose fit to start its very stable even without adding a sticky mount to your helmet.. or wearing a box on your head as the gopro looks like! main reason i bought the contour over the gopro is i dont like the chestcam view and the gopro looks terrible mounted to a helmet. this is just my opinion, others may not feel the same, and i really dont care.
  • + 1
 i personally prefer the GoPro for image quality and mounting options but i have ti give it to contour for continuing to make innovations and improve there product as much as possible with live view and gps. GoPro hasnt really done anything but 3D in witch i have to buy an entire second camera. Props to Contour but ill stick to my GoPro for now
  • + 1
 been looking at getting a camera for a while and have looked at all the options in great details and it is not a simple case of one camera being better than the other. for me and what i want to film the contour is the one that best suits as it has better battery life, longer filming and doesnt stick out like the go-pro does. With me the majority of the time the camera is going to be helmet mounted so having it as low a profile as possible so it doesn't catch on trees as i've seen other makes do is important. hopefully the intro of this one may reduce the contour gps prices a bit.
  • + 1
 This is a nice camera but 3D is coming in these days as soon enough it will be just as big as HD is now. With the GoPro you have the oppertunity to get it in 3D allready (Admittedly it costs a bomb) but with the contour your going to have to replace it when 3D hits the camera scene propperly.
  • + 0
 Had a chance to play with one of these at X-Games a few months ago. Really sick camera and definitely right up there with the GoPro, especially with the new, sturdier mounts. That on off switch is a real plus too, although it still doesn't give the plethora of mounting options a GoPro does, and I didn't find the image stabilization to be at quite the same level, especially on skis. That may have changed since then though.
  • + 1
 anyone notice that the pic quality is just not as good as go pro. 1080 or not. i have both and i never use my contour. id love to see an improvement in the product but right now im just not buying
  • + 1
 edit
  • + 4
 yeah i am sure there great! but gopro is still for me
  • + 1
 ok the clicking noise that gopros make is what happens when people dont lock in the the white little plastic thing to the mount so it rattles around. it takes two seconds toput it in but so many people dont.
  • + 2
 i like the colors of the contour, but the rolling shutter issue is enormous. as long as they don't fix this, the gopro should be your choice
  • + 2
 yeah go pro is better camera as it has more mounting options and i think the quality is better!
  • + 2
 $499 you kidding me...???? So i am paying $200 for a GPS system no one wants....?
  • + 1
 gps feature its amazing think....you can see the speed on video in real time ....
  • + 1
 Now we wait for Go Pro to release a new camera.
Hopefully with easier to use buttons and the bluetooth/wifi connectivity.

I'll definitely wait for it.
  • + 1
 Love what contour is doing with all the new technology but the one concern I have it image stabilization. Will the image be better stabilized then previous models?
  • + 1
 My 720 contourHD is good but still going to sell it. I like the chest mount on the go-pro. The slide switch for the contour is brilliantly easy though.
  • + 2
 Hm, very excited to hear about the new cam, not very excited about the demo video...
  • + 1
 THE CAMERA IS GREAT,I HAVE GPS ONE .
I LIKE THE 135 DEGREES....WHY THEY CHANGE IT? 135 IS PERFECT,NO DISTORTION!!!!!!!
  • + 1
 Wow, after reading these posts you'd think they were comparing the iphone to the droid........
  • + 1
 when i s counter gonna come out with a little back pack lcd screen that you can watch the video on? like what gopro has
  • + 1
 With the GPS models you can use the bluetooth and view it on your iphone/ipod
  • + 1
 Webbrider, you can do this with the ContourGPS and Contour+ on iPhones, iPod Touches and soon to be on Android.
  • + 1
 sweet!! ill deffinatley get the app for the droid!
  • + 2
 gopros rock!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • + 1
 I've used the regular contours on my shoots, and they were "pro" enough. Cant wait!
  • + 1
 @ Contour: is the + available yet? Can it be ordered from Contour directly? Do you ship to Europe?
Thanks,

Joe
  • + 1
 Hey Joe, It's not available yet but we expect to have them in stock in the next two weeks. We will have European distributors set up with them so you'll be able to order directly from them.
  • + 2
 also f2.8 lens? thats gotta be better in low light than the gopro.
  • + 1
 the gopro is f2.8. looks like contour is just trying to copy gopro wit te new features because they've been such a success. also, low ligt performance depends on the iso performance of the camera and not just aperture.
  • + 1
 Another new contour? i was considering a GPS but might have to consider this now.. Looks sick tup
  • - 1
 why pay double ($500 vs $250) for the contour+ ?

just for the wider angle (170 vs 135) and live streaming -via HDMI and external transmitter.

How the "external transmiter" works is not explained on contour website.
  • + 4
 Because they are kickass awesome features and well worth it, they will be the gold standard for live events I guarantee you, redbulls and such. The camera is priced more for the semi-pro photographer with its added features of lenses, connections, and settings, a very smart move IMO. They could have easily charged 999 for this and only marketed it to the event crowd, but keeping the price lower opens it up for everyone, I'm sure the HDMI receiver probably costs 200-500 though, so the price isn't far off for that capability, but if you have the use or need for it, that is chump change by the time you have everything else in place for the setup.
  • + 1
 def gopro, ill stick to what i love
  • + 1
 the GPS doesnt work in the tress very well Frown
  • + 1
 If you get a GPS lock prior to dropping in the trees your signal should hold fine. Give that a shot.
  • + 1
 another thing to get stoked about, but i mean $499!
  • + 1
 more like 250$
  • + 1
 It says $499.99 USD on the website, where did you see $250?
  • + 1
 ebay
  • + 1
 That's the ContourGPS not the Contour+.
  • + 1
 in that case lets wait a few months and we will have it for 300$ on ebay
  • + 1
 oh yeah, finally Stepping it up.. 170 view baby, and about time.
  • + 1
 Can you get chest mounts for the Contour ?
  • + 2
 I have seen one on the internet, its not a Contour model though. Some chap made one...Do a search on You-Tube "Contour chest cam"....
  • + 2
 yeah did a search for "contour chest cam" as david says above me and several results. might check em out myself
  • + 1
 the silver is sick the quality is great and its wireless which rocks!
  • + 1
 SPECTACULAR !!!!! WHEN WE SEE IN ITALY
  • + 1
 when be an underwater case for contour+?
  • + 1
 there already is... for the regular one, I assume they're the same
  • + 1
 They're not the same. The + is 3 mm longer (I believe) but the case should be out any day now.
  • + 1
 GoPro HD or this....? :o
  • + 1
 GoPro HD It's a bit on the expensive side but it's quality is amazing Razz

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