CONTOUR HD - 720P HELMET CAM REVIEW
It's time to cover the single most disappointing aspect of my otherwise very awesome 10-day run, the Contour HD. I hadn't used the units prior to this run and mainly selected this product based on features, promise of durability, light weight, decent image quality and some online reviews.
I went on this trip with 3 Contour HD 720P cameras and 4 mounts. The mounts included a suction cup mount from RAM, which performed without a hitch. I personally tested it at 162 MPH (GPS verified) mounted on the front shield. When you place the suction cup mount properly on the shield or the body panel, it will not come off, until you release the air pressure. See images for location.
So, this the RAM suction cup mount became the default mount and it was on the bike at all times. It was only taken off at nights and during photo shoots. The Contour HD 720P
cameras have a serious problem with vibration. During a shoot a slight bump or vibration may cause the battery to become disconnected for a fraction of a second and that's enough for the camera to stop running and for the footage to be lost.
This helmet cam will give you no indication that this has happened, meaning you are going around some amazing road, such as the hyper twisty canyons around Malibu and are having a great time and are excited to know that you are capturing the ride on this "cool" camera. And then when you get back to your hotel room and look up the files, you'll see that the damn camera not only stopped recording along the way, but it has captured none of the ride, due to the battery connection issue I mentioned above.
I lost some of my best footage
in this way. For me this is a very sad statement. The helmet cam was the single and only point of frustration through out the trip. It's good that I had 3 cameras with me. Because one of them stopped working all together. The other needed to be reset often. Meaning you take out the battery, take out the Micro SD card, wait a couple of seconds and then put them back and hope that it would work. Only one camera turned on consistently. 1 out of 3.
The Contour HD, has no LCD and allows you no way whatsoever, to check your work in the field.
Unless you want to turn your laptop on after every shot. Meaning you'd need to pull over, dismount, open laptop, turn on, connect camera to lap top, open file list, click on each file to make sure they are good, because sometimes the camera captures the file, but the file is corrupt due to vibration issue. Basically you are totally blind to what the camera has done until it's too late. To me, this is totally and utterly bogus.
The Contour HD 720P is purely an amateur tool and is not recommended for any serious project.
The list of lost files, included a truly awesome ride in LA canyons that would put the Dragon to shame; all the footage that was shot of my riding with camera being mounted on Andy's bike. Which I think was a conspiracy. Every time I mounted the camera on Andy's bike, during his 4 days of joining me on this ride, the file was no good.
I am kidding of course about the conspiracy, it's the damn camera that is utterly unreliable. Any shot on LA's freeways, cutting through traffic, splitting lanes, and such, which would be interesting to our members in Europe and other countries to see. Most of my all out acceleration footage in Nevada, meaning if in the process you hit a little bump the footage is lost. and more... However, there is still a couple of dozen clips representing every aspect of the ride.
Due to my frustration with Contour HD and talking with their tech support on a few occasions, I have now become an expert on this camera. And if you have a 720P Contour HD, and if you want to get reliable footage, don't let the camera run for more than 4 minutes. 3 min would even be better. Any footage longer than 5 minutes will take a chance of being lost. because the longer the camera is recording the more chance of something going wrong.RANT OVER>>>