Contour+2 review: Contour+2

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CNET Editors' Rating

3.5 stars Very good
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Simple to start recording and lock into place. Able to stream over HDMI. Rotating lens element. GPS tracking.

The Bad MicroSD card can come out of place in rough-and-tumble situations. No screen, so beeps and lights are difficult to interpret. Australian RRP is very expensive.

The Bottom Line The Contour+2 is ideal for action adventurers who want a helmet camera with a simple recording control. For other applications, the Contour+2 presents a frustrating user experience, which is disappointing, given its premium price.

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Design and features

In terms of design, the Contour+2 follows the blueprint laid down by all other Contour cameras that have come before it. It's a long, metallic tube with sparse controls. A record switch along the top now comes with a lock, to prevent it from accidentally falling out of place and stopping/starting recording.

At the front is a 270-degree rotating lens element, while the field of view of the lens itself is 170 degrees. There is also a laser provided on-board, which can be used for levelling the shot; useful for situations where you cannot verify the orientation by using a remote viewfinder.

Unlike other action cameras on the market, the Contour+2 has no screen. To interact with the device beyond commencing and stopping recording, you need to connect the camera to a computer and use the (somewhat limited) Storyteller app, or one of the smartphone apps.

Fortunately, the Contour+2 comes with GPS and Bluetooth connectivity, which is simple and intuitive to use. Press the dedicated button at the top of the camera, and then pair it with your chosen device. Run the app on your smartphone, and voila — access to the remote viewfinder functionality. The app also gives you access to changing the settings on the toggle switch. With two positions, you can set each to hold different shooting options; for example, position one can be for full HD videos, and position two could be for 720p high frame-rate capture.

At the time of writing, only the iOS app is compatible with the remote viewfinder option on the Contour+2, with an update to the existing Android app coming soon. While the smartphone app is easy to use, and pairing over Bluetooth is seamless, at times it is unstable. For example, sometimes you commence recording using the on-screen button, and then the app stops responding, so you can't end recording.

A rail slider on the side of the camera, as well as on the waterproof casing, allows for a number of different mounts to be attached. From time to time, they can get stuck and require a fair amount of force to remove. The Contour+2 also has a 2.5mm microphone input to boost the audio quality from the on-board microphone. Plus, the Contour+2 has the ability to stream footage over HDMI.

The Contour+2 comes with a waterproof case that lets you reach depths of up to 60 metres, and it does give you access to some of the controls — namely, the record slider and rear status button. While the metal body appears sturdy, it does scratch easily, as shown in the image below.

We swear, it was nothing to do with us.
(Credit: CBSi)

Compared to

Sony Action Cam Contour+2 GoPro HD Hero 2
1080p (30fps), 720p (30fps/60fps/120fps), 480p (30fps) 1080p (25fps/30fps), 960p (30fps/25fps), 720p (60fps/50fps/30fps/25fps), 480p (120fps/100fps/60fps/50fps/30fps/25fps) 1080p (30fps), 960p (48fps/30fps), 720p (60fps/30fps)
2-megapixel still images 5-megapixel still images 11-megapixel still images
Wi-Fi built in Bluetooth built in Wi-Fi available with optional BacPac
MicroSD/MemoryStick Micro MicroSD SD
f/2.8 fixed f/2.8 fixed f/2.8 fixed
170-degree lens 170-degree lens 170-degree lens
No image or lens rotation 270-degree rotating lens 180-degree image rotation
65 grams 155 grams 94 grams

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Where to Buy

Contour+2

Part Number: CNETContour+2

Typical Price: $549.00

See manufacturer website for availability.