Contour ContourRoam2 review: Just the basics, but in a good way

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CNET Editors' Rating

3.5 stars Very good
  • Overall: 7.4
  • Design: 8.0
  • Features: 6.0
  • Performance: 8.0
  • Image quality: 7.0
Review Date:

The Good A very simple POV action cam, the Contour ContourRoam2 produces nice video; is waterproof without requiring a housing; includes a 4GB microSDHC card; and has a threaded tripod mount for more mounting options.

The Bad All changes to settings -- including shooting modes -- are done with desktop software, and the ContourRoam2 can't record 1080p video at a 170-degree angle of view. The rechargeable battery can't be removed or replaced by a user.

The Bottom Line As long as you don't need to change shooting modes on the go, the ContourRoam2 is a simple way to capture fine-quality POV videos in dry or wet conditions.

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The ContourRoam2 is what happens when you take a really good action cam -- the Contour+ 2 -- and strip away almost all extra features, taking it down to just the essentials.

You still end up with a nice camera, but it basically captures movie clips and not much else. In fact, just to change shooting modes requires hooking it up to a computer. If you like to change resolutions, adjust camera settings, or even just snap off a couple photos in between shooting movie clips without connecting to a computer, the Roam2 isn't for you.

On the other hand, for those who just want to hit record and capture what comes next, it's a pretty good choice.

What's in the box
Despite being lean on features, the Roam2 comes with a decent amount of accessories for its $199 price tag. Along with the camera and lens cap, you get a Mini-USB cable for charging and transferring video and photos off the camera; an adhesive profile mount; an adhesive rotating mount; a 4GB microSDHC card (a rarity at any price point); and a sack with a lens cloth to keep everything in.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Two adhesive mounts should be enough to get you started, but if you require something more, Contour has plenty of others that use its rail-mounting system, or you can take advantage of the quarter-inch threaded tripod mount in the bottom.

Contour's mounts slide into the rails on the camera's body. Sarah Tew/CNET

Also, while the Roam2 is waterproof down to 3.3 feet, there is a $40 housing that's good for dives down to about 196 feet.

Design and features
In design, the Roam2 isn't much different from the original CountourRoam . The bullet-style camera is slightly larger than its predecessor but still small, measuring 2.4 inches high by 1.3 inches wide by 3.9 inches long and weighing about 5 ounces.

Sarah Tew/CNET

On top of the lens barrel is a wide sliding switch that both turns on the camera and starts it recording in one move. The slider has its own switch, which is a lock so you don't accidentally start or stop a recording. Beneath the lens barrel are the camera's mono mic and an activity light.

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