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Contour GPS HD Wearable Camcorder Camera 1400 review: Contour GPS HD Wearable Camcorder Camera 1400

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The Good The ContourGPS is compact and configurable, yet also extremely easy to pick up and use. Laser sights and a rotating lens help to aim the camera while mounted without the need for a viewfinder. The camera can connect to an Android or iOS device using an app for live view and adjustment of settings.

The Bad Using the live-view function with an iPhone requires a $30 Connect View card.

The Bottom Line The Contour GPS sports camera is the sweet spot in Contour's sports camera lineup, offering most of the features that most owners will find useful, and at an affordable price.

8.0 Overall
  • Design 8
  • Features 7
  • Performance 9

Slotting in between the ContourHD and the Contour+ is the ContourGPS sports camera. This HD sports camera blends the ease of use of the entry-level camera with the most useful features of the top-of-the-line model in Contour's catalog.

The ContourGPS is nearly identical in appearance to the ContourHD, with a few key differences. The two cameras have the same cylindrical-bullet design, in an aluminum chassis with a black finish. At the business end is the 1080p HD camera with its 135-degree wide-angle lens, which is identical to that of the ContourHD, but narrower than that of the Contour+. Like the ContourHD, the ContourGPS features a pair of laser pointers that can be activated to help with aiming, and the entire lens assembly can be rotated 180 degrees to keep the image level when the camera is positioned horizontally.

Just below the lens, an astute viewer might notice the small pinhole microphone and a status indicator LED that flashes green when the camera is on, red when recording, and blue when the Bluetooth antenna is activated. The sides of the unit are lined with the same rail system that all Contour cameras use, which makes the ContourGPS compatible with Contour's entire catalog of mounting options. Along the top edge is the recording slider, which has been enlarged to a hump and now contains the unit's GPS and Bluetooth antennas. Just in front of the recording slider is a hidden Bluetooth button that can be pressed to activate the unit's Bluetooth pairing mode.

At the tail end of the unit is the rear door, which has been redesigned to use a spring-loaded hinge (as opposed to the rubber tabs that so often tore on the ContourHD units of past). The new door has a mechanism to lock the door shut, power and SD card status lights, and an integrated power button. Unlocking the rear door and opening it is easily accomplished with one hand and reveals the Mini-USB port for charging and syncing the camera, the microSD card slot, a removable lithium ion rechargeable battery, and a slot for the Connect View card--which we'll get to in a moment. There is also a switch for toggling between two customizable preset recording modes.

Video and images
The ContourGPS has four video recording modes, a still-photo capture mode, and an array of options for each.

HD mode captures 1080p (1,920x1,080-pixel resolution) video at 30 frames per second. Tall HD captures at an odd 960p (1,280x960-pixel resolution), also at 30fps. Original HD steps down to 720p (1,280x720 pixels) at 30fps. Finally, Action HD also captures 720p but at 60fps. All of these modes are for the NTSC standard, but the ContourGPS can also be set to record PAL video in 25fps and 50fps increments.

Each recording mode also has three quality settings (high, low, and medium), automatic or user-set white balance, three metering modes (center, average, and spot), and adjustable contrast, exposure, and sharpness settings. Microphone sensitivity can be adjusted and GPS power and capture intervals can be set. GPS data is embedded in the MOV file that the ContourGPS produces, so you won't need to keep track of a separate metadata file if you want to archive your videos.

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