Contour+ HD sports cameraThe Contour+ picks up our Editors' Choice with its compact size, great video quality, and an iPhone app that uses your phone as a remote viewfinder.
The old Contour HD 1080p that we usually use to record the Car Tech podcast meted unfortunate demise beneath the wheels of a moving vehicle, wrap on the things but ouch. So, we needed a new sports camera. Fortunately, contour has a new top of the line Prosumer that just might fit the bill. I'm Antuan Goodwin with CNET.com. Let's take a first look at the editor's choice winning Contour+ HD sports camera. The Contour+ doesn't look much different from the rest of the Contours lineup. It's got the same sort of bullet camera form factor, but if you look closely, you will see the differences. For starters, the twin laser-pointers have been removed from the front to make room for an ultra wide angle lens with a 170 degree viewing angle. The lens assembly now rotates 270 degrees rather than the old 180 allowing the unit to be mounted upside down if necessary. As always, using the contour plus is easy as powering it up and sliding the record slider forward to start recording and back when you're done. Videos are recorded either at 1080p HD at 30 frames per second or in 720p HD at up to 60 frames per second. However, the plus has a few new tricks up its sleeve including a still photo mode that captures 5-megapixel pictures in to 2 to 60 seconds intervals, which is great for time-lapse photography. The unit also features a new microphone input and an HDMI video output that can be used in live video to an external source. Beneath raised record slider is a GPS receiver that keeps track of the latitude, longitude, elevation, and speed of the unit while recording. A feature that comes in the play a little bit later. There's also an internal Bluetooth antenna under that hump that allows unit to connect to an iPhone. Now, why would wanna connect the camera to an iPhone. Well, the Contour+ lacks of view finder, but when you use the contour up on your iPhone, the handset can show what the camera sees. So you can line up your shot perfectly before you hit the record button. The Apple also lets you adjust the settings of the camera to switch between its various recording modes and adjust exposure and microphone gain on the fly. Once you're done recording, contour also provides its story teller software, which can be used to download the videos from the Contour+ and to trim longer videos to highlight just the most awesome parts. If you recorded GPS data, the storyteller software can also show on a live Google map where you were when you did your recording with speed and elevation data. When you're happy with your video, you can upload it to contour stories video sharing site with that map data intact or export the video for uploading to, for example, YouTube. Now, your Contour won't compact this elegantly. We're being in a bit theatrical here, but it will shift with these accessories including an HDMI cable, a microphone adaptor cable, a mini USB cable, a rubber lens cap, and 3 adhesive mount. Unlike the previous contour models that we've tested, the plus does not shift with a head strap or goggle mount. For most of our testing though, we used our trusty via suction mount, which is actually sold separately. It's $500 MSRP maybe a bit of a turn off for some, but if you the want the absolute best as far as ease of use, fantastic video quality, and compact size, we're picking the contour plus as out editor's choice of current cup of sports cameras. I'm Antuan Goodwin. Check out the full review of the Contour+ over on CNET.com.