Contour Roam Video Camera Review
Just when you thought Contour had laid all their cards on the table for this year after the announcement and release of the Contour + video camera a few short months ago, the folks at Contour pulled one last card from their sleeve. With a new dealt hand, will this additional card give them Black Jack, or will this hand go Bust!
The company just released their new entry level video camera, The Contour ROAM. The ROAM was designed with simplicity in mind and is geared to users looking for the best quality video coupled with the easiest functionality. Being a diehard Contour fan going all the way back to when Vholdr (original company) released the Contour HD 720p model #1200 video camera, I was eager to get my hands on one and put it through its paces. This review will be broken down into 2 parts. This first part is for my initial impressions, camera features and specs. While part 2 will focus on video quality and the cameras durability after some extended use. So the cards have been dealt, place your bets…
I received the Contour ROAM in their newly designed packaging. The camera and packaging arrived intact and in perfect condition. So, what’s in the box? You receive the ROAM model #1600 video camera, USB cable, a right side helmet profile mount, a rotating flat surface mount, a tether strap, quick guide, contour sticker, rubber lens cap and a user manual. The battery is built into the camera and no memory card is included. The first thing I noticed is the camera is a little heavier and longer than the 1080p models I use mostly. They are using a 170 degree wide angle lens for this camera and it appears to be the same lens as the contour + camera. The newly designed case is waterproof up to 1 meter and can be submerged for no more than 30 minutes at a time according to the user manual. I suggest for anyone who really wants this camera for underwater use to contact Contour to see if the waterproof case will work for it. The waterproof functionality will work well for my intended use (mud and water while riding ATV’s) but for real watersports or scuba diving you may need additional accessories to protect it. Contours description is a little misleading and I believe they should work on real waterproof options for future camera housings that don’t require the use of the additional waterproof case.
The camera uses a single switch for power and record mounted on the top of the camera. This is where the simplicity comes in. It’s a great idea, push the switch forward and the camera powers up, beeps once and the record light comes on. Push it backwards and the camera beeps twice, stops recording and powers down. It doesn’t get any easier than that. I do however have a problem with the switch itself. Compared to all my other model Contour cameras, the ROAM switch feels cheap, is extremely loose and is noisy when the camera moves. The new indicator lights for record, battery power and memory are also on the top of the camera right behind the switch. The new LED design is a big improvement over the older model cameras. Bigger, and brighter than when they were placed on the rear door of the camera housing. The rear door of the case is also a step up from older models and now has a single button marked status + laser. Press the button and your status LEDs on top of the camera illuminate and the new single laser comes on to align your lens. The single laser now shoots out a horizontal line instead of the old two dot beam. This new laser makes for even easier lens alignment. The new lens rotates 270 degrees for optimal alignment with any mounting locations you may use.
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