What I’m holding right now in my hands is a camcorder by definition. Given that the camcorder trend has become a little rusty these days, and I particularly didn’t have much interest in reviewing this device, the Contour Roam2 defied my expectations. First of all, it is available for $199, and secondly, with 1080p video recording, the device offers a slew of amazing features.
By the way, Contour helmet cam is the first device that I have purchased in a long time. I rarely go out for a mountain bike ride. However, last week was “givin’ your calves a tough time” day, so Contour Roam2 and my Red old bike was it. In short, the camera was a marvel. Other than the fact that the pedestrian population called me a freak, with a camera mounted on his helmet, I had no trouble at all.
By default, the Roam2 Contour camera records videos at 720 P – 60 FPs mode. You can change it to 1080p if you need high quality fast action paced recording. Whatever your preferences are, the camcorder has cheeky long lasting results. Let’s see what this thing’s all about.
You Can Even Attach it to Your Bicycle and Take it for a Ride
Good Stuff about Contour Roam2 Hemet Camera:
- Default video recording mode is preset at 720p. Frame rate is 60 FPS (170 Degree Angle) on the average, but sometimes dwindles a little. Both ways, you get smoother video, with no transitions at all within the final results.
- Compared to the original Roam series Contour cams, the Contour Roam2 produces better results. You can also add slow motion effect to your liking.
- For amateur POV movie freaks or sexual predators, the Roam2 Contour cam can offer an array of handheld adventures! <Wink Wink> – and that too on 1080p mode.
- Great battery life. At default video mode, and at full charge, the recording will last up to 3.5 hours max. Afterwards, you’re gonna have to plug the Contour Roam2 for a recharge.
- Waterproof feature allows underwater recording. (Duh… I almost forgot this one)
Overall, the camera is nice. It can serve as a handheld device, or you can easily attach it to any type of helmet, extension or bicycle as long as it has a connecting latch. By the way, there were some setbacks to using this camcorder. It is up to your requirements though – the negatives might seem a little bit of a pickle to deal with.
If it weren’t for these Crappy things, I’d Have Contour Roam2 would’ve been 5 out of 5:
- At 1080p, the Contour Roam2 records videos with 30 – 33 FPS max. Also, the recording angle drops down to 125 degrees; something that can be limiting to certain category of video bloggers out there.
- Most of the Roam2 menu/submenu settings are changed through the Desktop software that comes with it. You cannot change these settings directly through the camcorder screen.
- The battery cannot be removed. Even if you have bought an extra battery, you’d have to have knowledge of disassembling the battery panel. Perhaps, this is one of the worst setbacks to purchasing a camcorder that does not allow battery removal.
Tip to Get Maximum Life out of Contour Roam2 Camcorder Battery: Since you can’t remove the battery to replace it with a new one, once this one wears out, here is a nice tip for all. In fact, this tip applies to all household appliances, cellphones and anything that runs through batteries.
Let the battery life drain to minimum level on the progress bar. Afterward, plug the device for full charge. This is the best way to maintain battery performance for a long time. When I was studying Electromagnetism, the only thing I learned there was that one should charge the batteries when they are fully drained.
If you were to charge your devices when their battery is slightly depleted or at half level, you are minimizing the charge capacity. Over the course of time, the charge will only last for 1 hour, or half the time of the total battery output. After a year or so, replace the battery with a new one, and that’s how it goes.
Side Note on Contour Roam2 Battery Charging: By the way, a guy at Amazon sales page for this camcorder asked if he could charge the Roam2 while it is plugged in via a computer’s USB cable. Yes, you can charge the camera.
However, if you want to record videos while the USB port is connected to the Contour Roam2, make sure that you have opened recording mode BEFORE connecting the camera. Otherwise, the camera will not go into recording screen mode, as long as it is connected to your computer.
How I Felt about the Contour Roam2?
I ordered the Contour Roam2 helmet camcorder through Amazon. They are offering this camera in multiple colors. I chose blue. For the record, the blue color Roam 2 is only available for a short time. Apparently, Amazon is left with only 2 units at the time of writing this review. You can order it in Red or Black if blue runs out of stock.
Contour StoryTeller Software Interface Looks Like This
This helmet camcorder arrived with the following contents:
Mini USB Cable X 1
4 GB MicroSD Card X 1
Protective Packaging Sack X 1
Lens Cover/ Contour Roam2 Lens Cap X 1
Camera Holder/ Base Stand X 1 (be careful, this is fragile)
As stated earlier in this Contour Roam2 review, the camera is set to 720p recording by default. The viewing angle is 170 degree at this setting, which is why people prefer it over the 1080p mode. The latter is resource hungry, and also restricts the total recording angle to 125 degrees, alongside a frame rate drop to 30 Fps.
I tested both modes and found out that the overall quality was unequivocally perfect. The recording was smooth and after porting the content to my PC, the total size was very small as compared to the usual raw 1080p/ 720p file sizes. The “On Record / Camcorder Off” button at the top panel gives instant access to your thumbs.
Now of course, the main purpose of the Contour Roam2 helmet camcorder is to assist you in outdoor video recordings. You can, without a shadow of doubt, take this camera for a swim or any time when it is snowing. The lens inner surface does not fog or fade under intense climatic temperature.
In addition, there is automatic white balancing feature in this camcorder. I have to agree that color balancing is often times the most ignored requirement in camcorders these days. Particularly, the past HD camcorder product lineup came with little or no white/ black/ color balancing profiles. With white balancing, the Contour Roam2 camera offers true color recordings.
The results are extremely good. At times, when you have taken this camera to record your surfing lessons, or underwater dives, the sun glare does not affect the results. I especially took notice of this thing when I was recording an underwater video and I looked up over my head. Usually, when the sun is out there, the water’s top surface looks shiny; something which obscures your subject at hand. This camcorder kept recording without any performance hitches.
Rotating Lens is a Blessing: The lens comes with rotating feature. This comes in handy when you are expecting your Contour Roam2 to generate perfect frame shot results. No matter what angle this camera is mounted at, the actual recordings do not suffer any angle oriented disturbances. However, make sure that the “Laser” feature is NOT turned off when you are setting up this camera through its software.
The settings will take some getting used to. There are moments, when you say, Okay I have set all the options, now it is time to start recording. But when you take off the camera, half way through your recordings, you realize that you forgot to enable something. To avoid this “hassle”, make sure you have rechecked all your preferences before you take off the Contour Roam2 when it is connected to the computer.
The software settings are only made possible as long as the camera is connected to your PC/ Mac. Otherwise, it is a ride back home, which I doubt that no one would like to take. The Roam2 HD camcorder also supports a ¼ x 20 tripod socket. This is a standard tripod socket that fits in easily with a range of high quality camera tripods.
Story Teller Software: The Contour Roam2 Story Teller software has to be downloaded. If you are using an old version, an upgrade would be much better at this point. Even when at times you have to change the camcorder resolution from 1080p to 720p and vice versa, it has to be done via the Story Teller official Contour Software.
Closing Thoughts and Final Tips to Contour Roam2 Fans:
The default memory chip only has 4 GB capacity. You can purchase the 32GB MicroSD cards for this camcorder. It is a very cheap and one time investment only. I would definitely recommend this camcorder to anyone who is looking to record real life outdoor activities. You will not regret taking this nifty gadget to your skateboarding, surfing, jogging or dirt bike racing trips.
Word from Contour:
Live life in color. The ContourROAM2 brings brilliant updates to our most loved camera, while retaining the features that made it a best seller. Still the simplest camera to use on the market, the locking Instant On-Record switch makes it easy to get the perfect shot.