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Yi 2 - Best Budget 4K 

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Sena Prism Tube

My favourite USB battery power Pack

This is the excellent USB power pack I use when I travel.

2 x 2.1amp outputs. 8400mAh capacity.

Two digit Led display shows battery level

 

What SD CARD should I buy?

If you want an SD Card for your camera - these are the ones I use and recommend. 

I'd strongly recommend not to buy any SD cards off ebay - I've heard about too many issues with counterfeit cards - often sold on by unwitting resellers. My inbox regularly gets messages from people who bought a £150 camera then cheaped out and bought a £3 memory card on ebay - Then when it doesn't worth they blame the camera! It doesn't make any sense. Good memory is cheaper than it's ever been - see the links above.

A lot of HD cameras will not work properly with cards larger than 32GB (cards over 32GB are usually SDXC rather than the SDHC standard used by 32GB cards. SDXC cards use the ex-FAT system rather than FAT32 - in short they are a different standard). - so don't just buy the biggest card you can afford - read the specs in the manual to see what it accepts.

UK & US LINKS & PRICES BELOW

RECOMMENDED CARDS (for action cams - see dashcams below)

CLASS 10 UHS-1 CARDS (For HD Cameras)

 

U3 CARD (For 4K cameras)

 

 

SPECIAL DASHCAM CARDS

The SD card in a dashcam is re-written over, more frequently than in other types of cameras. Some manufacturers void their guarantee if an SD card was used in a dashcam. So, no surprise, there are special High Endurance SD cards made just for dashcams...here's some.

 

 

VERY IMPORTANT. These links take you to the product, however Amazon have three different ways of selling. There's Amazon Direct - This means that you are only dealing with Amazon themselves, then there's other sellers that use Amazon's facilities - these show as Fulfilled By Amazon and finally there's Market Place sellers that advertise on Amazon, but operate independently.  I strongly recommend that you only use the first...the Amazon Direct - Sold By Amazon option. Even if it appears that you are paying a couple of £/$ more it is more than likely you are comparing the price of a real item against the price of a fake.

To give you an idea of the extent of the fake goods problem. In a 2016 survey by Apple - 90% of the 'Apple' chargers sold through Amazon - using the other the two methods..which includes the "Fulfilled by Amazon" option -  were found to be counterfeit....90%! 

            

 
« The Mobius Camera - The do-it-all mount-anywhere 1080p Micro Cam | Main | Q) Which car camera is best for catching a vandal in the act? A) None of them. »
Tuesday
Jul022013

The Contour Roam 2 - Using the right tool for the job

After reviewing the SJ1000 camera recently it’s become very apparent that the mounting system a camera employs is every bit as important as the performance of the camera itself.

If you've seen any of my other reviews of action cameras – particularly the Sony AS10/AS15 you’ll know that I’ve struggled to side-mount any of these to my motorcycle helmet. I find the cube-shaped cameras like the GoPro particularly unsuited for this task. Not to mention the fact that a boxy camera mounted on the top of a helmet is guaranteed to make you look like an utter pillock. They may be ideal for recording a free-fall from the edge of space, but are much less suited for a daily bike commute.

It comes as no surprise then that if you want to side-mount a helmet camera then you should buy a model that’s specifically designed for that purpose, like the Contour Roam2.

The Contour Roam 2 which is the subject of this review is the basic model (and is currently on offer for £134.99 at Amazon). The other camera in the range is the Contour +2 which is the all singing and dancing model and costs about £330. The cheaper model forgoes the advanced features of its more expensive brother, such as a replaceable battery, mic-in, GPS Logging and WiFi App Capability, however both cameras utilise the same excellent mounting system and rotating lens. As you would expect there are a variety of optional accessories shown on the official Contour Site.

I don’t know if the video quality varies significantly between the two models but I should hope that low-light performance is improved on the Contour +2 model. Ideally I’d test both models out, but the +2 costs significantly more than I’m prepared to spend on a helmet camera. When you consider that you can buy a nice new Sony NEX3-NL Interchangeable Lens camera for the same price, the Contour +2 does look overpriced.

If you want to download SAMPLE CLIPS recorded with this camera CLICK HERE  all are untouched, but trimmed for length.

Following the demise of Contour the official US website no longer hosts the requried software.....

however CONTOUR SOFTWARE IS STILL AVAILABLE FROM THE JAPAN WEBSITE

(Links BELOW)

WINDOWS

OSX

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Reader Comments (35)

It will not be my camera (am not a motorbiker!). I don't like to change setting with my computer. LCD monitor is missing too. Design is good, China product is good. I still prefer SJ1000 for its cheap and good image quality.

Thanks for the review...

July 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPat

I try to review a variety of products to suit all budgets and requirements. I can't imagine anyone wanting to buy all of them. I've come to realise now that it would be impossible to make a camera that would work well in every situation. This one will be staying on my helmet.

July 2, 2013 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

This camera, as well as many other ones too, has wider field of view with 720p than 1080p.

I can not understand what might be the reason for that? If it was other way round, that would make sense so that 720p would use only the middle pixels of the cell, but how can it be wider?

Do you have any ideas on this?

July 2, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterkikkomies

@ Mat

Sorry, I hope my comment did not offend you. :) English is my second language as you can see it.
You are right. There is never one-size fit all. I am not interested in this cause the monitor is missing, and troublesome to set up with computer. Wonder why they design it so.
But most of these kind of bullet shape camera has no monitor.

July 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPat

Mr. Techmoan.......So happy for YOU.

I too dabbled in junky Chinese cameras that were off brand and finally ended up with GoPro hero 2
.
For YOU the Contour is made to do what you want to do. You even seemed more UP BEAT.

You are the M-A-N!

Again, the most thorough review on the world wide web.

July 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJettywolf

@Pat I wasn't offended in the slightest. A small LCD settings screen and the option to switch between modes on the camera would be handy.

July 3, 2013 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Thanks, a comprehensive review of a nice camera. I thought the included mounts were rather limited, but a quick search shows that there are all sorts available for it. (Including the 'Picatinney Mount' for 'tactical weapon platforms'... gulp!)

Wind noise is a bit of a pain, and something that GoPro seem to manage better, looking forward to seeing your solution for that.

One that looks worth considering.

July 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterVoyager03

Hey Techmoan,

I just wanted to say, that if you make a reference to something, you shouldn't explain it. It ruins the joke. It almost sounded you were apologizing to the people who haven't seen the south park episode.

July 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRoel

@ jettywolf

All junky and non-junky Chinese product do have a name, the different is marketing. The rest are the same. :D
Contour, GoPro, Rollei are all made in China, and stamp their own label and provide services.
For this cheap price I go for no name...

July 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPat

It's a shame of the low light conditions. For commuting this camera isn't very useful, unfortunately. I've looked at the Contour ROAM2 before and I hadn't noticed it does poorly in low light. Good job, as usual. I believe the Drift HD170 Stealth does a better job in low light conditions and is about the same price. However, the mounting options and build quality on the Drift are not up to par with the Contour, I believe.

July 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSteven Devijver

Hi, Techmoan.
What you liked more Sony Action Cam or this Contour?

July 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterD1monUA

Contour for mounting on my helmet. Sony for everything else.

July 7, 2013 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Matt,

The links to the sample videos in the youtube video itself aren't accessible because as you move the mouse to click the youtube controls appear over the top of it. Can you perhaps, in future videos, put the links somewhere more central (vertically) or at least a thumbs width from the bottom of the video :) - Thanks.


As always nice review.

July 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterScaredyCat

Hi Techmoan. I just wondered what you meant by "Yes I know the Contour company has gone" - The site seems to be 'business as usual"?

August 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDes Colada

http://www.geekwire.com/2013/contour-closes-seattle-hq-surprises-employees-execs-mum-status-gopro-rival/

I'm not sure of the current situation, but I'd only be happy buying through a reseller like Amazon at the moment. That said, the Contour range are still excellent helmet cams and I've been stocking up on mounts for mine.

August 19, 2013 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

I've just bought a ROAM 2 direct from www.contour-cameras.co.uk for £135 with free next day delivery. Amazon Uk has a 1-2 month despach in case anyones interested in buying one.
Its a no-brainer tbh, the vid cam does everything you want it to, if your that worried about not being able to change the recording settings while out and about then just carry a Micro SD memory card that has the settings saved at 1080p 30fps, and another with 720p 60fps as the save file is on the memory card, 10 seconds and you've switched them out. Sorted.
Also the below par mic sound, there's a mod you can do to these ROAM 2 vid cams to vastly improve the sound quality for just a few quid. Search the internet.
I ride 2 motorbikes and i think this is the best value best suited one for that, why would you need a viewing screen on it when you have it fitted to your hemlet and your already geared up? Just switch it to record and ride. Thats the beauty of this, its simplicity, oh and the waterproof feature! Something the Contour +2 doesn't have, so bear that in mind.
For the home user i think this is fine, i've seen footage of it fixed to the side of a Honda Fireblade on country roads and the video is brilliant to watch.

August 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPhil

Hi Mat,

i have been keeping my eyes on this contour roam as my helmet cam and thanks to your other reviews, i am planning to buy either an SJ1000 or Mobius to be mounted on my bike, to take secondary videos to complement the helmet cam. However as contour went bust, so is the website support to download latest firmware and Storyteller.

Do you still have a copy of the firmware and Storyteller installer file that you can share with me?

Thanks,
Alex.

October 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAlex Kew

Alex,

Storyteller:
http://www.contour.jp/software.html

Roam Firmware:
http://www.contour.jp/software/firmwareroam.html
(The link for the .bin is under the number 2)

October 3, 2013 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Hi Mat,

Thank you very much!

Alex

October 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAlex Kew

Excellent review as always, I wish these bike cams were around when I was a motorcyclist, old pensioner these days..lol

I've seen most of your reviews, and I love your honest opinions and relaxed style, and getting across what really matters about the camera's you review. Very well done indeed. Looks like a lot of design thought has gone into this camera, and can certainly see why you use it yourself.

Best wishes, and keep safe on the bike.

Regards... Lunar

October 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLunar

Hi,

Great review as always.

I was a click away from buying this camera to use snowboarding this winter, but I paused as i was concerned about firmware updates. I went on the site and struggled to download the "storyteller" app that I think you need to update the camera. Will I still be able to update a contour if I get one off eBay?

I am just worried that the original software will be out of date, and with the company bust I will not get any support. Will the camera be sufficient out of the box?

Thanks for your help!

October 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCharlie

Hello the settings can be adjusted on the go by using mulitple micro SD where the different settings are saved. Alternatively you can get an OTG supported phone and link it up with the appropriate cable, unhide the folder, edit the txt file and bingo.

October 23, 2013 | Unregistered Commenteradjusting settings

Thanks for the in depth review of this camera.

I really like this camera, and was just about to buy it, but like you I need it for side mount on a crash helmet, but would also like to use it for commuting at night as well.

Can you recommend a camera that is as good and works in low light conditions. ( love the bike Btw)

Thanks
Andy

November 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAndy P

I’m always testing new cameras - I’ve got three action cameras I haven’t looked at yet - so keep watching and I might find something to replace the Contour - but I doubt I will find as good a mounting system.

Mat.

November 4, 2013 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Hi Mat,

Loving the reviews and the site.

So with a few months on how do you find living with this camera, anything changed from your first review?

With this review I would be happy to purchase one but as others and you mentioned night/low light is not ideal, which unfortunately day light is now less for those commuters....and me. :)

Any other action/helmet mount cam you recommend?

Many thanks,

Roger

November 23, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRoger

Hi, Techmoan.

I'm using a Contour Roam 1 for almost a year now as a helmet cam for my daily trip to work and I'm very happy with it, except for 1 thing, and that's the internal clock. The amount of drift on it is enormous, it's not something of a few seconds a week, but it's hours. This might seem stupid, but it's rather annoying if you want to keep track of time and date when something was shot! :(

My question to you is if the Roam 2 has the same problem or not.
If not I might buy me this camera to replace my Roam 1. ;-)

December 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJuergen

I've never checked the time on mine, so I don't know. It's a long while since I've been out on the bike with the camera. The last few times I've been out I was testing different cameras.

December 31, 2013 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

How would you say this compares to the SVC200 with regards to commuting on a motorbike in the UK? The low light would be problematic in that regard would it not?

January 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAdam

HUKD site someone spotted it for £84:50 at Tesco Direct (Jan '14)

January 26, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterjohnboy

Disappointing low-light performance and lack of an lcd aside, the contour is in my opinion the only action camera that doesn't look completely silly attached to a helmet! Therefor unless a better camera with an equally good mount comes out very soon the contour is the one I'll be buying.
Thanks for the great reviews,

Tadgh

March 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTadgh78

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