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Pick of the Camera Reviews

(Click the pictures for reviews & links) 

ACTION CAMS

Yi 2 - Best Budget 4K

 

 

Gitup Git2 (My Pick)

 

Xiaomi Yi

Dazzne P2

SJCAM M10+
 
DASH-CAMS (CAR DVRs)
 
A119
MINI CAMERAS
(The Mobius also works as a dashcam)
Mobius
Polaroid Cube+

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 a couple.

 

 

 

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 A118 / B40 Wedge Dashcam Review | Main | The Polaroid Cube Review »
Monday
Oct132014

The Contour Roam3 Helmet Cam Review

It's a little over a year since I reviewed the Contour Roam2 Helmet camera and in the meantime a lot has happened. The Contour company went bankrupt, was re-launched and have introduced a new model. So is their Roam3 a brand new camera or just last-year's warmed up leftovers repackaged...watch the video review below to find out.

 
DOWNLOADABLE CLIPS
I have uploaded the same samples to two locations. You can download them from hereDo not stream these as this downgrades the quality - you need to download the clips and then play them back from your computer to see their true original quality. 
 
There are links below if you want to buy the Contour Roam3.
   
  ebay US     ebay UK
 
   
 

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Reader Comments (37)

Hi Mat, hmm yes the version 2 and 3 - not much between them in video quality. The water proof element of the build of the cam is a good idea though, along with the lazer alignment, wish all cams came with this as standard.

Price again, puts me off, this seems a lot to pay for a fairly basic 1080p cam.

Thanks for listening,
Daz

October 13, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDaz

From reading some of your reviews I'm guessing you like the Contour over the Sony because of the mounting options?
(Still looking for the perfect cam for the motorcycle)

October 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRick77

I've used my SVC-200 on the handlebars of my motorcycle with great results. Vibration isn't a problem and the separate waterproof case stays mounted all the time. Haven't tried a helmet mount, seems to be a few things in the way on the helmet surface. It's a bit cheaper in the US and seems to handle light transition very well, night time is better than OK. I think I'll stay with it for awhile. There are the Innovv C3 and Tachyon www.tachyoninc.com/bikercam.php cameras to consider. The Innovv C3 is a recent arrival. Hope to see a review soon ?

Thanks foe the review.

October 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterArt

Thanks foe? the review ? OOPS

October 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterArt

Thank you for the review. As with a previous poster, I too use the SVC200 for my motorcycle. I adhere it with the Delkin DDWING-ADH curved mount when it is on my helmet, or I mount it with the Delkin DDWING-BAR when on the side or back of my bike.

I would love to see a proper dashcam that could be used on a motorcycle! I tried the MINI 0803, and I loved it. The small size meant it was out of the way and it was easy to attach and detach the camera from the mount and throw it in the saddlebags when I parked somewhere. I found it especially useful having a daschcam with GPS on the bike as I could track my route through all the winding back-roads. Alas, after about a month and a half the connector between the camera and mount became loose and the camera shorted out mid ride.

Love all your reviews, and a big fan of your hard work.
Thanks,
Matt

October 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMatthew

Is the Countor Software still in Java? Editing the videos in 2008 with 2006 tech would practically take forever.

*Write once, run anywhere... just might take forever.

October 17, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterbman4533

Can you do a review of the Go Top Camera?

October 18, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCraig

Glad to see this review and that the camera mimics the Mobius for two modes of video + time-lapse! Wish the Marcus 3 did that.
Does anyone know if this camera can be operated with the rear cap open and powered externally from a battery pack for extended duration time-lapse shots?

October 20, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDave

Little expensive for me. I'm not very technical but would love to film some of the rides on my 27 year old horse, we've been together for 20 years and time is running out for our cantering/galloping days and I would love to have some footage, holding my phone just doesn't do it for me, he's going to be my last horse, add 30 years to his age and there's the reason why, health issues added to that another. Mat can you point me in the direction to a easy to use cheap cam that I can attach to my riding hat please.

October 28, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSue

I may have just the thing for you if you (and your horse) can hold out until early next week. Stay subscribed on youtube....it will be my next video, and I'll be working on getting it all together over the weekend.

October 28, 2014 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Thank you Mat thats great I will keep an eye out

October 29, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSue

Thanks for the clear and educative review, another really useful piece of work!
I'm looking for the "perfect" Action cam for a long time now, prevalently for underwater work, and I'd much prefer an amphibious model than a cam encased in u/w housing. There are, as you know, several models, but not one can stand much depth/pressure. I wrote to several manufacturers suggesting simple solutions that would enable a real diving abilities for such cams, but so far not one has answered with anything constructive; some merely stated how they're "excited" about my feedback (yeah, right!).
Thus, nothing new on that front.
Anyway, I could make do with Contour 3 to its rated depth, but that is a great maybe, since I saw from your video that the sealing principle applied still isn't proper - meaning, their gaskets are risky as can be for any serious application in variable pressure ambient. I wonder when will manufacturers decide to employ age-proven o-rings and reed / magnet switches, and so seal their casings properly and solidly (not to mention more simple and reliable)? It would be so much better, and easier to maintain and service!
The Contour cams already have near-perfect form factor for pressurized ambients, offering practically no flat surfaces to bend in; cyllindrical shape can be only surpassed in that aspect by totally round forms. And a tad thicker material for Contour form and size (say, 5mm ABS or Plexi - sealed with o-rings and operated via reed-switches) could easily reach -80 meters (9 Bar) or deeper. That, with an array of optional, similarly protected LEDs would make it instantly the choice for millions of divers the World over.
What's more interesting is, the production costs would not be much bigger, if at all... But the variety of applications (and level of ruggedness) would be.
I hope someone responsible for the Contour design reads this, and possibly will be able to envision all the advantages of such a camera. Needless to say, production of such model could mean an instant top choice for many users, while other manufacturers stubbornly continue to play with rubber thingies that nowadays pass for gaskets and offer no guarantee whatsoever as regards the really sensible water protection of their products.

November 16, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterFil

I don't like Contour quality control. Many cameras are reported to break down due to software bugs and many people are complaining. I wouldn't buy a product of that company, since probably there won't be any support in a few months!!

January 30, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterContourist

this camera is the best in terms of helmet camera for bikers.

March 25, 2015 | Unregistered Commentercontour-roam-3

I've owned the original Contour Roam for several years now and overall, I'm pleased with it - for my needs and wants, it does what I want it to do. I refused to consider the GoPro for the same reason you stated - with a GoPro mounted on top of a helmet, I'm reminded too much of a Teletubby. Not a good image for a motorcyclist.

PLUSES:
Waterproof - As proof, here's a link of when I got caught in a heavy rainstorm just West of Indianapolis.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OFYxNim8e6E

Mounting system - I live in South Dakota. When I'm not using the Roam on my helmet during motorcycle season, I can move the Roam to a suction cup mount in my pickup truck during the colder months. Here I captured a minor traffic accident when someone turned left in front of traffic.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HuITn-jCKR8

Ease of Use - Big on/off switch easy to operate with gloves on.

Tough - I've lost count of how many times I've dropped this camera, either when I had it mounted on my helmet or when bringing it in from my pickup.

MINUSES:
Sound - Front mounted microphone picks up an unacceptable amount of wind noise. You'll see what I mean at the beginning of the above rainstorm video link.

Low light recording - I work an overnight shift, so I ride to work at night (shift starts at 11:00 pm). Here's a link of me trying to compare a H4 Halogen to H4 LED conversion. The camera does NOT do the LED justice. There is MUCH more light put out than the camera shows.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PN-gyjxQsao

No loop recording - While it would be handy to have this feature, I have to bring the Roam inside to recharge the battery about every two or three days anyway, so I just delete the files then.

I'm glad to see the Roam 3 has better low-light recording than the previous models. I also think the two-switch option on the 3 would be very handy for me - one for night riding (to work) and another for day riding (going home). Will I buy another Contour camera? Absolutely, my opinion it's the best camera for motorcycling, in spite of the minuses. But I think I'll wait a bit longer and see if Contour can improve on night recording before I upgrade though.

March 30, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterDan Howes

Just bought a roam 3 and want another profile mount.Seen plenty of double packs on ebay but no-one can confirm if they are comapatable with the roam 3..Any clues before I spend on these?Thank you

March 31, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterkevin

I believe that there is only one Contour mount, so if you buy it then you've got the right model.

March 31, 2015 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Yup, Techmoan is correct. All of the Contour mounts will fit all generations of cameras. For your convenience, here's Contour's link to all their mounting systems - http://store.contour.com/collections/mounts

March 31, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterDan Howes

Thank you TM and Dan H

March 31, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterkevin

Hi Techmoan.

I cycle commute a 37 mile round trip to work & back. On 27/03/2015 I was knocked off my bike on a roundabout by - A driving instructor!!! - who filtered in and didnt see me!!!
He was a genuinely nice bloke, took care of me and all of my kit. I got lucky, busted back wheel and cuts n bruises, some minor damage to my Ac joint / left shoulder. I'm already back on my back and have completed my third run this week in the fabulous weather were having.
However, I've had a few scary moments and decided to get a camera. I've watched your reviews and invested in a roam 3 helmet cam and a Fly6 to watch my back. The latter is set to arrive this week hopefully. I'm very impressed with the roam 3, but whats the best editing software to trim down the videos?
I had the privilege of a beautiful barn owl for company on my ride home down one of our country lanes this evening, and i'd like to post it on line. I've tried a couple of solutions including windows movie maker and no joy?
Can you advise?

Kind regards

Whizzie

April 9, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterWhizzie

Whizzie,
There are many, many consumer-use movie editors out there. Here's a comparison link to get you started:
http://video-editing-software-review.toptenreviews.com/
Personally, I've been using various versions of Magix Movie Edit Pro for almost a decade now. VERY powerful editor for a very reasonable price. The downside is that, being so powerful, it can have a rather large learning curve and tech support is not the best. I've got some links above if you want to see some more simple videos I've done (I've done some more complex videos that required 16 different tracks but I've never posted them - only recorded on DVD).

The only other editor I've used was Pinnacle, versions 8, 9 and 10. At first I liked the interface but then I could never get the program to not crash long enough to actually create a video. Although some "professional" reviewers give it praise, many actual users experienced a lot of trouble with it. I really wanted to like it but, for me, it was a useless program taking up hard drive space. JMHO, but I'd stay away from Pinnacle. My 2¢.

Good luck!

P.S. I ALWAYS use my Contour Roam when riding my motorcycle for the very reason you cited. I've heard several stories where the auto driver flat out lied about whose fault the accident was (never theirs).

April 9, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterDan Howes

Thanks so much Dan. I'll have a look. Keep up the great work.

#thumbsup!

April 9, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterWhizzie

For really simple no-frills trimming a clip down to just the one section you need (this is how I trim down my sample clips) - I use MPEG Streamclip. Load the clip - Play the clip - press i to mark the In point. Press O to mark the Out point. Select Trim and then save the Trimmed clip. No lengthy re-encoding required, it's just trimming the existing clip.

April 9, 2015 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Okay Just installed that storyteller on my pc and says install (yuk)apple quicktime,,I d/l and clicked instal but it is for up to win 7 and I have win 8.1 WTF I cant use the prgram to configure the cam..PLEASE HELP

April 10, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterkevin

Disregard previous post..Unfortunately I had to install the full package..Bugger you apple,I hate you even more now..

April 10, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterkevin

I got stuck with a dud..HAd on charge for 5 hours now and still showing red.Storyteller sees the camera and settings can be changed.Press button to format memory card and nothing happens.I am using samsung class 10 hc card.Even read the manual to make sure I did everything correctly.
Requested refund from ebay seller..Lesson learnt this is the last time I buy electronics over the net.B & M stores only even if it costs more.

April 10, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterkevin

Ok a couple of ideas.

1) Try and charge with a 2amp USB wall charger. I hope you aren't using a computer USB port.
2) press and hold the format button for 10 secs.

April 10, 2015 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Okay trying now..Red light is on..Says in manual
Connect your camera to a PC/Mac using the supplied USB Cable.
Thanks for the tip...Loved the innovv c3 but the cable just gets in the way and not enough battery time.

April 10, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterkevin

hi,

got one of these cameras for their ease of use with the slider switch, which is great with motorcycle gloves on

but, what sort of mount for a motorcycle helmet is going to eliminate having the helmet in your video or do you edit it out?

with existing mounts you would have to place them so far forward to eliminate it
thanks
mertin

November 28, 2015 | Unregistered Commentermartin

hey Martin.I have the standard slide in mount on a half face and full face helmet.face your helmet toward you and have the cam in the mount and just move it around like forward and backward and up and down until it looks like the right position to eliminate the helmet being in frame.
If you have it too far forward the cam will point more to the side than front,Having a rotatable lens gives you a bit more freedom as to how high on your helmet you want to go.

November 28, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterkevin

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