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Thread: RIP Contour

  1. #1
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    RIP Contour

    Contour Closes Doors, Turns out Employees

    guess that really only leaves GoPro but what other options are there?
    Try this: HTFU

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    I'm sad... I have a +2 since january and it is good, but the lack of support (updates) and accessoires were disturbing. Guess I won't get them any time in the future. Should have bought a gopro... (only because of support) Marketshare is so critical, smaller industries struggle to make profit. But contour had +$27m I think so they wanted to get out without loss.

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    well that sucks!

    i really like their product and was looking forward to the replacement to the contour+2.

    hope someone picks up the contour brand...

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    gah. i just bought one on killer sale, but now i fear i'll have trouble getting accessories. there is a plastic piece that likes to break near the mounting track. mine hasnt broken there, but others have. i'd hate to have to buy a new camera because of that.
    fap

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    I'm going to grab up another ROAM because I think they're better than GoPro because of how you can mount them. I realize I'll be on my own as far as warranty goes, but the one I've had for a year and a half now and it's been pretty bulletproof. And with the ability to update to ROAM2 configuration, getting another for a hundred bucks is a no brainer.

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    Wow, I've been reading some of Marc Barros' blogs and I think I know at least one reason why they closed up shop.

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    Quote Originally Posted by skiahh View Post
    Wow, I've been reading some of Marc Barros' blogs and I think I know at least one reason why they closed up shop.
    Share it with us please!

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    RIP Contour

    Quote Originally Posted by skiahh View Post
    I'm going to grab up another ROAM because I think they're better than GoPro because of how you can mount them. I realize I'll be on my own as far as warranty goes, but the one I've had for a year and a half now and it's been pretty bulletproof. And with the ability to update to ROAM2 configuration, getting another for a hundred bucks is a no brainer.
    i was really looking forward to the replacement of the +2.

    i would like the cool features of the +2, but like you say, for about a $100 i can get another ROAM and update its firmware to the ROAM2.

    joel


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    Where do you get one for $100 :-0 ???

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    Quote Originally Posted by ccaddy View Post
    Where do you get one for $100 :-0 ???
    amazon.com

    i bought directly from amazon for $105 not including tax.

    i also bought a 32gb microSD card.

    this is my second camera the first one i bought was about $112 before tax.

    there is a vendor on amazon that is selling for about $103 right now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawg View Post
    Share it with us please!
    You can read some of the blog posts yourself and see what you come up with. One Entrepreneur's Perspective

    Quote Originally Posted by JAvendan View Post
    amazon.com

    i bought directly from amazon for $105 not including tax.

    i also bought a 32gb microSD card.

    this is my second camera the first one i bought was about $112 before tax.

    there is a vendor on amazon that is selling for about $103 right now.

    joel
    Just ordered mine. $102.00 including the watersports kit (surfboard kit, underwater case). If you're a Prime member, no shipping.

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    RIP Contour

    [QUOTE=skiahh;10592928
    Just ordered mine. $102.00 including the watersports kit (surfboard kit, underwater case). If you're a Prime member, no shipping.[/QUOTE]


    yes, that's the one!!

    $102 $103... pOtato patato - lol.

    i decided to spend the extra $ and buy direct from amazon... makes me feel better

    joel

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    Meh.... Could have been a little more classy about it with regards to their employees... Could you imagine showing up at work to find the doors locked and the lights off? How about all those people with cameras in for repair? Nobody is saying anything right now....

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    Quote Originally Posted by rockcrusher View Post
    Contour Closes Doors, Turns out Employees

    guess that really only leaves GoPro but what other options are there?
    https://isawusa.com - More like the GoPro than the contour.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NeOhMb View Post
    https://isawusa.com - More like the GoPro than the contour.
    Am, no. If you're a Contour fan you're not going to get a GoPro clone. Why would you do that when you could just get the original?

    No, I think our (i.e. Contour fans) only choice now is the Drift Ghost. Drift HD Ghost | Drift Action Cameras Still has the rotatable lens and increasing mount options.

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    RIP Contour

    Quote Originally Posted by NicoleB View Post
    gah. i just bought one on killer sale, but now i fear i'll have trouble getting accessories. there is a plastic piece that likes to break near the mounting track. mine hasnt broken there, but others have. i'd hate to have to buy a new camera because of that.
    I have four Contours and no rail breakage. Even if it did, first, the other side would still work, second, the Newer models have the universal tripod mount thread in the bottom.
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    RIP Contour

    Quote Originally Posted by skiahh View Post
    Am, no. If you're a Contour fan you're not going to get a GoPro clone. Why would you do that when you could just get the original?

    No, I think our (i.e. Contour fans) only choice now is the Drift Ghost. Drift HD Ghost | Drift Action Cameras Still has the rotatable lens and increasing mount options.
    Yup, I would be buying a few Roams right now if I had the spare cash.

    I also have an older Drift. Good camera, but I was not able to justify the higher cost for the latest models compared to the Roam.
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    Agreed. If I had more disposable income right now, I'd probably order another 2 to go with the 2 I have.

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    sorry to hear this,,, i to was a huge contour fan, and have 2 of the older models my self, (720 and 1080) not only am i a contour fan, but i am lucky enough to know some of their staff and have stayed with and ridden with them a few times in whistler, they are a great bunch of people, superfriendly and very helpfull, they deserve better than this. hopefully contour will do as raceface did and rise from the ashes to come back bigger stronger and better than before, and hopefully all the staff can get their jobs back,

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    Quote Originally Posted by skiahh View Post
    You can read some of the blog posts yourself and see what you come up with. One Entrepreneur's Perspective
    I quickly skimmed this blog. Very interesting thoughts.

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    His blog teaches more than all of MBA school.

    Well there are still choices...

    For years it was helmetbulletcam (something like that) and vio.

    I have not been impressed with the reviews of any of these cams and although I love Contour I will say the slide switches, "retaining strap", flex mount, and vent mount were all TERRIBLE almost to the point of being useless.

    Will wait until my Roam quits and then see what's out there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ArmySlowRdr View Post
    His blog teaches more than all of MBA school.
    Really? I'm surprised coming from the Army you'd get that. Reading the blogs, with the overwhelming sense of defeatism and utter lack of anything resembling leadership, I can see why things went the way they did.

    Quote Originally Posted by ArmySlowRdr
    I have not been impressed with the reviews of any of these cams and although I love Contour I will say the slide switches, "retaining strap", flex mount, and vent mount were all TERRIBLE almost to the point of being useless.

    Will wait until my Roam quits and then see what's out there.
    I love the slide switch. One quick on/off motion I can do while moving and not having to pay attention. My flex mounts have been perfect where I have mine mounted. The vent mount works, but I don't like the helmet viewpoint all that much any more. What's the retaining strap?

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    Quote Originally Posted by skiahh View Post
    Really? I'm surprised coming from the Army you'd get that. Reading the blogs, with the overwhelming sense of defeatism and utter lack of anything resembling leadership, I can see why things went the way they did.
    The way Barros ran Contour and the way he utterly rolls over and accepts aching kicks in the balls again and again show me that he is utterly incapable of building a company. In short i agree
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    Quote Originally Posted by skiahh View Post
    ...... What's the retaining strap?
    The safety cord ---forget what its nomenclature is.

  25. #25
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    I did not get anything close to that as the take away.


    Quote Originally Posted by skiahh View Post
    ..... Reading the blogs, with the overwhelming sense of defeatism and utter lack of anything resembling leadership,.....


    ...

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    RIP Contour

    Quote Originally Posted by ArmySlowRdr View Post
    I have not been impressed with the reviews of any of these cams and although I love Contour I will say the slide switches, "retaining strap", flex mount, and vent mount were all TERRIBLE almost to the point of being useless.
    I love the slide switch on the Roam (and used on the other newer models). The HD slider was bad.
    Use my flex mount all the time. Works fine. My go-to mount along with the Rollbar mount.
    Do not use the safety cord.
    Do not use the vent mount either. Have the Contour or rotating surface mounts on my helmet (not my favorite POV).
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    Quote Originally Posted by ArmySlowRdr View Post
    I did not get anything close to that as the take away.
    I don't have time to read the blogs. What is your take on the reasoning for the close down of Contour as far as the blogs are concerned?

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    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy View Post
    I love the slide switch on the Roam (and used on the other newer models). The HD slider was bad.
    Use my flex mount all the time. Works fine. My go-to mount along with the Rollbar mount.
    Do not use the safety cord.
    Do not use the vent mount either. Have the Contour or rotating surface mounts on my helmet (not my favorite POV).
    I have an HD and a Roam. I like the sliding switch idea but the slider on the Roam moves far too easily and I find myself turning it on or off accidentally all too often.

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    RIP Contour

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawg View Post
    I have an HD and a Roam. I like the sliding switch idea but the slider on the Roam moves far too easily and I find myself turning it on or off accidentally all too often.
    Not an issue for me, except with the camera in a gear bag (the Roam2 fixed that). On the trail I have had brush turn off a Roam once or twice. Otherwise, if I am not reaching for the camera, it stays on or stays off, and it is very clear if the camera is on or off, unlike button switches.

    I had trouble getting the HD slider to move at all on the fly.
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    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy View Post
    Not an issue for me, except with the camera in a gear bag (the Roam2 fixed that). On the trail I have had brush turn off a Roam once or twice. Otherwise, if I am not reaching for the camera, it stays on or stays off, and it is very clear if the camera is on or off, unlike button switches.

    I had trouble getting the HD slider to move at all on the fly.
    Agreed, the HD slider was distracting to switch on or off while in the saddle. I can blow on the slider of my Roam and it move. Well, you get the picture.

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    RIP Contour

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawg View Post
    Agreed, the HD slider was distracting to switch on or off while in the saddle. I can blow on the slider of my Roam and it move. Well, you get the picture.
    I have two Roams and one Roam2. The slider is fine on all of them.
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  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by skiahh View Post
    You can read some of the blog posts yourself and see what you come up with. One Entrepreneur's Perspective
    I didn't read too far, but, I think these blog posts are telling, especially the final one. There's little substance here (in the most recent posts).



    I never bought a contour for the simple reason that its not flat. This means you can't chest mount it. Some of the best shots in Skiing, Mountain Biking, Kayaking, Scuba and many other sports require a chest mount. a GoPro can mount all the places Contour can, albeit somewhat clumsily. A chest mounted contour is higher on the 'awkward' scale than a helmet mounted GoPro. But, rather than talk about the product, his last two posts are about:

    EDIT: I see now he left a few months ago, so i guess its perfectly reasonable these recent posts didn't deal with more tangible aspects of the company failure. But, I'm sure everyone would like to see a retrospective with an analysis of why contour languished.

    1) Purpose (Aug 13, nothing substantive here). Its 1000 words or so on 'purpose', and it gets very abstract and pedantic. The TL;DR version is: "Contour's purpose cannot be to make great cameras, we must have a deeper purpose and higher aim that transcends blah blah ....". Contour didn't fail because they GoPro's 'purpose' was deeper than Contour's. As I said above, I think it was a simple product choice: the elongated design looks more elegant but is less practical in the end.

    2) Brand marketing (July 30, a little more substantive but not much). He brings up some good points about the relative marketing strategy of Contour vs. GoPro, but I never looked at a Contour ad and said, "well that's not 'hero' enough for me". On the marketing side, the simple fact is GoPro clearly spends way more on marketing, including a lot more athlete sponsorships, which are critical for a product like this, regardless of subtleties in the brand message ('hero' vs. 'artisan video maker'). GoPro was probably able to spend more, because they have have better financials, which is probably because they have more investment dollars, which in turn is probably because they have a better product and investors saw the writing on the wall.

    I can't say for sure, but that's my take. When nascent companies fail, its a combination of product sales, over-extending credit, failure to recruit new investors (which is usually based on financials, & product, not 'purpose'). Smart investors see through 'purpose' and judge a product by its merits, and its sales. Regardless, during a time when the company was apparently close to failing, the blog posts are about things that have nothing to do with product success in the short term.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ddprocter View Post
    I didn't read too far, but, I think these blog posts are telling, especially the final one. There's little substance here (in the most recent posts).



    I never bought a contour for the simple reason that its not flat. This means you can't chest mount it. Some of the best shots in Skiing, Mountain Biking, Kayaking, Scuba and many other sports require a chest mount. a GoPro can mount all the places Contour can, albeit somewhat clumsily. A chest mounted contour is higher on the 'awkward' scale than a helmet mounted GoPro. But, rather than talk about the product, his last two posts are about:

    EDIT: I see now he left a few months ago, so i guess its perfectly reasonable these recent posts didn't deal with more tangible aspects of the company failure. But, I'm sure everyone would like to see a retrospective with an analysis of why contour languished.

    1) Purpose (Aug 13, nothing substantive here). Its 1000 words or so on 'purpose', and it gets very abstract and pedantic. The TL;DR version is: "Contour's purpose cannot be to make great cameras, we must have a deeper purpose and higher aim that transcends blah blah ....". Contour didn't fail because they GoPro's 'purpose' was deeper than Contour's. As I said above, I think it was a simple product choice: the elongated design looks more elegant but is less practical in the end.

    2) Brand marketing (July 30, a little more substantive but not much). He brings up some good points about the relative marketing strategy of Contour vs. GoPro, but I never looked at a Contour ad and said, "well that's not 'hero' enough for me". On the marketing side, the simple fact is GoPro clearly spends way more on marketing, including a lot more athlete sponsorships, which are critical for a product like this, regardless of subtleties in the brand message ('hero' vs. 'artisan video maker'). GoPro was probably able to spend more, because they have have better financials, which is probably because they have more investment dollars, which in turn is probably because they have a better product and investors saw the writing on the wall.

    I can't say for sure, but that's my take. When nascent companies fail, its a combination of product sales, over-extending credit, failure to recruit new investors (which is usually based on financials, & product, not 'purpose'). Smart investors see through 'purpose' and judge a product by its merits, and its sales. Regardless, during a time when the company was apparently close to failing, the blog posts are about things that have nothing to do with product success in the short term.
    I don't like the chesty videos from the GP cams. Because of the wide angle lens, the rider's (skier/boarder etc) arms look like ET's; long, unnaturally skinny and just plain weird. Plus, many of them don't look far enough ahead since a biker is leaning forward and I'd rather see what's coming than what's going under the wheels. Then there's the top of the legs that go in and out of the frame. But that's just my opinion and, obviously, many people like the chesty perspective.

    As for being more elegant but less practical, I have again disagree with you. I think Contour's form factor is far and away better than GoPro's. GoPro wins on their sensor, but Contour wins on form factor. The only thing you can't do well with the Contour is the chest mount. In virtually every other scenario, the Contour offers far more mounting options. You can attach it at any angle and just rotate the lens to "up" and have a straight video. For example, I have my Contour mounted alongside my headtube on my bike. It tucks in very nicely with no worries about snagging anything as I ride. Gives a great perspective, too.

    The other day, I was riding with my daughter (7) and helping her learn to ride on some rocks. I was able to lay my bike down and rotate the lens so I could still video her efforts and have them be upright. Try that on a GP... oh, that's right, not even an option. No, the Contour form factor is the clear winner but not anything I ever saw Contour touting in their ads, online or anywhere. Just imagine a silhouette of 4 riders with GPs on their helmets and a voice over saying something about tele-tubbies. How many X-factor types want to be associated with teletubbies??? And that's just a start; there's so much more Contour could do to set itself apart, but they didn't.

    Yes, Barros did leave a few months ago. I thought I read somewhere that he was forced out, but I'm not sure about that. Either way, by the time he left, his defeatist attitude had to have poisoned the entire company. Rather than fire them up, he - by example (and I admit I'm assuming here, based on his writing tone and words) - infused the company with an attitude of we can't win. We're not good enough. There's nothing we can do. Bull! They were the second biggest cam company and name in the market. It might have taken harder work than he was willing to put in, but they make a good product.

    Now, we don't know what the financials were or what kind of investment woes they may have been having, but to blame it on being in Seattle is just BS. Smart investors are also good a judging the character and leadership capabilities of potential partners and I can just imagine them fleeing from meetings with Barros.

    Imagine if ALL the non-number 1 companies out there just threw in the towel. We'd all be driving the same kind of car. Watching the same TVs. Using the same computers. Same appliances. Same... fill in the blank.

  34. #34
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    Excellent points Skiahh - couple things:

    Quote Originally Posted by skiahh View Post
    The rider's (skier/boarder etc) arms look like ET's; long, unnaturally skinny and just plain weird.
    I can kind of see your point, but, countering that I think head mount for skiing either shows the valley view, or the skis but not both very well. Chest mount allows skis to be in the picture, with a better shot of the view (all the way down to the lake/village/etc.). Also, since chest mount is lower to the ground, the speed of the skier seems much faster.

    Quote Originally Posted by skiahh View Post
    Plus, many of them don't look far enough ahead since a biker is leaning forward
    There is a simple solution for this - you just put the camera in the Chesty upside down so that you can angle it up and out. You can then change the recording setting to upside-down mode, or, rotate the video in post processing. Not obvious in the store. But, I'm surprised many folks who have owned GoPros for a while never realize this and give up on their chesty for biking. It seems pretty obvious to do this after playing around with the chest mount in the field. They should include a photo of this setup in the Chest Mount package ("Chest Mount Orientation Options"). Also Chest Mount is really the least shaky point to mount, for biking, because its closest to your center of gravity and moves the least. All other locations (handlebar, helmet, top tube, etc) shake a lot more, they are almost unwatchable at speed.

    Quote Originally Posted by skiahh View Post
    You can attach it at any angle and just rotate the lens to "up" and have a straight video.
    That is a great feature, I wasn't aware of that. GoPro only has two orientations, and yes it is much harder than that to change the rotation (many menus).

    Quote Originally Posted by skiahh View Post
    I think Contour's form factor is far and away better than GoPro's. GoPro wins on their sensor, but Contour wins on form factor. The only thing you can't do well with the Contour is the chest mount. In virtually every other scenario, the Contour offers far more mounting options.
    Totally hear you, many really like the Contour and they are known to be good cameras. I don't think either of us is going to change too many minds here - people are either GoPro people or they are Contour people, you don't see a ton of folks that have bought both. Also once people learn a device they are reticent to change - there are mac people and there are PC people, and when I switched I was lost for the first few weeks.


    Quote Originally Posted by skiahh View Post
    to blame it on being in Seattle is just BS.
    Agreed, Seattle is a great innovation incubator. But I haven't heard anyone suggest that location had anything to do with it here.

    Quote Originally Posted by skiahh View Post
    Imagine if ALL the non-number 1 companies out there just threw in the towel. We'd all be driving the same kind of car. Watching the same TVs. Using the same computers. Same appliances. Same... fill in the blank.
    Yup, totally agree. I agree its sad Contour is gone, less competition means slower camera innovation in the long run.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by ddprocter View Post
    I never bought a contour for the simple reason that its not flat. This means you can't chest mount it. Some of the best shots in Skiing, Mountain Biking, Kayaking, Scuba and many other sports require a chest mount. a GoPro can mount all the places Contour can, albeit somewhat clumsily. A chest mounted contour is higher on the 'awkward' scale than a helmet mounted GoPro.
    I have never seriously considered an GoPro because they are flat. That makes mounting it most everywhere I want extremely awkward. Only the chest mount would not be, but I really do not want to ride with any hard object strapped there.

    My favorite camera locations are the side of the headtube, low on the fork blade (pointing forward or back), just in front of the seatpost, back of the seatpost (pointing back), side of the helmet (forward or back, and my least favorite, but somewhat better than the top), and occasionally below or in front of the bars pointing back. A narrow profile can still get in the way sometimes.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ddprocter View Post
    I can kind of see your point, but, countering that I think head mount for skiing either shows the valley view, or the skis but not both very well. Chest mount allows skis to be in the picture, with a better shot of the view (all the way down to the lake/village/etc.). Also, since chest mount is lower to the ground, the speed of the skier seems much faster.

    There is a simple solution for this - you just put the camera in the Chesty upside down so that you can angle it up and out. You can then change the recording setting to upside-down mode, or, rotate the video in post processing. Not obvious in the store. But, I'm surprised many folks who have owned GoPros for a while never realize this and give up on their chesty for biking. It seems pretty obvious to do this after playing around with the chest mount in the field. They should include a photo of this setup in the Chest Mount package ("Chest Mount Orientation Options"). Also Chest Mount is really the least shaky point to mount, for biking, because its closest to your center of gravity and moves the least. All other locations (handlebar, helmet, top tube, etc) shake a lot more, they are almost unwatchable at speed.

    That is a great feature, I wasn't aware of that. GoPro only has two orientations, and yes it is much harder than that to change the rotation (many menus).
    Since I haven't taken my Contour skiing, I'm not sure which mount I'd use. Side of the helmet or goggle strap, I think, would show tips of skis and where you're looking. But I'll concede here the chest mount is probably the best for skiing. For biking, however, the chesty videos I've seen do have a lot of motion as the rider moves around. The top of the helmet gives a pretty wide perspective, but you do lose a lot. Mounting alongside the headset is stable and easy to watch at speed, too. See for yourself: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ANLoEtF2eVA Of course, having the Lefty with nothing on the right side of the bike makes this possible!



    Still, the rotatable lens makes this (and the Drift) ultimately adaptable and practical. Literally unlimited mounting angles are possible!

    But you're right. Very few people will use both and this discussion isn't likely to change many perspectives.

  37. #37
    govt kontrakt projkt mgr
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    Problem when I have my Contour mounted on the flex strap and in a similar position as you have pictured here, the trail vibration jars the cam off its slide rails. Yes, I know about the nub that is has to slide past to lock it in. Coupled with the weak tether strap means my cam has hit the trail several times. Luckily it survived. As far as the slide switch the last ride I noticed the vibration caused it to slide on when I did not intend for it to be on.

    Finally on mounting go pro in some similar POV it would seem to me the RAM mount would be beneficial. That is what I went to on the ROAM and it is so much better than Contour's offerings.

    My ContourHD I haven't used in some time as I have an aftermarket mount on it that I used for helmet use. I agree the POV from on the helmet is inferior to other views.

  38. #38
    Nouveau Retrogrouch SuperModerator
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    RIP Contour

    Quote Originally Posted by ArmySlowRdr View Post
    Problem when I have my Contour mounted on the flex strap and in a similar position as you have pictured here, the trail vibration jars the cam off its slide rails. Yes, I know about the nub that is has to slide past to lock it in. Coupled with the weak tether strap means my cam has hit the trail several times. Luckily it survived. As far as the slide switch the last ride I noticed the vibration caused it to slide on when I did not intend for it to be on.

    Finally on mounting go pro in some similar POV it would seem to me the RAM mount would be beneficial. That is what I went to on the ROAM and it is so much better than Contour's offerings.

    My ContourHD I haven't used in some time as I have an aftermarket mount on it that I used for helmet use. I agree the POV from on the helmet is inferior to other views.
    Carbon paste, though I have had the camera move in the mount it has never fallen off. Many hours on many trails, rigid and sussy forks. Even with the camera mounted on the fork slider.
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