PointOfViewCameras.com VHoldR ContourHD Review
When word of the ContourHD hit the internet early this year the action sports forums and blogs were buzzing with excitement. VholdR has definitely created quite a stir with this release. Not only is this the first helmet camera to boast HD 1280x720 resolution, it’s also delivered in a sleek, sexy black package that will appeal to the most particular buyer.
Upon first receiving the package, you first notice the clever presentation of the clear plastic and glossy black cardboard which is formed in a way to look like the camera is actually attached to goggles of the skier or snowboarder on the package.
What's in the BOX
After taking the box apart, you get to reveal the goods:
- ContourHD Camera
- 2 GB MicroSD (16 GB Maximum)
- Goggle mount
- Flat surface mount
- Rechargeable battery (up to 3-4 hrs)
- USB cable
- Quick start guide
First Impressions, usage Tips & Tricks
On first inspection, you start to wonder how they managed to incorporate such a feature rich product into a tiny package. The brushed black aluminum base is light and smooth, easy to hold and has a very Mission Impossible look. Just like the newer laptops, smooth and metallic is prevailing in the helmet camera field.
You may wish to take a quick run through of the instructions just in case you are not familiar with the design of the previous VholdR model. Thankfully VholdR has kept the easy to use format. Using the camera is as simple as turning it on, waiting for the camera to “beep”, then you are in standby mode and ready to go. To record, simply move the top recording slider into the REC position, where the camera will beep once again letting you know the camera is recording. Also, the front indicator light turns orange from green. When finished recording, simply slide the REC slider back and the camera beeps twice, letting you know recording has stopped.
If you wish to make use of the two lasers to line up a shot, simply press the power button once and the lasers are activated. If you find that they are not at your desired orientation, you can adjust this by physically rotating the end of the lens in 90 degree increments. This will allow the lasers to point either horizontal or vertical or if you desire, in between.
Before using it for the first time, I recommend letting it charge using the USB port of your computer for a minimum of 3 hours to get a full charge. Although recording time on the rechargeable battery is approximately 3-4 hours, you are able to use a 16GB microSD card for up to 8 hours of recording. If you are avid about recording every moment of your adventure, I would definitely recommend picking up an extra battery or two, and if you live or travel outside of North America, international wall charger comes handy. If you would like to charge you spare battery while using the camera we recommend picking up the USB Battery Charger with wall outlet adapter. Very Nice.
You can also change between HD mode and SD mode on the fly. By sliding off the end rubber piece, you expose the USB port, microSD memory card slot, rechargeable battery slot as well as switch to flip between SD (848x480) and HD (1280x720p). The rubber piece easily and firmly slides back into its original place once you are finished. The SD format also has a feature I wish more helmet cameras would incorporate, a 60 frame per second shooting mode that gives super smooth action and more lifelike videos.
One thing I thought I should note, make sure you power off the device before changing microSD cards. Reports are floating around of issues occurring when the card has been removed when the power is on. Formatting the card again seems to fix the issue.
The mounts included are the goggle mount and flat surface mount. These should satisfy most people’s uses, but there is an extensive list of mounts and all of the mounts that were available for the previous VholdR camera work with the ContourHD as well. My personal favorite is the Universal Mount Adapter. With this baby you can mount the ContourHD to a tripod, monopod or mounts like the ultra clamp and / or the flex rod allowing for most creative of shooting angles.
Watching and working with Video clips
Reviewing your video clips is also fairly easy and straight forward. Simply turn the camera on and plug the included USB cable into your computer. My computer detected the new removable drive “CONTOURHD” right away and installed drivers within seconds. This allows you to go into My Computer in Windows nor Finder on MAC and open the camera’s memory like a drive. Simply opening up one of the folders revealed all my videos, double clicking them opened Windows Media Player and showed them speedily, and in high resolution clarity (Quick Time or any other player works great on a MAC). The first time you see the HD quality in all its glory is really quite amazing, and you really feel why the VholdR ContourHD is such a breakthrough for helmet cams. Without any doubt in my mind, I really felt like it was worth every minute waiting, and every penny spent.
Easy Edit and Share Software
Included free of charge with every VholdR ContourHD cam is a piece of video editing and sharing software called “Easy Edit” for Mac and PC which allows you to import videos from your camera if it is plugged in, or any sort of drive or removable drive. Quick functions let you login to your account on VholdR.com and post, as well as share your videos with buddies and submit to contests. The system requirements are a bit high, and I found that playback without a good video card is a bit laggy when viewing HD quality video.
Their recommended system requirements are as follows:
- Intel Core 2 Duo 1.8 GHz or faster
- 1 GB of RAM
- Graphics card with dedicated GPU, at least 16-bit color and at least 256MB of video RAM
- QuickTime 7 software
- Power Mac G5 or MacBook (dual 2.0GHz or faster), or iMac G5 (1.9GHz or faster)
- Multicore Intel® processor
- Mac OS X v10.4
- 2GB of RAM
- QuickTime 7.5.5
All in all, the ContourHD is a great buy. Sleek, inexpensive, and high quality HD video make this camera a must have for any person loving the outdoors or a good adventure. Unanticipated excessive buyer demand has kept this out of everyone’s hands, and hopefully that will change shortly so that everyone can experience this great piece of technology.
November Update:We have shipped many cameras to waiting customers over the last couple of months from the limited supply we've been receiving in batches.The good news is, we have plenty of cameras on hand, so order the VholdR Contour HD or the ContourHD MegaPack today!
Check out the ContourHD customer reviews to see what our customers have to say about this hd helmet cam.