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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Be advised: long post!

First I would like to say "thanks" to the MTBR community and this forum for help in making my decision on my new toy. Special thanks to PastaJet for his website:, Tscheezy for his outstanding videos and ArmySlowRider for his input on XtremeVu clamp. So to help out others I thought I would give a review of what I bought and why.

I went looking at the GroPros, Drift and Contour. All had their different attributes and plus or minuses. 170 FOV vs 135, monitor on the camera, brand name recognition, cost etc all played a factor but in the end I went with the Contour GPS.
Now, I have a general philosophy of, "don't buy first generation anything." But with technology moving so fast it's getting harder and harder to follow. I don't think I will have much need for the GPS on the Contour but it is a cool feature. What sold me was the soon to be released Bluetooth/Iphone (Droid) interface. I liked the Drift because of the screen and GroPro just came out with their screen too but to be able to hold the screen in your hand while the camera is attached to your helmet (or wherever) was too cool. I hope it works well. (crossing fingers)

So onto the review:
Pulled the camera out of the box: very light! Instructions are lacking a bit but went online and uploaded the latest firmware (1.10). I also agree with PastaJet's review that mounts they supply are lacking. Anyway, I took the puppy out and starting shooting. Used the supplied goggle mount on a dirtbike and mt bike. I also used the provided rotating TRail mount for some other shots. First thing I noticed with the contour mount is there is some slop as per what other people have mentioned (more to follow).
I did a few quick rides around then brought it to upload. Great picture, very crisp, the HD was amazing and overall very very pleased! I have seen people complain about wind noise. I found that the test footage on the dirtbike, the sound was great. Of course there is wind noise when you are going 40-50-60mph, what would you expect? But I will say the sound of the engine was very crisp. (I will probably overlay music so this is less important to me then maybe others) I tried the different settings: HD, Action, normal, and later on did the continuous photo. All looked very good!
I will also say that the rear hatch worries me. I like how they put a lock on it compared to photos of older models and it does work very well. I am a bit paranoid when the hatch is open that I will smack it on something and snap it off. I would rather see a fully removable rear hatch with 2 locks. Pop it off, put in your pocket, change what you need to change and then latch it back on. Of course people would say that it would be easy to loose but it is the hinge is what worries me.
I used the included 2GB card and bought a Sandisk 16GB, both worked out of the box.
After taking a look at the test shots I wanted to check out the GPS function. It didn't work :madman: . This is what I am pleased about though :thumbsup: : I went online to the support forum for Contour, did a quick search and found that there was an issue with the firmware 1.10 (the first thing I did out of box was upload this firmware) Contour was expecting a new release shortly. I am very encouraged on the customer support they provide through the forum. They take suggestions and criticism very well. A few days later the new firmware came out, it uploaded easily enough and it worked like a champ.
Contour also supplies a free editing software called StoryTeller. They get a lot of flack because it's pretty basic, but come on people….it's free! You can't expect to get a $350 camera for $350 then expect for them to provide you Sony Vegas for free can you!? Ok, don't answer that…I know what some of you will say. But along the StoryTeller lines, they also needed to update that software to see the GPS function working. With both updates the system worked perfectly.
With the trails pretty wet, the only videos I have so far is a test:

Quick follow note on the software. I use Corel Video Studio Pro X3 and it seems to be handling everything well with my 2 year old HP/Vista/8GB RAM/Duel Core. I have not done a lot of splicing of HD shots but the 60fps worked well.

Second review is of the aftermarket clamping system by XtremeVu: Per other people's recommendation I went ahead and ordered it thanks to a tax return. After 2 to 3 days of placing my order, I received an email from Patrick at XtremeVu advising me they were currently out of stock :eek: . What I did like is the fact they took the time to email me vs. leaving me in limbo or waiting for me to call them. After a few emails and some time later, Patrick advised it was on its way. Likewise, they did realize that it was their delay and I had to wait so they made it "right." I was very pleased at the customer service and how they took care of the situation even with the delay. :thumbsup:
I ordered the combo #1 for the clamp, the camlens, and the ball mount AND I ordered the Tripod & Universal plate adapter. I also ordered some more duel lock tape. The first thing I will mention here (and I plan on sending this in to XtremeVu) is that the ball mount is the same as the plate adapter, just with a ball, AND the ball unscrews. My plan was to have the plate adapter so I could put it on a tripod and a ball mount to use with some Ram Mounts. But all you really have to do is unscrew the ball from the plate. My recommendation to them is they should just sell the plate adapter then also just sell the ball and make the website wording clearer. I'm keeping both because I have some plans for both of them so, no harm, no foul.
The instructions were good and everything went together nicely. Because the size of the swivel plates, the clamp closest to the lens hangs a bit over the TRail mount but it is still very secure. I was planning on running it with the ball mount always on so I could easily swap it from my helmet via the duel lock to the Ram mounts but it is going to be too heavy for my liking. As of now, the camera with the swivel duel lock pads only comes in at 9 oz.
So what I have done is take that extra universal plate and put duel lock on it. When I want to attach to a ram mount, I will just screw the ball onto it. When I want to mount it to a tripod, I take the ball off and mount it to a tripod screw, then I will just attached it to the camera via the duel lock. (I added the extra long screws to help torque them apart-the duel lock tape is very strong)
I will say I like the duel lock mounting options. If you go down on the helmet, the camera is going to be trashed no matter what but now it is essentially a break away system verses your head be jerked around even more with a more permanent method.
See pictures (also, I don't recommend putting the duel lock on the carpet if you have a golden retriever…it takes a while to pick all the hairs out!)
Even if you don't plan on using the camclamp, I would recommend everybody get the camlens. It gives that extra protection and the ability to clean/replace lens.

Good luck, hope this helps someone out, that is all….

Will upload some pics of the mounting when I can figure it out!!

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