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Old 04-12-2014, 09:55   #1
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Best POV Camera These Days?

After seeing this terrific (!) video referred to on another thread (Faster Than a Contessa 26), I've decided to make another attempt to acquire a POV camera.

Everyone has been using the GoPro, but I've also heard thousands of complaints about it.

What is the best option these days?
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Old 04-12-2014, 10:00   #2
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Re: Best POV Camera These Days?

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
What is the best option these days?
A 25yr old Swedish female photographer?

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Old 04-12-2014, 10:13   #3
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Re: Best POV Camera These Days?

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A 25yr old Swedish female photographer?

Mark
So 24 would be too young?
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Old 04-12-2014, 10:28   #4
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Re: Best POV Camera These Days?

I thought that would be too much kit for you. Besides, the costs go up exponentially…

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Old 04-12-2014, 10:32   #5
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Re: Best POV Camera These Days?

I've owned a contour camera for years. It's worked great. But I just recently got a GoPro Hero 4 and it works great as well and has better specs. Form factor of the contour is better, but the GoPro has many more accessories available.

So I'd have to recommend a GoPro at this time. When you sell as many as they do, there are always going to be lots of complaints.
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Old 04-12-2014, 14:25   #6
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Re: Best POV Camera These Days?

I prefer the Contour myself. Initially it was because the Gopro had too much fisheye, the Contour didn't appear to have it, plus it was cheaper and the form factor was sleeker and the lens/CCD rotates 270*, so you can mount the body horizontally or vertically and rotate the image sensor back to upright. It also has a laser for you to see where it's aimed. Then they introduced GPS, then they added Bluetooth preview allow you to fine tune aiming and settings. The controls are also far easier to use. Just slide a big switch forward and it's recording, also easily done with gloves on. The Contours are also waterproof to 30 ft all on their own, no housing needed.

The Contour cameras are less expensive (yet made from extruded aluminum), the accessories like underwater housing and mounts are far less expensive, the mounts are more compact, especially helmet and tripod mounts. Basically every advancement Gopro has made (except for 4k res.) has been in an effort to keep up with Contour. I'd sum it up with Contour has mastered the technology of action cams with useful features, while Gopro has mastered the promotion of their brand by exploiting today's generation's desire to be somebody for 15 min.

The Hero 4 is 4k res., which Contour doesn't have a camera with that res., but unless you have a TV in that res. and the computing power to edit files that massive, I wouldn't bother recording at that res. Even 720p is good enough for many things, with the right playback device and monitor, it can look very much like 1080p.

They currently have 3 models. The Roam 2 is waterproof and least expensive at @ $119. The Roam 3 is also waterproof and a little more at $199. The Contour+2 is $273, not water proof on it's own, but it comes with the waterproof housing good down to 60 meters. They all use the same hi cap. removable li-ion battery and I have about 5 batteries and a couple of chargers, so it's easy to keep a couple of cameras rolling continuously.
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Old 04-12-2014, 14:31   #7
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Re: Best POV Camera These Days?

socaldmax - excellent reply - just the information I was also interested in.
thanks you...
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Old 04-12-2014, 14:36   #8
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Re: Best POV Camera These Days?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
After seeing this terrific (!) video referred to on another thread (Faster Than a Contessa 26), I've decided to make another attempt to acquire a POV camera.

Everyone has been using the GoPro, but I've also heard thousands of complaints about it.

What is the best option these days?
As an enthusiast photographer myself, and leaving the recommendations for cameras to everyone else, might I also point out the necessity for have good stable tripods or grip mounts. Dont overlook these as you will find that no matter how good the camera is, the stability of the video is equally as important.
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Old 04-12-2014, 14:38   #9
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Re: Best POV Camera These Days?

Quote:
Originally Posted by socaldmax View Post
I prefer the Contour myself. Initially it was because the Gopro had too much fisheye, the Contour didn't appear to have it, plus it was cheaper and the form factor was sleeker and the lens/CCD rotates 270*, so you can mount the body horizontally or vertically and rotate the image sensor back to upright. It also has a laser for you to see where it's aimed. Then they introduced GPS, then they added Bluetooth preview allow you to fine tune aiming and settings. The controls are also far easier to use. Just slide a big switch forward and it's recording, also easily done with gloves on. The Contours are also waterproof to 30 ft all on their own, no housing needed.

The Contour cameras are less expensive (yet made from extruded aluminum), the accessories like underwater housing and mounts are far less expensive, the mounts are more compact, especially helmet and tripod mounts. Basically every advancement Gopro has made (except for 4k res.) has been in an effort to keep up with Contour. I'd sum it up with Contour has mastered the technology of action cams with useful features, while Gopro has mastered the promotion of their brand by exploiting today's generation's desire to be somebody for 15 min.

The Hero 4 is 4k res., which Contour doesn't have a camera with that res., but unless you have a TV in that res. and the computing power to edit files that massive, I wouldn't bother recording at that res. Even 720p is good enough for many things, with the right playback device and monitor, it can look very much like 1080p.

They currently have 3 models. The Roam 2 is waterproof and least expensive at @ $119. The Roam 3 is also waterproof and a little more at $199. The Contour+2 is $273, not water proof on it's own, but it comes with the waterproof housing good down to 60 meters. They all use the same hi cap. removable li-ion battery and I have about 5 batteries and a couple of chargers, so it's easy to keep a couple of cameras rolling continuously.
Hot tip -- thanks!
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Old 04-12-2014, 14:56   #10
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Re: Best POV Camera These Days?

Yes, stability is a big issue, many videos have come out looking horrible from vibration or camera shake. On the quadcopters, they've come up with vibration damping gimbals to allow pointing the camera and eliminating the "jello" effect of vibration on a digital video camera.

I also have a Mobius action cam, 1080p. It's very small (about the size of a Zippo lighter) and all plastic, cheap at about $65. It has amazingly good output and a surprising array of adjustments via computer. That one I plan to mount into the nose of a small/cheap glider and have it follow me at about 20' height.

I've also seen people mount cameras on the end of a 10 or 15' pole to get an interesting perspective. I bought a PVC pipe and I'm going to rig up a self leveling mount for the end of it, maybe add a means to aim the camera via wire and pulleys.
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Old 04-12-2014, 15:00   #11
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Re: Best POV Camera These Days?

Minor correction - all of my Contour cameras have removable batteries, but apparently the Roam 2 and Roam 3 have built in batteries according to some posts, I haven't seen them myself. That might be an issue for some applications.
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Old 04-12-2014, 15:05   #12
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Re: Best POV Camera These Days?

I use Videopad as my video editor. It has an excellent post production stabiliser for removing shake and wobbles. This is not an excuse for the absence of a good tripod by the way.. it just cleans up any tiny erratic ness in the film.
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Old 04-12-2014, 15:06   #13
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Re: Best POV Camera These Days?

Thought I'd add a bit more given socaldmax's comments. Couple things I'd disagree with is that while GoPro is a marketing machine, they do have better specs. We aren't all watching 4K cameras today, but someday we may be and the better quality video the better it will look.

Owning both, here's a more detailed comparison.

GoPro has more recording modes. Just compare the specs. In addition, you can cycle through all the modes right from the camera. On Contour, you have a toggle switch that allows you to change between two modes.

GoPro has some models that have LCD screens and you can add an LCD screen to any of them. No such option with Contour

Contour has GPS and can track position, height, speed and plot it on a map with their software. GoPro doesn't have this.

Contour has a normal tri-pod mount on the camera. GoPro does not.

As you can see, there's a lot of differences between the two. I've always been a fan of contour but you can't deny the advances GoPro has made over the past couple of years while contour hasn't done a whole lot. I'm hopeful that changes as I do prefer the form factor of contour, but 3rd party support is far superior with GoPro. That was the single biggest reason why I got one - I have a DJI Phantom copter and the GoPro is supported with their accessories. I did fly it with my contour, but their gimbal only supports the GoPro and I will be getting that. In addition I couldn't mount my contour with the underwater housing and having lost 1 in a water crash, I didn't want to take the chance of losing another.
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Old 04-12-2014, 15:07   #14
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Re: Best POV Camera These Days?

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
A 25yr old Swedish female photographer?

Mark
Make sure they are prepared to take some anchor photos, if you get a waterproof action cam. Some more shots of the Spade in action would be great.

Dockhead is a gentleman. I am sure he would be prepared to chip a hole in the ice to facilitate the taking of the above mentioned photos for any Swedish 24-25 year old photographer.
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Old 04-12-2014, 15:08   #15
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Re: Best POV Camera These Days?

I should also add, I don't think any of these cameras are good for replacing a regular camcorder. I have an HD camcorder as well and it is much better suited to taking footage where as the GoPro/Contour are good for action shots, mounting to things..etc.
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