RoadRUNNER Digital Rider

Summer with the Contour ROAM

Dec 04, 2012 View Comments by

Over the course of the summer, the Contour ROAM became my default POV camera for one simple reason – it’s so easy to use. While other cameras have small LCD screens and little buttons to maneuver through configuration menus and video quality settings, the Contour ROAM was often pulled off the shelf and thrown into the bag. Why? Usability is key when you’re on the side of the road in the heat or rain with your helmet and gloves on and trying to set up the shot. The ROAM was the easiest POV cam to mount and operate. As you can tell, it’s a little worse for the wear from all of its use, but its weatherproof aluminum body has weathered the storm—and a couple of drops to the asphalt.

About the size of two 35mm film canisters (remember them?) placed end to end, the Roam has just two external controls. A button on the rear activates the siting laser that you can use to make sure that the camera is level with the horizon. And a slider switch at the top turns the camera on and off. Slide the switch forward and the camera beeps and starts recording. Slide the switch backward and the camera beeps, stops recording, and turns off. That’s it. No fuss. No muss. Like an E-Z Bake Oven. The beeps also indicate low battery and are especially helpful when the camera is mounted on the helmet. Simply reach up, slide the switch, and confirm with the beeps. Desktop software is used to set up the recording mode (1080p, 720p, interval, etc…)

Mounting options are plenty, including helmet mounts and a standard tripod mount (1/4 20 threads). The front bezel rotates so that you can mount it sideways or upside down, if that’s most convenient, and still take right side up video. Simple. Effective. (KISS)

And what about the image quality?

Truth told, other POV cameras have better image quality, but they are also more cumbersome to use, which ultimately increases the chance that you’ll leave them at home. There’s an oft-repeated aphorism used by photographers—the best camera is the one that you have with you. And that holds true here as well.

www.contour.com

 

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About the author

You know that little boy who stares at you, mouth agape, as you ride by? That was me, thirty-plus years ago. I merged two of my passions, motorcycles and photography, when I became a contributor to RoadRUNNER.