Customer Review

83 of 85 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Form and functionality meet with a river in the middle, May 8, 2013
This review is from: Contour ROAM2 Waterproof Video Camera (Black) (Electronics)
After returning my Hero3 black for various reasons, I decided to save a few bucks and try out the Contour ROAM2 instead. While not directly competitive of the hero3 Black, I felt that the price point and form factor would be better suited to my primary need as a motorcycle helmet cam. Prior to purchase, I honestly spent more time reading reviews of the Contour+2 than I did the ROAM2, but opted for the cheaper ROAM2 instead. That decision came back to bite me. I have broken out the pros, cons, and some notes below.

Pros:
-Size/form factor
-Ease of use/simplicity
-internal rotation of lens
-good battery life

Cons:
-Internal, non swappable battery(my main gripe)
-no external mic port(this may be able to be done via usb>3.5mm adapter, not sure- see next point)
-No usb pass through in back door
-Unable to change modes(at ALL) without a computer

Notes:
Quality of the camera is good, not on par with a contour+2, hero3 black, or other higher end model, but it is quite good. It does have some low light noise, but i don't think it was as bad as a hero2 in that respect.

Build quality of the device is quite good. There is some give to the rail system, but otherwise it is very solidly built. The lens rotation has detents at the main stop points, and very very solid. Buttons and switches feel well designed and tough enough for their purpose.

My main issue with the ROAM2 was discovered when I unboxed it. I made the mistake of assuming that the ROAM2 had a removable battery, like most of the other contours. Since it does not have a removable battery, you are stuck having to prioritize your shooting to fit it into the 2-2.5 hour run time, carry a usb battery pack and plan a stop to charge the device, or have another camera on hand as a backup. As mentioned before, there is not a usb pass through on the back door. So unless you want to compromise your water proofing and have the door flopping around you can't leave a battery pack plugged in to help with this situation either.

The laser aiming function is cool, but that really all that useful. It shoots a wide line pattery, but it is relatively dim, so unless you are using something close to line it up you won't be able to see it.

Contour erred on the side of quiet when it comes to the ROAM2's on board microphone. It blocks out quite a bit of wind, but tends to not pick up sound anywhere near as clearly as its gopro counterpart(which really isn't that great either). In most situations this isn't a big deal, but sometimes it can mean the difference between a good shot, and a mediocre one.

The Bottom Line:
A very solidly built device, but with a few shortcomings. If those shortcomings will not hinder your use, i would recommend it highly(especially for the price point). However, I see the extra cash spent on a contour+2 to be a better investment if you intend to use the camera seriously.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 22, 2013 8:40:48 AM PDT
Dan Diego says:
Excellent review. Your write-up answered many questions that I had (and likely many others) about the Roam2/+2 differences.

Big thanks on the research--it saved me a lot of leg work!

Posted on Mar 2, 2014 11:06:22 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Mar 2, 2014 11:07:03 AM PST
A. Machl says:
"-Unable to change modes(at ALL) without a computer":
There is a workaround to have different SD cards with different settings. This allows you to "change" settings without a computer in the field. A bit of a pain but it should work fine if you have only a few setting you want to use. This guy has a great video how to set this up: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lobQf8ieQfM
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