Top positive review
242 people found this helpful
Great POV and Action Camera
on November 2, 2012
This is my first Contour camera, and I was lucky that just at the time I decided to get one, the new ROAM 2 came out. The reason I like the ROAM2 over the original ROAM (which can now be had much cheaper) is for the 60 fps filming in 720p. This will produce smoother video, especially if you like to use slow motion effects now and then.
The ROAM 2 comes in attractive packaging and includes: 1 profile mount; 1 rotating flat surface mount; lanyard tether; USB cable; lens cap; 4GB MicroSD card; storage pouch and lens cloth.
Initial tests of the ROAM 2 in 720p @ 60fps and full HD 1080p @ 30fps are very impressive. At 720p you will have a view angle of 170 degrees, which gives you a wide panorama but some fisheye effect (to be expected at that width). In 1080p the view angle is reduced to 125 degrees, which still gives a nice wide view, but much less fisheye. The quality of the video image is very good. In full 1080p it is ultra-sharp and the colors are very good. The automatic white balance in the camera is also extremely good, and will self-adjust to present very true colors even indoors.
Operation of the ROAM 2 is very simple, via the one large "On-Record / Off" button on top of the camera. The mounting options available for Contour cameras is very good, but still could be a bit better. They have the snow and water sports covered, as well as skateboarders, bikers, etc. But I intend to use mine primarily to capture POV video from shooting sports, and there is still a lack of good mounts for that. A mount designed for a hat bill that would allow the Contour to lie flat via the rails would be perfect...
The rotating lens and built-in laser line make it easy to set the camera to frame a perfect shot, no matter what angle you mount it. I accidentally turned off the laser in the software and thought it was broken, until support at Contour provided me a quick response and helped me figure out that I am an idiot (my word, not theirs). Previous ROAM had two laser dots for leveling, the ROAM2 has a solid line, similar to home improvement tools.
The ROAM 2 has a standard ¼" x 20 tripod socket already on it - so no need to buy the Universal Mount Adapter (which I did, and now have no need for).
To set up the camera, change configuration options (such as selecting recording quality), you use Contour's software "Story Teller", which is easily downloaded and pretty simple to install and get using. Now, here is one thing I don't like about the ROAM 2 - you must use the software each time you want to change resolution of video. To do this, you must be connected to your computer via USB. So, if you're out in the world enjoying your camera, you are stuck with whatever setting you made before you left the house. There is NO option to select different modes via the camera itself. Given the designed purpose of the ROAM 2, I find this to be a bit lacking. Perhaps that is a feature on the more expensive versions of the Contour camera...
So, my first impressions of the ROAM 2 are very good. The quality of the video image is fantastic, the camera could not be more easy to use, and the software is pretty good too.
After a couple of full days of using the ROAM2, this camera performed flawlessly. Used it to capture POV video of a shooting match and attached it to my ear protection. The mic in the ROAM2 is very good - much better than any other camera I have. It was so easy to use the on/off button to begin and end each segment of recording - from a postion where I could not see the camera. The quality of the picture is superb (I shot at 1080p today).
UPDATE: After weeks of using this camera in real life action sports and other activities, I like it more and more each day. I am amazed at the quality of indoor picture also - no yellow or green cast - very natural light and it picks up everything very brightly. I find myself using 720p more often now, not only because of the economy of storage space but for the smoothness of the video if I want to go "slo-mo" from time to time. I would gladly buy this camera again... in fact, it might be nice to have TWO!
A couple tips: The 32GB microSD card does work fine in the ROAM2, and I've never even come close to filling it up. Secondly, if you're looking for some of the more exotic mounts and Amazon doesn't have them in stock - go directly to the Contour website. I ordered two mounts from them and they shipped quickly and only charged $2 for coast-to-coast shipping. Some of the merchants here wanted $10 for shipping.