GoPro Vs Contour:
A Step by Step Guide to Choosing the Perfect Action Camera
Updated Feb, 2014.
GoPro Vs Contour is all about helping you discover the perfect action camera for your needs at the cheapest price. We are not associated with any of the products we talk about, we just love action cams!
Let’s get into it: Both Contour Cameras and GoPros are all highly durable, waterproof, and wearable.
The important differences between these cameras, besides price, are Field of Vision or FOV, image quality and extra features like GPS tracking and Wi-Fi.
Maximum Field of Vision for the different cameras typically ranges between 127 degree and 170 degrees, while maximum image quality typically ranges from 720p to 1080p.
If price is your #1 concern, and you don’t care so much about the differences between field of vision and imagine quality, check out our tips on How to Get GoPro for Cheap. Here we’ll focus more on total value.
Uncover the Action Camera that Delivers the Best Value for the Lowest Price
GoPro’s latest line of cameras is called the HERO3. There are currently three HERO3 models: The White Edition, the Silver Edition, and the Black Edition.
Contour recently switched to just focus on two cameras, the ROAM2 and the Contour+2. Although I think their names are far inferior to GoPro, the cameras are easy enough to understand. ROAM2 is their low-end model, while the Contour+2 is high-end.
Update: Contour quietly announced in August 2013 that they will no longer be producing action cameras. In our opinion, this makes it the perfect time to pick up a Contour camera at a discount. But if you’re worried about manufacturer warranty and future compatibility of Contour software, you might want to stick to the slightly pricier GoPros.
Step 1 – Save Big Like A Padawan
The White Edition for Starters: If you’re just goofing around, attaching the camera to moving things (think skateboards or babies) and then watching it with your friends, the white edition will do. The White Edition comes with the same high quality performance of its predecessor, the HD HERO camera. However, this one has a built-in Wi-Fi, a new UI and is more compact and carry-friendly with its 30% smaller size and 25% lighter weight. At $199.99, this camera is also capable of capturing 1080p 30 fps and 720p 60 fps video and 3 photos per second at 5MP. (White Edition Full Review or View on Amazon)
Compare the White Edition to Contour’s ROAM2
Contour Roam2 is Better for Beginners: The biggest advantage is that the ROAM2 is possible to get at serious discounts. This simple yet highly efficient model of camera retained all the features people loved from the original Contour Roam. However, it now has an extra dash of style with its new colored bodies. It still has the signature instant on-record switch of the brand that makes it easy for the users to start and record. The frames per second of this model have also been improved to 60 when recording at 720p. Even without a waterproof case, the Roam2 can also be used underwater.
If you’re looking for the best deal, check out the ROAM2. The White Edition and ROAM2 are initially the same price but ROAM2 is usually discounted at least a little bit while I’ve never seen GoPro discounted unless you purchase used. Overall, if you’re a beginner I recommend the Contour ROAM if you can find it on discount.
If you can’t, then they are equivalent cameras and I’d buy whichever one I thought would look cooler on me (aka depends on which sport I’m doing). But maybe you’re already ready to graduate from Padawn level…
Step 2 – The Jedi Apprentice
Silver Edition is a Great Little Camera that Nobody Buys: At $299.99, this model is worth every penny with its features and quality. The Silver edition is the improved version of the HD HERO2 camera and is also equipped with a built-in Wi-Fi. Just like the White edition, it is also 30% small and 25% lighter than its predecessor. It is waterproof to 60m or 197í and can take high quality ultra-wide footages at 1080p 30 fps and 720p 60 fps video. Its camera has an 11MP resolution and can take 10 photos per second. Its audio system has also been redesigned to take even the most subtle of sounds. (Silver Edition Full Review or View on Amazon)
The thing is… Who wants to be an Jedi Apprentice when you can be a Jedi Master?? I know a lot of people who own GoPros and only like 1 in 20 own a Silver Edition. In a way, its a real shame because its a fantastic little camera – a valuable upgrade from the White Edition. But in all honesty, if you can afford to upgrade from the white edition, might as well go all the way.
Step 3 – Jedi Master
The HERO3 Black Edition Will Blow Your Mind!
Let me tell you one thing right now: If you can afford it and want to make the coolest videos of yourself having crazy adventures, buy this camera! After using it a few times you realize that its well worth the extra cost if you’re doing anything remotely extreme.
Of all the models of GoPro, this is the best and the most advanced of all. Costing $399.99, this GoPro is 30% smaller and 25% lighter, a twice as powerful as the other models. Both wearable and gear mountable, it is also waterproof of up to 60m to 197í. Its video capacity can capture a very wide 1440p 48fps, 1080p 60 fps, and 720p 120 fps. Its camera specifications are also the most advanced in all the models with a rate of 30 photos per second at 12MP resolution.
Besides designing its audio system to catch even the slightest and softest of sounds, it is also even more improved with its wind-noise reduction system. An extra layer of versatility is added to it with its built-in Wi-Fi and GoPro App compatibility. (Black Edition Full Review)
Contour + 2 Compared to the Black Edition: This model is the love child of the best features of the Contour Roam and the original Contour+. It now comes with a GPS receiver and high quality crisp video with various overlays of distant, elevation, and speed. You can also use your very own mobile phone to preview your video while you are recording. Want to control your camera without touching it? You can use your mobile phone and use it as this model’s remote too. It can record in various HD models such as 1080p at 120 frames per second in 480p. It also comes with an included waterproof case which can be used up to 60 meters. It costs $399.99.
The problem with Contour+2: Contour stuffed too many flashy features into this camera without enough all around quality. While GoPro was busy working on making the black edition lighter, smaller and higher quality, Contour was off adding rediculous features. I’m not saying a GPS isn’t cool, but is it really worth lower overall camera quality?
Just like the Contour ROAM2 you’re more likely to find it discounted than you are to find any of the GoPros. It’s worth checking:
Step 4 – Help Me Obi-Wan Konobi, I Can’t Decide
So you still can’t decide, huh? That’s ok. This happens to a lot of people. Let me break it down for you nice and easy.
Don’t Fret, Just Get the Best One What You Can Afford
Let’s face it, action cameras are awesome and you want one. Hell yeah you should be filming your experience while you’re, say, on a dirt bike, skiing Vale, surfing Mavericks, or climbing El Capitan. Whichever camera you get, it will be better than having no camera so stop being willy-nilly about it, decide your Jedi level, and hit the buy button on Amazon.
Let me break it down for you one more time (use this as a reference):
Padawans (Home Movies and Arm-Chair-Action Sports): Get a Contour ROAM2 if you can find it on discount, otherwise go with the White Edition as GoPro is a slightly easier company to deal with for things like returns and repairs if it breaks.
Jedi-Apprentices (Amateurs with a Tighter Budget): Grab the Silver Edition. Well worth the upgrade from the White Edition if you’re going to go out on an adventure. If you’re lucky enough to find the Contour+2 at a super big discount it would be a slight upgrade from the Silver Edition.
Jedi Masters (Amateurs and Pros): For Only $399 you can have the same powerful camera that the professional extreme sports videographers and hollywood directors use. That’s special!
With the discounts you can now find on Amazon for contour products (see the link below), contour may be a better starter camera. Let’s be honest though, GoPro was first, and GoPro is simply cooler. Have fun shredding!
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