Monday 6 September 2010

VholdR Contour HD 1080 vs GoPro HERO HD

The two "blockbusters" helmetcams one beside other for a raw comparison... (Thanks to SportKam, for supply the units for the test).

Just two simple videos, but with some difficult lighting scenes (hard light from sun, back ligthing, deep shadows and changeable light inside tunnels).

INSTRUCTIONS to watch both videos at same time:
1.- Load the two videos: Push PLAY and PAUSE inmediatly
2.- Wait while the two videos be completly loaded and the grey bars fills the box..
3.- Drop the volume off to one of videos. Then you can switch between them for testing.
4.- Push PLAY in first video
5.- Push PLAY in second video when countdown had gone to ZERO.

contour 1080 HD vs GoPro HERO HD from montonm on Vimeo.

GoPro HERO HD vs Contour 1080 HD from montonm on Vimeo.

The two imágenes are without any correction, editted with same software (Adobe Premiere Elements) and identical compression and codec. Both cameras are setted to 720p 60fps and light measuring at central area.

But there are big differences: angle of image, sharpness (mainly at limits), global brilliance,  response for changing ligthing and managing of contrast...

Note that the most noticeable difference between footage may be dramatically improved with postedition process (not used at videos). Next you can see one frame (minute 3:08) from Contour HD, before and after that  were applied some changes to 'brilliance' and 'contrast'

You may test the recorded sounds and compare them. The GoPro Hero cam is placed inside a waterproof box: That stops the water... and sound too. There are a perforated box, but I have not tested  it.

Setting GoPro cam is possible from its own menu: The menu is simple, but to navigate is a bit annoying  and slow because its system is cyclical.
Contour is configured when it is connected to PC, with its specific software, easy to use. The options are similar to GoPro, the resolution modes are exactly equals, but Contour lets you choose the bitrate.
For fast on-road configuration the Contour camera has a simply switch to select two differents resolutions previously defined with the software.

The GoPro has photo mode, and continuous photo time lapse. I am sure all that may be useful  but not for helmetcam MTB.
The Contour has two laser pointers to facilitate the camera location. Good idea ... were it not because the light is only visible indoor or at night time. (at last... the only option is trial and error)

Battery life
Battery life is very similar in both cameras, around 60 minutes recording at 720p 60fps and other 60 minutes switched on (aproximately). The GoPro indicates the battery level in its little screen and the Contour with a colour of a LED at rear.
The bitrate of the GoPro (15.150 kbps) doubles the standard in the Contour (9.700 kbps), but Contour enables to choose two upper bitrates. A 8GB SD card is enough for record at 720p 60fps, until battery ends.

The GoPro has a good variety of mounts,  for locate the camera at any place, (there are different kits including mounts for every use, and other mounts that can be bought additionaly, like 'chesty' mount.
The range of mounts for Contour is more limited. The camera kit includes an adhesive mount for flat helmets and other one for goggles strap. Other mounts are additional.
Placed in a helmet the Contour is less bulky than GoPro, closest to helmet.

Managing on-board

The Contour is clearly best at this point. The slidding switch lets you know (or remind) at every moment if recording is on or off. The 'beeps' when the Contour starts or stops recording are clearly heard.
While the waterproof case of GoPro prevents you to know if the push button was correctly activated.
Mount the GoPro in a place where you can not see (in a helmet...) involves some irritating wrongs for that.


Is not easy. I have not found reasons for prefering one to another. Both of them have some advantages.
The final decission depends of specific use or your own preference.

I like:
... the wide angle of Contour (enough and not excessive)
... the widest angle of GoPro (good for to stabilize and trim margins)
... image quality of GoPro (in Contour you must postprocess for best results)
... sounds in the Contour
... easy managing in the Contour
... fitting at helmet of Contour
... fitting in every situation with the GoPro, and chesty mount (extra)
... the waterproof feature in GoPro


charly said...

Hola, que ha sido de ti que no pones nada ya y te sigo

montonm said...

I'm staying alive!!

Taking time for new projects: Definitive wide angle lens for FT1 and shock absorber for chest-cam 'horizon finder'



Ricardo Constancio said...

Congratulations for your post! To paintball may i have to go by GoPro? said...

Thanks for this review.