For a while now I’ve been interested in getting a helmet cam, for snowboarding. I actually own a helmet cam, before my trip to Fernie in 2008, I bought the ATC 2K camera… Despite being optimistic about it before I travelled and used it on the hill, in the end, it sucked. I know that ATC have been releasing new versions of their camera, but to be honest, I haven’t really paid attention. For a start, the first product of theirs that I tried didn’t leave a good impression. But the main reason, is that there have been two different cameras that have stayed on my radar, and continued to hold my interest…
The ContourHD 1080p Wearable Cam
I first encountered the Contour Helmet Cam at the start of 2008, just after I’d bought the ATC 2K camera 🙂 At the time, it was just called the VHoldR. Not sure what happened along the way, but they’re Contour now…
Back then I was impressed with the video quality – especially compared to the ATC 2K. The camera looked like it was built a whole lot better, too. Now they’re providing a HD option – the quality looks pretty damn good. Video quality aside, I really like the shape of the camera. It looks perfect for mounting on a goggle strap or to the side of a helmet. Contour also do a GPS version, which tracks your location, speed and altitude. More expensive, but no doubt that will appeal to a lot of peeps out there.
The GoPro HD Helmet Hero
The GoPro HD Helmet Hero has been getting a lot of exposure recently, probably because it’s a good camera. I wrote about it not so long ago – if you’re interested, that post includes a few sample videos and a review. Like the ContourHD, I’m impressed with the video quality here.
As for an example of GoPro’s HD footage, I don’t think you can beat the clip that Tim Humphreys made – everything about this video is right – so sick!
Which camera is better?
The honest answer is, I don’t know. I had intended on buying the GoPro camera for this season, but seems as though I’m not shredding, I’ve waited. The GoPro strikes me as a camera that will fit easily in my pocket, so I’d have it with me almost everyday on the hill. As much as I like filming, taking a proper camera up can sometimes be a chore. The GoPro would provide access to filming without the hassle.
However, the Contour is a small camera also, and it would probably perform just as well in this role, as an ultra-portable, high def, pocket camera. On the face of it, without testing it for myself, the ContourHD looks better for mounting to a helmet. But that guess work is based only on the shape of the camera; I’m well aware that the helment mounting for the GoPro is rated highly.
As for price – the two cameras are quite similar. The ContourHD is around the same price as the GoPro HD Helmet Hero. There is the option to go for the cheaper, GoPro HD Hero 960, around $100 less. As the name suggests, it’s not 1080p – only 960. However, given the difference in price and name, you might expect a helmet mount to be excluded – but it’s not. The 960 does include a helmet attachment. I don’t know what the other differences are, if any…
So, which is better? Is one of them more suited to mounting on your lid? I don’t know yet – do you?