VHoldR ContourHD Helmet Cam


I have been riding for about a month now with a helmet camera from VHoldR called the ContourHD. There are a couple notable helmet video cameras out all having a varying degree of price and quality, but after about a month of research I decided to bite on the Contour. One the the challenges I had was to find one that I could hold in my hands and see how big or small it was, how heavy it might be, and how easy it was to use. Luckily I found the REI Flagship store in downtown Denver had a display model.

There are three variations of the Contour; the original which seems hard to find, the ContourHD a 720p camera, and the ContourHD 1080p camera. With some help from the "Which to Buy" page on the VHoldR site, I chose the 720p version. Specifications of the various models are on the VHoldR Tech Specs site.

Attaching the ContourHD to my helmet ended up being pretty simple. Out of the box the camera came with two mounting attachments. One attachment had a sticky tape back to adhere to a smooth surface, the other attachment was designed to slip into the strap of ski goggles. There are additional attachments available for purchase including an attachment for bicycle helmets. I was impatient and rather than ordering the bicycle helmet attachment I used a strip of high strength velcro with the goggle attachment and mounted it on the left side of the helmet. To my surprise this works perfectly. Using the Rollsys Retention System on my Lazer Genesis helmet I gently snug up the helmet fit and cannot even tell the camera is attached. So far with both road biking and mountain biking as long as the helmet is properly fitted I don't even notice the extra few ounces on the right side of the helmet. The fit has been awesome.

To operate the ContourHD, there are two buttons. A power button, and a record slider. That's it, it couldn't be any easier. Both buttons are easy to access even when wearing winter riding gloves for the most part. The record slider is a little stiff to move back and forth, but I have already gotten some mud crammed into it so that might be part of the problem. I am not sure how to clean it, unfortunately. To aim the camera two red LED lasers light up when the power button is pressed and point to where the camera is aimed. Pretty easy to see what will be recored. The one trick in the beginning was setting it up for when I am riding the road bike. Since I am not as upright when on the road bike, the first time the only thing that was recorded was the pavement 10 feet in front of me. So there is a little trial and error to dial in the aiming, but it only took one try.

Processing and creating videos is the hard part. I am sure this will totally depend on the tools and experience of the producer though. I am a novice, well a beginner. I use iMovie 8.x on my Mac Pro. There are several approaches that can be used with iMovie depending on what you want as the outcome. Originally I was doing all sorts of preprocessing, image stabilization analysis, and fancy speed adjustments. Doing all those things can add up to days of work for a 5-10 minute web ready video. My latest few videos I do little to no optimizations, and can have a web ready video uploading to Vimeo in less than an hour (not counting the processing time).

To check out my videos created using the ContourHD see my channel on Vimeo.com. Low-res podcasts are available on iTunes.

40 MPH is the Speed I Ride from Mike Berg on Vimeo.

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