Contour is back with the disclosure of a new camera. We take a look at the specs to see if its a viable contenda’ or an off-the-back attempt to get back in the ring.
Once upon a time, many years ago, Contour went toe to toe with GoPro in just about everyway. In this uncertain era, it wasn’t clear who would come out on top in the wearables market. Contour had the aesthetics, was first to incorporate GPS (something GoPro still doesn’t do) and more importantly – first to incorporate an app that allowed you to view what your camera was seeing in real time.
Be it lack of hardware improvement, lack of marketing, lack of content development or all three, Contour shut down their operations in 2013. However, this spring, under new ownership, the company re-opened its doors but it wasn’t totally certain as to if they were going to make a real run at GoPro, dump existing inventory (which was supposedly quiet large) or just dabble in the market – testing the waters.
Yesterday they announced the first new product since 2012 in the Roam3. Specs are as follows…
• Instant photo mode can be set for single frame or multiple burst shots
• CONTOUR’s flush rail mounts allow for secure and dependable attachment
• Built-in universal camera mount (¼”-20) makes it compatible with all standard mounts and tripods
• Instant-on video record switch
• Waterproof up to 30 feet without a case
• Rugged impact resistant aluminum casing
• Records video at 1080@30 frames per second or 720@60 frames per second
• 270-degree rotating lens
• The best video and sound quality of any CONTOUR to date
• Built-in laser level ensures the perfect angle every time
• Locking switch keeps the camera from turning on or off accidentally
All at the price of $199.99 with a card.
On paper the camera still falls far short of the higher priced GoPro alternatives. To add, with the number of in house and out of house developed mounts for GoPro its going to be a tough sell. Some might say they are well positioned at a certain price point but really, GoPro too offers a $199.99 camera with similar specs and the inclusion of Wi-Fi, something we’re fond of. (seems Contour dumped this awesome feature?)
Overall this is appears a lackluster attempt to get into a highly competitive market with the only real advantage being aesthetics and “not needing a bulky case to go dive 30 feet down into water”. Meh.
Our advice to Contour? Either enter with something that is really unique or go packing. We’d be surprised to see this on anybodies Christmas list come this holiday season…
Even their launch video wasn’t shot 100% with Contour. Pretty strange…
As a side note – GoPro is up another 7% today…