Contour ROAM Review

Contour is well-known in the extreme sports camera market, and their latest camera is certainly something to consider.

It’s boasted as being an easy to use camera and it certainly doesn’t disappoint. With features taken from Contour’s top of the range + model, the ROAM builds on top of the solid base that Contour has built over the years with their various cameras. The ROAM takes it a step further by making it waterproof to 1 meter, having a single use power/record slider and auto adjusting exposure settings.

The ROAM keeps the same form figure as the other Contour cameras but it is slightly longer and slightly taller than the others. This is due to the battery being built-in and not removable. This does have its draw backs as the camera no longer fits in some of the mounts, such as the windshield mount.

The 270 degree rotational lens allows you to record at any rotation and the new single laser allows you to make sure your picture will be level. This new laser isn’t quite as powerful as the older style but is much better at making sure your picture is level. The lens is also flush in this version so it is much easier to clean and it doesn’t pick up dirt in the ridge.

The one slide power and record switch is great, no need to check that it is powered on first before you record and the button is slightly larger and protruding from the camera body, making it easy to turn on and off with a thick glove. Note that the on and off time is slightly longer than other cameras, meaning if you manually tag you videos by turning the camera off and on again, it does take a longer time.

The lens is taken from the Contour +, as previously stated this rotates 270 degrees allowing you to get the horizontal image from any angle. The 170 degree wide-angle lens is only available if you choose the 960p or 720p option, the 1080p option offers a slightly smaller 135 degrees which does look a little bit zoomed in comparison. My personal preference is the 960p mode to get all the information you require.

One of the biggest issues that people have noted is the lack of 60fps recording, the ROAM only offers 30fps in all of its modes and is something that can really sway people’s opinions on if it is the right camera for them. Add in the built-in battery which is not removable and some people have lost interest straight away, the battery can last for around 3 hours depending on the settings, anything longer than that and you will need to stop and charge it before doing any more filming.

The ROAM is the first Contour camera to include a 1/4 thread in the body, this allows the camera to be attached to camera accessories such as tripods and allows the use of 3rd party mounts from the likes of RAM. A welcome addition in my books and something I hope they continue in other iterations of all their line ups.

The camera has been waterproofed and is rated at up to 1 meter, this may not seem like much but it makes a huge difference if being used in the rain, previous cameras would require you to add the external case which reduced sound quality and was bulky! The waterproofing has affected the sound, as the camera comes in the box the sound quality is noticeably different to the previous Contour cameras but with Contours latest firmware update for the ROAM it has improved the sound levels and quality but quite a bit!

All in all the Contour is a great camera and fits nicely into their current range. It is a very easy camera to use and really is a point and shoot video camera. There are a few downsides which should be taken into consideration before you buy this camera, the lack of 60fps and an in-built battery will be big decision factors but so will the auto adjusting exposure settings which have really made the difference to my experience of using the Contour Camera.

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Cyclists are pack animals

At least that is what labyonnette of youtube thinks. He posted the following comment on my Why are cyclists using video cameras video.

Most of these incidents reflect a very sensitive individual who is over reacting to quite normal road occurences. Listen to the aggressive yelling, its typical of of you low IQ, low education, gay, self opinionated, paranoid prima donnas who think they own the road. You have absolutey NO tolerance of morists and you are pack animals often gathering together to intimidate motorists. Well boys you dont frighten me, I’ll cut you up at every opportunity. Give blood, run over cyclist every day

What a charming individual, with some incredible opinions about cyclists and those that choose to record what happens to them on the road. The road conditions and drivers are only normal to him, because that is the way he drives.

Boston cyclists have it rough too

Cyclists across the globe have to deal with inconsiderate drivers that don’t understand our needs or that we are allowed to use the road. Many of us have taken to using cameras, a cyclist in Boston recently posted a video of a driver who was very impatient as he cycled down a busy road with lots of hazards, the driver could have easily changed lanes to pass the cyclists but instead choose to sound his horn and pass him with only inches to spare.

As always, the driver shortly stopped in traffic and got out of his car asking the cyclist if he wanted a fight. Quite rightly the cyclist didn’t want to get into a fight with someone who was more than likely several times the size of him.
When the cyclist went to the Police they where not interested in what happened, even when the cyclist stated that he had the whole incident on video. I’m sure most of us have experienced problems like this, lets just hope it changes as the grow of camera use in cyclists increases.

Remonstrating with drivers

Is it really worth remonstrating with drivers that put us in danger?

I’ve done my fair share of remonstrating, some would say that I go to far, it’s hard to control what you say when you have adrenaline pumping through your arteries. The adrenaline is usually a result of a near collision experience, a collision which could have resulted in death or serious injury.

Most people don’t like to be criticised by strangers and I think that is fair enough. But some people go to extreme lengths when they have been. Just watch the video below, the driver passes the cyclist far too close and is shortly stuck in traffic. The cyclist remonstrates with the driver about their actions only a few meters behind them and the driver clearly doesn’t like it as they shortly brake test the cyclist and then tailgate them.
They part ways but the driver, unknown to the cyclist, turns around and follows them as they stop at a petrol station, the driver continues past but pulls up on the other side of the road. As the cyclist approaches where the driver is parked, the driver pulls away and quite clearly drives towards the cyclist as they take a side road.

And another example below, where a video camera cyclist confronts a driver that didn’t stop at a zebra crossing, a rather minor driving error in the bigger picture but worth highlighting it, but doing so in person? Not so sure, this driver clearly doesn’t like being told how to drive by someone else and when a note about where to see the offending video is thrown in the vehicle and the driver is then cut up on the roundabout. The driver takes it back on the cyclist by cutting him up. It really isn’t worth remonstrating with drivers, even if these 2 are only 1 in a 100.

I stopped talking to drivers* about their bad driving quite some time ago, I find it’s best just to take a deep breath and get on with it. I have it on video and will report them to the police if need be.

* Well starting conversations, I can’t help it if people get out of their vehicle and confront me.

How to do digital overlays

There has been a boom of cyclists that have started to take to the roads with video cameras. As one of them, I try to come up with and promote ways that we as a group can make our videos better. One thing that is missing from the videos is speed, and with wide-angle lenses it can often be very difficult to judge from a video just how fast a cyclist is actually traveling.

I’ve made a few videos where I have digital read outs on the video and I often get questions asking about these when I make them.

A cyclists who goes by the name VeryMadMart has made a java application that takes the files recorded by a ContourHD and the TCX files recorded by a Garmin GPS unit and puts the data on the video frame by frame with some nice graphics.

Essentially the application just needs a .mov file and a GPX file to make the overlay, so you don’t have to use a ContourHD and Garmin device.

The hardest part of doing this is trimming the video and editing the TCX XML file to match. Essentially most of the time the video and data will be slightly out of sync. I have found the best way is to use the latitude and longitude found in the XML and search that on google maps, it gives me an idea of where I’m looking at and I usually cut the start of the video to a side road or similar where I can easily match it up ‘exactly’ on the google maps. This minimises the delay from video to data to within a second in most cases.

This isn’t the only way cyclists can do this. Vholdr, the owners of the Contour brand, have released a version of their camera with GPS inbuilt to it. This makes for another way to get some information about your ride and match it up to your camera. How this works with a site like youtube I don’t know. But upload the footage on to the Contour website and it looks like the whole thing is automatic and a nice map and data is displayed next to the video.

Digital overlays and speed readouts isn’t just a gimmick, in the case of a collision the information will be vital. GPS positioning will back up what your camera says and gives you an accurate speed just before impact! No more ‘I was doing about 15mph officer’
How many motorists can do this? I bet less than 1% can!

For more detailed information on the steps involved and to download a copy of the java file, please visit VeryMadMarts website.

Video Camera Cyclists

Featured

Cyclists all over the world are taking to using video cameras as they go about there rides. Be them mounted on their helmets or on the bicycle, the cameras prove to be invaluable as they show what life is like as a cyclist across the globe.
Below i’ve listed all the video camera cyclists that I know of and which country and region them are from if known, not all video camera cyclists upload to youtube, so this is only a list of known video camera cyclists who upload.
See video camera cyclists from Austraila, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, FinlandGermany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Russia, Switzerland, Thailand, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States of America

Australia

  1. 2WheelsAndACamera
  2. 33iampaul
  3. Aushiker
  4. Boognoss
  5. chalinolobusmorio
  6. chungman212
  7. cyberwealth
  8. cycleAus
  9. eclessia
  10. evictorr – Melbourne
  11. georgeonhisbike
  12. HuggiesCycling
  13. KonaCommuter
  14. myforwik
  15. nitramluap
  16. OxfordYT
  17. Peddler2565
  18. rigidmount – NSW
  19. roadmonitoroz
  20. tony888vo
  21. triplejay
  22. waynohh
  23. whisperingwheels

Canada

  1. adventuresincycling
  2. alexwarrior1
  3. buddybradley2007 – Vancouver
  4. CaptainPreferences
  5. extreme2themax
  6. grindupBaker
  7. NoGo90
  8. RedRavick
  9. ryanz4
  10. torontocranks – Toronto

Czech Republic

  1. LiamAnderson1
  2. squish225

Denmark

  1. xliijoe

Finland

  1. timoohz

Germany

  1. BerlinCyclist
  2. Cuberadler
  3. krobnitz
  4. RadfahrerBT – Bayreuth
  5. rhein228
  6. speedbiker14

Hungary

  1. atomboy83 – Szeged
  2. errorkahun
  3. sajatzsiron – Budapest

Ireland

  1. betamonu
  2. CycleDub – Dublin
  3. dublincyclist – Dublin

Italy

  1. electriccyclist
  2. marcotosinurse
  3. TheItalianCyclist

Japan

  1. alexWiiDS

Netherlands

  1. AmCamBike
  2. beekie1982
  3. DavidHembrow
  4. DerkvanL
  5. dsiepman2000
  6. harwig
  7. markenlei
  8. metro2002
  9. pjotr320
  10. Quemo304
  11. twilwel
  12. xlnetwork

New Zealand

  1. abmannz
  2. BondMeisterbond
  3. ginganz13
  4. TheVexatiousLitigant
  5. WellingtonBikeCam01

Norway

  1. DelVeien – Oslo

Poland

  1. 7Prozak7

Russia

  1. DarlokA256
  2. tmpttt1

Switzerland

  1. systemexit

Thailand

  1. hipponokloo

Ukraine

  1. kievcyclist

United Kingdom

  1. 04smallmj – Essex
  2. 10936868
  3. 1970DGF
  4. 24690553 – Birmingham
  5. 2FlatErics
  6. 2rocship – Manchester
  7. 39stonecyclist
  8. 497103
  9. 4ChordsNoNet – Croydon, London
  10. ABikeCam
  11. adamjennison111
  12. adds21
  13. adysayswakeupffs
  14. agbell99 – London
  15. AldershotCyclist – Aldershot
  16. alexgreenbank
  17. amorfuss – Doncaster
  18. AnalogueAndy – Bath
  19. andi0kam – London
  20. andrewfowler1000
  21. Andrewrobinhood
  22. andyb0000
  23. andyjprice777
  24. AndyTrav1 – London
  25. Angelfishsolo
  26. antlaff69
  27. apreater – London
  28. arallsopp – London
  29. AsusP8Z68V – Norwich
  30. atacama82
  31. Athomack
  32. AyrshireBacn
  33. b0ngmanuk
  34. bada55ba55
  35. BadSwindoomRoadUsers – Swindon
  36. baggyattheknees
  37. baldyteacher
  38. bazk666
  39. bbborp – London
  40. benlovejoy
  41. benwhiteuk – Portsmouth
  42. betterbybikeonline
  43. bigbluemeanie
  44. bigguychappers – York
  45. bigsharnm – York
  46. BoringVideosInk
  47. BoroGrecian
  48. Bristolcyclista – Bristol
  49. BristolTraffic – Bristol
  50. brothersoulshine
  51. BrownhillsBob
  52. cabdav
  53. Camsplint
  54. cantankeroussquonk
  55. CapitalMover – London
  56. carsruleok – London
  57. ChrisCLondon
  58. citycycling
  59. cjashwell – London
  60. cognitivedissident
  61. CommutingWithCamera
  62. CountryOfTheBlind – London
  63. cr3ated
  64. crazy580
  65. CrispyCatCam – London
  66. cristapper84 – London
  67. Cunobelin
  68. cyclea2b
  69. CycleGaz – London
  70. cycletank
  71. cycleman8000
  72. cyclinginlondon – London
  73. cyclinginstructor – London
  74. cyclingmarcuu – York
  75. CyclingMikey – London
  76. cyclingpast – London
  77. CyclistDan
  78. CycloWaz
  79. cycopathifist
  80. d4rthpaul – Bristol
  81. DamoDoublemint – London
  82. Dangerousedinburgh – Edinburgh
  83. daniellepalmer
  84. dannyc73
  85. darreljameswhittle – Manchester
  86. dcurzon1973 – London
  87. DeathonWheels1969 – London
  88. definitelynotkwacker
  89. dexradio – Kent
  90. dezbez747 – London
  91. distoredmotion
  92. dominicgkerr – Taunton / Oxford
  93. downfader2
  94. Downwardi
  95. drsquirrel0
  96. DrumsBikesBrains
  97. drysuitdiver
  98. Dukinfieldcyclist
  99. EasySlowRider
  100. eddbike
  101. edinbiker – Edinburgh, Scotland
  102. edinburghcitycycler – Edinburgh, Scotland
  103. EdinburghFixed – Edinburgh, Scotland
  104. EMDcam
  105. EP88S
  106. EthelF
  107. Ewan Login
  108. EWSnotDBS – York
  109. exmouthroady – Exmouth
  110. fakestrat
  111. fardsmobile
  112. femtojt
  113. fenegroni
  114. fightbaddriving
  115. finbat
  116. finlab
  117. FixieFarquhar
  118. Fizzerdrix – London
  119. fossyant – Manchester
  120. fotoih
  121. FreewheelingUK
  122. Fuzz944
  123. gadgetmind – Leeds
  124. gaj104 – London
  125. galaxytourer1
  126. GeoffR1970
  127. germanicdogman – Liverpool
  128. giveamanabike
  129. givecyclistsroom
  130. GlasgowCycle – Glasgow
  131. gratedcarrot
  132. gregkiley
  133. GreyhairScout
  134. growingvegetable – Leeds
  135. H3r3D4nny
  136. HaloJUK – London
  137. halverde
  138. hawickrfc
  139. helmetcamroadtrip – Norwich
  140. HLaB75
  141. HorshamCyclist
  142. howiespencer
  143. hydrachem – Sheffield
  144. IAMABULLET1 – London
  145. ian154 – London
  146. idontpayroadtax
  147. IggyHT81S
  148. ilscozzese
  149. ismailzd
  150. iuckcan – London
  151. JameyCam – London
  152. JannieJumbo – Aberdeen
  153. jason40kim
  154. JezBike
  155. jibberish666 – London
  156. jthefishy
  157. jobysp
  158. JoeSoap76 – Glasgow
  159. jonah15 – London
  160. jonnygeez – London
  161. jonredhornet
  162. jonskids
  163. jssjmsvckry – London
  164. Julanikart
  165. julietmikealpha
  166. kalika101
  167. KarlOnSea
  168. Karmacycle1
  169. kiblams
  170. kie7077
  171. knoxieman
  172. kmcyc – London
  173. Kurako76 – London
  174. laplage73
  175. LeatonNick
  176. leedsbikecam1
  177. leedscyclist – Leeds
  178. leew21
  179. leighhunt
  180. LidCamMan
  181. lincstolondon – London
  182. LJ LJ – London
  183. loncycling – London
  184. londonepicurean
  185. Londonneur – London
  186. louear
  187. Lukeybloo
  188. m1mbz
  189. MadMarie2005 – London
  190. magnatom – Glasgow, Scotland
  191. maidstoneonbike
  192. mailpauljonescouk – Cambridge
  193. manchestercyclist – Manchester
  194. mancroady – Manchester
  195. mapryan
  196. markster2010 – London
  197. martint235 – London
  198. matthames
  199. matthew6476
  200. MaximumCube – Bristol
  201. mbails87 – West Midlands
  202. md451
  203. MegaStuke
  204. MelloVELO
  205. mercyclist
  206. mgbracken
  207. MiddleAgeCyclist
  208. miles210595
  209. mixymadman
  210. mjbeaker – Birmingham
  211. mmace – Leeds
  212. mmmmmrob
  213. monkeysnutscom
  214. moth757
  215. MrAnalogue1
  216. MrCasualCyclist
  217. mrcellophane99
  218. MrCyclesafe
  219. MrGrumpycyclist
  220. MrOrigamist – London
  221. MrTMaccabee
  222. MrTrickdem – London
  223. MTBE37
  224. mycommute
  225. mycommutetowork
  226. mycycleclips – London
  227. n325aej
  228. nebikene
  229. Nimtar100
  230. northyorksbaddrivers – York
  231. NottinghamCyclist – Nottingham
  232. notwhatucallanatural
  233. ontheroaduk2008
  234. OptimisticBiker – London
  235. panticle
  236. paulopadopa
  237. paulworthington53 – Liverpool
  238. PedalBikerUK – Alnwick
  239. PemboCycling
  240. PeowPeowPeowLasers
  241. peteaud1
  242. PeterCyclesTheWorld – Lancaster
  243. petertbbrett
  244. peterthewomble
  245. pminopoli
  246. PoliceMadAd – Derby
  247. pompeycommuter – Portsmouth
  248. PompeyCycle
  249. Prestwickuk
  250. prj45
  251. Pufftmw
  252. purpleduck375
  253. RadWagon1 – Cambridge
  254. redradiatorable
  255. redvee2002 – Bristol
  256. ReinhardvonHolst
  257. RhodeLong
  258. rhysjw1000
  259. rml380za – London
  260. roadieeeee
  261. robertjamesfrost
  262. robojimpip – Glasgow
  263. rogerhotuk – London
  264. rogerzilla
  265. ron611087 – London
  266. rosscbrowncycles – Scotland
  267. roverthehill
  268. rugfoot – London
  269. progcovers
  270. qnut007
  271. ruskythegreat
  272. s0m3bl0k3
  273. sallysaile
  274. SamNG41
  275. san0designs
  276. SbCyclist1
  277. schneil
  278. ScottishCyclist
  279. sh4rkybloke – Manchester
  280. SheffieldCyclist – Sheffield
  281. SheffieldTiger – Sheffield
  282. SkrzypczykBass – London
  283. smegheaddan – London
  284. SMIDSYagain
  285. smsm1986
  286. Sniggerme
  287. SonOfTheWind
  288. soolrider
  289. southlondoncycling34 – London
  290. Speshboy
  291. sponge342001
  292. sqrooloose
  293. StabiliserVideos – London
  294. starinthesky1
  295. steveloughranuk
  296. Steve Perkins – London
  297. sunburnspain
  298. SuperstompElite – London
  299. sw19cam – London
  300. swldxer
  301. taypet21 – Bristol
  302. TCTC68
  303. TesterAnimal1
  304. TheAddictfreak
  305. TheBikingExperience
  306. TheCWNT – Isle of Man
  307. TheCyclingEngineer
  308. TheEvangeist
  309. thefireuk
  310. TheLabRatt
  311. TheLondonCommuter – London
  312. TheMaka456
  313. thepoetcyclist – Northern Ireland
  314. TheSadcyclist
  315. TheSeLager – London
  316. TheScoobybike – Glasgow
  317. TheScottishJon – Cambridge
  318. thomase1
  319. timbaggs7 – Nottingham
  320. TiNuts – London
  321. tjdrico
  322. tom999uk – London
  323. tombikess
  324. Tr4veller
  325. Tradescant58
  326. trignflo
  327. trumpettom001
  328. Tuneaftertune
  329. twohat
  330. UKMarx
  331. UnclePhilP
  332. urbanmanc1 – Manchester
  333. Velocioman
  334. VeryMadMart – Stoke on Trent
  335. Vikeonabike
  336. vincealot
  337. vousden
  338. weekssj
  339. westcountrytim
  340. wheelygd
  341. WheelyGoodFun
  342. whitebait01 – London
  343. WokingTrafficSafety – Woking
  344. Wonkynees
  345. xdr5xdrf
  346. yangtse55
  347. YjvK8PX7er
  348. zenfarion
  349. ZiggyRob
  350. dustandpebbles

United States of America

  1. 1nterceptor
  2. animation508
  3. AviationMetalSmith – Long Island, New York
  4. BigSharnm
  5. bike42363
  6. Bikesafer – Milwaukee
  7. bikeologist
  8. blackbirdxxxxx
  9. bmwutonium
  10. bodybait
  11. Brendan61
  12. busog97641
  13. calvinymob
  14. carrigan88
  15. cambridgecyclist
  16. cbscott19
  17. chad2go
  18. ChainReactionBicycle
  19. chavezcycling
  20. computergeek3192
  21. CranksOnCam
  22. crazytraffic99
  23. criteriumcoaching
  24. cyclecitation – New York
  25. cyclingfun2
  26. cyclingintraffic – Boston
  27. CyclingJDK
  28. CyclistLorax
  29. CycleMan2200 – Ohio
  30. DanWuh – Los Angeles
  31. degnaw
  32. degnawBikeCam
  33. destro727 – Boston
  34. dou40006
  35. eoinocarroll – Boston
  36. Evan Wilder
  37. fake123
  38. fearlab
  39. freddotu
  40. frederickchim – Boston
  41. frizzleyfrozzle – NYC
  42. fuxujam
  43. ItParadyske
  44. jsallen1946 – Massachuetts
  45. Lucas Brunelle (website)
  46. lucaseq77
  47. luvmastertx
  48. Mcleod1370
  49. NaptownRoadkill
  50. ositoking
  51. papitooz
  52. pgallas
  53. seattlebikeblog – Seattle
  54. socomcorky
  55. Superhandydave
  56. sweixel
  57. swray2112
  58. themayocycle – Chicago
  59. theroosterblocker
  60. UrbanCyclist100
  61. USCyclist2000
  62. weshigh
  63. willie92708
  64. xchopp
Last updated: 18.03.12
List total: 491