2 Good Helmet Cams For Snowboarding

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. Here’s an example from the Contour site:

http://contour.com/stories/daron-rahlves-sugar-bowl-eye-candy

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!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EaHswmKKW1w

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?

US and UK shoppers?

I was quite surprised to find that dogfunk has a good selection of helmet cam equipment – some of the camera links above will take you to dogfunk, which is in the US. They do deliver around the world, at least for some brands, but if you’re looking for a helmet camera in the UK and don’t want the long shipping, PointofViewCameras has an online UK shop…

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Comments
8 Responses to “2 Good Helmet Cams For Snowboarding”
  1. Balazs says:

    hey there,

    if you are still hesitating maybe the contourGPS bluetooth connection is an advantage. there will be possible to use your android or iphone as a viewfinder.
    regarding the manufacturer this option can be used from spring. who knows?

    cheers,
    Balazs from Hungary

  2. Gavin says:

    Hey Balazs,

    that sounds pretty cool – so you can use an iPhone or android or similar as a view finder? That would be very handy for checking out where the camera is pointing. Are you saying that the bluetooth connection is released later this year in the spring?

    Thanks for commenting!
    Gavin

  3. Balazs says:

    hey Gavin,

    bluetooth is already included into the gps model, they are working on the softvare to have it this spring.

    all the best,
    Balazs

  4. Gavin says:

    Hey Balazs – so I guess it’s just a firmware update then? That’s pretty cool, thanks for the head up,

    Gavin

  5. Tom Stark says:

    Ahh, I’m still torn between these two! The 960 is very appealing with the cheaper price tag… I just don’t like that it’s a box, even though it’s small. Doesn’t it drag more at high speeds compared to the ContourHD?

  6. Gavin says:

    Hey Tom,

    I know what you mean – the Contour looks like the more streamlined design… but then again the GoPro gets much praise, even when positioned up there on the helmet…

    Cheers, Gavin

  7. Matt says:

    I’ve got a Drift Stealth. The Gopros are really good, but the drift have a screen and a remote and the quality is stupidly good. I’d get a gopro with a screen but its an extra and costs like 90 quid, Shame drift doesn’t get much of a mention I’ve only seen them here http://www.actioncameras.co.uk/Drift_HD170_Stealth

    is the contour waterproof?

  8. Gavin says:

    Not sure about the contour and waterproof – I think I’ve seen a waterproof casing, but not 100% on that. Also not seen the Drift Stealth before – I’m gonna go check both this things out ;)

    I do know that the Contour can interface with something like an iPhone, which is handy for setting up the angle of the cam.

    Cheers,
    Gavin