There's been another volley in the compact point-of-view camera wars--this latest round coming from VholdR (formerly known as Twenty20), which is staking claim as the first company to offer HD capability in a helmet camera.
The new design uses the same basics chassis as Vholdr's previous design but adds high-definition capability and a wide-angle lens option--a very usable 135-degree field of view. The $300 unit uses a rechargeable cell-phone-style lithium ion battery and records to an up-to 16GB Micro SD card. The entire unit is self contained, and setup is aided by two positioning lasers mounted to a rotating bezel on the front of the camera.
Simply affix the camera to your helmet or handlebar, square up the two reference lasers level with the horizon, and flip a big easy-to-use magnetic switch and listen for the one-beep or two-beep audio cue that indicates whether recording is starting, or stopping, respectively.
In HD mode, the camera records to a 16:9 aspect ratio at 30 frames a second, spitting out 1280×720 pixel footage. In an optional "High Action" mode, the camera records at a blisteringly fast 60 frames a second, but not in HD.
The camera comes standard with a sticky-mount and a goggle strap mount, but most riders will want to look into purchasing the vented helmet mount and the handlebar/seatpost mount (pictured below), both of which are aftermarket accessories available through the company's web site, and not included in the $300 base price.
One of the very first Contour HD cameras found its way onto Lars Sternberg’s helmet, as he followed GT rider Bryn Atikinson down the DH course at Sea Otter this month. You know the camera is good when it makes a practice run at Laguna Seca look good.
Click the image above to see the video.
Bike magazine is currently pitting a new ContourHD camera against VIO Sport's standout OPV 1.5 and the HERO Wide, the budget performer from GoPro. Look for a comprehensive test of all three in a future issue of Bike.
For more on the ContourHD, got to vholdr.com