The realm of the action-camera is hot. With market leader GoPro announcing its plan for an Initial Public Offering (and hoping to raise $300-$500 million!), and big boys like Sony and JVC jumping into the game, the category is now mainstream and here to stay.
Mean time, a half-dozen other brands continue to innovate. This includes Contour Inc., which today announced a next-generation camera, the Contour+2, that will be soon sold as a premium product at $399 to the action-sports market.
What distinguishes the camera, the company cites, is its “deeper social and mobile integration and data features.” That means, for starters, that the camera will interface with your iPhone. You can view live video and preview shots from a phone screen.
A new shooting mode of 120 frames per second in 480p resolution captures “super slow motion” footage. The camera has an external microphone jack, letting you plug in a mic and get higher quality audio than most consumer-grade shooters.
The Contour+2 will come with a waterproof case and two mounts. Like other models from the company, this camera has a built-in GPS chip to allow geo-tagging of video and overlaying spatial metrics of an athlete in motion (speed, elevation, distance traveled) within a final production.
The “deeper social integration” claim? The company has not released much detail here, but for one item Facebook’s platform, Contour says, will enable its users to upload their videos with embedded GPS-garnered data, including speed, elevation, and distance. This data will appear in a small box in the upper right corner of the video when viewed on Facebook.
Finally, the company touts “improved action video,” noting a fine-tuning of the camera’s sensor to offer its “highest quality action video, ever.” Contour cites sharpness upgrades of the image and adjustments to the sensor chip that allows the camera to adapt quicker as light changes in a scene.