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The ContourGPS is the next step for amateur action sports videographers. The model combines the advantages of the ContourHD and adds GPS tracking to your edits.
It has all the features of the ContourHD model (read the review from December 2010) and has a few additional ones. Use your iPhone or Android device as a viewfinder, so you can check out your camcorder's view. This is a nice option since you can ensure you are capturing the next jarring mountain biking run. And the ContourHD can take still photos.
Contour boasts their built-in GPS receiver updates four-times per second. It tracks your location, speed and elevation. After riding some rails or tricking out in the halfpipe in the snowpark, the ContourGPS connects to your computer with a USB cord to upload your video files for viewing.
Contour's online community is the place to upload and view your adventures. It's free to join and connects you to other gnarly POVers that take pride in capturing endorphin-jumping video. The best part is the reduced amount of video garbage like you may see on YouTube.
Once the file is uploaded and ready to view, you see the video next to a Google map. Your eyes will flip back and forth between the video and map trying to catch the high spots on video and then seeing the speed and location on the map.
I took the ContourGPS to the South Park BMX track for an easy-going day of testing, and the results were successful. Once you power up the camcorder, there is a waiting period to let it lock to the global positioning system satellites. Once locked, the fun began. A handful of laps on the track, and I had enough to upload.
Contour has Storyteller, a free download for basic editing of your video and for uploading to their video community. A few edits to it, and the video was uploaded.
The ContourGPS does have a few limitations. Contour's Storyteller can handle basic editing. Robust video editing software may eliminate the GPS data on the file.
YouTube does have its share of garbage, but it's still the most visited video sharing site. All GPS data is lost when uploading a video file shot on the ContourGPS.
There is a way to get the GPS data on your YouTube video. DashWare can be purchased for $50, and it can handle ContourGPS files, and it can place side-by-side your video and mapping (see example). This takes some advanced technical knowledge and it takes time to master. (MSRP $349.99)
Jason Elliot is the Editor and Publisher of OutdoorInformer.com. Elliot has established a respected following with the top industry professionals and gearheads for his nonbiased reviews of outdoor gear and apparel. Elliot is a regular contributor to Examiner.com, Trails.com and other publications on top of his editorial and writing role with OutdoorInformer.com.
Elliot left a successful fifteen-plus year management career that he worked at Fortune 500 and S&P 500 companies to pursue his passion for writing about the outdoors. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Clarion University of Pennsylvania and a master’s degree from La Roche College.
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