One of the ROAM2’s nicer features is its one-button recording. When it’s time to start shooting, the user just slides the locking record/power switch into position – the camera has no viewfinder/playback screen, so there’s no reason why anyone would want it to be powered up when they weren’t recording. Not only does this feature simplify its operation, but it also allows the battery to last longer, as there is no standby mode. One charge should be good for about 3.5 hours of recording.
Without a viewfinder, however, how do you know where its lens is pointing? As with the original ROAM and the +2, it has two lasers on either side of the 170-degree wide-angle lens, which can be flashed to get an approximate idea of its field of view. The lens can be rotated relative the rest of the camera, in order to level out the shot if necessary.
Additionally, the ROAM2 is waterproof to one meter (3.3 feet) without a separate housing. At that level of waterproofing, you might not want to take it scuba diving, but it should do fine getting splashed and dunked while kayaking or surfing.
Shooting modes include 1080p at 30 frames per second, 960p at 30 fps, and 720p at 60 or 30 fps. It can also grab 5MP still images at a rate of up to one per second.
Features on the +2 that aren't available on the ROAM2 include GPS, a removable (and thus swap-able) battery, an HDMI connection, and an external mic jack. The ROAM2 also lacks the +2’s Bluetooth connectivity, meaning that users can’t use their mobile device as a remote viewfinder or playback screen.
If you’re OK with its relative lack of bells and whistles, you can pick up a Contour ROAM2 now for US$199.99 – that price includes a 4GB microSD card.
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