Digital Cameras

Contour rises again, and announces Roam3 actioncam

Contour rises again, and annou...
The newly-announced Contour Roam3
The newly-announced Contour Roam3
View 4 Images
The newly-announced Contour Roam3
1/4
The newly-announced Contour Roam3
The Roam3 has a 270-degree rotatable lens with a 170-degree field of view
2/4
The Roam3 has a 270-degree rotatable lens with a 170-degree field of view
It also features a locking instant-on record switch – as soon as you switch the camera on, it starts recording
3/4
It also features a locking instant-on record switch – as soon as you switch the camera on, it starts recording
Additionally, the Roam3 can shoot underwater at a depth of up to 30 feet (9 meters) without a case
4/4
Additionally, the Roam3 can shoot underwater at a depth of up to 30 feet (9 meters) without a case

For a while there, the Contour actioncam company was in a state of hiatus, leaving many people wondering when and if it would resume making cameras. Well, now it's under new ownership, and today it announced its latest offering – the Contour Roam3. While the camera reportedly offers "the best video and sound quality of any Contour to date," it actually features less bells and whistles than the company's existing +2 model.

With the Roam3, Contour appears to be going for something that's an improvement on the base-model Roam2, yet is simpler to use and cheaper to buy than the +2.

Unlike the latter of those two models, the Roam3 lacks mobile connectivity, GPS video mapping, live streaming capability, and an external microphone jack. Like it, however, it has a 270-degree rotatable lens with a 170-degree field of view, a laser alignment system for aiming the lens (since it doesn't have a viewfinder), an all-aluminum body, and a locking instant-on record switch – as soon as you switch the camera on, it starts recording.

The Roam3 has a 270-degree rotatable lens with a 170-degree field of view
The Roam3 has a 270-degree rotatable lens with a 170-degree field of view

It captures video at 1080p/30 fps or 720p/60fps, and records it on an included 8GB memory card. Stills can also be captured in 5-megapixel single frame or burst modes. No figures are available regarding battery life, although its battery is described as being built-in – this presumably means that it can't be swapped in the field for a fully-charged extra.

Perhaps the camera's most noteworthy feature, though, is its ability to shoot underwater at a depth of up to 30 feet (9 meters) without a case. By contrast, the Roam2 can only go down to one meter (3 ft), while the +2 requires a separate watertight housing.

The Contour Roam3 is priced at US$200, which is $50 more than the Roam2 and $100 less than the +2. Footage shot with it can be seen in the video below.

Source: Contour

Contour Athlete: Niccolo Porcella

4 comments
oldguy
I believe that they could sell a whole bunch of lenses in a variety of focal lengths for these cameras. We dont always want to be wide
Synchro
@oldguy - I have the older 1080p model; that only has a 135° FOV, which really isn't wide enough, and lacking viewfinder means that you can't frame shots accurately, which becomes more important as FOV decreases. Mine can take a 37mm adaptor that allows filters to be added - I use ND and polarizing filters to help stop it overexposing in snowy conditions. You can get lenses that will work on that mount too, though you might have focus issues. I don't kow if the Roam3 has an adapter option.
Gerald Martin
Interesting article, Ben. and thanks for it. (But really, Ben, as a writer you should know better....Your 'less bells...' should read, 'fewer bells...'
John Banister
These will be popular with picatinny mounts, especially having the aiming laser, but they need a recessed ring light - one that can act as a flashlight, but not put glare on the lens.