We have all seen some of the fantastic and dramatic footage captured via the now more readily accessible and affordable technology of the HD (High Definition) helmet cam. In recent years these cameras have brought the first person perspective to a whole new level. But these cameras provide a unique opportunity beyond impressive captures of spent cartridges flying from the breach at high speed; they offer the ability to capture and analyze yourself.
After quite a bit of research, I decided against the uber popular GoPro platform and chose the Contour GPS for its ultra rugged and durable reputation, sleek helmet and long arm mounting options. After a short learning curve of trial and error, a bit of testing and downright fun, I have just now begun to put the Contour HD camera to use for its intended purpose.
Self Evaluation of Technique and Tactics
The concept of video evaluation of both team and individual operator tactics and technique has been around for some time. However for an individual to be able to own technology that enables this in a low drag portable/deployable package is rather new. In order to accomplish this in the past you might have found yourself setting up a video camera on a tripod and later spending hours hitting rewind, pausing and playing in order to observe your own carbine to pistol transitions, analyzing your draw stroke and magazine changes. But it was worth it. Self analysis is a powerful that can be utilized to keep bad habits in check; for this purpose video is ideal.
I weighed my options when I choose my Contour accessories. I admittedly do not get as much mileage out of some as I do others. As opposed to getting into that, here are a few that I have found to be most useful.
- – Hat Mount
- – Flat Rotating Surface Mount
- – Picatinny Mount
Not that I own any accessories that I feel where ill conceived or downright failures. The fact of the matter is I purchased a few more than I needed and some for use in specific environments that I have yet to capitolize on using them in… such as water.
The Contour GPS comes with the following accessories.
- – 2GB SD Card
- – Rotating Flat Surface Mount
- – Profile (Helmet) Mount
The 2GB is a great starter pack but I immediately replaced it with a 16GB card. I chose the 16GB on the account that it was good for 2.5 hours of recording time and that was better in alignment with the battery life. If it seems a bit odd that I did not name the helmet mount as one of the most useful accessories, this is only on the account that I have more occasion to wear a baseball cap than I do a helmet. The low profile helmet and long gun mounting options where two of the major criteria for my choosing the Contour camera. As a matter of fact I made a small experiment of walking around with the Contour mounted to my baseball hat in public. So few took note of extra apparatus mounted to my hat/side of my head that I was truly shocked by the outcome of my experiment.
I have yet to touch on the GPS part of the Contour and why I chose this option over other models. GPS is of course the readily recognizable acronym for Global Positioning System… and that is exactly what the Contour GPS offers: the added ability to geocach. That is, the ability to track your own movement and to overlay your outbound adventure on a Google map.
However, that is not why I chose the GPS model. The Contour GPS is a step up from the more entry level Contour ROAM. Beyond the GPS geocach, it offers the ability to sync with your android phone via bluetooth. This allows for a live view in order to check the angle of your capture, view your battery life and, if necessary, make adjustments to the cameras light gathering and environmental properties. And that is pretty cool stuff!
I suppose it wouldn’t be cool for me to sit here and bang away at the keyboard talking about a product that takes video without actually showing some of the video that I have captured… However my video captures simply do not compare to the footage that some of these nut job surfers, skiers, mountain bikers and off road motor sport (and the list goes on) people have captured. That and I have just now begun to put this camera to its intended use. So for now, I am instead going to share a bit of rock and roll themed heavy cashes that have been captured by some the previously mentioned Contour users. I chose crashes, because they are just more fun…
On the Move and Moving Forward
Moving forward I have every intention of utilizing the Contour for both the purpose of skill building exercises and downright FUN! Since I acquired the Contour GPS a bit of research has revealed that Daniel Defense has taken out a contract as a distributor of the Contour line of HD cameras. I would expect no less than to see more and more video captures of tactical applications brought to you by Contour HD cameras.