Being tasked to review three cameras is the sort of thing that makes working at Evans a bit different from the average desk job. Indeed, soon after taking delivery of the Contour +2, the GoPro Hero3 Silver and the Veho Muvi HD10 my desk was buried under all manner of mounts and the entire department around me ceased work to poke, prod and fiddle with the cameras.
In terms of mounts, all three cameras came supplied with lots of different options, including some clever clip-on mounts for clothing or bags with the Veho Muvi, but they mainly revolved around stick on mounts with various options for surfaces and camera angles.
Mounts for handlebars or vented XC style helmets were a little lacking, although available seperately, so we decided to mount all three cameras on a full-face DH helmet using the stick on mounts provided. All were extremely secure when attached, and seem to use some kind of wonder glue which just doesn’t budge – ideal if you’re going riding with a £200+ camera on your head.
Onto the testing then – aside from the humility of riding one the best-known XC trails in the South-East wearing a full-face helmet, I also looked quite ridiculous with all three cameras protruding from my head, luckily it was early on a cold Tuesday morning and I don’t think anybody saw me…
All three cameras have remote control options – the Veho Muvi HD10 comes with a simple but effective remote which allows you to start/stop recording, and take a picture. It neatly clips on your clothing or bag and works well. Simple but effective.
Both the Contour +2 and the GoPro Hero3 Silver have smartphone apps which work on Bluetooth and Wi-Fi respectively and are downloadable for free. They offer a load of options for controlling your camera on the go, including changing settings quickly and easily alongside the more obvious start/stop recording functions. Both also offered a preview of what the camera was seeing which is incredibly handy for ensuring your camera angle is spot on. The Veho Muvi has a mini screen on the back for this purpose too.
So – the results?
Veho Muvi HD10 (£129.99):
Pros: Simple operation, good image quality, handy remote control, lots of mounting options, simple to set up.
Cons: A bit big maybe, narrow field of view top-to-bottom (landscape).
Contour +2 (£359.99)
Pros: Slim and discreet, GPS tracking function, loads of mounting options, rotating lens and laser-levelling guide. Smartphone app is super-easy to use and operate. Excellent waterproof case for some very interesting shooting options. Great quality video.
Cons: Plagued by wind noise without the waterproof case like all Contour cameras (although it does have an input for an external mic). Mounts can be a little rattley when on really bumpy trails.
GoPro Hero3 Silver (£279.99)
Pros: Mounts rock solid pretty much anywhere at any angle. Smartphone app is excellent and easy to use. Great field of view and top quality video.
Cons: Mounts can be a little clunky and not exactly discreet.
To sum it up then, the Muvi is a great little camera in its own right, offering good quality video with lots of mounting options and great ease-of-use. Only when side-by-side with the Contour and GoPro does it seem lacking.
Between the Contour and the GoPro it’s a tough choice, the Contour has the simplicity, subtlety and sleekness, along with great features such as the waterproof case, laser levelling and GPS tracking. The GoPro has fantastic mounts and excellent video.
It really boils down to the quality of the video (straight out of the box, no adjustments – of which many are available on both models), and this is where the GoPro Hero3 Silver comes out on top.
Clarity and smoothness of video, colour warmth and ability to deal with changing light condition such as dappled sunlight are just that little bit ahead of the Contour and for that reason it gets the top score from me.