Rugged ContourRoam Camera Does 1080p Underwater Shooting

By Wesley Fenlon

Feel like dropping your camera in a puddle or onto a pile of rocks? The ContourRoam can take the abuse and works at up to 1 meter underwater.

What's better for shooting video underwater: a small hand-held no-fuss shooter like the Kodak PlaySport, or an entirely hands-free mountable camera? Contour hopes you're more interested in the latter, since its latest mountable camera, the ContourRoam, can shoot 1080p 30fps video and 5MP still images with a lens that rotates 270 degrees and includes a laser line for leveling shots even when the camera is mounted at a funky angle.

Like Motorola's Defy+ phone, the ContourRoam can only stand submersion in three feet of water. The Kodak, on the other hand, can dive down up to ten feet without taking on water. The ContourRoam is built with rain and snow in mind rather than scuba diving pressure, but there is a solution: Contour sells a $40 hard plastic waterproof case for diving to 200 feet (60 meters) below the surface.

The ContourRoam supports up to 32GB of storage via microSD and naturally has a built-in multi-directional mic for catching audio. The aluminum body is devoid of the buttons and switches we expect from digital cameras. One big button powers up the camera and starts it rolling immediately--no worrying about a blinking red record light here. Naturally, to keep the whole unit waterproof, the battery isn't removable. It lasts three hours on a charge.

Contour sells the ContourRoam on its site for $200--too expensive for casual vacation shooting, perhaps, but not a bad price for the outdoorsy types who need a camera that can take some abuse and keep on filming.