Contour+2/ Gopro camera

Submitted: Thursday, Feb 06, 2014 at 20:49
ThreadID: 106121 Views:2441 Replies:7 FollowUps:6
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I am looking at purchasing a Contour+2 or a Gopro Black camera. Can anyone offer their experiences or thoughts with either of these? Of particular interest to me is whether these cameras can be powered from the cigarette socket when the camera is attached to the windscreen with the battery removed?
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Reply By: Razerback - Thursday, Feb 06, 2014 at 21:41

Thursday, Feb 06, 2014 at 21:41
Don't believe you can operate the Go Pro with the battery removed. Not sure why you would want to do that? why can't you connect the 12v USB Cable to the device whilst you use it? The Go Pro with numerous updates is useable now, early on the Black 1st gen we purchased was problematic and often hung. All good now. Love the way you can use the free Go Pro APP via the Iphone or Ipad to view what the camera sees and to control the camera, it's not perfect but very handy. No experience with the Contour.
AnswerID: 525879

Follow Up By: Member - Wayne T (QLD) - Thursday, Feb 06, 2014 at 22:33

Thursday, Feb 06, 2014 at 22:33
Razerback, Thanks for your reply. So you are saying that the battery stays in the camera but I can power the camera from the cigarette lighter socket? I don't want to have to worry about the battery running out when i'm recording and driving.
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Follow Up By: TerraFirma - Friday, Feb 07, 2014 at 11:59

Friday, Feb 07, 2014 at 11:59
Yes battery stays and can be charged/powered at the same time. It pays to use a double USB cigarette 12v charger , that way you can also charge a phone or your spare Go Pro batteries. If you want to charge an Ipad or Iphone get yourself the higher output 12v charger, these are 10w 2.1amps which will future proof the use of the charger
FollowupID: 808001

Reply By: Member - John W (VIC) - Thursday, Feb 06, 2014 at 21:47

Thursday, Feb 06, 2014 at 21:47
Both Camera's can be powered by usb but must have the battery in them, go for the Gopro I used a Contour on gravel roads in Western Australia in 2011 and it rattled apart in 400k's

AnswerID: 525883

Reply By: didjabringabeer - Thursday, Feb 06, 2014 at 22:06

Thursday, Feb 06, 2014 at 22:06
Hi I have a gopro black. Takes a good picture sound is maybe a bit low. Had lots of fun with it. Only downside for me is getting the extras, always seem to be buying another bit. You can power it from the cig socket that's what I do. Hope this helps.
AnswerID: 525886

Reply By: Member - Wayne T (QLD) - Thursday, Feb 06, 2014 at 22:23

Thursday, Feb 06, 2014 at 22:23
Thanks for the reply's, I want to operate the camera in the car but not have to worry about the battery running out. By your reply's it seems that the battery stays in but the camera can be run from the cigarette lighter socket is this correct?
AnswerID: 525887

Follow Up By: TTTSA - Friday, Feb 07, 2014 at 13:25

Friday, Feb 07, 2014 at 13:25
The battery stays connected to the camera and it can be connected to the cig socket via usb. So yes it can be charging and being used at the same time. I use a piggy back battery on mine for extended use away from the vehicle.
FollowupID: 808009

Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Friday, Feb 07, 2014 at 14:26

Friday, Feb 07, 2014 at 14:26

I bought a GoPro Black last month, but haven't used it yet. Didn't realise I'd have attend Uni to work out how to use it. Otherwise might get the 3 year old grandson to give me some tuition.

With the waterproof cover fitted, you can't recharge the battery while in use. Would need one of the other gold plated accessories to charge as you travel.

I also downloaded 2 GoPro apps, to compliment the unit, but haven't arced them up either.


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Follow Up By: TTTSA - Friday, Feb 07, 2014 at 14:57

Friday, Feb 07, 2014 at 14:57
Unless the gopro 3 is different to the gopro 2 in that regard all you need is a usb charger cable that connects to a plug in your cigarette lighter socket to charge as you travel.

FollowupID: 808023

Reply By: tim_c - Thursday, Feb 06, 2014 at 22:35

Thursday, Feb 06, 2014 at 22:35
I few months back I was looking for an action camera and from previous research I had pretty much narrowed it down to the Contour Roam (or Roam 2?) and the Drift HD as being the ones I would seriously consider. Then I happened upon the iON Air Pro which was what I ended up getting. I got it from Ted's cameras in the end for $249 (+$9.95 delivery) including the WiFi kit, a couple of mounts and power options - even the grey-import sites were starting at around this price for the bare bones pack.

If you want something to run off the cig-lighter socket in your car, as far as value for money goes, it's hard to beat the ACT20 720P action camera available for around $70-75 (delivered) on ebay (seller: totodealhk) with windscreen & handlebar mounts, 240v & 12v chargers. The camera itself has a compact 'bullet' profile (about the same size as a small LED torch). It also has a couple of useful features for in-car use that the more expensive ones don't, such as cycle recording (overwrites older footage when the memory card is full, this option can be turned off, or you can swap the card if there is something you want to keep for longer) and a date/time stamp optional on the footage. I had to replace mine after a year or so because the battery would only give me about 15min in the end (reduced from up to 3 hours) which isn't an issue using it in the car, but not much good on my bike. It also had an auto power-up & start recording when connected to the car (assuming you connected it to the standard cig-socket which is only live with key in ACC or ON position) & of course, auto stop/off when the car was turned off again. All of these features can be turned on/off with the camera plugged into a PC.

I was quickly put off the GoPro mostly because of the profile which wasn't well suited to mounting on a bike (though perhaps less of an issue in the car). I'd also seen some people having trouble with the hinged mounting system pointing the camera up at the sky if you ever hit a bump. Add to that: the GoPro by itself costs as much as (or more than) most of the competing cameras do when they're packaged with mounts, etc., and then you have to buy mounts to use it as anything other than a handheld camera, and the accessories quickly add up. Having said that, the GoPro footage is much clearer than that of my $70 ebay cheapie, but I've been quite impressed with the clarity of my iON Air Pro. Just watch that the lens isn't too wide angle if you want to be able to read rego' plates - my ebay cheapie has a 60 deg. lens and while the overall picture doesn't look as sharp, rego' plates are far more likely to be readable than with my iON Air Pro which has a 120 deg. lens.

I haven't tried running the iON Air Pro from the car but I don't see why it wouldn't - I'm not sure that it has auto start/stop when connected though (not sure if GoPro or Contour do this either). There are a lot of dedicated car recording devices available now though, many even having a GPS location and/or speed stamped onto the footage - I think Jaycar has at least one model, and I think I've also seen them advertised at JB HiFi and similar shops - usually around $100-200 depending on features, footage quality, etc.
AnswerID: 525888

Follow Up By: tim_c - Thursday, Feb 06, 2014 at 22:39

Thursday, Feb 06, 2014 at 22:39
I think this is it here:

Only about $61 at the moment - as long as it's plugged in to your cig-lighter socket, it shouldn't run out of battery.
FollowupID: 807970

Reply By: Member - John D, Wandong (Vic) - Saturday, Feb 08, 2014 at 10:12

Saturday, Feb 08, 2014 at 10:12
Hi Wayne, I have the GoPro Black Edition and my sole purpose of use was to mount it to the windscreen to be used to record our trip last year and also for security/insurance reasons.
I also wanted to be able to power the camera via the cigarette socket while driving.

The camera came with two clear plastic mounting cases, one is a standard type case and the other is water proof (the water proof case reduces the sound level picked up by the mic), for my purpose I use the standard case, to be able to plug the power lead into the camera whilst mounted to the windscreen I had to make a hole in the side of the plastic case where the power lead would go through and connect to the camera.

No need to remove the battery!
This way the camera is being powered/charged whilst driving!
You will need a USB type plug to fit the cigarette socket!

Cheers, John
AnswerID: 525967

Reply By: Mick O - Saturday, Feb 08, 2014 at 15:53

Saturday, Feb 08, 2014 at 15:53

When you purchase a Gopro black, it comes with a number of housings as standard. The skeleton housing allows you to run the unit from a 12V supply, the trade off is that the unit is not water/dust proof...whoopee, it's hanging on your windscreen for goodness sake!

Suggest you check out the respective websites. Have been using a gopro Hero 2 and 3 both in car and strapped to a quad with gratifying results,

Cheers, Mick.

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