Contour Launches Contour+ Sportcam With Wider Lens, More Ports

You might remember the ContourHD rugged wearable camera we reviewed a while back — they updated later with GPS functionality and now (as we heard earlier) have a new camera live on their site that adds a wider angle lens and a few useful ports for recording and streaming your media.

The Contour+ has a 170 degree, F/2.8 lens — 35 degrees wider than the already wide view from the earlier cameras. Unfortunately you’ll only be able to take full advantage of that in 720p; the 1080p video is limited to 125 degrees. Boo! On the bright side, the new lens is flush-front, cutting down on water and dust getting caught in the lens well, and easing cleaning.

They’ve also added some new functionality: there’s now a 2.5mm mic jack for external sound recording — which is great, because pinhole mics are especially awful when in motion.

And now there’s an HDMI port, doing exactly what you expect an HDMI port to do — handy for reviewing footage quickly without worrying about transferring files or removing the micro SD card with muddy hands. This and the USB port have pass-throughs in the rear cover, a nice touch. And of course you can still stream the video using Bluetooth to your iPhone or Android device. Very handy for framing the shot.

Video modes appear to be unchanged; if there are bitrate or encoding tweaks under the hood, they aren’t listed on the specs page. GPS performance has been improved to a 4Hz update rate (sweet).

The price is a whopping $500, twice as much as the ContourHD and $150 more than the GPS. You’re getting a lot of hardware tweaks for that price, and for a lot of people the extra degrees of wide angle will be more than worth it. We’ll have one soon to review, though, so if you’re not quite sure, just hold tight.