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VholdR vs GoPro: Follow up thoughts and the winner.

Monday, November 23, 2009 by  
Filed under Daily Blog

November
23
2009

On Saturday I posted pictures, video and my thoughts on the GoPro HD HERO camera, and then on Sunday I did the same with the VholdR Contour HD 1080p. Deciding which one to keep has turned out to be a very difficult choice for me.

First of all, I need to follow up on a couple of things I wrote with some new information…

GoPro rubber   insert

GoPro rubber insert

One of my biggest complaints with the GoPro unit was that every time I hit a bump the mic would record loud clicking sounds. Turns out there is a small orange rubber insert (which was included in the mount bag) that solves that problem 100%.

It seems obvious now, but when I first unboxed the GoPro I had no idea what this “mystery” item was supposed to be used for (and I’ve seen other reviews wondering the same thing). I discovered its use by accident. As I noted in my initial thoughts on the GoPro, a single sheet describing the various mounting options would have been very helpful, especially for people like me who are brand new to wearable camcorders.

With regards to the VholdR Contour 1080p, I thought I had a defective unit. Sadly, it seems that my unit is not defective and the poor video results I was seeing are considered “normal”. The faint pink lines that plagued my video are, I’m told, caused by lens flare. I know the pink lines were hard to see in my video, but check out this section of video I found on YouTube. The yellow lines are very easy to see. I was told that I could purchase a threaded adapter and also a polarized lens to help with the problem, but the GoPro doesn’t seem to have that problem right out of the box.

Also, concerning the pinkish hue I was seeing in some of the footage I shot on the Contour, I was told to try reducing the exposure. I did that, and still experienced the same thing in some spots. I also saw some other video on YouTube shot in similar light conditions that had the same problem. Unfortunately I think this is something just inherent to the product.

Finally, there’s the wind noise issue on the Contour (just listen to the YouTube clip I linked to above). I’ve seen countless posts from people attempting to mitigate the horrible wind noise problem on the Contour. Some people are literally taking their cameras apart and adding external mic leads and all kinds of other crazy stuff (which I’m sure voids the Contour’s paltry 180 day warranty). The GoPro does an amazing job of reducing wind noise right out of the box.

As much as I like the way the Contour looks compared to the boxy GoPro, the Contour seems to have some audio and video shortcomings that are inherent to the hardware and design. With my #1 gripe about the GoPro (the clicking noise) solved, I think the GoPro is the obvious choice.

Hey, we had a great time at the JSF private PokerStars tournament last night! We’ll be doing it again next Sunday night, so if you want to come hang out with your fellow JSF’rs and play some cards, download the free PokerStars software and fund your account before next Sunday. The buyin is just $5.50. I’ll post details on this Sunday’s tournament in tomorrow’s update.

Enough camera and poker talk: today is leg day and it’s time to shut up and SQUAT!

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