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Extreme sports athletes get a kick out of sharing their exploits, but they often meet with disbelief. So the latest rugged video camera from Contour should silence the skeptics, since you can use it to upload action video directly from your helmet to Facebook, YouTube, or Vimeo. It’s proof that you really skied down a powdery slope or went straight down a hill on a mountain bike.

To keep up with the rugged outdoors adventurers, Contour today is launching its Contour+2 video camera, a $399 high-definition TV camera that you can strap to the side of your head. You can use the Bluetooth connection on your iPhone or Android smartphone to aim the camera in the right direction once it’s on your head, as pictured below right. The camera can record video and track your speed, distance, and elevation. It can then wirelessly share it to video-sharing sites. It’s a nice marriage of consumer electronics and social media.

Contour chief executive Marc Barros said in an interview with VentureBeat that the video camera market has been shrinking, but action sports cameras are on the rise as people realize they can capture the best moments in life, wherever they happen. Seattle-based Contour is selling the Contour+2 at major retailers such as, REI, and Zumiez later in September for $399. It’s also going to be on sale at B&H Photo, Video and Pro-Audio, and specialty retailers in 40 countries.

“What people want nowadays are connected experiences,” Barros said.  “We get it from your camera to the web as fast as possible.”

The new camera replaces the older ContourGPS and the original Contour+ video cameras (the latter previously cost $499). Now the Contour+2 will be sold alongside the ContourROAM, which costs $199.

The new model has been tested by professional athletes and film partners under extreme conditions. The company fine-tuned the sensor to improve the overall sharpness of an image, the speed at which the camera adjusts for fast lighting changes, and the underwater video quality. The device has faster frame rates and one-button recording. The user can lock the instant-on record switch into position to capture video at 120 frames per second. The camera shoots in four different HD modes, including super slow-motion. The case is waterproof to 60 meters underwater.



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