Recently released as a price-point challenger to the market leader, Contour’s new ROAM 3 action camera is in keeping with its predecessors: functional design, solid construction and a fool-proof interface. At the time of its launch it was significantly cheaper than the equivalent GoPro in terms of specs – the Hero 3+ White – but with the recent announcement of a new basic model from their competitors priced at just £99, the question has to be what do you get for your extra £90?
The answer is simple: the well thought out form factor and design are what makes this a sensible buy if you’re looking out for a camera towards the lower end of the price spectrum. It feels solid in the hand, and whilst we didn’t throw it out of a window or anything it can probably take a few knocks and dings.
The ROAM 3’s controls are incredibly simple too: just slide the switch on top forward to turn on and start recording or press the button on the back to shoot a still, and if you want to change the settings, rather than navigating through a load of menus you can just pop open the back and flick a switch.
Mounting-wise, Contour have beefed up their attachments to hold the weight of the camera better, and if you can’t fix it to your pole or helmet exactly horizontal you can rotate the lens and level it with a laser guide. Speaking of the lens, it’s super sharp and gives a 170° field of view, more than enough for head or follow cam shots.
In summary, it’s a handy camera that – rather than competing directly with the GoPro range – fitting nicely between the basic Hero and the more advanced Hero 4 Silver. To improve it, it could do with an added layer of protection over the lens and maybe a removable battery in case you run out on the hill, but it’s great for people who want durability and ease of use – no-nonsense shred filming!