Cell phones have clearly taken any remaining magic out of videotaping your life, but there is still one area that may still hold some of that excitement. I will call it the Michael Bay Moments (although Peter Berg may be stealing his thunder). If you ski, snowboard, cycle, or skateboard—do anything involving action, really—you've probably at least once thought: Wouldn't it be cool to videotape this?
For me it's cycling. As a daily bike commuter in New York City, I experience no shortage of harrowing moments that would probably look really freaking cool on video. There are now several lightweight cameras designed to capture those daredevil events POV-style, and I recently got a chance to test a new one called the Contour+2.
I had the simple and easy-to-use 5-ounce camera mounted on my helmet and streaming video to my iPhone via Bluetooth in no time. My next ride was at night, but I was so anxious to test the Contour+2 I used it anyway, not really expecting much from taping in the dark. Talk about blowing away expectations: The internal 4GB micro SD card couldn't quite record my entire ride, but the 20 minutes of HD video shot from my head at 1080p was remarkably clear. Streetlights, headlights, and even the faces of fellow riders were in detailed focus and the action was fast and smooth—kinda Bay-worthy actually. (In addition to great video, the Contour+2 has the nifty ability to record speed, location, and elevation data that you can then share across social networking platforms.)
Dialing down the resolution the next morning, I was able to get a video of my entire ride and even at the lowest setting it still looked incredible. Maybe the action wasn't as harrowing as I'd imagined (my wife would be thankful), but the camera made my daily commute look awesome nonetheless. See for yourself. (With a hat tip to John Markic in Details' production department for speeding things up and turning it into a palatable 3:02 minutes.)
—Greg Emmanuel (@gemmanuel), articles editor at Details