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Anyone who is interested in audio is also almost certainly interested in equipment. Tell me that's not so ;-)
And an interest in audio equipment can also extend to equipment from other spheres of activity. Generally not kitchen equipment, irons or vacuum cleaners, but photographic and video equipment is a prime target.
Although I shoot video professionally to illustrate demonstrations for Audio Masterclass, I also shoot video purely as a hobby. I figure that when I'm aged 105 or so I might have time on my hands and need something to watch!
So it's a pleasure when a piece of equipment comes along that suits its intended purpose exactly. I could say that about two video camcorders that I own - the tiny Flip Mino HD (which will be lamented when it's gone, and yes for my purposes it is better than the Kodak Zi8), and the Contour HD1080p.
The Contour HD1080p is designed for action videography, for sports such as parachuting, mountaineering, surfing monster waves in Hawaii and the like. Oh, and cycling, which is what I use it for. It mounts nicely on helmet or handlebars and with its wide-angle lens captures an all-round view of the fun.
And what's great about it is that it does exactly what it needs to do, and nothing more. The record button is as big as you have ever seen and it is easily operated with thick gloves on in winter. The quality of the images is as good as one could possibly expect for the size and price of the unit.
Just yesterday I was changing the battery and through my ham-fistedness broke the latch that secures the battery in its compartment. Oddly enough, the camera still worked so I was able to use it.
But knew I would need that latch, so I sent off an e-mail to Contour's support department.
Within an hour I received a response offering to send me a new latch with fitting instructions, free of charge and with free international shipping too.
I had the cheek to ask them for two latches, just in case I broke another one, and that was OK too. By the way, to Contour I am just an ordinary punter, and not anyone who is likely to write about them on a website of any kind.
In summary, full marks to Contour for an excellent product and excellent service. When their next new model comes out, I'll be first in line.