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Top Action Sports Cameras: Contour 2+, Sony Action HDR-AS100VR, GoPro Hero 3+ Black Edition

Updated on June 19, 2014

What action camera is the best for you?

The action sports camera market has exploded in recent years. There are now cameras out there that will cater to your specific needs. All of these cameras have their pros and cons, and they also have many similarities. For the purposes of this article we will be looking at the Contour 2+, the Sony HDR-AS100VR "Action Cam," or the GoPro Hero 3+ Black Edition. Between these three cameras, you can rest assured that there will be a camera to suit your needs.

Features

  • GPS Functionality
  • External Microphone Jack
  • Impressive Design
  • 1080P @ 30 FPS
  • Instnat On-Record Slider
  • Great for Helmets

The sleek design of the Contour 2+ is a major selling point.
The sleek design of the Contour 2+ is a major selling point.

Contour 2+ ($299.99 MSRP)

The first camera that we will be discussing is the Contour 2+. We know that Contour closed its doors a little under a year ago. The reason that I still chose this camera as being a top contender is that you might be able to get a killer deal on one because of the aforementioned closure. It offers impressive specs and if you are camera savvy, the tech should not be that big of an issue. With that being said, I would not purchase one of these for full price.

The Contour 2+ is a very lightweight camera and is a standout option for those of you who are looking for a mount to put on your helmet. Up until the recent GoPro Hero 3+ Black Edition came out I would say that this camera was the most aesthetically pleasing to my eyes. It has a bevy of dark plastic accents that are placed on a brushed metal barrel, that give it a distinct look. It offers functionality in a very sleek and discreet design. It has many features of the other contenders such as wireless connectivity, giving you the option to control it through your phone.

As I mentioned earlier, I do not think that a user should pay full price for this camera because there is no recent support for it. So you would basically be taking a shot in the dark. If you can find this on Amazon or EBay at a discounted price under $150.00, I would give it a try depending on the condition. It does offer 1080p recording capabilities in a sleek, helmet-friendly design. You can also get 720p at 60fps and it has built in GPS functionality.

Featuring the Contour 2+

Features

  • Splash Proof
  • GPS Capabilities
  • 170 degree Zeiss Tessar Lens
  • 720P @ 240 FPS
  • Lightweight

Sony's big sell is 720p @ 240 FPS
Sony's big sell is 720p @ 240 FPS

Sony Action HDR-AS100VR ($399.99 MSRP)

The HDR-AS100VR is Sony's competition against the GoPro. Like its competitor, the package also comes with a wifi remote to ensure that you catch every moment. The HDR-AS100VR offers 720p @ 120fps and it also offers 1080p @ 60fps. The one thing that differentiates the Sony Action Cam from the competition is that it can record quality video in 720p@240 fps. This means that it can capture every hair splitting, jaw dropping moment.

The HDR-AS100VR also has a splash-proof body so that you can use it when it is raining outside even without the supplied case! The Zeiss Tessar lens allows you to have an impressive 170 degree viewing angle to make sure that you capture everything that is in your picture. In following suit with the GoPro Hero 3 the AS100VR has also stepped up its game when you are getting images in low light modes. It think that the main advantage the AS100VR has on the Go Pro is the battery life. Everything else is pretty much similar across the board.

The Sony ActionCam in Use

GoPro Cameras are still the standard.
GoPro Cameras are still the standard.

Features

  • 4K Resolution
  • 12MP photos @ 30 FPS
  • SuperView Technology
  • Crisp Images
  • 6-Element Aspherical Glass Lens

GoPro Hero 3+ Black Edition ($399.99 MSRP)

Then you have the industry standard in the GoPro Hero 3+ Black Edition. This offering from GoPro is their flagship model, and it definitely does not disappoint. If you are looking for a camera that has the potential to shoot in 4k and can take a beating, then you are looking in the right place. It is priced similarly to the Sony Action cam, but in my opinion is the better offering.

Even though many people think that the 4k feature is merely a buzzword, just take note that because of this capability, you are able to capture 8 mp photos, continuously at 15fps. Even in the 2.7 and 1080p features, this camera still has a solid foundation. Literally, in my opinions, another reason why this camera wins is because of its image stabilization capabilities. I feel that this is a must for an action camera.

It is 20 % smaller that the model that it preceded. I have found this to be the case because the housing is redesign to give it a more streamlined look. I believe that the camera is still the same size. The GoPro Hero 3+ also has a new video mode called SuperView. It has been touted as GoPro's most immersive experience yet, and I have to agree. There is a reason why the GoPro Hero 3+ Black Edition is the industry leader for action sports cameras.

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