Mark Houlahan
Tech Editor, Mustang Monthly
October 23, 2013

We really liked the easy single record button on the ContourROAM2; just slide it forward and you're recording. This makes it easy to use when wearing driving gloves during track events. The built-in laser alignment feature, combined with the 270-degree rotating lens means you'll get the perfect picture/video no matter the angle the cam is mounted. Two LEDs on the camera body inform the user of battery life and memory card status, however, to change video or photo settings, you must connect the ContourROAM2 to your computer and use the included Contour Storyteller program (a free software program for importing your videos). The ContourROAM2 only has a USB connection, and does not offer live streaming. Finally, while Contour sent us its ROAM2 model, it also offers the Contour+2, which features GPS capabilities to overlay track information, and a Wi-Fi–enabled mobile app for smart phones to allow changing settings and viewing the camera's image preview on the fly. The Contour+2 also offers live streaming via an HDMI-out port and a user-replaceable battery. The Contour+2 retails for $399.99, which is more in line with some of the cams with advanced features we tested here.

Available resolutions 720p, 960p, 1080p
File format .MP4
Sensor type CMOS
Field of view 170-degrees (with 270-degrees of rotation)
Still photo mode Yes
Photo resolution 5-megapixel
LCD screen No
Waterproof Yes, to 3 feet with no extra case required (optional case can go to 197 feet)
Microphone Built-in
Memory type MicroSD card (32GB max)
Wi-Fi capability No
Battery type Rechargeable Lithium-Ion (built-in)
Retail Price $199.99

Drift Innovation Drift HD Ghost

Right off the bat, you'll notice that Drift Innovation's [; (877) 876-6327] Drift HD Ghost has a unique appearance compared to the others here. The Drift HD Ghost shoots in full 1080p, like all of the cams reviewed here, and has easy-to-use buttons right on the top of the camera to change settings and review pictures or videos, and all of this is made easy with the built-in 2.0-inch display and built-in speaker. Lining up your shots is dead simple with the built-in display as well. You know exactly what you're framing for your shoot. The built-in interface takes just minutes to get used to with simple icons for camera, video, replay, and setup menus. The lone, multi-colored LED on the top of the cam indicates what mode you are in and if you are recording. The included Wi-Fi–enabled wearable remote features the same LED colors so you know at a quick glance what mode you are in when using the remote's functions. What's more, the remote allows simultaneous photo taking during video recording with the tap of the photo button on the remote.

Another great feature of the Drift HD Ghost you won't find on most of the cameras reviewed here is a mic sensitivity setting. We tested all cams with their default settings right out of their packaging, but found the Drift HD Ghost had way too much audio noise. A quick change of the mic setting and our audio came in nice and clear! The Drift HD Ghost offers a unique "tagging" feature as well. When in video tag/loop mode the video recording continuously loops and only saves the video when you "tag" it. This is a great feature if you're shooting raw video and something happens spontaneously, such as an off-track incident. The Drift HD Ghost cam can also be linked to Drift Innovation's Drift App for remote access via smart phone, and allowing you to transfer your video clip or photos directly to your smart phone for immediate sharing on your favorite social media sites. Drift Innovation offers two more action cams that fall under the Drift HD Ghost with a few less features and lower price points as well.

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Available resolutions WVGA, 720p, 960p, 1080p
File format .MP4/.MOV
Sensor type CMOS
Field of view 170-degrees (120- and 90-degree available in 1080p mode), 300-degrees of lens rotation
Still photo mode Yes
Photo resolution 5-, 8-, 11-megapixel
LCD screen Standard, 2.0-inch TFT Gorilla Glass
Waterproof Yes, to 9 feet with no extra case required (optional case can go to 197 feet)
Microphone Built-in, external mic capable
Memory type MicroSD card (32GB max)
Wi-Fi capability Yes, wearable remote included
Battery type Rechargeable Lithium-Ion (user replaceable)
Retail Price $399