Sporty cams compared: Sony Action Cam vs Contour +2

In the performance area, our first tests were indoors and it has to be said, neither of these cameras perform very well in low light despite at least one of them advertising it as a selling point.

Even with a significant amount of daylight from nearby windows and indoor lights, there was heavy grain and artefacting in the image, compared to the performance on offer from an iPhone. We even tested in a very well lit studio and still, amazingly, found very poor still image output.

When used outdoors in full sunlight, however, the image is very clear, which is the main function of these cameras. Outdoors and with full light, the image is very sharp and the colour depth is very decent, especially for the sensor sizes. Colour was a little dull, but it’s nothing a quick colour correction adjustment won’t fix.

The main point of these action cameras is, of course, to capture action, and they are very capable at grabbing your best moments in beautiful slow motion or from absurd angles to wow your friends.

Outside of the price, make, and size, the big distinction between the cameras is the GPS functionality, and the Contour does this part quite well. While capturing the data, you can choose to display the info as an overlay on the video, watching it in realtime via a tracking window on top of the video.

This might be super handy for long distance treks or airplane trips, and we definitely see the appeal, but if you don’t care about the GPS data, it’s mostly unnecessary.

In this great age of connectivity, it is no surprise that both cameras support wireless connectivity, and this is actually very handy for viewing your images or video, as well as  controlling the camera from a smartphone or tablet.

Sony’s Action Cam connected easily to an iPad and we were able to see what the camera was seeing. We had trouble connecting our iPad to the Contour, though some friends had an easier time. The preview image is not super high quality, but is more than enough to get an idea of what the final product will be.

It’s handy, too, because you can change settings remotely, especially if you have the device securely strapped to your head and can’t get in there to mess with the physical buttons. All in all a very handy feature but it’d be great to see the apps ad connectivity improved in the next round.

Despite the criticisms about these devices, they are both very capable and a great addition to the current crop of action cameras.

It’s very difficult to choose a winner between the two, but we would have to give the Sony Action Cam the GadgetGuy seal of approval, as it’s not only $100 less than the Contour +2, but features comparable image quality and wireless connectivity, making it a great option.

Sony's Action Cam crowned the winner in our showdown.

If you plan on doing a lot of underwater work or going on longer trips where GPS data is important, the Contour +2 is the way to go, just don’t forget to bring a smartphone or tablet or you’ll be stuck on the settings you left the last time you were free falling out of that plane, praying you pressed the record button before you jumped.