Getting to know your Camera
What’s In The Box?
The ContourGPS camera comes with:
2GB microSD Card
2 Rotating Surface Mount
1 Goggle Mount
1 Li-ion Battery
1 USB Cable
1 Lens Cap
About The Camera
A Record/GPS Status
B Record Switch
C Rotating Lens
D Battery Slot
E Battery Latch
F Card Format Button
G USB port
H Format Switch
I microSD card slot
J Memory Status
K Door Lock
L Battery Status
N Update Button
O Connect View Slot for Apple
P Lasers
Set Up The Camera
Getting your camera ready to record takes just a few simple steps.
1) Open the back door of the camera by sliding the lock switch to the left and then
sliding the whole door up. When the white dot is exposed on the lock switch [K],
the door is locked.
2) Insert the battery until the red clip [E] snaps in to place. The end of the
battery with the metal squares goes in first, with the squares toward the top.
3) The 2GB microSD card should come pre-formatted and inserted in the camera
already. If it is not, insert the microSD card in to the camera [I]. The side with the
contacts should be facing to the right and the “jagged” edge of the card should be
facing up.
4) Close the back door and slide the lock switch [K] to the right until you feel a
click and the white dot is no longer showing.
5) Firmly press and immediately release the power button to turn the camera on.
After about one second, the lasers will activate, LEDs will flash, and you’ll hear
a single beep. After a moment, the lasers and the two lights on the back door
will go out. The Record/GPS status light on the lower front of the camera will
turn green and flash while the camera’s GPS module attempts to obtain a GPS
position fix.
At this point, your camera is ready to record video and audio.
What Is Your Camera Telling You?
The ContourGPS has three different LED lights in addition to the sighting lasers
that tell you about the status of your camera.
The two sighting lasers (located on either side of the lens) are there to help you
align your camera so you get the shot. The lasers come on when you first turn
your camera on, and will go out automatically after a few moments. You can reactivate the lasers when the camera is powered up by firmly pressing and quickly
releasing the power button.
The LED on the lower front of the camera [A] indicates record status (green for
standby, red for recording) and GPS position fix status (flashing when searching
for a position fix and solid once a position fix is obtained).
The two LEDs on the back door of the camera display battery status [M] and
microSD card status [K]. The color of the LED indicates remaining capacity:
Green = 70% or more left
Orange = 70% to 20% left
Red = Less than 20% left
Getting The Right Angle
The ContourGPS also features a rotating bezel that allows you to turn the lens 180 degrees
so your video image is right side up even if your camera is mounted sideways. The barrel
of the camera displays arrows at the 9 o’clock, 12 o’clock, and 3 o’clock positions for
reference. You may find the bezel is a bit tight to rotate, but don’t be afraid to use a bit
of force – our cameras are tough! You might also notice some play in the bezel at the 12
o’clock position. This is normal and will not affect your videos.
With the camera powered up and ready to record, push the record slider [B] on the top of
the camera all the way forward. You’ll hear a single beep and the record status LED will
turn red. You’re now recording.
To stop recording, push the slider back to its original position. You’ll hear two beeps and
the record LED will turn to green. Congratulations, you’ve just made your first video clip
with the ContourGPS!
To make another video clip, just push the record slider forward again. You can continue to
record as many clips as you’d like until the microSD card gets full or the battery runs out.
microSD Card Formatting
Your ContourGPS comes with a 2GB microSD card that is pre-formatted. This card has
enough room for about 30 minutes of video of 1080p resolution recording. If you have
purchased a higher capacity microSD card, you need to format it properly to work in your
ContourGPS. Here is how to format a microSD card:
1. Power off the camera.
2. Remove the microSD card from the camera.
2. Power up the camera with the microSD card removed. The camera will TRIPLE beep and
the SD card LED on the lower rear of the camera will flash red. The front record LED will
flash red/yellow. This indicates that the SD card is missing.
3. With the camera still powered up, insert the microSD card.
4. Using a pin or small nail, push and hold down the pinhole formatting button [F] located
above the SD card slot. The camera will beep once when the format is complete. This
process generally takes no more than 10 seconds.
5. Release the pinhole button only after the camera beeps.
6. Power off the camera by holding down the power button for 3-5 seconds.
7. Power up the camera. It should boot normally and be ready to shoot video.
The general rule of thumb is you get up to 15 minutes of video per GB of card capacity. An
8GB card will store up to 2 hours of video. The ContourGPS can utilize any speed class of
microSD card. However, the camera only benefits from card speeds up to class 6.
About the GPS Feature
The GPS module of your ContourGPS has an accuracy rating of +/-10m for latitude and
longitude coordinates. In order to track your location data, the GPS module must first obtain
a position lock by establishing communication with four GPS satellites. Position lock status is
communicated by the front LED of the camera [A]. A flashing front LED (either red or green)
indicates the GPS module has not obtained a position lock. A solid front LED (either red or
green) indicates that a position lock has been obtained and the GPS module is logging GPS data
while video is being recorded.
It generally takes somewhere between one and five minutes to obtain a position lock under
good conditions. Several environmental factors could impact the ability for your ContourGPS to
obtain a position fix. These can include any of the following.
1. An obstructed view of the horizon. The more of the horizon that is visible, the better the
chance of obtaining the four satellite signals required to establish a position lock.
2. Camera mount position. The antenna of the camera is located in the record slider. If the
camera is mounted on its side, the antenna will have a limited view of the horizon. For best
results, mount the camera upright with the GPS antenna level and facing upwards.
3. Any obstruction over the GPS antenna (record slider of the camera) may inhibit obtaining a
signal lock. Even a hand placed over the record slider may adversely impact performance.
4. In “urban canyons”, GPS signals often bounce off of tall buildings and can increase position
error or affect the ability to obtain a position lock.
5. Other electronic equipment placed in close proximity to the camera may interfere with the
GPS signal and result in either an inability to establish a position lock or inaccurate readings.
If your camera has issues obtaining a GPS lock, please do the following:
1. Check to see that the camera’s battery is well charged. The camera’s ability to establish and
maintain position lock is significantly diminished if the battery’s capacity is depleted. You can
test the capacity of your battery by quickly pressing and releasing the power button while the
camera is powered on. The battery indicator LED on the top rear of the camera should glow
green if the battery has ample capacity.
2. Verify that your camera’s GPS module is active. The GPS module can be manually deactivated though Contour’s StoryTeller software. As a verification that the GPS module is active,
the front record LED should blink for at least 5-10 seconds when the camera is powered on.
If it does not, GPS may be de-activated on the camera for that switch position (1-2 switch).
To activate the GPS module, connect the camera to a computer with a USB cable, launch
StoryTeller, and click on the camera’s SD card volume label name under “Device” on the left
side of the main StoryTeller screen so it is highlighted. Using the menu bar, then navigate to
Camera -> Configure Camera. Set “GPS Power” to “On”.
3. Make certain you are outdoors, have a relatively unobstructed view of the horizon, and that
the camera is upright and level with nothing on top of the record slider.
4. Make certain the camera is not placed in close proximity to other electronic equipment which
may interfere with the GPS signal.
5. If the camera does not obtain a position lock within 5 minutes, reset the GPS module by doing
the following:
1. Power off the camera.
2. Remove the battery for 10 seconds.
3. Re-install the battery.
4. Power up the camera.
5. The GPS module is now reset and will start a satellite search from scratch.
Please Note: Major improvements to the firmware controlling the camera’s GPS module were
included in v1.11 on 2/1/2011. The new firmware DRAMATICALLY improves the cameras ability
to obtain and maintain a GPS position fix. It is highly recommended that you upgrade your
camera’s firmware to v1.11 or later if it is running an older version.
To check the firmware version of your camera, do the following:
1. Connect the camera to a computer and launch StoryTeller.
2. From the “devices” list on the left side of the StoryTeller main page, select your camera and
choose “Tools->Configure Camera” from the top menu bar.
3. Once the configuration windows appears, click on the “Camera” tab. The camera’s firmware
version information will be presented.
The most recent firmware download, installation instructions, and release notes are
currently located at:
The 1-2 Switch
The 1-2 switch located at the back of the camera allows you to preset your ContourGPS with two
different configuration settings. This makes it easy for you adjust to conditions while out in the
field with your camera. For each of the two positions you can preset several preferences such
as resolution, exposure, contrast, metering, as well as other settings.
The factory default for position 1 sets the resolution to 1080p at 30 frames per second. The
default for position 2 is usually set to 720p resolution at 60 frames per second. For both
positions the default exposure is set to “-1” which is intended for bright, sunny days. You can
change the configuration parameters for each switch position by connecting your camera to
your computer with the mini - USB cable and changing the settings with StoryTeller Software
(Tools » Configure Camera).
See What You Shot
To watch the videos you shot with the ContourGPS, start by downloading and installing our
StoryTeller software. You can get it by visiting We offer
versions for both PC and Mac.
After the software is installed, plug the camera in to your computer using the USB cable. The
USB port [G] on the camera is located right next to the microSD card slot. It may take a few
moments for your computer to recognize the camera. Once it does, the camera will be listed in
the My Computer window (or the Finder window on a Mac) and also in the upper left corner of
StoryTeller in the Devices section.
From within StoryTeller click on the camera and your videos will show up in the main pane of
StoryTeller. Each video clip will display a thumbnail from the first frame of the video. To watch
or share your videos click on one (or several) of the videos and press the IMPORT SELECTED
button. To get all of your videos at once, just click the IMPORT ALL button.
When your videos have been imported, you can find them in the Movies section of the Library,
located in the left pane. Choose the movie you want to watch and click play.
Getting Ready for Next Time
Before you go out and hit the slopes, the trail, or the outdoors to record your next epic
adventure with the ContourGPS camera, you need to make sure it’s ready to go.
Most Contour customers charge their Contour camera battery simply by plugging the camera
in to a USB port on an active computer using the provided USB cable. But you can also
purchase separate USB powered battery chargers, car chargers and other accessories at our
online store. ( Charging time is generally four to five hours and a
fully changed battery typically delivers between two and three hours of recording time.
Now that you’ve copied your movies to the computer, you will want to make sure you have
plenty of storage space for new videos on the microSD card of your ContourGPS. With the
camera plugged in to your computer using the USB cable, navigate to the ContourGPS camera
located in My Computer (Finder on OS X). Open the DCIM folder, then the 100MEDIA folder.
Select and delete or move any unwanted files. MAC USERS: Don’t forget to empty the Trash
Bin once you have deleted your files – otherwise your discarded video files will remain on your
microSD card in a hidden folder and take up valuable storage space!
We know that having awesome videos of your exploits is only half fun. What good are they if
you can’t share them? Fortunately, Contour has made that easy for you too. Our StoryTeller
application not only makes it easy to get your videos off the camera, it makes it easy to share
them with the world. Go to to learn more about posting your videos to our site.