Shit.... I wasn't linking the contour with anything but I've seen those several times on people's helmets. They at least look so much more unobtrusive.
What's so bad about them?
Nothing "bad" about them. What that picture doesn't show you is the big plastic housing you need to put it in if you want the same functionality of the GoPro. Keep in mind, the GoPro is actually pretty small. Very small. Like the size of a box of matches. You can use it outside the plastic housing just like a regular camera. A little, tiny regular camera. It isn't until you put it in the waterproof plastic housing that it gets "big." Same with the Contour. That picture is totally misleading...the Contour is shown WITHOUT the waterproof housing, while the GP is shown WITH the housing. Apples to apples, the Contour is just as "obtrusive" as the GP.
Here is a very positive review of the Contour. http://www.engadget.com/2012/09/05/c...plus-2-review/
Read it objectively...what REALLY is the difference? The reviewer talks about how "cool" it looks. But you STILL have to blindly mess with buttons while the thing is strapped to your helmet. There is virtually no difference other than the shape. And the inferior specs. Access to the controls is very similar, resolutions are similar, prices are similar. So I guess it gets back to Torpedo's original post...it's all in how it looks. You're not "cool" if you have the Teletubby camera.
In my mind, you're not "cool" if you give a shit about whether or not people think you look "cool." Buy whatever works best for you, just as you'd do with your bindings, boots and boards. But just as you'd do with those pieces of equipment, check the specs. See how it fits your needs. Maybe the Contour is best, maybe the GoPro would offer more options. Maybe you could save $500 and just ride with someone who has already pissed away their money!
READ THE REVIEW at the link. Especially the last paragraph. The reviewer all but admits it's not as good as the GP, and it costs $100 more. Resolutions are more limited. It has clunky software. But hey...as long as it LOOKS cool!