"As water resistant as a desktop computer."1.5 starson by kakeyed
Pros: Excellent picture & video quality in a compact package. Nice range of optional accessories to mount camera almost anywhere, including an available waterproof case. Very good sound with the optional external microphone. Nifty GPS video mapping.
Cons: A far cry from the advertised water resistant, this high priced camera should not leave the house without the waterproof case, if just to keep the dust out (To be clear, full submersion requires waterproofing, water resistance should stand up to some rain
Summary: From the Contour website : "With a burly, water-resistant aluminum shell, the Contour+ is made to take a beating in extreme environments from raging storms to muddy tracks."
The Contour's rear plastic door shuts & locks just like any regular camera's battery door; which is probably why those cameras are not marketed as water resistant. Contour's "overly enthusiastic" advertizing is what earns the low rating.
A very light rain was enough to shut this camera down (after a good drying out, it did restart, but all of that recording was lost), so "support" was contacted. Following a long and irritating discussion, it came to light that the Contour+ is not water resistant, but more "splash proof" and that the extreme environment raging storms are meant to be snow storms, not rain. Hmmm...
I bought the Contour Plus ($500) for it's GPS mapping, external mic and compact design. The need for the waterproof case cancels the external mic feature and makes the whole deal less compact, so the cheaper Contour GPS ($300) would have done the same job.
Battery life doesn't seem to be a problem - I've had the camera record video, sound & GPS for close to a hour at a medium quality setting of 720p @ 30fps (outside temperature around 20C) before I shut it off myself. This setting uses 1Gb every 15 minutes, so an 8 or 16Gb SD card should do the trick.
In the end, if picture & video quality are important, this is a great camera, as are the Contour GPS and Contour Roam.