Car dashboard camera?

Discussion in 'Digital and Video Cameras' started by AnitaPeterson, Jan 7, 2013.

  1. AnitaPeterson

    AnitaPeterson Diamond Member

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    Hi folks,

    I've seen more and more cases of bad driving in my city over the past few months, culminating with two near-misses (one of which took place last night, leaving me quite shaken and angry).

    As such, I've come to the conclusion that it would be a good idea to acquire and install a dashboard camera in my car, and use the video if I ever get hit by one of these morons (as well as be able to report outrageous bad driving cases, if necessary).

    This equipment is not be very common here in Canada, but I'm pretty sure lots of you already have experience with it, especially Stateside.

    I'm thinking about something that can be charged from the lighter socket, and uses a SD card, which can either be reused or kept. It would have to have a wide angle lens, and good light sensitivity. Obviously, I hope it wouldn't break the bank, either.

    Aside from the obvious (but rather expensive) GoPro cameras, what would you guys recommend?
     
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  3. FrankSchwab

    FrankSchwab Senior member

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  4. AnitaPeterson

    AnitaPeterson Diamond Member

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    Thank you for the link!
    I'm wondering what (if any) experience other people have had with any particular product.
     
  5. Gooberlx2

    Gooberlx2 Lifer

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    Now that my new phone has arrived, I'll be turning my old Android phone into a dash cam using DailyRoads Voyager.
     
  6. Gintaras

    Gintaras Golden Member

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    You meant near-hit? near-miss - when vehicles collide...
     
  7. mikeford

    mikeford Diamond Member

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    Near miss is airplane talk, anytime a minimum distance is breached its considered a near miss and gets official attention.
     
  8. Bowfinger

    Bowfinger Lifer

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  9. luv2liv

    luv2liv Platinum Member

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  10. Mark R

    Mark R Diamond Member

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    I've got a DR400G-II. It's a fine camera and I'm quite happy with it.

    However, for an expensive product, it has a lot of bugs and other minor glitches. The support status of the V2 is also unclear - there is no official english firmware/software for it, except that which comes pre-installed on cameras bought via official dealers. Grey-import cameras usually come loaded with Korean firmware. With no way to download an english firmware, you are SOL, unless you speak Korean, or are good at hacking firmwares.

    The image sensor burnout problem with the V1, despite the marketing literature, has been improved, but not completely solved. The V2 still burns out sensor chips in SoCal type climates.

    The image quality is excellent, with a decent frame-rate achievable at 1080p. The lens is wide angle, but sufficiently sharp that plates can be read during the day. Plate reading isn't possible after dark, but detail is still plenty adequate for most purposes.

    For an expensive camera, it is disappointing that the camera does drop frames periodically, and this can upset some media player software/media streamer boxes which can't handle variable frame rate video. But realistically, you're not going to be shooting cinematic masterpieces with it, so it's not exactly a significant issue.

    The camera has GPS and a 3-axis accelerometer. The shock detection firmware, however, is buggy. This leads to random event recording on minimal (or even no) bumps, even when sensitivity is set so low that genuine evasive action may be ignored. Again, not much of an issue; you may run into issues with the card getting filled up with locked event files if you do a lot of driving on poor roads.

    There is also a minor issue with event recording generally. The camera starts a new file about 5 seconds before "impact", so you don't get much "preamble" recorded with the "event". You will have the file before it as context, but there is a glitch between the two files.

    There are a few people who have issues with the supplied SD card. If the card is never removed from the camera, eventually the file system on the card suffers fragmentation and the budget SD card has terrible access time, it lags out causing the camera to crash. The solution is to use the card in a card reader and manually delete the files once a month or so, or to upgrade to a higher performance "class 10" card.

    The supplied software is windows only (no mac), is very basic and only runs in a non-resizable postage-stamp sized window, where the video is downscaled to a tiny resolution. There are alternative shareware products available which are much more feature rich (e.g. registrator viewer) but they have their own bugs which make them unsatisfactory when used with the DR400G.

    That said, if all you want is something small, discrete and easy to install, that can record in good image quality, then there really isn't an alternative on the market. The other high-end cameras are all equally buggy as well as being bigger and/or needing an external GPS antenna.

    Obligatory example video
     
    #9 Mark R, Jan 8, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2013
  11. Chrisizzle

    Chrisizzle Junior Member

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    What's the record quality for the inside cam and rear cam?

    All it say is 720p for the front, didn't say anything about the insider cam and rear cam, would suck if I order this and it's 480p
     
  12. rsutoratosu

    rsutoratosu Platinum Member

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    Amazon and user above says
    1080P: Identify a vehicle's license from far away
    The Full HD BlackVue with its VGA and HD counterparts on the market.
     
  13. rsutoratosu

    rsutoratosu Platinum Member

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    Problem with 1080p, it eats up 32gb in like 3-4 days with 1 hour driving each way. I been recording for 4 years now. I have various cameras, some of my favorite camera are countour or drift hd cam. They're mainly action cams that I use for paintball but works great as dash cam. I had tried many cameras and the ones I settle on is contour or drift hd. What ever you do don't buy the JVC Adixxion GC-XA (no rotating lense and you need to answer a question everytime you plug the usb into the camera).

    In buying cameras, you need to first figure out how to mount it. Both my car uses headrest mount. There are suction cup mounts, etc.

    Rotating lens - Depending on how you mount it, you're gonna need to rotate the lense so its in the right orientation.

    1080p vs 720p, most camera max out at 32gb, so I empty them every 4-5 days or use 720p, i can hit 6-7 days of commute. 32GB microsd are so cheap, i keep 4-5 and swap them out if I ran out of room during the week.

    Contour and Drift lets you charge and record at the same time. I think blackvue lets you record on motion, I dont care when its parked, so if you need something that records while you're parked, contour & drift are not for you. Contour needs their special charger (15-20) while drift I just use a usb cable into the usb cigarette lighter.

    On top of each mount I added a quick release plate so I can grab it when I valet park it.

    Like all camera, night video arent as good but as long as you can prove you didn't hit people, rest is easier.

    Ram head rest mount.

    [​IMG]

    ie Contour on a CruiseCam headrest mount.

    [​IMG]

    http://www.cruisecam.com/products.html - Cruisecam shortbar headrest
     
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  14. AnitaPeterson

    AnitaPeterson Diamond Member

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    Thank you for the impressive (and extensive) write-up!
     
  15. RU482

    RU482 Lifer

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    I've been interested in getting a dashcam also....but how well is an SD card going to hold up?
     
  16. rsutoratosu

    rsutoratosu Platinum Member

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    sd/micro sd is so dirt cheap, you can buy like 20 of them, most of the deals were like 15-22 bucks for a 32gb
     
  17. takeru

    takeru Golden Member

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    nvm
     
    #16 takeru, Apr 9, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2013
  18. shortylickens

    shortylickens No Lifer

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    It depends on your camera and its compression. Mine does 1080p and i use a 32gig card, but it lasts for weeks. And thats two hours on the road each day.

    Also, I prefer a wide angle that sits right up in the windshield so it can see stuff to the right and left. Thats important if a guy was swerving around you.
     
  19. cyberwolvie

    cyberwolvie Junior Member

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    #18 cyberwolvie, Sep 11, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2016
  20. Raduque

    Raduque Lifer

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    I use cheap ($50-60) GoPro clones from Amazon - look up "SJ4000". 1080p, good image quality, can be set for continuous record, powered from USB/internal battery, writes to microSD cards, and the one I use even powers up and starts recording automatically when plugged into power.
     
  21. Red Squirrel

    Red Squirrel Lifer

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    Used in medical industry as well. Say a nurse almost administers the wrong medication or something and catches their own act, they then look at what could have prevented that and file it as a near miss.

    Been toying with the idea of a dash cam myself too, idealy I'd want something that is just set and forget and records and auto overwrites older footage. If something happens that I want to keep I just hit a button or something and it keeps say, the last 30 minutes. idealy it would also need to auto turn on/off as the car is on. It needs to require no interaction from me unless I want footage. Are they mostly all like this? Way I see it, if it requires me to interact with it, then I may forget, then something happens, and it's either not on, or full, etc.

    As a side note how common is it for people to try to steal these? They see a piece of tech in the car and go "ooo shiny" so they break a window to steal it. That would be my main concern. A broken window would cost me more than the camera itself.
     
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  22. corkyg

    corkyg Elite Member<br>Super Moderator <br>Peripherals
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    Use a beanbag mount so you can hide it when not being used.
     
  23. ControlD

    ControlD Diamond Member

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    That is pretty much how they work. Generally the video is recorded in segments that get overwritten on an oldest first basis.

    As far as auto turn on/off, that depends on where you connect the power unless you have a fancy unit that can detect when the car is running. For mine, I just used an add-a-fuse to tap into a circuit that comes on with the ignition. You can also easily hide all of the power wiring this way for a clean installation.

    I just leave my camera mounted all the time. I'm not too worried about someone wanting to steal it. Chances are they would be breaking into my vehicle already at that point.
     
  24. thestrangebrew1

    thestrangebrew1 Platinum Member

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    I got this one sometime back in April. It's more expensive now than it was when I first got it, and apparently it's out of stock now:

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01CS5GS32/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o05_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    It works ok, video is fine, night video is not so good. It freezes up after running for a few hours on those longer drives. Otherwise, no issues I've noticed. I'm in the Central Valley, CA and it's stood up to the heat this summer, 100+ outside, so in the truck I imagine upwards of 130 for a few hours during the day and it still works.
     
  25. samboy

    samboy Member

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    Good website for reviews and recommendations:-

    https://dashcamtalk.com/

    I purchased the Mini 0805 and it's very discrete (hides behind the front mirror) and works well.
    Ordered this with a 128GB SD card for around US$100 couldn't be happier.
     
    AnitaPeterson likes this.
  26. AnitaPeterson

    AnitaPeterson Diamond Member

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