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A/V Looking for a Dashcam

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by David, 12 Dec 2018.

  1. David

    David Take my advice — I’m not using it.

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    Ok, as the title says, I'm looking for a dashcam.

    I'm convinced the ranks of incompetent drivers and general ****-sticks are on the rise, and I've seen enough of them in the past few months to fill a 10 minute fail vid on youtube,

    Problem is, I know nowt about dashcams. I want a decent one that won't cost the earth but I don't know what features/pitfalls to lookout for, and I don't want to waste time and money cycling through a bunch to find the right one.

    I'm not setting a budget, but I favour value over premium brands.

    I'm pretty sure there isn't one cam to rule them all etc.. so I'm looking for a pretty unobtrusive model that can stay put - I don't want the hassle of fitting/removing it on a daily basis, nor do I want something that screams "steal me" to the local chancers.

    Sooo, any suggestions, pointers or key features to look for?

    Cheers all
     
  2. alfizzle

    alfizzle Ooh aah just a little bit..

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    Following as also after a decent dashcam! Had a cheap eBay one for a while but its pretty crappy :blah:
     
  3. Sentinel-R1

    Sentinel-R1 Chaircrew

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    I've had this dilemma for 2 years and just upgraded after a genuine 12-month search for a replacement. I went with the Vantrue N2 Pro - £149 @ Amazon but there's currently a £20 off voucher you can apply, bringing it under £130 for a front/rear view dashcam.

    Link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/N2-Pro-192...92&sr=8-1-spons&keywords=vantrue+n2+pro&psc=1

    The front-facing camera has a viewing angle of 170 degrees, a class leader. It does 1440p 30fps front camera only / 1296p 30fps front camera only / 1080p 60fps front camera only / 1080p 30fps front+rear simultaneously. See my thread in here on Micro SD cards for a cautionary tale: This camera needs a fast SD card so I can only recommend the Samsung EVO. Avoid SanDisk as the write speed is only 27mb/s compared to 70mb/s of the Sammy.

    It's a great camera. Crystal clear footage and it takes up to a 256GB card, providing you first format it FAT32 on PC, then reformat inside the dashcam. Same applies to 128GB cards. 64GB and below can be put straight into the cam and formatted internally. The rear-facing camera (140degree FOV) captures the interior of the vehicle as it's designed for taxi drivers etc; however, it does a great job of capturing events out the rear window if you mount it correctly. At night time, the rear camera switches into infra-red mode and even in pitch black, you can see the occupants VERY clearly. It uses IRLEDs that don't emit any visible light, so nothing to distract you. Both sensors are Sony Exmor and superb quality.

    There's also an internal mic which is also excellent quality and captures conversations and noise outside the vehicle clearly. You can disable the mic but if its ever required for evidential purposes, I'm leaving mine enabled.

    Here's a screengrab in 1440p mode. I've paused a frame of a passing car, so 60mph closing speed as we're both doing 30. You can see his plate clearly, with no need for guess work:

    dashcam-grab.jpg

    Here's the 1080p night mode from the rear cam. If you look outside the driver's window, you can clearly see a dog walker. It's an excellent camera in both daytime and pitch black.

    dashcam-rear.jpg

    If you want GPS and speed functionality, it's an extra £22 for the GPS mount but with £20 off the camera and SD cards so cheap, I ended up going for that too.

    My only wish was that it had wifi to transfer files from cam to phone whilst in the car, which it doesn't. That said, the 1440p mode produces 1GB 5minute clips, so transferring a journey is much better done via USB with the camera in mass storage mode.

    In the box, along with the camera and basic mount, you also get a USB data cable for transferring files and a 10ft 12v lighter plug power cable. Of note, the plug as a USB passthrough on the end so you needn't lose the lighter socket use either.

    Example approximate storage usage for 1hr recording at each resolution:

    1440p - 12GB
    1296p - 9GB
    1080p 60 - 12GB
    1080p 30 - 6GB
    1080p F+R - 12GB

    Overall, It's a great camera and I can't recommend it enough. I spent a LONG time looking for something like this and stumbled across a random youtube video from a US streamer, checked out the reviews and pulled the trigger.

    Give this serious consideration. You won't be disappointed if you decide to purchase.
     
    Last edited: 13 Dec 2018
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  4. David

    David Take my advice — I’m not using it.

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    Thanks for that - it certainly looks worth short-listing, even if it is at the higher end of my anticipated price range.

    What's it like mounted - is it plainly obvious from the outside? Do you leave it there all the time?
     
  5. Sentinel-R1

    Sentinel-R1 Chaircrew

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    It's not as discrete as the smaller ones but then it's got larger sensors in, so a compromise I was willing to make.

    Yeah, I leave it in 24/7. I use my car infrequently, but when I do, it's a longer journey than average so I'm not going to hardwire and use parking mode as battery drain would potentially become an issue. If you're a daily commuter, this risk can be discounted. The camera itself is a deterrent though and I've mounted it right next to the red flashing light on the rear view mirror so it looks like it's on anyway :naughty:

    The mounts, both standard and GPS optional extra are incredibly robust. Early versions were reported to be flimsy but they've been revised and there's ZERO camera shake even going through Lincolnshire's many, many potholes.
     
    Last edited: 12 Dec 2018
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  6. legoman

    legoman breaker of things

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    David likes this.
  7. veato

    veato I should be working

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  8. David

    David Take my advice — I’m not using it.

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    The N2 pro is on Amazon for £105 right now - just grabbed one.
     
    Last edited: 27 Dec 2018
  9. Sentinel-R1

    Sentinel-R1 Chaircrew

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    Excellent. Bargain for the quality!
     
  10. Yaka

    Yaka Well-Known Member

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  11. Intron

    Intron New Member

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    My only issues with several Dash cams i have had in the past is that if they are in 24/7 some brands really really hate the Cold weather.

    Also recording options is that while many offer up to 1440p but only 30fps i personally find 1080p at 60fps a better replay experience for quality playback.

    i second the recommendation of the Vantrue camera the low profile of it as well in the window is good as many cameras can be rather intrusive.
     

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