Dash Cam

E_SolSi

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Worth it for 30
:concur: it looks ok, for a $30 cam (at $170 it's garbage)
daytime footage is alright
night time is meh

go to 2:25 for day footage - plates and street signs can be made out pretty well
and 3:55 for night footage - plates and signs are not readable, anything off to the sides is very dark and hard to make out, light sources glare out the image quite a bit


I wanted to get a waylens.
that Waylens cam is interesting, though it is clearly more intended as a toy/gadget for track days, autocross, or random "hooning", than a dash cam for capturing a commute... the onscreen data overlay is kind of fun, the image is decent but seems to have a narrow camera angle, and a narrow focus making details out of center screen harder to make out clearly. day and night image is pretty good within the smallish center focus range, though night time image is pretty dark out of center screen... for the price / performance / features / function it definitely makes a better track day accessory / toy than it does an insurance policy

especially when (if you are willing to forego the data overlay stuff) you could get something like the VicoVation Vico-Opia2 for literally half the price and have a wider image with better detail and one of the best day and night images currently available... or the Viofo A119 and A119S for about $100, both again having better day and night image quality... or the Thinkware f770 (or soon to be released f800) and have dual channel front and rear coverage while saving at least $100

for capturing track day footage with some cool info overlays i think its great, for mundane dash cam duty there are better options for less money available
 

get_nick

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for capturing track day footage with some cool info overlays i think its great, for mundane dash cam duty there are better options for less money available
I don't know what B's budget is, but let's say we throw $200 at it. IMHO, if I need the camera, having the video will be worth $20,000, not just the $200 I paid. Either someone caused an accident or I saw aliens. Either way, if I'm buying it, I want it to work.

So what can/should we get for $200?
 

Briansol

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At 200, i'm not a buyer.
At 30, it's a cool thing to play with.

I figure the odds are it won't be used, or worse, be used against me instead in case I do something stupid which is known to happen from time to time.
 

E_SolSi

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there are a ton of cams out there, what features do you want?

to run through some of the basics:

front only, or front and rear - 2 channel systems generally are more expensive and have lower image quality due to processing 2 channels through one processor, some people choose to run 2 single channel cams instead, but this also means separate power wiring and separate memory cards... everything is a compromise

parking mode - generally you have options of motion detect and time lapse, both benefit from an add on battery, which does raise the cost, some units run separate memory cards for parking mode

form factor - some styles hide better than others, some have screens on them, some can be rotated to film stuff to the side or rear on the fly, some can be moved between vehicles easier than others, etc...

GPS - really only for tracking speed direction and location, might be helpful fighting a ticket if you really were not speeding, some have apps that you can import the data to and overlay on a map, some have it built in, some it is an add on, if its an add on it will cost you a few $$ extra

power supply - you want capacitors not batteries, capacitors are more robust, deal with temps better, have a longer lifespan, more charge cycles, less prone to failure, etc... batteries hold power longer allowing you to use the camera disconnected from the vehicle power supply. for instance if you were going to disconnect the dash cam to bring it out of the car to film the accident you were just in you might get a few minutes of video (or you could use your phone like a normal human), where the capacitor is really just good for a few seconds of power to allow your cam to save the video correctly as it shuts down.

WiFi - generally not needed but can be nice to have, allows you to connect your phone to the camera, common on cams without on-board screens so you can aim it correctly, also allows you to review and save clips to your phone without having to remove the memory card and connect it to your phone or computer


Single Channel in the <$200 range, i would look at:
Street Guardian SC9665GC V3 - $180-200 - great cam, good day and night image, does well in hot / humid environments, company has great support, discrete wedge shape hides better than the more boxy "gopro" style, can handle up to 256GB sd card

Viofo A119/A119S - $90 - 120 - very good cam, good day and night image, the S model is the newer version with improved image and night capability but some are recommending waiting for firmware update (with similar performance the A119 is a better value but with updated firmware the A119S is a better cam), both can handle a 128GB sd card

for a bit more money:
Vicovation Vico-Opia2 - $250 - great cam, very good day and night image, does well in very hot / humid environments, "gopro" box style is not as discrete on the windshield, but allows the cam to be aimed to the side or rear, which may be useful in a road rage or traffic stop scenario, handles a 128GB sd card

Dual Channel options:
another of any of the above ;)
or
Thinkware F770 - full kit runs in the $400 range or you can get just the front cam for $300ish and add the rear for another $100 or so later on - very good cam with good day and night quality, discrete shape looks almost like a toll transponder and hides well, can only use up to 64GB sd card so your record time will be lower especially with 2 cams running, there is an updated F800 model coming soon with a better sensor for better day and night image, not as discrete though and still uses a max of 64GB sd card

Street Guardian SC9663DC - not yet released, pricing unsure (likely $350-400) - similar specs to the SC9665GC, good front and rear image in day and night conditions, same wedge styling, still handles up to 256GB sd cards


there are TONS of videos available online of pretty much every dash cam available
if you are looking at a cam look on youtube for video quality.
make sure you see day and night footage, preferably in multiple conditions (city, freeway, rural, etc) take notice of how the cams do with detail like road signs and license plates, how is the focus for things out of the center of view, at night how do the areas not directly lit look, how does the cam do with moving from sun to shade and back, or high / low light areas at night, or in shade / low light looking to sun / high light, does the image wash out? does the camera adjust quickly? stuff like that...
if you cant find videos from the cam then it is either too new to trust or most likely is shit, there are entire forums dedicated to dash cams, these people geek the fuck out on this stuff, if they are not covering it then it is probably not worth your time or money



related side note:
be careful what sd card you use in a dash cam


and another thing:
a lot of these cams will look similar or exactly like other cams, this is because they are generally all made in the same ChiCom factories. you need to look at the specs and features for the exact model you are interested in, don't be fooled when you see 2 cams that look the same but one costs 1/2 as much. there is a very good reason it is less expensive. sensors, controllers, lenses, etc are often different, if you are unsure check the forums, or ask here and i will... for some reason i actually enjoy researching shit
 

Xanatos

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I have a kind of cheap one that was like 70$ on Amazon and it works pretty well HOWEVER I will say that only having one angle (forward) makes me really want a nicer setup when I can afford it.
 

get_nick

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civicious

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I've had one of these in every one of my vehicles the last few years. Have one in my Miata, one in my truck, one in my girl's truck, had one in the Cruze and one in the vert, too. Never had an issue with them. Work pretty good on track, too.

 

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SlushboxTeggy

It's only stupid if it doesn't work
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Another thread back from the dead, haha. I've been thinking about picking up a GoPro. Just got my motorcycle license. Strap a mount to my helmet, have another in my vehicle to use as a dash cam. Might as well right?
 
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