Dashcam recommendations

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casualflower
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Dashcam recommendations

Post by casualflower »

People in my state are crazy drivers!

I'd love to buy a dashcam. Any preferred models out there? I'm in the US.

Thanks!
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N1CKV
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Re: Dashcam recommendations

Post by N1CKV »

checkout this site for tons of data on the subject:
https://dashcamtalk.com/

My wife and I have a B40/A118 style camera in our vehicles and I purchased the additional hardwire kits to wire them to come on and off automatically with the ignition.
chartcab3785
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Re: Dashcam recommendations

Post by chartcab3785 »

I spent a lot of time on dashcamtalk.com before finally buying dashcams. I kept trying to justify spending a little bit more for this feature or that feature, typical analysis paralysis. I finally ended up just buying a couple of the Blackbox GW1-CB and 32GB MicroSD cards.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00P8F3LD0/

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00CES44EO/

This is the hardwire kit and fuse tap I bought to avoid using the single 12v outlet in DW's car.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00L3XXRI0/

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00U61OO50/

I chose these because they're about the cheapest dashcams available with halfway decent 1080 image quality.

At this price with these units, if they fail you're pretty much out of luck for support/warranty. The menus on the camera aren't super intuitive, and one of ours operates differently than the other(different firmware, I assume). I haven't had either of ours fail yet after about 9 months. We leave them in car in the Hawaii Sun almost daily. These are capacitor models which I understand is better if left in a hot car. There have been issues with batteries not handling the heat of a car well. There are better solutions out there, but these do ok for us. Playback and transferring videos to computer in the few instances we've wanted to has been relatively easy.

I found the same model at about 40% off on slickdeals a few months ago and bought one for a backup, should either fail.
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Toons
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Re: Dashcam recommendations

Post by Toons »

"One does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity" –Bruce Lee
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Elsebet
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Re: Dashcam recommendations

Post by Elsebet »

metrunt wrote:People in my state are crazy drivers!
Western Washington, by chance?

I thought of getting a camera myself and trying to monetize the crazy things I see every day on my brief commute.
"...the man who adapts himself to his slender means and makes himself wealthy on a little sum, is the truly rich man..." ~Seneca
takeshi
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Re: Dashcam recommendations

Post by takeshi »

I'd also recommend reading up at Dashcamtalk. There aren't quite the name brands that you'll find with other products and the brands that you do recognize will be very expensive for what they offer. I've been very happy with the Mobius Action Camera in all of our vehicles but I have no idea how much the market has changed since I purchased them. Read up, determine what you must have and what you don't really need and find what suits you. We have no need for a screen or GPS so if those are must-haves for you then the Mobius will not be the right choice.
student5
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Re: Dashcam recommendations

Post by student5 »

Is it true that all dashcams cannot have their mph logs erased, that is you can be caught speeding?
chartcab3785
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Re: Dashcam recommendations

Post by chartcab3785 »

student5 wrote:Is it true that all dashcams cannot have their mph logs erased, that is you can be caught speeding?
I would imagine that on some it can be removed. Certainly the video could be edited after the fact to crop off the stamps/speeds, etc. Approximate speeds can be assessed from a normal speed video without the data on the screen. If someone with a dashcam caused an accident I was involved in, I wouldn't be too happy with attempts to alter the video.
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Epsilon Delta
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Re: Dashcam recommendations

Post by Epsilon Delta »

student5 wrote:Is it true that all dashcams cannot have their mph logs erased, that is you can be caught speeding?
No.

Many dashcams don't even record speed (excepting what can be estimated from the pictures).
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reriodan
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Re: Dashcam recommendations

Post by reriodan »

Looks like there is a good dashcam on sale now: http://slickdeals.net/f/8875371-g1w-cb- ... e-shipping
chartcab3785
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Re: Dashcam recommendations

Post by chartcab3785 »

reriodan wrote:Looks like there is a good dashcam on sale now: http://slickdeals.net/f/8875371-g1w-cb- ... e-shipping
Ah that is actually the same deal I got from the same seller a few months ago. Note that this ships from Hungary. It took probably 3 weeks for it to arrive.
Topic Author
casualflower
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Re: Dashcam recommendations

Post by casualflower »

Thanks for all the tips!

-M
Loik098
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Re: Dashcam recommendations

Post by Loik098 »

I've watched several dash cam videos on YouTube; seems most of the videos are posted to show crazy stunts, road rage, or major accidents.

Since I'm not particularly concerned that I'll be involved in any of the above (since I haven't in 20 years of driving), I've never bought a dash cam. But may I ask why many/all of YOU use dash cams? Is it more for the entertainment value of re-watching the crazy things you might see, or is it because you have been in a high number of traffic accidents and want to protect yourself in the future? Will a dashcam actually be used to determine fault by an insurance company?
barton277
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Re: Dashcam recommendations

Post by barton277 »

Loik098 wrote:I've watched several dash cam videos on YouTube; seems most of the videos are posted to show crazy stunts, road rage, or major accidents.

Since I'm not particularly concerned that I'll be involved in any of the above (since I haven't in 20 years of driving), I've never bought a dash cam. But may I ask why many/all of YOU use dash cams? Is it more for the entertainment value of re-watching the crazy things you might see, or is it because you have been in a high number of traffic accidents and want to protect yourself in the future? Will a dashcam actually be used to determine fault by an insurance company?
Protection. No he said/she said - it's all right there. Makes things easier for you, the insurance company and possibly even the police. I wouldn't be surprised if they are a standard feature in cars someday.
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reriodan
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Re: Dashcam recommendations

Post by reriodan »

Loik098 wrote:I've watched several dash cam videos on YouTube; seems most of the videos are posted to show crazy stunts, road rage, or major accidents.

Since I'm not particularly concerned that I'll be involved in any of the above (since I haven't in 20 years of driving), I've never bought a dash cam. But may I ask why many/all of YOU use dash cams? Is it more for the entertainment value of re-watching the crazy things you might see, or is it because you have been in a high number of traffic accidents and want to protect yourself in the future? Will a dashcam actually be used to determine fault by an insurance company?
It's a very minor cost (you can get a great dashcam setup for 50 bucks) and it can protect you in an accident that would have been blamed on you otherwise. There is absolutely no maintenance involved, so for 50 bucks and say 10 minutes of setup, it provides great peace of mind. It comes on when you start your car, turns off when you turn off your car, and overwrites itself when it runs out of space. Plus if you get a good incident on video, you can easily earn a few thousands bucks on youtube :mrgreen:
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htdrag11
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Re: Dashcam recommendations

Post by htdrag11 »

I'm confused by Amazon. It is listed at $99.99 and $35.99 on the same page. When checking out, the price was $99.99? Bummer.
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htdrag11
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Re: Dashcam recommendations

Post by htdrag11 »

Went to buy "Used and New" option and bought a new one for $35.99, arriving on July 5th. Very strange. :mrgreen:

Took me just an hour of research. Thanks, Toons. :D
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Toons
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Re: Dashcam recommendations

Post by Toons »

htdrag11 wrote:Went to buy "Used and New" option and bought a new one for $35.99, arriving on July 5th. Very strange. :mrgreen:

Took me just an hour of research. Thanks, Toons. :D

:thumbsup
"One does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity" –Bruce Lee
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htdrag11
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Re: Dashcam recommendations

Post by htdrag11 »

Toons wrote:
htdrag11 wrote:Went to buy "Used and New" option and bought a new one for $35.99, arriving on July 5th. Very strange. :mrgreen:

Took me just an hour of research. Thanks, Toons. :D

:thumbsup
Bummer. Took it to vacation, but the unit failed to read the disk or format. Try another disk to no avail, so had to return it on the road. Price now shows $35.99 as it should be.
EZ James
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Re: Dashcam recommendations

Post by EZ James »

I purchased a Cobra CDR820 Ultra compact dashcam on sale for $30. The camera works fine but there are a couple issues that will cause me to return it.

There is no practical and legal place to mount it my car under California law. They allow you a 5 in square on the lower-left, a 5 in square on the upper-center and a 7 in square on the lower-right of the windshield. The camera must not interfere with airbag deployment.

Both lower positions fun afoul of the airbag requirement on my car because airbags are stored in both front pillars in addition to the dash. This particular model camera cannot be installed without jerry-rigging in the center position and even then the power cable cannot be routed around the edge of the windshield due to the pillar airbags.

The second problem that bothers me is due to the murky wording of the law which says you can only save 30 seconds of video before and after a "triggering event". This camera and all others I have checked record continuously in short segments that overwritten unless marked protected due to a triggered event. This should be clarified because apparently the manufacturers interpret "saved" to be saved in a manner immune to overwriting but the other files are not really save because they will be overwritten when the memory card is full.

The only reasonable location for me would be the inboard center of the dash and that is taboo. I don't know what the police would think of this but even if they would overlook it, it could be an issue in case of a lawsuit.

Darn it. I like my new toy but don't care to develop a custom mount that might satisfy the requirements.
tim1999
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Re: Dashcam recommendations

Post by tim1999 »

EZ James wrote: The second problem that bothers me is due to the murky wording of the law which says you can only save 30 seconds of video before and after a "triggering event". This camera and all others I have checked record continuously in short segments that overwritten unless marked protected due to a triggered event. This should be clarified because apparently the manufacturers interpret "saved" to be saved in a manner immune to overwriting but the other files are not really save because they will be overwritten when the memory card is full.
California law actually dictates how long of a dashcam video clip can be saved on the device? I guess one more reason why I'd never move there. :oops:
BogleMelon
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Re: Dashcam recommendations

Post by BogleMelon »

This is the cheapest dashboard camera that I was able to find!
https://play.google.com/store/apps/deta ... ilyroads.v
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Mudpuppy
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Re: Dashcam recommendations

Post by Mudpuppy »

tim1999 wrote:
EZ James wrote: The second problem that bothers me is due to the murky wording of the law which says you can only save 30 seconds of video before and after a "triggering event". This camera and all others I have checked record continuously in short segments that overwritten unless marked protected due to a triggered event. This should be clarified because apparently the manufacturers interpret "saved" to be saved in a manner immune to overwriting but the other files are not really save because they will be overwritten when the memory card is full.
California law actually dictates how long of a dashcam video clip can be saved on the device? I guess one more reason why I'd never move there. :oops:
It's more generically an exception to the windshield visibility laws and the two-party consent laws for "video event recorders". In California, it's technically illegal to have anything blocking the windshield view unless it's on the list of exceptions. Likewise, you have to have the consent of both parties to record audio and video in a private space, and the interior of a car is considered private, but there's an exception for "video event recorders" in cars.

The official wording of the law is as follows (from http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces ... nNum=26708):
(13) (A) A video event recorder with the capability of monitoring driver performance to improve driver safety, which may be mounted in a seven-inch square in the lower corner of the windshield farthest removed from the driver, in a five-inch square in the lower corner of the windshield nearest to the driver and outside of an airbag deployment zone, or in a five-inch square mounted to the center uppermost portion of the interior of the windshield. As used in this section, “video event recorder” means a video recorder that continuously records in a digital loop, recording audio, video, and G-force levels, but saves video only when triggered by an unusual motion or crash or when operated by the driver to monitor driver performance.

(B) A vehicle equipped with a video event recorder shall have a notice posted in a visible location which states that a passenger’s conversation may be recorded.

(C) Video event recorders shall store no more than 30 seconds before and after a triggering event.

(D) The registered owner or lessee of the vehicle may disable the device.

(E) The data recorded to the device is the property of the registered owner or lessee of the vehicle.

(F) When a person is driving for hire as an employee in a vehicle with a video event recorder, the person’s employer shall provide unedited copies of the recordings upon the request of the employee or the employee’s representative. These copies shall be provided free of charge to the employee and within five days of the request.
Continuously overwriting memory unless it is marked as saved is a technical definition of a "digital loop", although I couldn't tell you if that's also the legal definition. You might be operating in a legal grey area if the dash cam can record more than a minute of footage before looping over it, but you might be fine as long as it eventually overwrites the memory. It's unclear since no legal definition of "digital loop" is given. Note that this is the same section of the Vehicle Code that makes window tinting above a certain percentage and things hanging off the rear view mirror illegal, so it's more of a fix-it ticket level of consequence if determined to be illegal.

Also note that nothing about the law states how the power cables have to be routed, although those could be interpreted as blocking visibility if they were just hanging down from the rear view mirror to the console power outlet. If your vehicle has an auto-dimming rear view mirror option, that likely means there are power conduits located behind the upper and side panels that would not interfere with airbag deployment, since the auto-dimming rear view mirror needs to get power. Those conduits could be re-purposed to route the dash cam power cable.
TravelGeek
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Re: Dashcam recommendations

Post by TravelGeek »

Seems to me that law is focusing on cameras you typically see in taxis that record the inside for protection of the driver.

Aren't dashcams pointing outward? (forward)
Mudpuppy
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Re: Dashcam recommendations

Post by Mudpuppy »

TravelGeek wrote:Seems to me that law is focusing on cameras you typically see in taxis that record the inside for protection of the driver.

Aren't dashcams pointing outward? (forward)
Nope, the section I quoted is for private vehicles. Additional provisions for taxis and other commercial vehicles are covered in the next section of the code. Before this section was added to the vehicle code, it was illegal to have dash cams in private vehicles in California.
GrowthObsessed
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Re: Dashcam recommendations

Post by GrowthObsessed »

We could have an entire forum on "what's wrong with California" but I'll just put my 2 cents in about the CA law.. 1) I don't see anything that involves two party consent to video recording. It only mentions "conversation". So, theoretically, unless someone is speaking with sign language there doesn't seem to be any issue with video recording. Most people, unless you are an Uber driver, wouldn't have video of the interior of the cabin anyways of their personal car.

I can't speak to this issue in any sort of profound way, but I don't see how that 30 second limit could possibly hold up in court.

On a side note, you'll probably want to turn off recording of sound anyways in the event that you ever tried to use your video as a defense for something and they heard you talking on the phone, yelling at someone driving, playing Pokemon, being distracted with loud music, etc.

But since this thread was about the actual cameras.. here's what I can add.

In one of my cars I have a Rexing V1 for the front camera, and then I added a Mini 0805 generic clone for a rear camera. I had issues with the generic version and replaced it with a PRUVEEO F5 which has a similar body style to the Rexing V1 and haven't had any issues with it that I know of. But the actual Mini 0805 is a highly recommended camera on a lot of sites.

The quality of the video of both are good. The Rexing V1 can be converted to a having a rear camera as well but the rear camera for this version is very low quality and should generally be avoided, that's why I went with a completely separate 1080p camera for the rear.

In my new car I have a Rexing S500 Pro which includes the 1080p front and 720p rear camera as one recording unit. That's nicer than having to pull 2 video cards out if I want to review the videos. The only issue I've had with it so far is a couple of times it hasn't turned on for a couple minutes after driving. I don't know if it's being affected by the cold temperatures or something.

I would recommend any system that has front and rear cameras. Why rear? Getting rear ended or anything else happening from the rear isn't going to do your front dash cam any good.

Once you pick out a camera you'll want to consider whether or not you want video recording while parked.. say you get hit in a parking lot and you'd like to see what happened.. or someone breaks into your car overnight and you want to see if anyone can be identified ... having a parking mode is what you'd need. There are some battery packs that are sold that will allow this feature while not allowing your car's battery to drain to death. They can get kind of pricey though.
GrowthObsessed
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Re: Dashcam recommendations

Post by GrowthObsessed »

Loik098 wrote:I've watched several dash cam videos on YouTube; seems most of the videos are posted to show crazy stunts, road rage, or major accidents.

Since I'm not particularly concerned that I'll be involved in any of the above (since I haven't in 20 years of driving), I've never bought a dash cam. But may I ask why many/all of YOU use dash cams? Is it more for the entertainment value of re-watching the crazy things you might see, or is it because you have been in a high number of traffic accidents and want to protect yourself in the future? Will a dashcam actually be used to determine fault by an insurance company?
It's never going to be YOUR driving that you need to worry about. It's everyone else's.

Short story, recently a family member was involved in an accident in which their car was totaled. The other driver was 100% at fault in our eyes, in the witness's eyes, in the police's eyes, but the circumstances of the accident and how the accident report was written by the police officer that agreed the other driver was at fault stated that the family member 'then collided with' the other vehicle. To me that makes it sound like an at fault accident if you're the one hitting a car.

Any accident scene is up to the interpretation of the police who write the report and any information they gather at the scene. It doesn't mean the actual events are going to be reported correctly, or at least how you see things.

A camera can provide the proof. But even video footage will then be up to the interpretation of anyone viewing it. So I suppose the proof can work against you as well if someone "sees" things differently than you do.

Either way, I think it's going to be better in the long run to have video evidence of any incidents.
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