Review 1: A simple and useful checklist for the dash camera purchase
The ultimate dash camera checklist
-make wise and informed choice -get the best out of your money
Warning: You may stunt your dash camera seller if you ask them these questions
Warning: You may stunt your dash camera seller if you ask them for the details
1) WI-FI Feature
More consumers have called for dash camera with Wi-Fi features over the years, simply because they are increasingly aware of the benefits and convenience of Wi-Fi Dash Camera.
a) User can use their Smartphone-WiFi to:
-Watch live video and playback recordings
-Download the recordings into your Smartphone
-Adjust the configurations of the camera.
Additionally, Wi-Fi dash camera still retains the traditional means for the user to playback/download the videos via “removal and plugging-in of micro SD card into the PC”.
b) Wi-Fi feature substitutes the need for an LCD screen.
-Sleeker and more elegance-looking dash camera
-Lesser obstruction to the driver’s view
Frequent Asked Question ( FAQ 1 ):
How do I know if the dash camera is operating without an LCD?
For dash cameras without the LCD screen, makes sure it does offer:
1) Operation Status LED indicator
2) English Voice Guidance (about the status) - Example "Start Recording”.
These two feature is important to keep you inform about the status of the camera.
2) Viewing Angle
Angle of view for a dash camera could be as small as a disappointing 90° (this means limited recording coverage). It is recommended that u should minimally look for something that is at least 130°. For most medium sizes car, 130° allows to area between the two front headlights to be covered. However, anything higher than 130° is definitely better, as the recordings will cover a wider area.
You probably heard of HD (High Definition) and Full HD (FHD or Full High Definition), because it has been in the market for years.
With the rapid technological advancement, Full HD resolution has become the minimum expectation of consumers today and the basic resolution most manufacture offers. Additionally, in the race of catering for higher resolution demands, we have witnessed the fast pace technology breakthrough over the recent years: 2K, 3K and to the latest 4K resolution; clearer image quality image in each phase.
Frequent Asked Question ( FAQ 2) :
So what should I be getting?
To get clear images, you should at least get a Full HD dash camera.
However, some lower-quality Full HD dash camera may not be up to standard.
General guidance below:
-Branding. You can be more confident with reputable dash-camera, as the name has spoken for itself; many users have been using them.
-Pricing. We need to be cautious with some really cheap dash-cameras. Prices of 2-channel (front and rear) dash-camera can be as low as under S$120, while affordable and premium ones can be around S$300 onwards.
-Search for their videos on Youtube. The easiest and most accurate way to judge the video quality.
4) Support Parking Recording
The parking surveillance recording feature is the most popular feature among vehicle owners. For a single reason, the owner wants their beloved car to be protected at all times, even when parked (vehicle engine switched off).
The dash camera would serve as deterrence and reliable witness against any vandalism or Hit-and-Run cases. Especially with the aid of the security blue or white LEDs in front of the dash camera; flashing and running to warn others that: “you are being watched”.
For parking surveillance recording, the dash camera must have:
1) Heat endurance capability – At least support a “operating temperature of 70°C”. In the cabin, without air-condition, the dash camera will get hot quickly, especially under the humid Singapore weather.
2) Automatic motion-recording capability While the vehicle engine switched on; the video is being continuously recorded. While the vehicle engine switched off; the dash-camera's recording mode will be automatically switched to motion-recording, to better utilise the storage capacity.
3) Battery Drainage Prevention Device This features allow the camera to automatically power off when your car battery is low, instead of draining up the battery completely.
This Battery Drainage Prevention Device could be either built-in in the dash camera or the form of an external device.
However, there are some limitations to this device:
1) May not be suitable for all vehicle model. Especially some "highly computerise" continental vehicles.
2) Does not guarantee that you could start your vehicle engine the next morning.
For more details and alternative to battery drainage device:
FAQ 5: Can dash camera without the 3 features above do parking surveillance recording?
Answer 5: Yes, any car mechanics with the relevant electrical knowledge could tap constant power to your dash camera for driving + parking surveillance recording (vehicle engine switched off). However, it is strongly discouraged:
1) Without Heat endurance capability, it may cause the dash camera to burn out quickly. Additionally, if your dash camera seller may void the warranty if they find out the dash camera is used for parking surveillance recording.
2) Without motion-recording capability, prolong continuous recording will cause the micro SD card will run out of space quickly,
3) Without Power Drainage prevention Device, running your dash camera overnight (vehicle engine switched off) would most likely cause you to have a "flat battery" the next morning. However there is some limitations with the power drainage prevention device.
*Drop by our workshop today to discuss with our team of professional mechanics for more information!!*
5) Format Free Technology
So far, all the dash camera we have seen in the market has got the feature of “Automatic Overwrite of Old Recordings”; automatically delete the oldest recording each time the micro SD Card is full.
-Pros of Automatic Overwrite
-Cons of Automatic Overwrite
- A common misunderstanding that almost all consumers would have is:
Automatic Overwrite = Maintenance free. This is absolutely wrong!!
In simpler terms, each time a overwrite command is performed; the system will create a small cache in the storage. These caches accumulated over time are too small to be found, but it will cause the video recordings to be not saved or have missing intervals.
Hence, it is recommended that you will need to manually format the micro SD card to empty the entire system.
-Best Solution- *Format Free Software*
In recent years some Korean dash camera manufacturers have addressed this formatting hassle with the cutting edge technology "Format Free Software”: automatic overwrite old videos without the need to format the system.
However, not all dash camera manufacture offers the "Format Free Software", probably due to complexity in the software development and the high development cost. And do note that some dash camera manufacture only offers a partial format free software; it reduces the frequency of manual formatting.
Hence, format free software is very critical for us, as we might get too busy at times and forget to perform the mandatory monthly manual formatting.
In summary, before purchasing any dash camera, the key is to understand what your priorities are. Using these 5 essential check boxes, it will allow you to easily identify the dash camera that meets your basic need.