questionsdoes anyone here use a dash camera?

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I don't use one but I've thought about it, so your question is a good one IMHO.

Two comments about the one in your link.

1.) The sample image on the camera display looks pretty bogus, as if the camera is mounted on the front bumper rather than the dash. If it gets that field of view from the dash, then it doesn't show a very wide angle.

2.) I am really puzzled by the six IR LEDs shown on the camera (3 on either side of the lens). I would think that if those are on, the illumination would reflect from the inside of the windshield into the camera lens, essentially "blinding" the camera from seeing anything outside. (Consider what would happen if you were in the driver's seat, and you turned on a flashlight aimed out the front window.) Can those LEDs possibly work well? I would think they'd make the nighttime images worse rather than better.

As I said, I don't have one of these cameras... just two "common sense" questions about the one you mentioned. Good luck getting info.

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I recently purchased the 'Original Dash Cam' by 4Sight and it seems to work OK. I have noticed the recordings have a small bit of 'lag', in that they don't playback very smoothly like a GoPro. The video quality however is pretty good (720p) and it is fairly easy to use. Overall I am happy with it, and the ability to capture the wildlife when it is in view. I live in NW MT in the Northern Rockies, and have seen just about everything while driving near my home: Black & brown bears, elk, moose, mountain lions, wolf, bighorn sheep, etc.

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I use one and its okay. I got it from a sale here on deals woot last year. There are no markings to indicate who made it. The infra red lights are useless for anything past the hood,of the car.

It does 720 video but the quality tells me that it is interpolated. It,s good enough to prove if someone cuts in front of me.

I have a sample video here:
http://m.youtube.com/?client=mv-google&rdm=mltlka28q#/watch?v=66DyT19VPL4

You'll have to copy and paste the link because I can't get it to work from my mobile device.

Do a youtube search on cheap dashcam and you'll see samples and recommendations from other users.

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Related q, if wooters will forgive me:

Any advice or preferences on setting up a backup camera?

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I bought a DVR-027 from another source for about the same price a few months ago. It works pretty much as advertised. I quickly discovered that watching the resulting video is painfully boring, but I keep it running just in case something interesting happens.

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@turbinator42: It's a very common thing in Russia because of the many traffic-related insurance scams so it's less for entertainment but more for insurance scam protection.

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What @first2summit said. Evidently, even if you have insurance in Russia (cue Borat "in Soviet Russia.." line) they don't believe anything anybody says, and will deny claims as a matter of course. As a means of defending against this, drivers try to document everything that happens while they are driving, thus the massive proliferation of dash cams.

We are the unwitting benefactors of this: as not only did they catch something very unusual, like a metorite crashing to earth:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pXT_B4kx6YA

they also catch the more mundane strangeness that apparently is par for the course in Russia.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=itMdLTd1l4E

EDIT: Took down the original Jalopnik link, as most of those videos had been taken down from YouTube

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@crowbite: For my purposes, night recording isn't very important. Since I've read comments about reflection problems, one of the reasons I'm leaning towards this model is because you can turn off the IR lights.

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I use an Android app called "Daily Roads" plus my cell phone and a dash mount. Has nice features like custom frame rate, custom file size, file retention rules, etc. Also has feature that if there is an impact above 3G (based on accelerometer) it automatically uploads the most recent video to a web server.

For example, I have mine set so that every minute is a separate file, and when it reaches ~2GB it starts recycling, deleting the oldest files and replacing them. To keep the file size manageable (about 20 MB/min), I set it to record at 800 x 480, low frame rate, etc.

I like it better than a dedicated dash cam, as it manages it's own storage, external copies, etc.

Just my $.02

Oh, yeah. GPS function kills the battery on my phone, so I turned it off. Also don't want it recording my speed...

(Keep intending to see if I can install it on a non-activated phone over WiFi, and just use it as a dedicated dash cam. But then I can't also use my phone as a GPS.)

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@zippy the pinhead: The "Original Dash Cam" you bought looks very similar to the one I'm considering. What is your experience with the IR lights? How do you like the mount?

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@cebooher3: Thanks for posting your video. I'm looking for something with better quality video than that. Have seen some better qualilty YouTube videos that seem to be for the model and seller I'm looking at, but it's hard to tell with various similar models and knockoffs. Hence, my concern about my choice.

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@75grandville: An android app has been considered, but I'm concerned about several things. First, the phone is often used (bluetooth headset) for talking to clients while driving, and I wonder about interference and user interface issues. Secondly, travel is often in areas with poor reception or roaming, so uploading would be an issue. Do have an non-activated iPhone, if there is an app that can be used offline (internal storage only).

What is the mount you are using for your phone?

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@gionot: I use a slightly earlier version of this: http://www.amazon.com/Arkon-Travelmount-Windshield-Dashboard-Smartphone/dp/B004AJHXTS/

Just to be clear, it works fine without 3G access. The ability to upload is optional, and can be turned off. Will just store things on your phone.

You can turn off the audio so that you are not recording yourself. I've used the app with bluetooth. There is a slight audio gap when it changes files each minute. I don't know why it does that. I don't talk to clients, just friends/family so I've never been particularly bothered by it, but it might be an issue for you.

It's free, so you could always just try it out for fun.

Night time performance is poor, at least with my phone. Don't do that much night driving, so haven't tried to tune the video better.

BTW, the app is actually "Voyager", and the company is DailyRoads.

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I use a Creative Vado HD, 1st gen, on my dash. Unfortunately it's only 4gb or 1hr, not expandable, and doesn't hold a charge very long. Takes decent daylight video, not so great night, which obviously depends on artificial lighting. I use it with a windshield suction cup mount, http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003SE6LD0/ref=wms_ohs_product?ie=UTF8&psc=1, that I had only paid $10 for (lightning deal in 2010; reg price was $20). It's held up for over 2.5 years.

I have it for those "crap, I wish I had a dash cam" moments, which I still have yet to experience :(

There's a few video's on YouTube, if you search for Creative Vado dash cam.

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If you really want the best possible video quality, buy a GoPro.

They're intended as an "action camera" to mount on a bicycle, a rider's helmet, a hang glider, etc. I have even seen one mounted in the nose of an RC model airplane, to capture "flyover footage" of where the plane has flown.

The video is better than broadcast quality, nothing interpolated or otherwise hokey about it. I haven't checked lately, but I think one will set you back a few hundred dollars.

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Don't do it!! Have you ever seen all the bad things that happen to people with dashcams? it's like you're asking for yourself to get into an accident if you have one!!!

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@75grandville: The app looks good, and I like the price! I'm still not sure about multitasking with the phone, but it's worth a try before I make a bigger investment. I guess I'll have to change my search to portable (suction) dash mounts, so I can give the app a fair test.

Thanks for your help!

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@crowbite: The Creative Vado HD seems to cost more than I want to invest right now. The Kensington dash mount looks interesting, though. It seems like it would give a lot of position flexibility, making it a good option for moving between vehicles.

Thanks for the tip!

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@cowboydann: LOL! Thanks for your concern! :-P

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@cowboydann: So if you just "set it and forget it," you're still asking for trouble?

Please elaborate.

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This is an interesting question as I just picked up a cell phone suction cup & mount and used my old smartphone to record my commute to work today. It's only connected via WiFi so when I'm in range of my router, it uploads it automatically to dropbox.

This is the mount I just picked up:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008ALV0V4/ref=oh_details_o01_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

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@gionot: I have not used the IR lights but will prob. try it out soon. The suction cup mount has not fallen down yet (couple weeks so far) and seems very solid, but does not allow for turning L or R horizontally. That would be a nice feature for me since it would let me get better footage of moving wildlife.

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Has anyone tried using the CenterPoint paint gun camera as a dash cam? I have one available and am in the process of making a mount for it. It comes with a mount that fits a Weaver rail for a gun, but nothing that makes it easy to mount it on a car. Just curious if anyone has tried this and what they got for results.

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Saw this thread pop up in my feed - I run a dash camera review website so I can help out here. The camera the OP referenced used to be great for the price but it's been overshadowed by the K6000 sold by the same seller (estore009). Estore has a great reputation amognst the Russian community.

I've done a video comparison of these camera types (DVR027, DVR047, etc) if you are interested http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_wX4CUlDRVM but I think the buyers guide I've written is far better at explaining the various features to look for in a dash camera. http://www.carcamcentral.com/reviews/dash-car-camera-guide-buyers

Regarding the IR lights - as others have mentioned it's completely useless while your headlights are on, even worse it causes glare on your windshield. It is useful if you decide to record while parked at night and there is no external lighting. Great for cheap security - otherwise turn it off.

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@justagigilo85: I like the looks of that mount! I'm very leery of suction cups, but that one seems to have really good reviews for its ability to stay put.

Thanks!

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@zippy the pinhead: The response from @andrewccc regarding using the camera for night security has gotten me wondering about using the camera on my window sill at night to view critters that wander through the yard at night (we've had mountain lions, bobcats and bears along with the more normal deer and coyote).

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@andrewccc: Thanks for your links and information. I'd seen other recommendations for the seller, and liked how thorough they were with details and photos. I also note that the seller's comparison of models shows the K6000 as being less reliable and less versatile than the DVR027.

I think I will start with buying a phone mount and playing with the free app that @75grandville recommended. If nothing else, it should give me a better idea of what I want/need in a dedicated dash camera. Overall, I think I am still leaning towards my original choice of the DVR027.

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@gionot: There's a sticky gel like material permanently affixed to the bottom of the suction cup mount so it feels much more secure than my GPS's typical mount. It came with cleaning instructions for when it gets too dirty but I'm curious how effective that is.

That said, I tried the bracket (w/ the ball joint) on my GPS's suction cup mount and they do fit each other perfectly. Worse case scenario, I can use that (they might be universal).

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@gionot: No problem! I would respectfully disagree on the K6000's reliability assessment based on this Russian forum thread - http://goo.gl/3TImI (Google translate is excellent!)

You don't lose any versatility because it has the exact same features, even better imo since it comes with a G-Shock sensor and the menu is far easier and better looking to navigate. The functionality of the mount is the exact same.

The K6000's video quality is heads and tails better than the DVR027 but it's not as steathy that's for sure.

The phone mount is a good idea, it looks fairly stable too, some of the longer armed mounts have a fair amount of vibration.

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@gionot: Yup - cheaper than a hunting camera that's for sure! They won't bother your car unless you decide to store food inside.