The DVR-027 dash cam is a very popular cam that has been out for numerous years now. The camera is also called the DVR-037 , DVR-007 or sometimes just labeled as Car DVR HD 720p. There is a DVR-047 version which is fake and does not shoot in 720p HD.
Note that the 6 LED lights provide no real benefit when used as a dash cam. Hence some people prefer the sleeker design of the DVR-007 without the LED lights as seen below. This camera is identical internally however the screen does not rotate like the DVR-027.
This dash cam has proven to be a very reliable camera with good video quality. There are many fake versions of this dash cam available as well. Video quality of the fake cameras is significantly worse than the real DVR-027.
The DVR-027 was originally based on the Coach 10P Zoran ZR36482BGCF processor as pictured below.
The latest DVR-027 models appear to come with the newer Coach 12MDV ZR364249BGCG processor.
Note that a new model has been released, called the DVR-207. It is quite similar to the DVR-027 but comes with newer firmware and no gaps between files.
Generally, there are no publicly available tools to extract the firmware on Zoran based devices. Hence, when purchasing this camera, you will likely not be able to upgrade the firmware in the future. If firmware files become readily available, we will post them here including the procedure on how to upgrade.
Original vs Fake Models
Given the popularity of this camera, there are dozens of fake models available for sale. There are numerous ways to tell the difference between original DVR-027 models and fake models.
- The original records the time on the top center of the screen with black numbers on a white background. Fakes use green numbers and write them to the side.
- The original uses the H.264 codec. Fakes use the mjpeg codec
- The original records at: 640×480, 848×480, 1280×720. Fakes records at 720×480 instead of 848×480. Fakes may offer 800×600 or 1280×720, but will record at 640×480 (resolution is interpolated).
- The original records in AVI format. Fakes record in MOV format.
- The original viewing angle is 120 °. Fakes viewing angle ~ 40-60 °.
- The original has an HDMI output. Fakes do not have an HDMI output (for example, it is replaced with a sticker). Some of the fakes have an HDMI port, but it is not connected to the board
- The original has a removable battery. Fakes do not have removable batteries.
- Original comes in a blue box. Fake comes in a white box.
- A good rule of thumb is that if the camera is selling for under $50, it is a fake.
Note that fake DVR-027 may have some or many of the above features. So pay attention to all the features not just a specific feature. Purchasing from a reputable seller will help you purchase an original version.
Most of the fake DVR-027’s are just low quality Standard Definition cameras instead of High Definition cameras.
There are not many major problems with this camera and it has proven to be quite reliable.
Gaps between video clips
The main problem reported by users is a noticeable gap between video clips (1 to 5 seconds). This can be somewhat mitigated by
- Using a good quality class 6 or better SD-Card (class 10 is best).
- Format the SD-card. SD-card parameters should be as follows: file system – FAT32, cluster size – 64 KB
- Format the card in the camera
One of our members, dashcam.br, performed a test on gaps between files for this camera in this thread and came to the conclusion 15 min segments minimize the total potential loss of footage. The details for the DVR-027, class 4 card formatted with FAT 32 and 64 kB clusters are as follows:
– 2 min segments: average recording time: 1 min 59.4 S, average gap: 2.5 S (misses 2.1%)
– 5 min segments: average recording time: 4 min 59.1 S, average gap: 3.0 S (misses 1.0%)
– 15 min segments: average recording time: 14 min 58.9 S, average gap: 4.1 S (misses 0.5%)
– 2 min segments: average recording time: 1 min 58.9 S, average gap: 2.7 S (misses 2.2%)
– 5 min segments: average recording time: 4 min 59.2 S, average gap: 4.6 S (misses 1.5%)
– 15 min segments: average recording time: 14 min 59.2 S, average gap: 4.0 S (misses 0.5%)
Interferes with the radio
Interference may be caused by the 12-5v Converter supplied. Buy another converter – Standard 12-5V USB.
Focus is poor when recording
The problem is likely associated with a damaged lens. You can try to return the goods to the seller and ask for a replacement.
Decode Firmware Number
The firmware number contains the release date of the firmware and version in the following format YY MM DD N, where YY – year, MM – month, DD – day, N – firmware version. For example, if the firmware number is 1007060, it can be decoded as follows:
2010, July 6, version number 0
Where to purchase for lowest price
If you are considering this camera, you may want to look at the G1W DVR which costs less, has better video quality and has a better form factor.
You can download the user manual for the DVR-007 here.
Last Updated: April 13, 2013