Cabin/passenger camera pulling double duty

rustypixel

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Hello all. First post here and I wanted to ask if anyone uses their cabin/passenger camera to pull double duty for both the inside and, partially, the rear. I'm looking to get my first dash cam and I'm specifically looking at the VIOFO A139 3 channel (top contender as of now). I've seen some images/video of the interior camera, specifically on an SUV, where the image captures a pretty decent shot of the rear. The only 2 downsides I can think of are poor to no visuals outside the vehicle at night and some of the outside being blocked by seats and the driver. Again, a few of the images/videos I've seen where the cabin camera shows the back, shows a decent amount of what's going on behind the car. I figure I could try this configuration and, if I'm not happy, I can take the time to install the rear camera which I'll have as part of the package. I just wanted to know if anyone else has done or seen this before. Thanks.
 

kamkar

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For sure a cabin camera you want as high up as you can to get the best possible view to the back seat.
Yeah a cabin camera have a hard time capturing much of what go on beside or behind the car, but testing the B2W a while back i was amazed to see i got a plate capture on the car behind me, and at night.
But probably more a case of luck than the B2W being a exceptional system.

 

SawMaster

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Welcome to DCT @rustypixel :)

A cabin cam can do a fair job with rear views in some cars, but they're not much good at night or in capturing details. Better than nothing if it's all you can do (like with convertible tops) but nowhere near as good as a rear cam ;) Just plan on doing the rear cam install ASAP- once you see the difference you'll understand why. One thing a cabin cam does do well is show some of your sides, and coupled with good F & R vids that is likely all you'll ever need.

Phil
 

kamkar

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The only thing that interest me in interior cameras is ( i assume ) today other people would claim " well i saw him messing with this phone as we crashed" something a interior camera will prove is a lie.
And still in that case, you front camera have you driving rock steady in your lane, which is not what you can say about most driving while on the phone users i have seen.
Other than that i have no interest in them as i am not a Uber driver, in which case a cabin camera would be nice to have.
 
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rustypixel

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Thanks for all the replies. I'll more likely than not eventually install the rear cam, but I wanted to see if the cabin cam alone would provide me with enough/decent coverage. While I'm still in the research phase, I'm looking to purchase within the next week or so.
 

kamkar

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The cabin camera are pretty much just the cabin, some times lighting will even make the outside you can see very overexposed.
A front and rear camera is all you need if you are not doing uber stuff on the side, and even then most of what you need will probably be captured on the front camera.

You have to remember the front camera always log your driving, and if that is within the law then what ever happen off camera cant really be your fault.
So the phone junkie that take you out from behind on a highway, and him and his 2 friends in the car claiming you changed lane right in front of them, well your front camera will have you driving nice and easy in your lane right until BAM !
So clearly they are lying in the other car, and you dont really need the footage from a rear camera to prove that.
Though i do still recommend people to get a 2 channel system if money allow for it, but in my 10 years of dashcam use and uploading to youtube, well it is just B-roll footage i get from my rear or side cameras, the action are pretty much always on the front camera.

And thats how you should look at dashcams, as a means to document your driving and actions, and pretty much any dashcam will do that 100 % no matter the weather or time of day.
Then on the side you will capture a lot of other stuff, maybe even the plate of the guy that hit and run on you, but due to limitations in dashcam technology used ATM thats far from certain.

Americans need 2 dashcams as often cars only have 1 plate ( on the back ) so a front camera will capture nothing much of a oncoming offender, but your rear camera might get lucky as he speed away.
We Euro boys are more lucky, cars here must have 2 plates and they are a bit larger and more easy to read so we have 2 X the chance of a plate capture VS a American.

Front and Rear cameras on the A139 in my car on a day with very marginal conditions for plate capture, 80 Km/h - 55 MPH speed.
 
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rustypixel

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Kamkar, those are pretty much my sentiments as well. The front will be the most important for any issues I might get into while driving. The curiosity about the cabin camera is just that, a curiosity. No matter what model I eventually end up with, it will be a 3 channel set up but I wanted to know the thoughts of those here about using the cabin camera to get some decent rear images. I know it's not the same as having a dedicated rear camera, but as you mentioned, all I really need to show is that I'm driving alertly and "correctly" and the front will show that enough. The cabin cam pulling double duty, will compliment the front recording.
Can I ask if the front camera on the A139 can swivel towards the cabin?
 

kamkar

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Well sort off depending on your windscreen angle.

IMG_20210409_173133.jpg

I will give it a try with the camera in my car later on, this is a pic of the spare camera left after my car got broken into earlier in the year.
If you have the camera in front of the mirror, that would probably block a lot of the view.
 

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And i will measure the angle of my windscreen.
 

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Thanks for all the replies. I'll more likely than not eventually install the rear cam, but I wanted to see if the cabin cam alone would provide me with enough/decent coverage. While I'm still in the research phase, I'm looking to purchase within the next week or so.
If you don't want to install the rear camera at the rear, you could install the interior (with IR) looking towards the driver's door and the rear in the same place but looking towards the passenger door, then you get an excellent view of both sides, and if you get the angle correct you can also see out the rear, half of it from each camera. That is good enough to show what happened both behind and on the sides, but with smaller US plates you are not very likely to be able to read a plate if it stays behind, could be easy to read as it comes past the side, depending on how much glass there is in your side windows, modern cars seem to be getting smaller and smaller windows! Might want to get an extra short coax cable for that.
 

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kamkar

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rustypixel

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Thanks, Kamkar. I appreciate the picture with the camera turned. I'm surprised it rotates as far as it does.
 

Nigel

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You could use a cheap plastic protractor too! :happy:

Many of us have one in a desk drawer. ;)
Need to add a thread and lead weight to turn it into an inclinometer, or add a spirit level, easier to use a free phone app.
The fruit phones have one pre-installed, under Utilities/Measure/Level, maybe one of the better features of the fruit phones.
 

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Need to add a thread and lead weight to turn it into an inclinometer, or add a spirit level, easier to use a free phone app.
The fruit phones have one pre-installed, under Utilities/Measure/Level, maybe one of the better features of the fruit phones.

Not every solution requires you to succumb to your smart phone addiction, Nigel.
 

kamkar

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@rustypixel here is the footage with the camera in my car turned as much as it can, and thats actually enough, only the mirror are in the way, so not a viable solution on my car / the way it is installed.
Of course if you install the camera way down the windscreen it might be better, but i cant recommend that as it is not stealthy, maybe even illegal at least it would be here in Denmark.

Maybe way off to one side, but as you can not swivel the camera left or right ( same go for the interior camera ) then you are forced to mount it in the center, or fab some kind of wedge to mount it on so it is aimed better.
But thats hard to do with the main camera, but it is doable with the interior camera, actually if i dident have the option to mount the interior camera on my mirror stalk as it can be seen in the video, then my #2 choice would be to mount it by the R side A pillar aimed at the driver seat, which would require some kind of angled mount to be devised as i would still want to mount off the windscreen not the A pillar plastics ( which i as a dashcam tester often remove )


Slope of my windscreen is: ( assume it is level where my car is parked, so assume some degree of inaccuracy )

Screenshot_2021-04-09-20-00-09-341_com.miui.compass.jpg

Car like mine from the side.
A not unusual windscreen slope i think.
fi_suzuki-splash-gls-aircon_1319530326_18447.jpg
 
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rustypixel

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Kamkar, thank you so much for that. You've gone above and beyond to satisfy my curiosities and seeing that not only did the image flip to correct, the amount of visibility provided was pretty good (other than the mirror being in the way but that's something that can be worked around with mounting position). The video you provided was enough to "seal the deal" and I've already placed the order. Again, I appreciate your time and efforts. Thank you!
 

kamkar

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Yeah i just flipped the footage in post, did not think about that in the car, but i think it is a option in the menu,,,,,, at least for the 2 other cameras.

Just checked on spare camera, you can also flip the front camera footage (y) it is not a automatic thing as it appear in my video above, so you have to go into the app every time you turn the camera to change that.

Yes using the front camera as a cabin camera are not a good idea, at least if you want to mount it in the best possible place as that will probably mean the mirror are in the way.
Also the front camera have no IR aid like the dedicated interior camera, so at night the footage will be too dark unless you drive in a part of town with a higher level of ambient light at night.
It is also a waste of the front cameras 1440p resolution, that should be used on the road ahead.
 
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