CF-100 2ch first day thoughts

ExDelayed

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EDIT: In the post below, I could have mislead people to thinking that the Blacksys produces images comparable to the much more expensive Panorama X2. As can be seen with the images below, it is determined that I "lost in the production variance lottery" with my Panorama X2. However, in my case, the Blacksys does produce images that are superior to the much more expensive Panorama.

I had a Panorama X2 installed, and even though it was an interesting toy, I was unhappy with it. For its price, it should be a great camera, with great pictures. Instead, the front camera couldn't seem to focus, it was picky when it wanted to work, and the firmware seemed like it needed a lot more testing. Well, Halloween night, I was heading home from a party and it decided to enter a bootloop. I don't know if any of you have seen an X2 boot at night, but its LCD can be quite distracting. After the fifth boot in five minutes, I *removed* it from the windshield. Its safe in the Blacksys box, and reusable, if I can get the bootloop sorted.

Anyway, I found the CF-100, and looked through some of the threads in here. I was happy with it and got one on its way. I have a 2ch model with GPS, and I put a Lexar 32GB card into it. Last night, I installed it at my shop, drove home, and opened up the viewer (something that I either missed in the Panorama's instructions, or it didn't have). Everything from the front lens was blurry, but the rear seemed ok. This morning, I looked at it before I left for work, and realized I had left the lens protector on during install, to keep my fingerprints off of it while it was getting installed.

So far, the G-sensors are a little too touchy. My car is lowered (1", not ricer style), and it kicks on a little too easily. I need to rotate the camera a degree or two, but right now its nothing to worry about. The rear camera's images is poorer than the Panorama, but that was expected. The front camera had to be mounted in a different location than the X2. The X2 was shaded by my clean air decal, but the Blacksys would have seen it. The Blacksys sits directly in front of my rear view mirror, and it is shaded by the factory dots (?) that are embedded into the glass, it hides nicely.

If you are curious to how the Blacksys compares to a camera over three times its cost, here are pics. The images were grabbed about a week apart, but at the same time of day, with the same type of weather conditions. The Blacksys image was captured with the viewer software. The Panorama images are captured by pausing Windows Media Player and doing a print screen. o_O The ring that is visible at the edges of the rear pics is window tint. The factory tinted glass was tinted, and it was too dark for the Panorama, now Blacksys, to see through. Both rear cameras are looking through dirty glass. The lower rear window on a CR-Z does not have a wiper, so there is some road grime on the glass.

EDIT: VLC snapshots of both cameras are in the third reply.

Blacksys:


X2:


Blacksys:


X2:


I still need to see some clear night pics from the Blacksys' front camera, but even with it being partly blinded with the lens protector, it seemed good. So far, I am quite pleased with the Blacksys. :D
 
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Gibson99

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yes, the cf100 g-sensor is too touchy. it triggers almost every time i run over the railroad tracks on the way to church (even though they aren't that bumpy - you can hit them at 40 mph and it's smooth), and every time we enter our own driveway (our neighborhood has those low, wide curbs that don't have breaks in them for the driveways so it's a significant bump). that's even with it set at its lowest. and that was in 2 different cars - a 2008 toyota sienna van with factory 16" rims and a 2008 highlander hybrid with factory 19" rims. strangely, it seemed to trigger MORE in the van, even though the highlander has much stiffer low profile tires, and feels like it rides a lot more firm/harsh than the van ever did.

as for capturing snapshots, you'll get a true comparison if you take the snapshots using VLC. you can pause it where you want, right-click on the video, and in the VIDEO section of the menu, at the bottom is an option to TAKE SNAPSHOT. this will give you a shot at its true resolution, not resized by anything. so front will be 1920x1080 and rear will be 1280x720. unfortunately, vlc doesn't always handle the 2-channel video files from the cf-100 consistently - sometimes the front video will be in the main vlc window and rear will be in the secondary window, and sometimes vice-versa. and it only takes a snapshot of whichever one is in the main window. i wrote a script (in my sig below) to break the CF-100 videos apart into separate front and rear files for easier editing or whatever. it's quite handy, especially if you want to look at the rear video in more detail.

i never use the blacksys software anymore unless i want to change a setting on the camera.
 
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kuoh

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Both of your X2 images seemed quite soft, especially the rear. I recall them being much sharper in the other threads. Looks like you lost in the production variance lottery. The CF-100 on the other hand, appears to have a more consistent picture quality judging from mine and the images from other owners here, but that could also be because it's less popular.

KuoH

Instead, the front camera couldn't seem to focus, it was picky when it wanted to work, and the firmware seemed like it needed a lot more testing.
 
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ExDelayed

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I didn't think the screencap of the Panorama was fair, so I did like Gibson suggested and took a snapshot of both with the VLC player. This rules out any chance of the different software displaying the images differently. Here are the front views of both camera with the VLC player.

Blacksys:


Panorama:
 

DashLA

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It has two different day & time. If you really want to compare both, you should've of have camera side by side. Lighting is affected by time and date. It could be cloudy or too bright. Panorama should be a great cam. If not, it might be better than cf-100, IMO.
 

RIMD

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Thanks for sharing. Your footage is interesting.

Did you go with 3M dual lock options for mounting?

I find the speed in your footage 34.95 MPH. Did this number sync with your car SPDO reading?

Did CF-100 print speed in footage?

Does the GPS co-ordinate sync for the location?

Did removing SD card impact/hinder the fixed mount?



Thanks for sharing.
 
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Sorry for the slow reply, I obviously don't check the forum too often.

Did you go with 3M dual lock options for mounting?

I find the speed in your footage 34.95 MPH. Did this number sync with your car SPDO reading?

Did CF-100 print speed in footage?

Does the GPS co-ordinate sync for the location?

Did removing SD card impact/hinder the fixed mount?..
The Panorama doesn't show its position on the map, at least with any of the software I have found. The CF-100, when using the player that is designed for it, tends to lock on quite well.
The CF-100, like is said, does not print the speed on its footage.
Never tried to compare actual to the camera speed, but I am curious now.
The mount for the CF100 is not near as solid as the Panorama. The X2 will never change its position when removing the SD cards, since it uses a toothed mount, and that would need to be loosened to adjust it. However, the Panorama doesn't have the ability to aim side to side, like the X2 does. Removing the SD card, or even pushing "Emergency" on the CF100 can, and usually will, change its aim. :(

It has two different day & time. If you really want to compare both, you should've of have camera side by side. Lighting is affected by time and date. It could be cloudy or too bright. Panorama should be a great cam. If not, it might be better than cf-100, IMO.
I agree that the Panorama should be a great cam, but in this case it is not. Perhaps its just a quality control issue, but that is Panorama's problem to deal with, not mine. I understand weather conditions can change an image, but check out these random screen grabs from this afternoon. All I can make out of the vehicle in front of me is that it is a blue Ford SUV, and that it has Utah plates, and IDing the plates is a stretch. Even removing the glare in the third image shows an obvious dull spot on the mountain in front of me, but the edges are crisp and sharp. The Panorama will never be installed in the car again, so the closest I will ever get to comparing the two, will be to put the truck and the car next to each other. Even then, I know the Panorama will produce the exact same image quality issues. All this has proven to me is that the Blacksys is a good camera for its price, and the Panorama is a risky gamble. I can see how the original post could mislead someone to thinking that the Blacksys is comparable to the Panorama, and I will edit it to reflect otherwise.







FWIW, with it installed in the truck, it is fed with a much larger battery, it now seems to behave itself and not get stuck in a boot loop. I have also disabled the rear camera during parking mode, and set the unit on a 6h parking mode, instead of 24h.
 
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RIMD

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Thanks for sharing.

Where did you mount for front & rear camera to get this footage?

Thanks.
 
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The first pictures that are posted are from the car. The Panorama was mounted to the right of the rear view mirror, and the rear was mounted in the center of the bottom rear window. The Blacksys is mounted to the left of the mirror, but needs to move to the other side, since it plays with the auto-dimming rear view mirror. The Blacksys rear camera is mounted where the X2 rear camera was.

The most recent pics, have the Panorama on the right side of the rear view mirror, and the rear camera behind the driver, since the pickup has a sliding rear window.
 
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