Cobra dash cams

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Lately, I've been on a relentless search for the right cam—tiny, great night vision and WiFi (among others) being some key requirements. I'll gladly pay $300+ for the right product.

Just discovered that Cobra has a whole line of cams, most of which are recent or upcoming releases. Hard to find any review information on any of these products, but the CDR900 looks promising (aside from the fact that it's not all black ... ugh).

CDR900:
- Tiny (2.2 in sq x 1.15 in)
- 160 degree viewing angle
- GPS
- G Sensor
- Motion Detection
- 1296P
- WiFi (local and internet accessible)



Anyone have any insight/experience on any of these: https://www.cobra.com/products/dash-cams
 
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Decided to go ahead and order the thing. Hopefully it will be worth the $280 bite that it just took outta of my hide.

I'll post my findings after I get it and play around with it.
 
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jokiin

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Too many ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
by the spec listed I'd say it's an A7LA55 with AR0330 sensor, if it's well sorted it's what I'd expect to pay, interested in how it performs if you can post back with details once you get it
 
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by the spec listed I'd say it's an A7LA55 with AR0330 sensor, if it's well sorted it's what I'd expect to pay, interested in how it performs if you can post back with details once you get it
Will do; I'll post an update as soon as I get it and play with it.

Just curious — how did you arrive at those specs, say, as opposed to the A7LA50/70 or the AR0331? I tried to find those details in the manual (https://www.cobra.com/sites/default/files/manuals/CDR900_MANL.pdf) but it only states "A7LA chipset" and a "3MP CMOS".

I do like a couple of cool features that I don't think I've seen in other WiFi enabled cams:
- the ability to record straight onto the WiFi connected device (phone, tablet, etc.) vs. just transferring from the SD
- ability to connect to the cam from anywhere in the world (assuming the cam is near an internet signal)

I have mixed feelings about the built-in 700 mah battery as a capacitor would have been better, but we'll see. If I like it enough, I may consider taking it apart to see if I can add one. I want to take advantage of the G-Sensor and Motion detection so I was thinking about buying one those portable solar power sources like the Kickr II or CPP 300 SP, or even something higher powered to leave in the car as I don't want to mess with tapping into my car's battery (my car is already a serious battery hog as it is, despite its huge battery). Anyone think that might be a good idea? Despite the proliferation of those tiny portable battery packs these days, I'm reluctant to leave something like that in a hot car for extended periods.
 
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jokiin

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Too many ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
if you wanted to do all those things to it you would do better to have bought something capacitor based

I'd say A7LA55 as it's the first WiFi enabled model that matches the spec, AR0330 is more likely than AR0331, all the products they have listed are generic models that they've had branded so I don't see them going too far outside of the commonly used components, as mentioned though providing it's well sorted it's what I'd expect to pay for this spec
 
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if you wanted to do all those things to it you would do better to have bought something capacitor based

I'd say A7LA55 as it's the first WiFi enabled model that matches the spec, AR0330 is more likely than AR0331, all the products they have listed are generic models that they've had branded so I don't see them going too far outside of the commonly used components, as mentioned though providing it's well sorted it's what I'd expect to pay for this spec
Yeah, the capacitor thing is kind of a double edged sword. This just happened to be the cam that ticked the most important boxes, namely size/form factor, WiFi, and hopefully good night quality being the most critical requirements. I've seriously considered the Transend Drive Pro, WF1 (almost pulled the trigger on the WF1) and the DR500GW, and may come back to one of those if this one disappoints. I think the size is what tipped it for me, not to mention my curiosity as I already know what those do/don't offer.

Also, the "parking mode" features, while nice and useful, will likely be seldom used features for me, mostly limited to when I park in unfamiliar or non-surveilled areas, which I guess for me is not too often, or is limited to the couple hours at a time that may be covered by the cam's battery. Mainly though, I'm limited in that aspect due to my finicky and power-hungry car. Based on painful history, tapping into my car battery is simply off the table, so I guess some cam battery life may be a good compromise after all.
 
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CDR 900 arrived today. Been playing around with it, mostly with the WiFi functionality and how it transfers video or how records directly to my connected device, etc., but only with footage from around the house. I haven't taken it out in the wild for a spin yet but will do so over the coming days, after which I'll post a video review.

Looks promising so far.

image.jpg image.jpg image.jpg image.jpg image.jpg image.jpg image.jpg image.jpg image.jpg
 

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... I'll post a video review.
As you also own a Mobius, it would add value to your review to include simultaneously shot video from both cameras, to aid objective evaluation of Cobra performance.
 

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The specs say 6.8 hours recording time on a 32gb SD card, that sounds like a lot compared to my Mini 0803 which does about 4 hours.
 

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I'm pleased to see that this cameras uses a standard 1/4-20 tripod screw for mounting. This makes alternative, stealthier mounting schemes easier to achieve.
 
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6h 45 min, 1080p /30Fps, 32Gb MicroSD Card
Bit-rate is 11Mbps
 

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12Mbps is the minimum sweet spot for me, prefer 15Mbps if you have a nice large card. So 11 is cutting it close we'll see what the raw files look like.
 

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yeah my lukas is allso 11 mbit, i would not go lower than that.
 
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Well folks, I'm slightly confused.

That's likely in no small part due to the fact I've been and will be burning the candle at both ends muddling through some insanely massive volume of work over these next couple weeks. And because the nature of the work requires a lot of focus, I'm not even going to the office but instead working from home. Bedroom, (home) office, kitchen, office, office ... that's pretty much my life for the next couple weeks. So, this is a long way of saying that the only driving I'll be doing till I can't take it no more will be when I've cleaned out the fridge and have to go forage for grub.

Which is what I did this afternoon. And I took the CDR 900 for a ride. Lets just say the picture is not what I expected. Something is wrong. Again, I'm a little confused as to what may be at issue ... maybe a bad SD card, bad firmware ... who can say at this point, but I need to do some more testing. I've tried multiple players (VLC, WMP, MPC-HC), which all generate the same picture. And nope, there is no plastic over the lens ... I triple checked! Heh.

As RoadCam suggested, here's a 3 minute raw file (1080p). I intentionally left the loud music on to see how the camera handles it (it may have been too loud and next time I'll change that): https://mega.co.nz/#!NxgjgAAS!qaXmyWRrnBOZmwls-RQgATQTCrna6HMlCo2Jl_YglL4

Pics below are from the above footage.

I welcome thoughts on this and will take/post more footage as time allows. And to others' suggestion on doing a Mobius comparo in my review ... I mostly definitely will.
 

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PCheng

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I would suggest to reposition your CDR 900 or adjust the angle of the camera to reduce the reflection on the windshield. CPL filter will help alot also.
 
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I would suggest to reposition your CDR 900 or adjust the angle of the camera to reduce the reflection on the windshield. CPL filter will help alot also.
Ok, will do. Having had only the Mobius, I gotta learn how to use a screen to frame my image. Hehe.



-----WARNING: BELOW AUDIO on this YouTube video IS VERY LOUD------

It is shockingly loud, even to me now that I listen to it. Again, I did it for testing purposes, but it may have been too loud. This is the same video whose raw file I uploaded for those who don't want to go that route.

The video is generically titled as I don't want to potentially spread an unfair image of this cam (in fact I will edit my post above to be a little more tame in order to be fair and give this thing its due chance). So for now, I'm going to refrain from judgement. Btw, I can't find a single review of this cam anywhere (the ones on Amazon are lumped together for all their cams, but none for this specific one last I checked).

I gotta figure out what's going on with the footage though, and I'm going to start with using my own SD card (I used the one it came with — an 8GB Sandisk, presumably real). I can't see any immediate way to upgrade the firmware as the manual doesn't reference it. But I'll start with the card and better positioning as suggested and see how that goes. I haven't lost hope yet.

 

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It's hard to read license plates until you are nearly at a dead stop right up behind someone. (maybe it's the low bit rate?)
 

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