Cobra dash cams

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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?)
Yes, very true. I chose those screenshots specifically for that reason.

What's interesting is that if you look closely at the date/time stamp, it's blurred or has a double vision effect (maybe it's the font they chose). You might be able to see it in the screenshots, but it's especially noticeable in the video. What I'm deducing from that is whatever is affecting the image is also affecting something that didn't come through lens (the date/time stamp), which comes from the firmware. What could that indicate do you think?
 
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I think RoadCam, niko and others who've speculated about bit rate may be on the right track.

Here is partial footage of that same drive from the Mobius, recorded simultaneously. There's only ~2 minutes of footage on the Mobius vs 3 minutes on the CDR 900, one of the clocks is slightly off (not sure which), and they're each on opposing sides of my mirror, but other than that things are virtually identical.

Same:
- drive footage
- level of music volume
- setting at 1080p

Different:
- quality of footage
- quality of sound
- file size by ratio (3 minute file on the CDR is 240 MB; 2 minute file on the Mobius is 253 MB)

Unknown:
- Mobius is at its highest settings, but the CDR 900 gives no options to vary settings.

So, if this is due to bit rate, how much of it can be fixed through the firmware? Wasn't it Blackvue that did something similar to "artificially" fix the bit rate on one of their cams? Does it all ultimately boil down to hardware in the final analysis?

Hmmm ....

CDR 900

Mobius

CDR 900
image.jpg image.jpg image.jpg

Mobius
m1.jpg m2.jpg m3.jpg
 
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jokiin

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Too many ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Lower the bitrate on the Möbius and you'll probably find it's still doing a better job, bitrate isn't everything
 

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Mobius Bitrates are nominally...

Low 12 mbps

Standard 15 mbps

High 18 mbps

They're variable Bitrates, e.g. the High setting exceeds 20 Mbps on occasion.

I use the Standard setting as, subjectively, I cannot detect any video quality difference between the Standard & High settings.
 

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Bit-rate is not always a decisive factor. Its a combination of all other important parts ( hardware / firmware ). I have seen Blackvue 550 2ch doing good numberplates readings at 8Mbps ( surprisingly ), as long as it worked without other issues it has, but with such low bitrate it still did good job on details readings for some time.
Probably Cobra team ( OEM developers ) still have to learn a lot until they get up to good standards.

I suggest to make new side by side with Mobius set to 12Mbps and share footage to Combra customer cervice. They might improve firmware which hopefully produce better video.
 

jokiin

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Too many ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
the Cobra range seems to be just rebadged generic product, if they were really serious about this you'd think they'd put a bit more effort into their product selection process
 

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No matter what the issue is, it is clear that the Cobra has inferior video quality compared to the Mobius and a lot of other cameras.
 

jokiin

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Too many ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
No matter what the issue is, it is clear that the Cobra has inferior video quality compared to the Mobius and a lot of other cameras.
That's the difference between a product brought to market by enthusiasts compared to one brought to market by opportunists
 
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Bit-rate is not always a decisive factor. Its a combination of all other important parts ( hardware / firmware ). I have seen Blackvue 550 2ch doing good numberplates readings at 8Mbps ( surprisingly ), as long as it worked without other issues it has, but with such low bitrate it still did good job on details readings for some time.
Probably Cobra team ( OEM developers ) still have to learn a lot until they get up to good standards.

I suggest to make new side by side with Mobius set to 12Mbps and share footage to Combra customer cervice. They might improve firmware which hopefully produce better video.
That's a good suggestion. When I do my full review (hoping to have it completed later this weekend), I'll include a meaningful comparo with the Mobius and send Cobra the link. I'll send them all the raw files if they want them too.

the Cobra range seems to be just rebadged generic product, if they were really serious about this you'd think they'd put a bit more effort into their product selection process
You could very well be right ...

No matter what the issue is, it is clear that the Cobra has inferior video quality compared to the Mobius and a lot of other cameras.
Sadly, seems to be that way. And not only is the image worse on the CDR, but that audio is just unlistenable. But the Mobius handled the audio very well. Both cams were positioned equidistant from the center channel speaker (that oblong mesh thing in the dashboard) and the tweeters on the A pillars. I guess all that direct sound was just way, way too much for the CDR while the Mobius handled it very well. With headphones, the Mobius audio actually sounds decent, and you hear a lot more of the bass, even on the YouTube video.

Btw, neither of the videos were altered or edited in any way; that is straight audio/video directly from the cards. For those who don't already know, go directly YouTube and change the setting to 1080p to get the best quality (as close to the raw file as you can get).
 
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It was brave of mspin to risk $280 on a dashcam that hasn't been reviewed. I hope Cobra operate a money-back returns policy for dissatisfied customers.
Hehe, brave or dumb, right? I tell ya, my curiosity got the best me of me. I guess if I can save others from a bad decision, that's rewarding enough for me right there. Who knows how many countless times I've been saved from buying a bad product thanks to the review of others.

Having said that, I will give this thing its due chance wherein I'll do more day and night footage, more comparo with the Mobius, changing SD cards etc., and post a complete video review, hopefully later this weekend.
 

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It was brave of mspin to risk $280 on a dashcam that hasn't been reviewed. I hope Cobra operate a money-back returns policy for dissatisfied customers.
I agree this thing is totally unacceptable especially for the price paid. Focus/Bitrate/Tuning issues = Fail

It's similar to how I was allured to the Blackview products because of the early 2013 WiFi features. In the end the poor video quality turned me away. Video quality is much more important than WiFi features.
 

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What's interesting is that if you look closely at the date/time stamp, it's blurred or has a double vision effect (maybe it's the font they chose). You might be able to see it in the screenshots, but it's especially noticeable in the video. What I'm deducing from that is whatever is affecting the image is also affecting something that didn't come through lens (the date/time stamp), which comes from the firmware. What could that indicate do you think?
Simple answer on the time/date stamp double-vision: it's from a shadowed font. It's commonly used so that the text stamp is visible whether the background is light or dark-- if the dashboard was white, then the gray text would still be legible.
 

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