Complete Review of GT680W Shadow-Tec / Seezeus

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Review of GT680W, - one of the latest dash cameras from Shadow-Tec / Seezeus

GT680W is small, compact dash camera, which is based on popular combination of Novatek NT96650 CPU, Aptina AR0330 CMOS sensor, 6G glass lens, etc. Has an option of using an external GPS module. Records 1080p / 30Fps at average 15Mbps bit-rate, good night- and day video recording, wide FOV ( field of view ) and also some extra interesting features / options that you will find from my review.

For those who don't have time to read my long, maybe boring ? ;) review, - there are two short overviews of GT680W on YouTube.


I will do more deep review for those who want to know and see more details.

Review Content:
I split my review into 7 posts / parts due to max 10 pictures allowed per one post.

Part 1
- GT680W Main features
- Specifications
- Unboxing
- Buttons / parts name
- Available colours ( black / silver , full black )
- Size comparison with other dash cameras

Part 2
- Inside look

Part 3
- Day & Night YouTube videos & RAW video files download links
- PC Viewer / Player / GPS / Firmware Update

Part 4
- Day screen shots & video comparison DOD LS300W vs Shadow GT680W

Part 5
- Night screen shots & video comparison DOD LS300W vs Shadow GT680W

Part 6
- Suggestions / Recommendations on what can be improved
- Strong points
- Conclusion



Part 1

GT680W Main features

  • 2.7" 16:9 Widescreen TFT LCD Display
  • Full HD 1920x1080p 30Fps high definition video
  • Video bit-rate: average 15Mbps
  • WDR Technology ( firmware enhanced ) for excellent low light / night recording.
  • Six-Element Sharp Lens for Crystal Clear video and images
  • SOS and G-sensor function
  • 12 Mega pixels ( interpolation from 3Mpix )
  • F1.6 Big Aperture – Low Light Performance
  • 160 degree ultra wide angle lens
  • 4x Digital Zoom
  • Motion detection function
  • EV ( Exposure value ) manual setting from -2, -4/3, -2/3, 0, +2/3, +3/4, +2
  • WB / AWB ( white balance ): Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Tungstan,
  • 30 frames per second for smooth video flow.
  • Seamless looping video ( no overlaps )
  • Car Plate Stamp
  • Built-in Microphone and Speaker
  • Stop voice recording function ( Microphone ON / OFF )
  • Supports Micro SD Card up to 32GB
  • Auto start / stop recording function - Camera automatically turns on and starts recording when car ignition switched On. Camera automatically stops and turns off when car ignition is switched off.
  • Screensaver
  • Date / Time Stamp Recording
  • Driver Fatigue Warning
  • GPS logger: optional (GPS module required - not included in basic package)
  • GPS Over Speed Warning: optional (GPS module required - not included in basic package)
  • GPS Screensaver - Provides compass direction and speed (MPH or KM/h) - (GPS module required - not included in basic package)
  • Available Speed Measurement Unit: MPH, KM/h
From the list of main features which are mostly became standard on many recent dash cameras I want to point of few interesting features that are applied to GT680W ( GPS antenna required ).

GPS Screensaver

- If this option is enabled from menu settings, after 1 or 3 min LCD screen goes into "standby" mode and displays on the screen car speed and digital compass. Data is taken from GPS satellites.

GPS Over Speed Warning

- You can chose between 60, 80, 100 kmph values. When you drive faster than chosen value, - dash camera will warn driver about that.

Platenubmer stamp ( numberplate stamp )

- You can enter up to 8 digits of your car reg or any other word, so it will be displayed on video. This is good feature for some company who has fleet of vehicles ( taxies, truck drivers, buses, etc )

Fatigue driving warning

- For long distance driving you can set warning message that will notify you after 2 or 4 hours constant driving, so driver can take a rest.

Image rotation

- You can rotate video recording 180 degree. Another words, you can attach GT680W to dash ( upside down ) and by setting image rotate ption, video will be recorded correctly.


Specifications

· Display Size: 2.7" 16:9 TFT LCD
· Angle: 160° wide angle lens
· Lens: F1.6 Big aperture Super Low Light Performance
· Zoom: 4x Digital Zoom
· Video Resolution: 1920x1080p @ 30 fps, 1280x720p @ 30 fps, 1280x720p @ 60 fps, 848x480p @ 30fps 640x480 @ 30fps
· Video format: MOV
· Video bit-rate: average 15mbps
· Video Codec: H.264
· Video Output Port: HDMI
· Image Resolution:
12MP - 4032x3024 / 3648 x 2736 / 3264 x 2448 / 2592 x 1944 ( interpolation ), 2592 x 1944 ( real )
· Image Format: JPG
· Speed Measurement Unit: Mph, Km/h
· USB 2.0
· Battery: Built-in 3.7V 110mAh Lithium-ion Battery
· Internal Memory: 128MB
· Internal Memory Card Slot: Micro SDHC/MMC Card up to 32GB (Memory Card Not included)
· Menu language: English, Franch, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese

KMPlayer and VLC Media Player file properties data info

KMP and VLC Data.jpg


- Unboxing


Box content
  • 1x Seezeus Shadow Dash camera GT680W
  • 1x Car Cigarette lighter Charger
  • 1x USB Cable
  • 1x Windshield Suction Mount
  • 1x Adhesive Mount, - included in basic package. In my uboxing video I was wrong telling its an optional accessory, sorry ).
  • 1x HDMI Cable
  • 1x English/Chinese/Russian Manual
  • GPS antenna ( optional )
Inside box.jpg



- Buttons / parts name

Parts names.jpg



- Available colours ( black / silver , full black )

At the moment GT680W available in front/back black, lens surrounding / fascia frame in silver, but from mid- of November 2013 it will be available in full Black as a special order from Foxoffer

Full Black (1).jpg

Silver frame.jpg

Full Black (2).jpg



- Size comparison with other dash cameras


Comparison (1).jpg

Comparison (2).jpg
 
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niko

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Part 2
- Inside look

Inside (1).jpg

Inside (2).jpg

Inside (3).jpg

View attachment 2287

Inside (4).jpg

Inside (5).jpg

Inside (6).jpg

Inside (7).jpg


Added ( 10.01.2014 ): Battery size is approx: 20 x 20 x 2.5mm

Battery.jpg
 
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niko

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Part 3

Not in all cases you can read vital data like car number plates, - it's all depends on light conditions, car speed and other factors. This rule applies not only for particular device, but for ALL other dash cameras as well.

Big factor at night regarding reading car numberplate is what type headlights bulbs are used in the car.
I wrote about that here: Reading License Plates at Night. HID / Xenon, standard bulbs

When watching a YouTube videos, please select 1080p from YouTube screen options at the bottom right corner.
P.S. - YouTube compresses files / data, so it does not show real video result.
You may download RAW video files to watch real footage ( check below )

Please turn down volume when watching / listening videos, - I like driving and listening loud music ( volume was about at 30-40% from max )

In all tests I was using default video settings for EV ( Exposure value ), White Balance ( AWB ) etc.

- Day & Night YouTube videos

Sunny Day videos







Rainy Night videos






Few more YouTube videos

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=07pEbVtnWb4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gl9tJUOs6mA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XFIrfgv4_ao

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4S6rc4WD4ZQ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hr88g6EgwC0



RAW video files download links:

- Day

Sunny Day GT680W Shadow Tec Seezeus (1).MOV 341.7 MB
https://mega.co.nz/#!aMhmXJgI!an3d9hkwhv878Lgua_DzjTyCm9RTTNecF4sEtlObfRY

Sunny Day GT680W Shadow Tec Seezeus (2).MOV 341.9 MB
https://mega.co.nz/#!7d52BRya!MX5VLw5p5CNcmTd6gRbioEFblL0-YpaUayaZ1pbshjk

Sunny Day GT680W Shadow Tec Seezeus (3).MOV 341.9 MB
https://mega.co.nz/#!zMwCQJQb!UEENklAfc-5ftlnHPaVM7gQ0SmVOESvAXMb7y1b0kO0

Sunny Day GT680W Shadow Tec Seezeus (4).MOV 341.9 MB
https://mega.co.nz/#!ndgnjAQS!IdHtQ2ih_HrgQe8wjIK8RT27K1Vacd_wi_cUBKYRC2E

Sunny Day GT680W Shadow Tec Seezeus (5).MOV 342.0 MB
https://mega.co.nz/#!eIQkmKKS!aqIbmTYgwZ5QEYXFbH71AirC6thAd0AnZgIUbS-5aGY

Sunny Day GT680W Shadow Tec Seezeus (6).MOV 341.8 MB
https://mega.co.nz/#!rFQQUDbb!AhbcR1YRTo1JCeq358W1aH173eNWlK7wT0KCT_-HyoI


- Night

Pitch Dark GT680W Shadow Tec Seezeus (1).MOV 341.7 MB
https://mega.co.nz/#!7RYVlLJQ!Qkelekf9Kw4Gt5xlICGHEGoX4J89JloLGB__IzUFfm0

Rainy Night GT680W Shadow Tec Seezeus (10).MOV 341.9 MB
https://mega.co.nz/#!eYxUQB6K!N6VMJGMPZ8VSAU6tyq-clAmVXwAyZCj_NG4F18H_2Dk

Rainy Night GT680W Shadow Tec Seezeus (11).MOV 342.0 MB
https://mega.co.nz/#!nUw1iCAA!JVuH6lycpTJlndPIdMHOuRSb11F_jbGbFZBv1nHn0Kw

Rainy Night GT680W Shadow Tec Seezeus (12).MOV 342.2 MB
https://mega.co.nz/#!nBZymKLK!EKBEO0f2IUp54uaq27vG0Dj4X8l_UpN7dAvmJ7W0GC8

Rainy Night GT680W Shadow Tec Seezeus (13).MOV 341.8 MB
https://mega.co.nz/#!qVRSRIiD!cWp7_i_rysg6OJjEWODKBS9Ywhx5_LJHMAUFm1FXN_Q

Rainy Night GT680W Shadow Tec Seezeus (14).MOV 342.1 MB
https://mega.co.nz/#!eQYEHAYI!fBimyjvG8RXvuYHlNBtyJ2VhtMk4648k8FfOezBoJ8Q

Rainy Night GT680W Shadow Tec Seezeus (15).MOV 342.0 MB
https://mega.co.nz/#!PBJE0L7C!Ope2WWzh50aes9SyIc32AFPvA3EUEjrR2nijiHi0KGs
NB!
On some night videos you may see GPS data ( latitude / longitude and speed ) appearing for some short period on the videos, but it is wrong latitude location, due to I got very first GPS antenna which was not adopted correctly to GT680W. This issue was reported by many buyers who got first bunch of GT680W + GPS antenna. Lately Foxoffer got a new correct GPS antenna + new special firmware released and issue is now resolved. Now GPS data reading works correctly.


- PC Viewer / Player / GPS

To view video files on your PC or Laptop you can use any common media player, but recommended is VLC or KMPlayer.

If you have purchased a GT680W with GPS antenna and want to see and inspect more data with wider range of options, then you may chose between 3 PC Player /Viewers: RegistratorViewer, Shadow Player, Dod Player.

PC Viewer.jpg

Most advanced is considered a RegistratorViewer, but it's up to each individual person which one to use.

RegistratorViewer download is HERE
Shadow PC Player HERE

I must point out that first bunch of GT680W which were sold with GPS antennas, - the GPS data did not worked correctly ( outside of China ) due to fault or incompatibility of first GPS antenna modules. It took few weeks test and trie for developer / manufacturer to find correct one. Also special firmware version was developed which was tuned to work correctly with new GPS antennas, version V2.4G.

- Firmware Update

To stay up to date with all new firmware version is good to keep eye on FoxOffer BLOG

How to update the firmware:

1. Download the firmware .bin file
2. Format the SD card, copy the “YTX000FW.bin” to the root directory
3. Make sure the camera have enough battery, insert the SD cart to the camera, turn on the camera, wait until the camera turn on automatically.
4. Check the version
 
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niko

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Part 4

- Day screen shots & video comparison DOD LS300W vs Shadow GT680W









Comparison of FOV ( field of view ) Shadow GT680W vs DOD LS300W

FOV GT680W vs LS300W.jpg


More comparison Daytime screenshots

Day City GT680W vs Dod LS300W (1).jpg

Day City GT680W vs Dod LS300W (2).jpg

Day City GT680W vs Dod LS300W (3).jpg

Day City GT680W vs Dod LS300W (4).jpg

Day City GT680W vs Dod LS300W (5).jpg

Day City GT680W vs Dod LS300W (6).jpg

Day City GT680W vs Dod LS300W (7).jpg

Day City GT680W vs Dod LS300W (8).jpg

Day City GT680W vs Dod LS300W (9).jpg

 
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niko

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Part 5

- Night screen shots & video comparison DOD LS300W vs Shadow GT680W







P.S. - in some videos you may hear "cracking / vibrating noise", - this is not microphone or device fault, - It seems that some "lose" items ( probably something inside door pockets, or sunglasses in the car ceiling storage compartment ) were vibrating, therefore this cracking / vibrating noise. Device itself has no problem with sound recording.

Night GT680W (2).jpg
Night GT680W (2).jpg


Comparison with DOD LS300W

Night GT680W vs LS300W (1).jpg

Night GT680W vs LS300W (2).jpg

Night GT680W vs LS300W (3).jpg

Night GT680W vs LS300W (4).jpg

View attachment 2307

Night GT680W vs LS300W (6).jpg

Night GT680W vs LS300W (7).jpg

View attachment 2310

Night GT680W vs LS300W (9).jpg

View attachment 2312
 

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niko

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Part 6
Suggestions / Recommendations on what can be improved


- Sound:

"waving" high pitch noise on the background, which is typical for most NT96650 based dash cameras", - till now most NT96650 dash cameras still have it and it has not been yet resolved, so I guess just need to get used to it, but of course it would be nice if manufacturer could solve this.

- GPS Over Speed Warning not practical.

You can set 60, 80, 100 kmph is not practical for all-around driving. For example, if you set max speed 60kmph for city driving and want to drive outside city using high-way, then you need manually always to change overspeed warning value higher, or otherwise you will have constant warning message.

- Only 110 mAh internal battery. I guess the smaller the overall dashcamera size, - the smaller rest of the components used, like battery. Still, suggestion to manufacturer, - if possible to use higher capacity battery.

Solved:

- wrong GPS data reading issue has been solved

- silver colour lens surrounding and body / fascia surrounding ( silver part ) is also "solved" by launching a new full-black GT680W in mid-November 2013

There are not yet known other problems. Please keep following GT680W thread for more updated info on this model.


Strong points

- Very good day-time video recording at 1080p / 30Fps and at a high bit-rate ( average 15Mbps ) and good night vision. My tests show that video quality is same as DOD LS300W which uses same CPU and CMOS, but which is sold at much higher price.

- Wide FOV ( field of view ) lens. As tests showed, FOV is much wider than DOD LS300W, however surprisingly the reading of vital data ( car number plates ) is as good.

- small, compact desing makes it easier to hid behind rear-view mirror.


Conclusion

Taking into consideration some major facts that most buyers looking at when buying a dash camera: day / night video quality, functionality, size and price, also after GPS-issue was resolved and manufacturer brings out a new full black model, GT680W at the moment can be a top choice from all NT96650 + AR0330 based dash cameras in mid-price range of approx 100usd.

At the moment without GPS set sold by FoxOffer 96.99 , and with GPS 119.90usd

Those prices are valid / correct on the day when review was posted ( 26.11.2013 ) and may be changed later.

You may also check other online stores for prices and colour availability.

Thank you for your patience in reading my review and hope my English language was understandable and with not many mistakes.
 
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niko

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This post here I will reserve for additional info that may accrue during further tests.
 
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jokiin

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Too many ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
- Sound:

"waving" high pitch noise on the background, which is typical for most NT96650 based dash cameras", - till now most NT96650 dash cameras still have it and it has not been yet resolved, so I guess just need to get used to it, but of course it would be nice if manufacturer could solve this.
have yet to find one of these without the audio warbling, some may be more pronounced than others but it's always there, I think it's possibly inherent to the chipset
 
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have yet to find one of these without the audio warbling, some may be more pronounced than others but it's always there, I think it's possibly inherent to the chipset
i am gald you, me and only few other understand that. Unfort. a lot of other users / buyers think they get faulty unit, but as you mentioned - it's possibly inherent to the chipset , because as long as I remember ( tested over dozens different NT96650 + AR0330 based dash cams ), and all of them had this "waving" high pitch noise on the background,
 

jokiin

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Too many ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
i am gald you, me and only few other understand that. Unfort. a lot of other users / buyers think they get faulty unit, but as you mentioned - it's possibly inherent to the chipset , because as long as I remember ( tested over dozens different NT96650 + AR0330 based dash cams ), and all of them had this "waving" high pitch noise on the background,
just had to double check the data sheet but yes the audio is onboard so I'd say it's an inherent issue, let's be realistic though, it's a value proposition and I think for $100 spend this represents good value for money for performance

longevity I'm not sure about as I think there are some cost savings like the mega cheap battery that might not go the distance but this is the sort of compromises that get made when building a product to a price
 

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Great review Niko. Really a great little camera. For someone looking for something that is better quality than the G1W or if they want GPS, this is a great choice. I am also impressed on how small it is.
 
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niko

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Great review Niko. Really a great little camera. For someone looking for something that is better quality than the G1W or if they want GPS, this is a great choice. I am also impressed on how small it is.
Thanks. If size matters, then at the moment it is top choice from whole range of dash cams based on nt96650 cpu + ar0330 cmos sensor. Also a lot of extra interesting features added that some buyers might find useful.
 

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Great Review,
Thanks Niko for Naked Cams :D
I like it :)
 

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great review with much more details than the manufacturer's user manual. Seriously that should be one of the improvement they need to work on immediately. Imo, lousy documentation = lousy user confidence. Luckily foxoffer provides gd aftersales support ;)
 

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Niko, as you always doing his best in this type of review. thank you very much, because three days ago I get mine. its previous review influenced the idea of acquiring GT680W. thank you very much Niko.
 
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niko

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Niko, as you always doing his best in this type of review. thank you very much, because three days ago I get mine. its previous review influenced the idea of acquiring GT680W. thank you very much Niko.
Thanks. I do my best if / when I have time.
 

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Niko I can'T download RAW video files Need passcode :(
 
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niko

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Niko I can'T download RAW video files Need passcode :(
Night videos you can download, all works there , but day time you are right, for some reasons it says "Cannot decrypt metadata without key".
I will look into this soon.
 
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Niko I can'T download RAW video files Need passcode :(
Day time raw video files can be downloaded now. There was extension code missing for some reason. All fixed now. Please check , try to download and let me know if it works for you.
Thanks for attention.
 
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