Dashcam suggestions needed for dual channel

BunsenB

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Hello!

Before I get started, I'd like to let you know that this has been crossposted over at /r/Dashcam on Reddit, in case any of you actively contribute there.

I'm looking to get my first dashcam, and I want to do it right. I'm looking to have two cameras; one for the front windshield and one for the back. This has led me to two options:
1) Get a dual channel solution, or
2) Get two singular cameras

I'm not sure which is better, as I've just started researching this stuff. I can, however, provide my budget, and what I'm looking for.

1) I need good video quality in daytime and night. This is mainly for insurance for myself, but if something random happens it would be nice to have footage. Both channels should be 1080p (1920x1080) or higher resolution.

2) It needs to be discreet enough. I think a lot of them are, but it's worth putting out there.

3) I'm looking for a "set it and forget it" solution. I'm fine with hardwiring them into the car (and I would prefer to); I just want them to be put somewhere and have them work when they are supposed to, which is when I'm driving, and if there's excessive G forces, and if someone is messing with the car when it's parked and off.

4) I want them to be from a brand that is either well-known or has been established for a while. At least for dual-channel systems from Amazon, I have come up with a few possible brands. They are LG Innotek, Blacksys, Thinkware, Blackvue, Vantrue, and Lukas. No matter what I pick, I'd prefer if the brand manufactured some kind of dual channel solution just for completeness' sake, and to add to the brand's credibility. This isn't required, of course, if two single channel cameras are better, and the brand doesn't manufacture dual channel cameras. Also, no offense if I've left your favorite brand off the list; it's just that those were what I could find in a minute or so of scrolling multiple times on Amazon.

It is worth noting that I am an American and have never heard of any of these brands (except for LG, more generally) before doing this research, and that there also doesn't seem to be a singular market leader that consistently outperforms the competition.

I'm willing to spend, hopefully, up to $400 to $500 on both cameras, as well as anything required for them to operate (a hardwiring kit, for example), not including good SD memory.

If I've left anything out, please let me know. I'm a bit tired right now and just wanted to get this posted.

Looking forward to hearing everyone's suggestions. If you want to ask me additional questions, please don't hesitate to do so. After all, you guys are here to help, and I appreciate that!

Thanks! :)
 

kamkar1

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Welcome to the forum Bunsen(Burner)

Right now for optimal IQ you have to do two single cameras, there are just no way around that when asking for optimal IQ.

Discreet are good and IMO that rule out some models like the Lukas cameras that have a main unit on the windscreen that use a "large" screen, but if you have a layout on your windscreen / mirror then you can get away with using such a camera as it will blend with the stuff ( mirror ) behind it.

No dashcam are really set and forget, it is a good idea to have a look at the SD card once in a while to see if time/date stamped files correspond with your driving lately, and also do a test play of some files ( i mostly focus on last files in driving sessions ) dont look over the whole 3 minute clip, just make sure it can at least launch in what ever player you use on the PC.
Depending on how much you drive and card size i would take a quick look at the SD card every month or so, it shouldent take you more than 5 minutes or so in total.
After that it is also a good idea to do a in camera format of the SD card, or at least do that once in a while to reset the file allocation table on the SD card ( defragmented )

The money you are willing to spend should be fine to buy you a good camera( dual ) or 2 single cameras.

Problem is.

Current dual channel cameras all have limitations in some degree, the most prominent being they have to split a limited bitrate over the two cameras, resulting in less than optimal footage.
But there are also other quirks to most of them ( just have a look in the respective brand/model subforums in here )

Also new dual cameras are being worked on hard by most brands i figure, and those will be on hardware that do not have the bitrate limitations, or at least being able to operate both cameras at the same high bitrates as current good single cameras.
So i think right here and now is not a optimal time to splash a lot of money on a dual channel camera, or on two single cameras for that matter.

It also seem with my information on the up and coming dual cameras that at least for some people they will not be perfect either, it seem like things like parking guard is not yet properly supported in the SDK for the new hardware.
But at least the all important IQ should be just as good as current good single cameras, and i also think there is room to tweak the new hardware even more as SDK and so on mature.

Myself i have not yet used parking guard on my cameras, but i am prepared to test that as i have to be able to do that too as a tester for some brands.
But i am still not sure if it is anything i will use personally in my day to day going about, this might be due to me after all driving a dirt cheap car ( okay overpriced but all cars in Denmark are that due to tax on them )
So if my car get a little dinged up i dont really bother, i mainly just have it to not walk or bicycle or god forbid use public transport between A and B.

So if you are really eager to get going, i would say get a good single camera now ( it should handle most you need in case of a traffic disagreement )
And then when the good dual cameras are there upgrade and then give the single camera to a loved one, and enjoy the pleasure of giving.

Or if money are tight and you are not that eager, then wait a month or two, by then at least Street Guardian should have their new dual channel camera out, and those guys are top notch when it come to customer care and support, and they know dashcams too thats for damn sure :cool:
 

SawMaster

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All dashcams are some kind of compromise, and 2ch systems are the worst for that. I run multiple cams and eventually I want a 2ch system to be part of this, but that won't happen until someone markets one which can equal what the same money can do with separate cams. And separate cams offer redundancy plus the opportunity to be used differently (some only for driving with some for parking too). So right now I feel you're best served with 2 cams but SG's soon-to-be-released 2ch system may change my mind- we will find out when it hits the market.

Phil
 

peterharvey

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For the absolute best parking mode, you must get two single channel dash cams like a Street Guardian SG9665GC V3 rather than a dual channel dashcam.

Furthermore, for the absolute best parking mode, you must use a dedicated Cellink B battery pack plugged into your cigarette lighter socket in your central console bin, so that the battery pack recharges every time your engine is on.
Using your car's lead acid battery for parking mode is second rate.
There's no need to hardwire the Cellink B to make your life miserable.

When your engine is off, the lithium ion battery pack, combined with a 12 V 2-way splitter socket will power your two single channel dash cams to record at FHD 1920 x 1080, at at the full 30 frames per second, full time!
The Cellink B V2 has an override switch so that it does not record while you're parking at home etc.

Time lapse recording at 1 fps will not give best quality & no audio either.
Also, buffered recording is inaccurate, as the dash cam recording trigger is not sensitive enough, and will NOT always be triggered to record when you want it to.

A Thinkware F770 has time lapse recording & buffered parking mode, however this doesn't deliver the absolute best parking mode recording that you're after.
The F770 dual channel also doesn't have the best rear dashcam footage in low light either; for that, presently you need two single channel dash cams.

Best to record parking full time like a surveillance camera at a bank or shopping center.

A Sandisk 200 GB micro SD card in an SG9665GC will give something like 26 hours of recording until it overwrites itself.
A Samsung 256 GB mSD card will give something like 34 hours of recording, however the 256 GB card is almost twice the cost of the Sandisk 200 GB mSD card...
 

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