Gearbest.com Dome Z7 dashcam review and comparison against G1WH.

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Edit: So looks like Z7 is the winner over G1WH.
1. Z7's daytime video is better in color and focus.
2. Z7's night video also is slightly brighter with more details in darker areas but has blue blotches all over in the dark areas.
3. Z7 has true IR lights instead of regular bulb in G1WH.
4. Z7's FOV is slightly wider than G1WH even though both claim 140 degrees.
5. Most importantly, Z7 is half the size of G1WH.
-->This one alone makes it a winner plus it performs equal or better than G1WH in every way.

G1WH does have option of various firmware and CPL options that Z7 doesn't have yet.
*****************************************
Edit:
Gearbest has Z7 on sale for $41.99 including free shipping with DOMEZ7 coupon code.
************************************************
Original thread starts from here on...
This thread is a review of Dome Z7 dashcam from www.gearbest.com
I didn't find brand/model section for this dashcam so I'm starting a thread here.
If there is a brand/model section where this dashcam belongs to, please move it there.

Product link is below:
http://www.gearbest.com/car-dvr/pp_68776.html


Specifications: --> Specifications are pretty much same as G1WH.
Brand: DOME
Model: Z7
Type : HD Car DVR Recorder, Full HD Dashcam
Chipset Name: Novatek
Chipset : Novatek 96650
External Card : TF 32G (not included)
Special Function: Motion detection, Photograph, HDMI output, Cycle recording, Digital zoom
Battery type: Built-in
Capacity : 230mAh lithium battery
Charge Way : Car charger
******************
2.0 inch LCD screen, 1080P FULL HD video
Advanced H.264 photography compression technology
4X digital zoom
10.0MP image resolution
140 A+ grade high-resolution wide angle lens
30 frames per second for smooth video flow
Support HDMI full HD video transmission
Seamless loop-cycle recording function
Motion detection function
G-sensor function
Check the above link or click here for more details...

The dashcam product box came in a brown cardboard box with bubble wraps.
No damage anywhere.
Z7 came with a USB to micro-usb cable, micro-usb car charger and car suction mount.
Unlike other dashcams like G90 and G1WH, this uses micro usb, not mini.
It's better for consumers like me with smart phones as most use micro usb nowadays. ;)
The car mount is smaller but exactly like that of the G1WH except there is a small tab to release the dash cam after it's locked. I think this will help it lock on the mount better as the G1WH mount is not that tight fit.

DSC01772-small.jpg

Size:
Dome Z7 only around 2.25 inches square and lens does not protrude out of the body too far so very small compared to G1WH which is double the size of Z7.
For those who are looking for smaller size, this may be the ticket if the video quality is as good as G1WH.

Here is how Z7 looks against G1WH and G90:
DSC01759-small.jpg
DSC01760-small.jpg
DSC01763-small.jpg
DSC01761-small.jpg

Front view: It has microphone hole, two IR lights and the lens on the front.
Label on the front:
FULL HD 1080P
HIGH DEFINITION
DSC01766-small.jpg

Buttons:
Top has car mount and micro-usb power jack.
The car mount is smaller but exactly like that of the G1WH except there is a small tab to release the dash cam after it's locked. I think this will help it lock on the mount better as the G1WH mount is not that tight fit.
DSC01767-small.jpg

Here is what the small tab looks like on the car mount:


Left side has power, REC and MODE buttons along with a 3.5mm jack, may be for AV out. I don't think it is for GPS logging. :confused:
REC button also acts as 'OK' or select button for the menu options.
DSC01768-small.jpg

Right side has reset hole, up/down and M (Menu) buttons:
DSC01770-small.jpg

Bottom side has microSD slot and mini HDMI out:
DSC01769-small.jpg

Menu options are very similar to G1WH.

I'll post test videos next...
 
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I have received both of my G1W's from estore009 in the same box as this cam. Just a note.
 
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Sunny

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I have received both of my G1W's from estore009 in the same box as this cam. Just a note.
Yes, the G1WH I got from Gearbest also has the same box, may be slightly bigger but could be the same.
 
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Looks like Z7's FOV is slightly wider than the G1WH I have even though both mention 140 degrees.

Z7's video quality is great. It's uniformly good in all areas.
G1WH is sharp in center areas but not much in corners but Z7 is pretty good in all areas, even corners are clear.
Colors are better than G1WH and overall more natural.

Screenshots:
Z7:
Z7-Frame 2014.08.14 16-19-39 (0-00-02.841).jpg

G1WH:
G1WH-Frame 2014.08.14 04-19-54 (0-00-01.805).jpg

Z7: Can read signs better than the G1WH.
Z7-dasFrame 2014.08.14 07-30-33 (0-00-34.500).jpg

G1WH:
G1WH-Frame 2014.08.13 19-30-48 (0-00-33.489).jpg

Z7: More clear in the corners than G1WH.
Z7-Frame 2014.08.14 16-25-49 (0-00-12.903).jpg

G1WH:
G1WH-Frame 2014.08.14 04-26-05 (0-00-12.006).jpg

Z7: Corners are crisp and in focus. Easy to read street signs in the corner.
Colors are more natural than G1WH but may be little too much saturated.
Z7-screenshot-crisp-and-clear-corners.jpg

G1WH: Corners are fuzzy and hard to read signs.
Colors look faded.
G1WH-screenshot-fuzzy-corners.jpg

Z7: Sharp corners and objects far away like mountains are in better focus than G1WH.
Z7-screenshot-crisp-and-clear-corners2.jpg

G1WH: Trees in corners are fuzzy and mountains are not as crisp as Z7.
G1WH-screenshot-fuzzy-corners2.jpg

Z7 Video Properties:
2014_0814_162540_003.MOV
Format : MPEG-4
Format profile : QuickTime
Codec ID : qt
File size : 29.2 MiB
Duration : 19s 0ms
Overall bit rate : 12.9 Mbps
Movie name/More : CarDV
Encoded date : UTC 2014-08-14 16:25:57
Tagged date : UTC 2014-08-14 16:25:57
Origin : NVT-IM


Z7 test videos with comparison against G1WH:
Z7:

G1WH:

Z7: Building and trees are in focus and crisp.

G1WH: Building and trees are in slightly fuzzy and not as crisp.

I'll post night videos later...

So far Z7 is better than my G1WH.
Better focus in all areas, more natural colors, brighter and more crisp.
May be comparison against G90 will be a better competition.
 
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Z7 Video file location and size in the microSD card:
3 minute clip is around 283mb.
Z7-movie-file-location.jpg

More video comparison against G1WH...

Z7:

G1WH:


One more of Z7:


Since it's using NT96650, I'm not sure if other firmware like Shadow can be used... Hmmm...

I did notice some FM interference, specially on weak stations.
 
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I found an issue with the Z7.
It happened two days in a row.
I drove to work in the morning and it has complete video files, around 15 of them.
When coming back, it only recorded 3 files yesterday and 2 files today.
Not sure what's going on.
I'm using Samsung class 6 32gb card on this one.
Could be the card so I'll swap it with another one.

As you can see, there are only 3 files on 20140814 evening starting at 4:22pm.
Then I have 13 files in the morning of 20140815 but only 2 starting at 4:16pm.
Then it goes to 9pm when I went out in the evening and that time, there is no issue.
:confused:

Z7-incomplete-recording.jpg
 
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Few night screenshots.
Z7 is slightly brighter at night and shows more details than G1WH but.
That's a big BUT because Z7 has blue colored blotches all over while G1WH has smooth black at darker areas.
So during day, Z7 is better and night also has more details on Z7 but due to blue blotches, it may be personal choice. As a dashcam, more details is better than smooth black covering details...

Screenshots below.
Z7 has Z7 on the lower left and G1WH has DOD LS300W on the lower right.

Z7-night-Frame 2014.08.15 20-58-44 (0-01-23.012).jpg
G1WH-night-Frame 2014.08.15 20-58-49 (0-01-26.078).jpg

Building on the left has more details and ground on the right is brighter/greener on Z7.
Z7-night-Frame 2014.08.15 21-01-12 (0-00-51.112).jpg
G1WH-Frame 2014.08.15 21-01-13 (0-03-50.635).jpg


Right shoulder is brighter...
Z7-night-Frame 2014.08.15 21-01-00 (0-03-39.272).jpg
G1WH-night-Frame 2014.08.15 21-01-01 (0-03-38.882).jpg

Z7-night-Frame 2014.08.15 21-53-09 (0-00-30.938).jpg
G1WH-night-Frame 2014.08.15 21-53-10 (0-00-31.504).jpg

Right shoulder has greener grass in Z7 compared to pitch black on G1WH.
Z7-night-Frame 2014.08.15 21-54-28 (0-01-49.239).jpg
G1WH-Night-Frame 2014.08.15 21-54-28 (0-01-49.831).jpg
 
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Sunny

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More than I can review. ;)
So looks like Z7 is the winner over G1WH.
1. Z7's daytime video is better in color and focus.
2. Z7's night video also is slightly brighter with more details in darker areas but has blue blotches all over in the dark areas.
3. Z7 has true IR lights instead of regular bulb in G1WH.
4. Z7's FOV is slightly wider than G1WH even though both claim 140 degrees.
5. Most importantly, Z7 is half the size of G1WH.
-->This one alone makes it a winner plus it performs equal or better than G1WH in every way.


G1WH does have option of various firmware and CPL options that Z7 doesn't have yet.

Couple more...
Z7: Can see the building on the right behind the traffic light better...

Z7-night-Frame 2014.08.15 21-56-21 (0-03-42.466).jpg
G1WH-night-Frame 2014.08.15 21-56-22 (0-00-42.001).jpg



I'll post videos later.
It's too late and my internet takes long time to upload...
Sleepy time... ;)
 
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Slight rain video:
Z7:

G1WH: The LS300 firmware on G1WH has slightly louder audio.

Night video:
Z7: Dark areas are slightly brighter and have more details but also have a lot of blue blotches all over...
It is right after rain stopped so inside of the windshield has some condensation.
It has lighted parking lot of Walmart to no light streets and traffic lights...


G1WH:
 
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reverend

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I think the blue blotches over the dark areas are just MPEG compression mate, as it's also quite a low bitrate. Could be sharpening or noise reduction (or a combination) doing it as well I guess.

I'd thought the G1W was supposed to be dark at night but that footage looks ok!
 

reverend

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I found an issue with the Z7.
It happened two days in a row.
I drove to work in the morning and it has complete video files, around 15 of them.
When coming back, it only recorded 3 files yesterday and 2 files today.
Not sure what's going on.
I'm using Samsung class 6 32gb card on this one.
Could be the card so I'll swap it with another one.

As you can see, there are only 3 files on 20140814 evening starting at 4:22pm.
Then I have 13 files in the morning of 20140815 but only 2 starting at 4:16pm.
Then it goes to 9pm when I went out in the evening and that time, there is no issue.
:confused:

I've not had that problem yet mate - what firmware version are you running and also have you run a chkdsk against that memory card to see what state it's in?
 
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I've not had that problem yet mate - what firmware version are you running and also have you run a chkdsk against that memory card to see what state it's in?
Firmware version is 2014071901
Chkdsk has no problem.
I'll try different card and see if it behaves better.
 
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More night footage of Z7 and G1WH:
Z7:

G1WH:

Z7 has more details at night even with blue/yellow blotches.
Here, walls on right and left shoulders are visible in Z7 video and more details on the sidewalk and shoulder:
Z7-night.jpg

Can't see walls in G1WH video and shoulder is much darker:
G1WH-night.jpg
 
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More than I can review. ;)
I wonder if any of the G1WH firmware works with Z7 since it's using the same chip.
12mbps to 15mbps should be better.
I don't want to brick it though.
Also, need to have original firmware backed up first.
What say you? o_O
 
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I've not had that problem yet mate - what firmware version are you running and also have you run a chkdsk against that memory card to see what state it's in?
I swapped the Samsung 32gb class 6 card with G-skill 32gb class 10 from G1WH, formatted in the camera and the issue is still there.
G1WH is working fine with the Samsung card so it's not the card.

As you can see below, Z7 worked fine yesterday with 15 files in the morning and 26 files in the evening but today morning, it only has 4 files and last one is not even complete. It's only 185mb instead of normal 283mb file.
Then nothing for the morning and has full 17 files for the evening.
The right side is of G90 that is side by side with Z7 and has never skipped any video at all but Z7 has done this 3 times already.
Card was recently formatted and half is still free space.
What the heck?
This is not reliable if it's the case.

How long do you drive?
May be it's only if you drive for a while. :confused:

Z7-not-continuous.jpg
 
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reverend

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To be honest I do a lot of driving - my trips are usually a minimum of 30 mins or a couple of hours each way at weekends and I've not seen that problem before.

Have you got motion detect or any sleep options turned on?

I notice the last clip of the batch on the Z7 is smaller - does it play back ok? If the camera was dying it should be corrupt - if it's clean up to the point it stops then it's more likely a sleep option or the camera is losing power maybe

Does the screen stay on while it's not recording? Any error beeps or anything you noticed?

I've just left it for three hours recording onto a Sandisk 64GB card and it's not had any issues - I'll leave it to it.

I did notice it's actually producing VBR files though as the filesizes changed when I went to double check on it.
 
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The last file is usually smaller as it doesn't get to the full 3 minute file and plays fine.

File size is different but pretty close from 282mb to 283mb. I haven't checked night time VBR size but I remember it was not much different.

I have set screen off after 30 seconds and auto power off at 2 minutes. Motion is off.
Weird thing is it is random.
Sometimes video files are continuous even for 75 minute long drive while other time, it just stops after 3 or 4 files.
Sometimes it's in the morning and other times in the afternoon.
Today, I removed the original charger and used the one for my cellphone as it's the same micro-usb and has full 16 files of 3 minutes each.
May be it's the charger or charging port that's not tight and sometimes doesn't make proper connection.
I think charger is the problem here and that'll be confirmed if it doesn't happen for few days with the cellphone charger.
 
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reverend

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It does sound like power - I did find that the micro USB is really tight in there due to resting on the mount - may be worth checking that?

I actually use the short USB cable plugged into a Scosche twin USB adaptor and so far that combo has worked well for all mine?
 

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That's been going for over 9 hours here now and it's been fine mate, no missed files at all, plus it's looped fine on a 64GB card :)
 
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More than I can review. ;)
That's been going for over 9 hours here now and it's been fine mate, no missed files at all, plus it's looped fine on a 64GB card :)
Nice! I will update if the new charger fixes it in few days.

Looks like you moved to Ireland? ;)
 

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