Is BlackVue the 'gold standard' of dash cam brands?

Discussion in 'General Dash Cam Discussion' started by Mister No Name, Jul 11, 2017.

  1. DT MI

    DT MI Well-Known Member

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    Huge difference between Saturn and Toyota when it came to overall product quality. Had friends who drove both (I never had a Saturn myself) and none of them ever bought a second Saturn.
     
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  2. tabetha

    tabetha Active Member

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    There are certainly many things about thinkware F770 I would change and they are overpriced imo, but I see it as hopefully buy it right buy it once
     
  3. DashcamDPR

    DashcamDPR Active Member

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    there will never be one single dashcam/brand that will cater for every single person's different needs/wants
     
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  4. Cessna CJ4

    Cessna CJ4 New Member

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    The truth right now is very unfortunate, indeed.

    For pure video quality only. Absolutely, not. For the kind of surveillance detection and aftermath reporting features that Blackvue touts. Absolutely, yes. It is a double edge sword because their camera resolution is not even on par with cameras costing half as much. Yet, at the very same time Blackvue is right now the only cam company that has Live Streaming built in via a Cloud Server and on-demand playback of recorded video via a Cloud Server. And, I believe they were the first to bring that to the Consumer Market segment. Still, Blackvue's delivery of a stable Wifi and stable Cloud service leave much to be desired. There is no use in having direct and immediate access to recorded videos or live streaming coverage when the camera cannot maintain a consistent connection to your hotspot, or can't up-stream its video at a rate that makes down-streaming it to your phone or device a worthwhile task because it takes too long and/or hangs/freezes the application.

    In addition, their technical support is not worthy of the name Technical Support, IMO. Its more like, we'll get back to you if and when we feel like it and we probably won't feel like it so don't hold your breathe. And, if we do get back to you, it will probably be with something we've already asked you to do and that you in fact have already done without getting any relief from the technical problem you were having back when you first contacted us about million years ago, give or take several hundred thousand.

    Thinkware is supposed to be coming out with its Cloud enabled offering later this year or early next year called F800 Pro. F800, is already out in the wild and the image processing and quality is being posted as superior to that of the Blackvue 650S and 750S. However, Thinkware has no Cloud Service as of right now that is being released in the United States. I spoke with Thinkware recently as was told that F800 Pro with Cloud is indeed being rolled out in Australia right now as I type. So, maybe some of you from Ausie Land can chime in on the effectiveness and consistency of the Thinkware F800 Pro Cloud product. That would be nice.

    For me, the Cloud capability with live view and streaming of recorded video after receiving a push notice in real-time is not a mere bell or whistle. Those features are the primary reasons why I bought my Blackvue 650S and simultaneously the reasons why I have come to regret ever having done it. Hopefully, the DR750S will do away with the constant problems inherent in the DR650S. I'll know in a couple of weeks.
     
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  5. Cessna CJ4

    Cessna CJ4 New Member

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    Interesting. I was hoping against all hope after a bad experience with my Blackvue DR650S dual channel system, that Thinkware would transform the game by unseating Blackvue and its Cloud cam with the Thinkware F800 Pro and its Cloud offering. Maybe I'm just hoping too much, but I'd love to be able to switch to a company that at least responds to email technical support inquiries.

    How's Thinkware on technical support?
     
  6. zlandar

    zlandar New Member

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    Blackvue is ok. I've sent emails to them on the GPS bug in their Blackvue viewer. It takes them 2-3 days to respond and the response isn't great (first suggestion was to use legacy viewer, second was them acknowledging the issue and updating the viewer to 1.13 which fixed the problem).

    When I was researching dashcams I didn't find a single company without some kind of issue/blemish. Many of the $100 dashcams on Amazon are packed with fake reviews. The Street Guardian is designed primarily as a single front cam. I ended up with a front/rear Blackvue 750 because I could buy it cheaper than a Thinkware F800 and it's more discreet.

    It's been reliable for the month I've owned it. It has not crashed once. No corrupted video. Wifi works and the transferring a 93 MB video file takes 15-20 seconds. Video is fine for a 1080p cam. They just released their first minor firmware update.

    If it lasts for at least three years I'll be satisfied. I don't use the cloud feature so I can't comment how good/bad it is.
     
  7. c4rc4m

    c4rc4m Active Member

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    Exactly too much emphasis on offering fancy features so as to look better value than the competition, and often not enough on image quality. The point that gets missed again and again is the most important aspect of any camera is the image it captures. You don't need WiFi, GPS, remote control, online mapping, fancy touch screens with predictive text, etc.

    All any camera needs to do is turn on, record and save a great picture. No Court is going to care whether the picture was recorded on an all singing and dancing camera, or a camera with nothing more than an on / off switch. All that matters for proof is the image quality and content, and whether what it captures / is readable.
     
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  8. SawMaster

    SawMaster Well-Known Member

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    Standards should be about you getting what you want which will vary with each of us. There's really no "Gold Standard" for most things. Which is better, a Ferrari or a Lambo? A Nikon or a Canon? Electrolux or LG? The discussion could go on forever :whistle: With dashcams it seems that some companies think they are the gold standard and act accordingly as if any complaint you have is not valid :eek: And most companies will list features which don't work well (or even don't work at all :mad:) just to take your money. If there's any gold here. it's highly tarnished or needs a lot more refining to be useful :ROFLMAO: I can think of only a small handful of dashcam makers who seem to strive for honesty and a good product which is well worth having, and none of them make the most expensive cams.

    Nobody aspires to failure yet many achieve it because it is so easily done. Search for what you want, research what experiences others have had with it, then make a decision based on that alone. Screw what unsubstantiated opinions others may have, for opinions and preferences are not going to give you what you want ;) I'll take a "Bronze" standard over a "Gold" one any day as long as I'm getting what I want from it because that is all that matters to me :cool: YMMV but my approach has given me good "mileage" through the years so I'll stick with it.

    Phil
     
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  9. c4rc4m

    c4rc4m Active Member

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    Not everyone might agree Phil, but I still think dashcams could be far better than they are. We have 1080P which is 2.1mp, when CCTV Cameras (self contained apart from the power source and card writer / hard drive) have reached 12mp (!!!!) in compact bullet and dome packages.

    Whilst it's true to say 12mp might still be too expensive to implement in even a higher end dashcam, I still struggle to see why we haven't got 8mp (4K) sensors in dashcams. You can buy a CCTV camera by Dahua for around £200 which uses quality components. OK some models lacks a card reader / writer (although some have built in card writers as backups should the network fail), but again, a few pounds. Against that, you've got a network IP board in there that isn't needed for a dashcam application. Surely therefore a circa £200 4K Dash Camera with a decent lens and h.265, should be achievable?

    What's more Dahua implement 4K with H.265 encoding at just 10mbs, or around 1/2 that of a quality 1080P dashcam, (although personally for a dashcam I'd rather take 4K 25mbs @ h265 given the movement), which means data rate isn't an excuse either.

    Further, many mid range mobile phones such as the Samsung J5 (2017) have 12 or 13mp cameras implemented in a body less than 1/2 a cm thick, which again seems to bely some arguments over fitting it into a dashcam sized package.

    There's an interesting comparison here showing the advantages of 4K with a number plate zoomed in (make sure you view it at the top available resolution - 1080p):



    Clear gains to 4K over 2MP with the number plate that's all but unreadable at 2MP becoming readable at 4K, and that's viewing it back at just 1080P.

    Personally therefore I fail to see why we haven't seen 4K dashcam implementations with better lenses and h2.65. Just my opinions though.
     
  10. Mtz

    Mtz Well-Known Member

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    Will be if DJI will think to enter into the dashcam market. :D
    The Saturn received constant firmware updates so is up-to-date and is not needing to buy a second Saturn. Or a second car. ;)

    enjoy,
    Mrz
     
  11. country_hick

    country_hick Well-Known Member

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    I have yet to see a dash cam spec that says it will work at -40 degrees.
    As cold as it can get here that low temp operation would be a gold standard for me.
     
  12. SawMaster

    SawMaster Well-Known Member

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    Fahrenheit or Centigrade?
    (Hint and useless trivia fact: -40 degrees is the only temp where F and C are the same) :ROFLMAO:

    Phil
     
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  13. c4rc4m

    c4rc4m Active Member

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    Ice Road Trucking or Alaskan living?

    I'd have thought the camera was ok but batteries weren't as battery performance drops with temp. Stick to a capacitor based one would be my best advice and consider possibly switching the capacitor type for a similar one of a non electrolytic design - could mean voiding the warranty and getting creative with the soldering iron (or getting your local electronics shop to do it for you):

    I don't know much about this, but a quick google suggested Mica or Film based designs: https://www.reddit.com/r/AskElectro...o_capacitors_handle_extreme_cold_better_than/
     
  14. country_hick

    country_hick Well-Known Member

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    Most dash cams are not good below -10c which is about +14f

    Maine can get cold.
    -10f is often seen.
    -20f is well known to happen in winter.
    I have seen -40f and -40c here before. Getting this cold is rare, but it has happened.

    P.S. I knew -40 was the same in F and C which is why I did not differentiate it earlier.
     
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  15. Dashmellow

    Dashmellow Well-Known Member

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    You've been a member here for nearly three years now and you are probably the only person here who doesn't own a dash cam. What do you know about how dash cams actually perform in bitter cold weather? You have every right to participate here on the forum but I'll never understand some of the commentary you post which so often demonstrates your vicarious knowledge of using dash cams on a daily basis.

    I too live in northern New England and I know all about how cold things can get in the dead of winter. While it is true that 40 degrees below zero is below the rated design specifications of the DSPs used in dash cams, it doesn't make them unusable in a practical sense. As everyone who actually owns a dash cam would know, they tend to generate quite a lot of heat internally. As soon as you plug a dash cam into a power source, even at sub zero temps the DSP and other components will begin to rapidly heat up. From my personal experience with many cameras over the course of seven years most cameras will become fully functional within 60 seconds or less. Some cameras never seem to have too much of a problem and begin recording even though the temperature is far below it's stated rating. It can vary from camera to camera. Of the three Mobius cams in my truck, only the oldest V1 fails to begin recording right away in bitter cold while the new V2 and V3 circuit board iterations don't seem to have so much of a problem. None of my cameras have generally manifested any start-up issues until down around -15 to -20 below zero Fahrenheit despite the published ratings of the DSP. When there is a problem one does need to unplug and re-plug the camera in order to reboot the system just like any computerized device that has a start-up glitch but this is no big deal considering the temperature extreme and the short amount of time it takes for the cameras to warm up. Also, anybody in his right mind will start blasting the heater in their vehicle to bring the cabin temperate up to normal as quickly as possible. Just the way you would warm up a vehicle's engine before driving off at those temps, you'll want all the cameras to warm up. Forty degrees below zero is a temporary situation once you are under way. You don't need to have dash cam functionality until then. When things are that cold I will often unplug my cameras until the cabin temp starts to rise a bit and only then plug them in. The point here is that you make it sound like dash cams don't function in bitter cold weather but they do.

    In any event, designing and building a dash cam that will boot up immediately at 40 below would be completely impractical and would make them unaffordable so it is hardly a "gold standard" to strive for or even suggest as a benchmark.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2017
  16. country_hick

    country_hick Well-Known Member

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    If my car radio starts at -40f without a problem why should a car dash cam be different?
    If a dash cam takes 1 minute to turn on I could have gone close to a mile in that time.

    This g1w-s also lacks the clarity in recording sounds from a cheap prepaid cell phone used as a dash cam.

    Here is a picture of my car showing installed dash cams and more.
    It would not embed for some reason.
    https://photos.google.com/share/AF1...?key=alpsRXBvWVdxOXBnVU14Y0pFajdZaVpOMC1mcFF3

    Here is a clip taken by the g1w-s through a slightly dirty windshield earlier today.
    The settings are at the highest level possible. It is about 19mps at 51mb prior to youtube upload.
    I am still debating between having creating smaller clips with a longer sd card life or keeping larger clips with a shorter sd card life.

     
  17. Dashmellow

    Dashmellow Well-Known Member

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    Well, if you really went out and finally bought yourself a dash cam after all this time I congratulate you. Use it in good health!

    Yeah, a car radio will function in sub freezing temps but they are different than the DSPs and imaging sensor chips used in dash cams. Not all electronic components will tolerate the same conditions.
     
  18. DT MI

    DT MI Well-Known Member

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    That comment confuses me :confused: - or I'm totally not understanding what you're trying to say. More shorter clips (300 @ 1 minute each) or fewer larger clips (100 @ 3 minutes each) still adds up to the same number of recorded minutes (300).
     
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  19. country_hick

    country_hick Well-Known Member

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    :oops::oops:
    I probably phrased this badly. :oops:

    I am debating between mps per second of video produced. I was not referring to the time such as 1 minute or 3 for each individual file. I was looking at the data density used to write to the card. The full size seems to be 19mbs or the option for less detail by using a gentler less SD card intensive 10mbs or whatever the numbers actually are. To explain better...

    I have available options of 4032 x 3024 or 3648 x 2448 or 2592 x 1944 and lower quality options that probably are to low to want to use.

    I am debating about using the highest quality verses using the lower quality options that are one or 2 levels lower to extend the life of the sd card.
     
  20. DT MI

    DT MI Well-Known Member

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    OK, now I'm not confused. (y)
     
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