ISO: Entry-Level Cam for Single Cab Work Truck

USAFSSK

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As the title suggests, looking for something to use with a single cab work pickup.

I'm grandpa-esque driver in a bone-stock (not even tint) dually that seems to attract the nut jobs on the highway. I'd like the ability to record forward and aft with internal lenses, as I keep my windows clear even in inclement weather conditions, but spend too much time in dusty conditions to have exterior mounted lenses. I know I'd need to mount high into the rear glass to be able to see over my tailgate, as unloaded, the truck has a lot of rake. I'm fine with an adhesive mount, and would prefer it be on the glass as opposed to the headliner or plastic trim pieces due to rough roads in a rough riding truck.

Main concerns for bi-directional recording are the people that get so close to my rear bumper that I actually lose them completely in my mirrors, and then they zoom around me and brake check. Rear quality doesn't need to be good enough for tag identification (when they're far enough behind me to even see a front tag) but i would like to be able to make out the face of the driver for identification purposes. Front camera DOES need tag identification capability in normal daylight conditions.

In my mind, a single unit that could mount to the inside of the back glass would be ideal, as the front facing camera would also have my mirrors in it's view (I think) and may also be able to capture my reaction (or lack there of) to the stupidity going on around me. Otherwise, a front glass mounted forward, with a remote rear glass mounted aft lens.

My head starts swimming when I spend too much time researching cameras as they either offer too much info that I don't understand, or am not concerned with, and am not yet fluent enough in the details to create intelligent, pertinent search criteria. This is why I've created an account just for the initial purpose of asking the help of those educated in the subject to guide me to the models that may best suit my application.

Of what I do understand about the capabilites/limitations, I think I can narrow down a few things:
1. Temperature ranges from -20 to about 150 F.
2. Discretion (small form factor) not mandatory, but preferred (no window tint).
3. Vibration. SO much vibration. Kidney-bruising, teeth-rattling vibration.
4. No suction cup mounting (see #3), adhesive or semi-permanent mount preferred.
5. Night/low light recording not necessary.
6. Parked recording not necessary.
7. Relatively simple operation. My diagnostic tools involve hammers.

Does anything even remotely fit into what I THINK I want, or do I need to re-evaluate and take another approach?
 
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USAFSSK

USAFSSK

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if you don't find what you want in dual channel cameras you might want to consider using two single channel cameras, you'll have a lot wider choice

I guess I ignored the KISS rule. This will probably even be more economical than one dual channel setup. See, this is why I needed guidance. Thanks!
 

jokiin

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I guess I ignored the KISS rule. This will probably even be more economical than one dual channel setup. See, this is why I needed guidance. Thanks!

2 moderate single channel cameras can be cheaper than a high end dual channel model and offer better performance for what you want
 

dash riposki

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Yeah, and buy one now, install it facing forward, learn about life with a dashcam, and buy the second later.
You can always use the dashcam you don't like as much in the rear.
 
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USAFSSK

USAFSSK

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Yeah, and buy one now, install it facing forward, learn about life with a dashcam, and buy the second later.
You can always use the dashcam you don't like as much in the rear.

Using this suggestion, I believe the VIOFO A119 may be the best fit for my needs, as it seems to be the best bang for the buck at around the $100 mark. It appears to be able to mount on vertical glass (pickup back glass) and windshield equally, using the adhesive mount bracket, is capacitor instead of battery, and by the reviews I've read/watched, seems to do everything I currently want with room to upgrade later (cpl, gps, stuff like that). *edit* If I do like it, I can move it to the rear glass, and get the A119S for the new front. That sound right? Or visa-versa?

Anything I need to know about it before I purchase (amazon) or any other model/manufacturer suggestions that i should compare before pulling the trigger?
 

dash riposki

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The A119 works well.
Another cam you can pick up on Amazon is the Yi Dashcam. I've been using one for a few months and like it. I think if you order from Amazon they only have the 'US' version in Gray. (I think some people are having problems getting them from chinese suppliers and they ship with 'international' software, or something) It's not very discrete, but if you have an android phone, it's easy to set up and manage via the free App.
 

SawMaster

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Though I don't own one, the A119 seems to be quite a good cam at an excellent price for what it delivers in reliability and image quality. I wouldn't hesitate in buying one myself if I had a need or use for it :D Then there's the Mobius, an older cam with a bit less image quality but still good enough and it's tough as nails. By the time you buy a mount, super-caps, and a P/S for it the price will be similar to the A119 but it's very small and doesn't attract attention; it just does it's job reliably without a screen or any fanfare.

There are some cheaper cams that delver good-enough images but reliability and build quality can be a problem with those; the good ones are indeed good but there's a fair number of them that are DOA, fail early, or have problems which requires using the warranty and that can be a bugger-bear when they're bought from the usual sellers of them. You'll need to buy a 'permanent' mount for these as they only supply suction-cup ones. These are something of a gamble. The best bet among these is the A118C, a 'wedge' shape with a 'permanent' mount and a history of being a decent cam.

I just got a Viofo G1W-S which should be better than most of these at night and quite good enough daytime, but as it is so new there's not a lot of in-the-field testing on it yet. Quality throughout, and so far it seems to me like it's going to take the "Best Economy Cam" and "Best Bang-for-your-Buck" spots unless there's a hefty price increase. It bears close watching if you can wait on it to become more proven. Not really discreet but it comes with 3 sturdy mounts including a 'permanent' one and right now it's cheap to buy.

I'll second the advice that you might want to start with one cam before buying the second one so that you'll know more of what you're going to get from a dashcam and whether you'll want something better from the next one. None are perfect, all are compromises of some kind, but some are well worth your money. You'll get hooked and dread driving without them and the peace of mind they bring you.

Phil
 

sone983

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Yi dashcam,VIOFO WR 1
The A119 works well.
Another cam you can pick up on Amazon is the Yi Dashcam. I've been using one for a few months and like it. I think if you order from Amazon they only have the 'US' version in Gray. (I think some people are having problems getting them from chinese suppliers and they ship with 'international' software, or something) It's not very discrete, but if you have an android phone, it's easy to set up and manage via the free App.
I bought Yi Dashcam too,in same colour like you.I bought it on Aliexpress,and I was searching for 'international version' and got it.I used it in a cab/taxi vehicle in case of some accident last 2 months and don't mind it's not hidden like A199 and similar dashcam's.I am very satisfied with Yi Dashcam,I think there are some of these in black colour but all of them are for chinese market with Chinese(CN firmware in,my have US firmaware in it),but when you go to Yi technology website there are only 2 colours(no black) dashcam's.I agree with you about android app,fast connect's my cellphone to dashcam trough Wi-Fi.
(Sorry about any mistakes in my text,english is not my first language),
 
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USAFSSK

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The A119 works well. Another cam you can pick up on Amazon is the Yi Dashcam.

The only real marks against the Yi I can see is the LI battery and the lack of a black enclosure. Even with my windows cracked open (if I remember to), It gets pretty hot in that truck. It reviews really well, though.

I just got a Viofo G1W-S

After looking at this one, It may be my option for a second camera to forward mount, after moving the A119 to the rear. This is based on the idea of being able to adhesive mount, but still have the ability to turn to the driver's window for "interactions." I can't find any reviews on it yet, as you said, it's pretty new to the market.
 
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USAFSSK

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Ok, finally got back from my last 'road trip' (also why I've been awol for a month) and have the a119s w/CPL and Lexar High Endurance 64gb microsd card in my shopping cart, just waiting for my perdiem check to hit. I thought about staying with the a119 w/o gps for the $79 price point, but I was able to bundle the a119s w/gps w/cpl via "blackboxmycar" on Amazon Prime. Should be pulling the trigger in the next few days when that check hits.
Everything sound good so far, or should I reconsider the a119 vs. a119s? Anyone have experience with the Lexar HE card?
 

SawMaster

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Lexar cards have historically been some of the best for dashcams but recently there have been some reports of problems with certain ones. I'd look into this carefully as there are several other very viable options which are less risky right now. Also note that of late all micro SD cards have been in short supply. When I ordered two from Amazon a few months ago I had them in days as usual; but now an order from the same supplier/manufacturer was split and the first card arrived 3 weeks later with no solid ETA fiven for the other one. Plus prices are up because of the shortage.

There have also been some issues with the A119S GPS mount although the cam itself seems to be doing very well given it's relative newness. The issues are being addressed both by vendors and the manufacturer as well as members here having developed their own fixes. Again something worth looking into.

The A119 is a different breed of cam without the Sony sensor's low-light performance found in the A119S. The A119 is not a bad choice but is definitely more daytime-oriented which might matter to you. Personally I'd choose the "S" model though I own neither. I base this on my first (different) Sony-equipped cam which I recently got; the low-light differences are vivid in comparison with other decent cams.

tldr: IMHO get the cam if the GPS function isn't critical to you but choose another card. This advice is officially worth everything you paid to get it ;)

Phil
 
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