Need Advice On A Dash Cam

George Maharis

New Member
Joined
Apr 24, 2021
Messages
4
Reaction score
0
Location
Bluth's Original Frozen Banana Stand
Country
United States
Hello everyone,
I was in a wreck recently, because a driver ran a red light and totaled my vehicle. As time goes bad people are driving crazier and crazier. I am wanting to get a dash camera to film while I drive and when I'm parked. I also want it just for peace of mind.

However, I saw some features that I do not want.
*No Phone/Bluetooth connection (Don't have a smart phone, don't want one)
*No Wifi
*Nothing with Amazon/Google
*I don't want GPS but if I have take it that is not a deal breaker. The first 3 are however.

I just want a HD camera that I can put an SD Card on.

Any advice on what camera to get?

I also was looking at a dash camera at Sharper Image. Does anyone think that would be a good buy?
 

estore009

Well-Known Member
Retailer
Joined
Nov 25, 2013
Messages
2,594
Reaction score
1,251
Location
Shenzhen
Country
China
Dash Cam
B1W/B2W/B2K/B4K/DV688/DV988/B1M/B2M
They are very basic requirements for a dash cam!
Try out BlueSkySea B4K?
 

jokiin

Well-Known Member
Manufacturer
Joined
Jan 27, 2013
Messages
51,712
Reaction score
29,659
Location
Sydney, Australia ~ Shenzhen, China
Country
Australia
Dash Cam
Too many ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Hello everyone,
I was in a wreck recently, because a driver ran a red light and totaled my vehicle. As time goes bad people are driving crazier and crazier. I am wanting to get a dash camera to film while I drive and when I'm parked. I also want it just for peace of mind.

However, I saw some features that I do not want.
*No Phone/Bluetooth connection (Don't have a smart phone, don't want one)
*No Wifi
*Nothing with Amazon/Google
*I don't want GPS but if I have take it that is not a deal breaker. The first 3 are however.

I just want a HD camera that I can put an SD Card on.

Any advice on what camera to get?

I also was looking at a dash camera at Sharper Image. Does anyone think that would be a good buy?
Got a link to the one you were looking at?
 

SawMaster

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 10, 2015
Messages
8,461
Reaction score
7,364
Location
SC
Country
United States
Dash Cam
Numerous and ever-changing
Googling showed me a couple cheap crappy cams from Sharper Image :( I'd avoid them. The B4K mentioned above is good, as is it's sister product the B2K. The A119V3 has a different form-factor which might fit better (or not) and is a very good value with some of the best night-time imaging. And if money is really tight the Aukey DRA5 Mini is pretty good. Prices can go up to around $1K if you buy the most expensive cams with all the accessories and gadgets possible, so how much were you thinking about spending?

A few things to know if you're new to dashcams- If you live in a hotter climate, avoid cams with batteries and look for ones using "supercaps". With most cams you'll also need a Micro SD card for memory, and these must be good ones recommended by members here using the cam being considered. Not just any card will do; fakes abound but we can help you source a good card. For permanent installs using mounts with 3M double-sided tape some specific procedures apply (again we can cover those later)

There's for sure a good cam you can get your kicks with out there ;)

Phil
 
OP
George Maharis

George Maharis

New Member
Joined
Apr 24, 2021
Messages
4
Reaction score
0
Location
Bluth's Original Frozen Banana Stand
Country
United States
Thank you everyone for your suggestions!

SawMaster,
I wasn't planning on dropping 1k on a dashcam. I was hoping to get for around 200-300. I'm glad that to you told me to avoid ones with batteries because I do live in a hotter climate. About the Mirco SD cards, I've always used SanDisk. I've used them in my MP3 player and it works great. Oh you can mount the dash cam, because I started to research and I read where a person got one installed and they had to take it to a mechanic because, they had to take down the top of the car to run the wires through and then re-installed the top.

I also have a question if you don't mind. I know dash cams go in front of the car, but do you think I should install another one in the back as well?

Also is the BlueSkySea B4K work in a hotter climate?
 

SawMaster

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 10, 2015
Messages
8,461
Reaction score
7,364
Location
SC
Country
United States
Dash Cam
Numerous and ever-changing
SanDisk are generally good cards for most things, but dashcams have massive writing to do, and not too many cards handle this well. The recent SanDisk Endurance line does good with most cams. Older SanDisk cards almost never played well with dashcams. Cards are an ever-changing situation with cams as production and card-type changes occur so up-to-date info is necessary. Dashcams can be quite picky about which cards work well with them.

I've ran the B4K for 5 months now in single-channel use. We had a short string of days where it was around 90F and I had no problems, but the cam is relatively new so there's been no word on really high heats over long times yet. Based on what I know and see, I think it will do OK in anything short of a desert or the Aussie outback. There is now a rear cam available for the B4K and it too seems OK so far with just a glitch or two to be worked out. I hope to be grabbing the rear cam for my own use and testing soon. Blueskysea does well with updates, bug fixes, and customer service too. I do beta testing for them but I try to be unbiased and if something needs to be said I will say it. With that kind of budget, you might also want to look at the Viofo a129 series of cams, they have 3 different 2-channel models with excellent video clarity- some of the best there is. You might also want to look at what Street Guardian offers- very well-built cams with the best customer service in the world. All three of these manufacturers are members here and very active on the forums.

Routing a cable for a rear cam varies in what needs to be done. Most of the time the cable can be 'fished' above the headliner near the center without much trouble as long as there's no sunroof. Alternately it can be ran under the trim above the doors but you have to be careful to route behind any airbags. Again usually not too hard to do. If you've got average or better DIY skills and some finesse it's something you can probably do yourself, or you can have a Pro do the install at any car audio shop.

I like having a rear cam myself, as my state (SC) does not have front license plates and also because this might be the tailgating capital of the world. Without a rear cam I'd have nothing to go on for a hit-and-run. In states which do have front plates it's even better to have a rear cam which in daytime will likely get that number; all dashcams struggle at night with such details. A rear cam isn't often necessary to prove you've done no wrong but it can show if someone has been acting the fool or tailgating as they approach from behind which will help your case should they hit you. 2-channel cams are cheap enough and good enough now to have them, so yes I recommend them.

Phil
 

kamkar

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 11, 2013
Messages
28,827
Reaction score
16,317
Country
Denmark
Dash Cam
10 years, many dashcams
Wifi is about standard in dashcams, but no one force you to turn it on or use it.
GPS are also pretty normal now, you can most often choose to not embed data from it in the footage ( speed / coordinates / time/ date stamp )
But it is nice to have for time / date keeping, just enter your time zone + / - what ever daylight savings are where you are, i am GMT +1 for Denmark, but right now set to +2 as we also have summer time.
Mind you no one would ever judge on a cheap dashcam GPS, they will use 2 fixed points in the footage, and the time it take you to cover that distance to call your speed, that will fly in a court.
so if speed issues is a fear you should not videotape with anything, or maybe a camera that constantly fluctuate in random FPS speeds, but that would be a horrible nightmare to watch.

Never heard of the sharper image brand, the name alone leave me with very modest hopes for the quality of the footage, and i am sure customer care and warranty are even worse.
You should buy both camera and memory card from a local source.

As someone also lean on, as most American cars only have a plate in the back, you are out of luck with just a front camera and all traffic that come towards you.
If you had a rear camera too, at least that would stand a chance of a plate capture when the car have passed by.

Regarding hotter climates, you for sure want a camera based on capacitors for its onboard emergency power supply.

Blueskysea are a Chinese brand, but they are on most markets, and they do seem to have a healthy approach to support and customer care, and that alone set them apart from a lot of other Chinese brands.
They are also represented on this forum pretty much daily if the traditional communication route are a bit slow.

I have tested their B1W and B2W cameras, and they worked fine though in the end i did manage to kill one of them, but not before it had a okay lifetime for the investment, and i was also rough on it, like i am with all cameras i an sent to beat on,,,, there is no slapping there, i ball my fists up and hit hard on any camera coming my way. :)
The 2 in 1 form factor of the B2W i was not a fan off, but its footage was just fine.
 
Last edited:

SawMaster

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 10, 2015
Messages
8,461
Reaction score
7,364
Location
SC
Country
United States
Dash Cam
Numerous and ever-changing
Never heard of the sharper image brand, the name alone leave me with very modest hopes for the quality of the footage, and i am sure customer care and warranty are even worse.
You should buy both camera and memory card from a local source.
"Sharper Image" is basically an upscale reseller of goods- they don't actually design or manufacture anything. They used to offer cutting-edge things which were just hitting the market, and back then most of their offerings were good. But one of the cams I saw when I googled it looked exactly like an old DVR 027 which we all know is long out of date. The other ones I saw also resembled cheap 'white label' cams, and the prices asked were in line with that. They seem to have slipped in quality of what they offer.

Phil
 

jokiin

Well-Known Member
Manufacturer
Joined
Jan 27, 2013
Messages
51,712
Reaction score
29,659
Location
Sydney, Australia ~ Shenzhen, China
Country
Australia
Dash Cam
Too many ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
"Sharper Image" is basically an upscale reseller of goods- they don't actually design or manufacture anything. They used to offer cutting-edge things which were just hitting the market, and back then most of their offerings were good. But one of the cams I saw when I googled it looked exactly like an old DVR 027 which we all know is long out of date. The other ones I saw also resembled cheap 'white label' cams, and the prices asked were in line with that. They seem to have slipped in quality of what they offer.

Phil
yeah I searched also and could only find junk cams
 
OP
George Maharis

George Maharis

New Member
Joined
Apr 24, 2021
Messages
4
Reaction score
0
Location
Bluth's Original Frozen Banana Stand
Country
United States
Thanks everyone, you all have given me much to think about. I joined this forum for research on what is the best camera. I have a few more questions if you all don't mind.

What is parking mode?
Can you still use a sun visor even if you have a dash cam?

I'm going to say that where I drive, it is on the list of the top ten most dangerous. In fact it is in the top five. So I need a great camera with good quality. I need the night vision as someone mentioned above. I agree about just not enabling the Wifi will work. Is there an airplane mode? I need one temperature proof. (I didn't even consider that part.) I need it to be app-less as mentioned I don't own a smart phone.

I have much to learn.
 

jokiin

Well-Known Member
Manufacturer
Joined
Jan 27, 2013
Messages
51,712
Reaction score
29,659
Location
Sydney, Australia ~ Shenzhen, China
Country
Australia
Dash Cam
Too many ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
1. What is parking mode?
2. Can you still use a sun visor even if you have a dash cam?
1. for recording while the car is parked, some people like to have that
2. if you mean your sunvisors that you pull down when you're driving toward the sun, no issue with 99% of cameras, if you mean a sun shade you put in the window when you park to keep the interior cool, those can be a problem, particularly if they're the reflective silver type as they radiate heat back out and are most often behind the camera so the camera gets baked
 

kamkar

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 11, 2013
Messages
28,827
Reaction score
16,317
Country
Denmark
Dash Cam
10 years, many dashcams
Parking mode is the camera being active when the car is parked, for however a timer is set or the battery last.
Normally there is a low voltage cut off value in the Hard wire kit to prevent your battery getting drained too low ( never use below 12.2 Volts )
Parking mode can be done many ways, personally i prefer to use low bitrate, meaning the camera record all the time but in a low bitrate as that give your smaller files that take up less memory card space, to back that up i also use G - sensor while parked, so if the car get a jolt that event will be locked in a read only folder that can only be deleted on the computer or by formatting the entire memory card in the camera.

Parking mode can also be time lapse recording, again to conserve memory card space, and have as little internal heat generation while parked ( not least if it is in the sun on a sunny day )

Dashcams are best place in the middle of the windscreen at the top, but on new vehicles that can be a issue due to sensors there, in that case you have to mount a little offset, which are okay with the wide angle lenses dashcams have.
If you have a dotted area it is advantageous to mount the camera on that so only the lens part is visible, this way you have a pretty stealthy setup.
The dashcam should therefor always be in front of any sunshades if it is offset that much it get in their space.

All dashcams will log everything you do with your vehicle in regard to the side of the road / curb - lane markings, and the color of traffic lights, you will also be able to see other things if there is some ambient light like in a town at night, on a rural highway all you will see is some of what your headlight illuminate, no dashcam have batman vision :) so little details are most often out of the question.
You can capture a plate, but only if the speed difference between you as the camera car and the target vehicle are about the speed a toddler can stagger across a floor.
It is a simple restriction of the technology currently available to us, so if you have a event in low light ( dont even have to be the dead of night,,,,, far from it, then if you can see and call out the plate for the microphone to pick up.
 

kamkar

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 11, 2013
Messages
28,827
Reaction score
16,317
Country
Denmark
Dash Cam
10 years, many dashcams
you can have a look in the where did you install your camera thread to get some feel for where people put there cameras.

 

SawMaster

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 10, 2015
Messages
8,461
Reaction score
7,364
Location
SC
Country
United States
Dash Cam
Numerous and ever-changing
The best dashcam for nighttime right now is the A119 V3. The V3 also does well daytime, but some newer cams do better then at the cost of lesser night time imaging. It is a reliable cam (most important) and does well in higher heats. Parking mode may have some issues, but in high-heat areas almost every dashcam has problems as they tend to run very warm normally and too much added heat can cause them to freeze the recording or shut down. When driving the A/C or breeze from open windows is generally enough to keep the cam from overheating.

If you put a sun-shield in the windshield while parking, it is important that the cam be on the inside of it, not trapped between shade and windshield. Based on cam mounting and how the shield fits you may need to cut a notch in the shield for the cam to prevent 'trapping', or to buy a slightly smaller sun shield.

The V3 is a single channel cam with a forward view only. This will take care or 90%+ of what you need a cam, to do for driving protection, but a rear view sometimes helps. The V3 is a great value for the cost and won't break the bank. Just remember that you'll need a good SD card for it too, and not just any card will work. We can advise on which card you should get once you decide which cam you want. Luckily cards are cheap right now, even the good ones.

Phil
 

jokiin

Well-Known Member
Manufacturer
Joined
Jan 27, 2013
Messages
51,712
Reaction score
29,659
Location
Sydney, Australia ~ Shenzhen, China
Country
Australia
Dash Cam
Too many ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
The best dashcam for nighttime right now is the A119 V3.
it does pretty well, not the best in low light though, many of the IMX291, IMX307 or IMX327 cameras will do better in low light, bigger pixels in these sensors compared to the sensor in the V3 give them the advantage in low light
 
Top