Recommendations for discrete, good video quality, wifi...

getting old

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Hello all, long time lurker, first time poster. Have been using a Z-Edge Z4 for a while now, reasonably happy with it. But just purchased a new car, and so of course I'm looking at new dash cams.

My top priorities would be:

1- Small/discrete. I like the idea of no screen at all. I like to hide it behind the review mirror and forget about it, and for it be hard to notice from outside the car.
2- Good video quality. I'm not necessarily looking for a budget cam, I'm willing to pay for high quality.
3- Wifi. With my current cam, there are times when something interesting happens during the day that I might want to see again, but often I just decide it's not worth messing the mount and pulling out my laptop and a card adapter etc. If I were able to browse/download clips on my phone (an iPhone), that would be a great feature to me.

Other factors:
1- I live in a hot climate, so I guess supercap is best.
2- I dislike voice notifications and funky beeps and sounds. If anything, just an unobtrusive audio notification that recording has started.
3- dual channel would be nice, but I'm not opposed to just running two cams.

So, any thoughts?

In looking at the various review threads, I quite like the B1W, though I'd be willing to pay more for better video quality. I also like the Viofo models, though GPS isn't a priority for me.

Thanks in advance for your input.
 

Nigel

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B1W isn't great video quality, it is a cheap camera that is very well built, reliable and with very decent video quality for the price, but it is a long way from the best. Also it is only 1080 resolution which is a bit low for many USA plates.

Viofo A129 Pro would match your requirement, although the hot climate might be an issue if you want to use parking mode. Although it has a screen, you don't need to use it, and it will disappear behind the mirror in most cars (smaller than it looks in photos). It also has faster wifi than most dash cameras, the B1W and A129 (non Pro) are a bit slow for downloading big files to your phone. It also does H265 video which your iPhone will like.
 

kamkar1

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Welcome to the forum "oldie"
1: The screen on cameras don't really dictate the size of it, and they can in most cases be set to fade to black within seconds.
I personally prefer screen cameras, but it is not often i use them, and when i do i better well remember my reading glasses.
2: The best low light performing sensors are still the 1080p ones, with some 1440p ones like viofo A119 V3 hot on their heels, we also have a few true 4K cameras which are very nice for daytime, but struggle a lit in low light due to the smaller pixel size on those sensors.
BUT ! its not like they are worthless at night, just the better low light 1080p sensors are more relaxing to look at, but that don't really mean the more you feel like you can see are of much use.
3: WIFI are okay to have, not least to do settings with old tired eyes like mine so you can do your setting changes on the larger phone screen, and you can also DL a video file or two now and then, but transfer speeds are slow compared to a good home wifi.
Most cameras have APP that support either popular phone OS.

1A: Yes indeed, always supercaps for dashcams, no matter where you are.
2A: Same here, but this often depend on the settings you use, for instance if you have G-sensor on while driving, there is usually a notification of some kind when that get triggered.
All cameras seem to have some form of startup chime or notification, in most cases this can not be disabled.
I personally like the chime, though in the old days with old hardware this did not necessary mean the camera was recording, but new cameras / hardware have alarms if there is a recording failure, so that's nice.
3A: Yes dual channel are the way to go nowadays, only if money are really tight do it make sense to just go with a front camera alone, most of these are still 1080 - 1080 but a few 1440 - 1080 are starting to emerge, and then you have the high end 4K - 1080 systems.
There are also other combinations on the rise.

Personally i like GPS and having speed watermarked on my footage, but i would gladly exchange the GPS antenna for better image quality, besides speed can always be deducted from the actual video footage.
The GPS are alsi nice for date/time setting in that you just have to select your time zone, and then that's done for aside the the annual changes to and from summertime, which dashcams still cant do automatic like our computers and phones.

I would buy local for sure, not worth shaving a dime here and there if you run into problems, and some times a overseas seller can be a pain in the ass.


If stealth are really big for you, then you might want to hold out a little for the dual remote systems to hit the market, these have much smaller camera units on a wire, and a main unit you can stash / hide somewhere in your car.
But otherwise the windscreen layout on your particular car model have a lot to say what your options are here, i like the wedge shaped cameras a lot, not least since in my car the mirror hang off the roof, so i have plenty of room on the glass in front of it, plus i have a nice dotted area there, so 2/3 of the camera are on that so the lens just peek out below the dotted area.
And that's pretty nice as i often have upwards of 5 cameras just on my windscreen, though that many do nothing good for stealth, but as it is free cameras i have been sent to beat on i am good with it.

The B1W are a okay little cheap camera, i was part of the test crew on that one too, but yes it is also a bit basic, so if you are not a first timer or restrained by finances i would look at something else.

The viofo cameras seem popular, and they are supported okay, and have US sellers.
Above those you find brands like Street Guardian, where you will pay more, but you also get the best service, and even the company boss jokiin you can reach on this forum when it is working / awake hours in Australia / Asia.
I am affiliated with SG as they are one of the brands that send me cameras to beat on, but the company have not made me sign any NDA, only if they send me something really early am i asked to be discreet for a while.
Otherwise i will say what i bloody well like about them and others, but so far they have not given me any reasons to say anything bad.
 
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getting old

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Thank you both for the responses, really appreciate it. I am reading about the A129 Pro Duo, which seems very nice, but the beeping/missing frames issue along with apparent lack response from the company sounds annoying. Street Guardian also seems nice, though I wish they had better resolution.

I came across the F800Pro and thought it was perfect, until I read the amazon reviews, there are some pretty bad ones.

The dual remote thing with the hidden main unit sounds great... when are we expecting these units?
 

kamkar1

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I think we will start to see those within a few months, SG should finally have their first trial production run going now or very soon, theirs have been much anticipated.

There is already the K2S which i am also tasting on, and it have even gotten a PRO version now with better sensors.

But even this have a few quirks, most important ATM for me using the OBD adapter for power is the intermittent failure to record, but as i recall this wasent there using the normal power source.
I have been meaning to move it back to that power source, but the weather in Denmark and me being forced to work on my car curbside mean it are constantly pushed back, not least since the K2S are not my main camera ( i use it as side cameras ATM )
Some have also reported other issues, like a noise in the audio ASO,,,,, to me this matter little as i often have to mute audio anyway due to copyright issues with music in my car, or my foul mouth.

But at least it give a taste of things to come from other brands.
 
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getting old

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I really like the look of these dual remote units. I was leaning toward the Viofo A129 Pro Duo, but maybe I'll wait another month and see what shakes out.
 

kamkar1

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Yeah they are neat, i really feel this road is the path of the future, even if it mean one more wire to run.
And if you are one wanting to use parking mode, well the main unit not being on the glass in the hot sun, should mean a system like that would stand a larger chance in a hot car.
 

SawMaster

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I live in a hot climate, so I guess supercap is best.
First welcome to DCT @getting old :) and glad you've joined us. I think your climate is going to be more than just an "other factor". To get the best video quality requires high-bitrate recording which works the processor and SD card hard, and that can cause the cam to overheat- especially when used while parked. Wifi also adds to the cam's heat when it's in use. Any good cam will have over-temp shutdown, but that only protects the cam, not your car, so IMHO it's better to have a cam that isn't as likely to overheat instead :D

Street Guardian cams are made for the Austraillian market and are known for handling high heats better than anyone else, their vid quality is very good, plus their customer service is the best there is. I would recommend them over Viofo in the hottest climates. Viofo does currently have the best vid quality and would be my recommendation in most other places. The only other cams which handle high heat this well are the original Mobius (old tech which can still give good vids but not so good at night and no wifi) and the B1W (which has only OK vids as it's an entry-level budget cam) :cool:

TBH I think wifi isn't 'ready for prime time' in dashcams yet- downloads are slow, connections can be troublesome to set up and somewhat unreliable with some cams, and the range quite limited. And when you're DL'ing via wifi most cams (maybe all cams?) will not be recording- the system can't do both things at the same time :( You can save a file on any cam with just a button push to lock it, then view it at your leisure later on. It;s usually faster to turn the cam off, pull the card, and place it into another device to read it. You don't have to pull the whole cam to do this, only the card, and almost every phone/tablet/laptop these days has a SD card slot to do this with. Is this easier than turning the wifi on via a button push or a phone app then waiting for a slow download? I dunno- you decide. Just don't expect dashcam wifi to match what it can do with other devices :cautious:

2-channel cams have come of age, but processors and cards limit all cams to around 30Mbs bitrate or less, and that now has to be split between 2 channels so you can't get the very best vids with a 2 channel cam. The better ones generally do very good vids with the front cam which is enough for all but the most demanding dashcam users but the rear cams may disappoint. Fitting and using them is far more convenient than using 2 separate cams and when you compare costs will probably be cheaper than 2 separate cams of the same vid quality. If you go this way be sure the rear cam's cabling will be long enough for your installation ;)

There have never been better choices in dashcams than what is available now, so I'm sure something suitable that you like awaits you. Just research what other's have experienced, watch and compare raw vids, then go with a known good seller and you'll do fine.

Phil
 
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