Thinkware U1000 vs. Blackvue DR900S-2CH (soon Viofo A129 Pro Duo)

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USDashCamera

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I returned the radar. I feel like it really limits the parking mode function as it only detects in one direction and doesn’t detect people, only large moving objects. If it detected 360 degrees I would use it, otherwise it only limits the great parking mode functions on the U1000. I spoke to a pro at BBMC who also told me he disconnected his and would not buy again until its design was revamped.
In the end I'm gonna use the standard motion detection because I want to capture people too. There are videos of people keying cars and the motion detection parking mode caught their face and led to finding the person.

I can see it being useful if you're not worried about getting keyed, but live in a high traffic area and don't want the motion detection constantly getting triggered which will fill up your memory card much quicker. But then you gotta back into parking spots always and make sure the radar is facing out.
 

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In the end I'm gonna use the standard motion detection because I want to capture people too. There are videos of people keying cars and the motion detection parking mode caught their face and led to finding the person.

I can see it being useful if you're not worried about getting keyed, but live in a high traffic area and don't want the motion detection constantly getting triggered which will fill up your memory card much quicker. But then you gotta back into parking spots always and make sure the radar is facing out.

Although we’re off topic for the comparison of two cameras, I’ll comment here on the subject of radar.

It seems to me that the radar really benefits a niche use case, that is people who leave their cars for extended periods of time and want ultra energy saving mode. Whether you’re running off an additional battery or not, using the radar means the camera only wakes up when car movement is nearby, and it only records to the card if the accelerometer is triggered. There is a similar recording mode without the radar module that just uses the camera to detect movement and record to the card IF the accelerometer is triggered. There are also other parking modes, but I’m comparing as closely apples to apples. Therefore, the radar module isn’t so much about preventing a memory card from filling up, as it is about power reduction.

Now if you use your car regularly, such as most people, I can’t see how radar benefits you. On the other hand, if you live in a major city, and take public transport during the week and only use your car on a weekend, I could see how you might be interested in the radar module. While it won’t necessarily be for everyone, such as those who park in the street and worry about side-swipes or bumps from the rear, it could be useful for those people who park in a parking garage.

The other use case where I could see it being of value is if you leave your car in airport parking for a trip, and anticipate being away 3-10 days. With a battery for your camera and the radar module, you could maintain a safety recording/monitoring of your car while you’re away on holiday. Of course, if you take a taxi/limo/Uber to the airport, or get a friend to drop you when you take your holidays the radar module isn’t that useful.

So there is, as I see it, are the two best use cases for the radar module: people who live in a city, who only use their cars infrequently, and park in a parking garage, and people who take their car to the airport and leave it in long term parking while they’re away on long trips.

99% of everyone else who use their cars regularly can probably be better served without the radar module and adjusting their parking mode, and/or buying an additional battery.
 

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It seems to me that the radar really benefits a niche use case, that is people who leave their cars for extended periods of time and want ultra energy saving mode.

Pretty much on target here, but power-saving is also beneficial to those who are parked for shorter times too as it puts less wear on the car battery ;) As I see it, the big problem with radar modes is the delay between detection and recording start- but you have that same problem with any type of sensor activation. Without pre-buffering you will miss fast-moving events, and you can't have pre-buffering on a 'sleeping' cam as it would no longer be 'asleep' but running and drawing near-normal power levels.

I think radar may prove to be the best 'sensor' for parking event detection as it is entirely software-based and unrelated to anything else involved here, and therefore is totally controllable and adjustable via firmware possibly augmented by menu choices for fine-tuning. G-sensor can't be reliable, for anything small like keying will activate with a gust of wind, and similar can be said for motion-detect. These two are always "too much or too little" and there's no possibility to make them perfect without a large dose of AI which again takes too much of our very limited power source's energy :(

For now with radar detection still in it's infancy as far as dashcams go, the safest bet for capturing everything and missing nothing lies in low-bitrate recording, It has it's own limitations and issues, but it is certain when certainty matters. In a year or two as radar detection matures it might take the lead here- or not. Dashcam development is always slow and problematic because nobody making dashcams has resources like Microsoft or Apple to do any better with. IMHO it's the most interesting development we've seen here in years and I'm looking forward to see where it goes :cool:

Phil
 

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I think motion detect can be made very good too, that is if / when cameras are able to see and distinguish in between shapes like humans and cars, and maybe the direction that they are moving in.

This seem very developed in CCTV, but i am not entirely sure it is in camera technology, and you of course need that level of AI to be in the dashcam for it to work in relation to parking mode.

But if, then i assume you could tell the camera to only wake up / record if people or car shapes are moving towards the camera, and ignore cars and humans just walking buy
Of course if you are parked curbside, then cars and pedestrians on the sidewalk are approaching the cameras all the time, but at least cars you could filter out by saying that if the approach too fast they are ignored.
BUT ! then you still need G-sensor to work too, in case some dumb ass tear off your mirror at speed.

I must admit in relation to vandalism to my car i am more worried about parking lot scenarios
 

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Although I have had one of my cars keyed (~15 yrs ago), I’m fortunate enough to live in an area where I’m not worried about that. I live in a private house, not an apartment complex. I park in my driveway, not the street or a public lot. In the event that some random person would key the car when I’m out of my normal routines, having a picture of their face would hardly be a nail in the coffin to help the police find that person.
Basically, I’m not too worried about vandalism that my dash cam is alleviating any fears. What I am worried about is door dings from people who park too close in shopping centers. And radar doesn’t do anything to alleviate that. For that matter, a dash cam may not either.
I think as dash cams become more prevalent, we may see OEM integrated offerings like from Tesla. Combining a 360 camera system that works with parking sensors (ultrasonic or radar based) would be ideal.
 

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So from those youtube videos, I see the BlackVue DR900S is a good all rounder, but the Thinkware U1000 and Viofo A129 Pro beats it in the daylight but gets beaten back at night time by BlackVue DR900S....? So I should get a cam setup for driving in daytime using either the U1000 or A129 Pro and then switch to the DR900S for night time driving?
 

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The circular polarized filter included with the U1000 improves daytime recordings by reducing reflections, but also reduces light transmittance at night.
I believe the U1000 sample footage was recorded with a CPL in place. The DR900S did not have a CPL in place. Perhaps that is why the U1000 looks darker than the DR900S.

The A129Pro has very good day and night sensitivity, maybe the best, but the other two cameras have more support for cloud software, parking mode recording, etc. There currently is no one clear winner, it’s about what trade offs you want to make, and what price point you want to spend.
 

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I'd be more concerned about having a cam which isn't going to shut down in high heats. No one cam does everything best, so decide what you need the most and let that guide your choice.

Phil
 

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The 4K chip recording generates more heat than 1080P. The Viofo A129Pro was measured at 77 degrees C, the Thinkware was measured to operate at 56 degrees C. I don’t think either has a problem, but one obviously has a larger safety margin.
 

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Yet the Thinkware has a record of heat-related shutdowns, yet the Viofo not so many. So one could suppose that they both tested for this, then set the limit accordingly. If that is the case it would put the Viofo ahead of the Thinkware :eek: But TBH, I think that Thinkware ddn't actually test for this (and maybe not Viofo either!), but instead let their engineers decide- and they would have likely chosen a point given to them in some component manufacrturer's spec sheet as a CYA maneuver :cool:

I have yet to hear of one instance where either of these cams turned into toast (y) In fact I only recall hearing of a few cams doing this in the 5+ years I've been watching these forums. So while I'm sure the danger exists, I believe it is somewhat blown out of proportion. The most-seen effect of excess heat is a focus-shift, which usually returns to normal when the cam cools back down. Next most frequent is the cam stops recording but indicates that it's still working, with varying non-permanent symptoms going along with that. From there you see some cams shut down almost normally without permanent effect, and with the reecording LED stopping as well.

So IMHO, since nothing is likely going to die on you here, I'd be leaning towards the cam which stays functional in the highest heat in real world conditions, as reported by those who own and use their cams in the extreme conditions. Studying that aspect you'll find a clear winner, well ahead of the others.

Phil
 

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Oh yeah...forgot about heat issues since the cam will be permanently fixtuated onto the windscreen where the car could be sitting in 40 degree heat celsius in the summer where the inside of the car would be even more than that....I hope the plastic or the window sticker thing doesnt melt and come undone.....and drop off....

So it looks like the main causes of overheating is recording in 2160p resolution....so we should all drop down to 1080p resolution to keep it cooled when driving in summer? Or have the air con on cool on full blast towards the cam to cool it off so it wouldnt shut down.....
 

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As long as the camera just sit there it should be fine, but no way in hell will you get much out of parking guard on such days.

Melting dashcams ( aside for a few freak fires caused by batteries i think ) have only been seen when people have used one of those heat shields you put in the windscreen while parked, and so trapping your dashcam in a even smaller and even hotter environment.
 
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