Warm greetings from France

Montecristo

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Hello guys,
I just purchased a 70MAI A800S (+ rear view + hardwire kit).
I admit it was quite an uneducated purchase as I hardly have any knowledge regarding dashcams.
I guess the most important is to make the first step...And this is where I come asking for your guidance - started reading a few of your threads and they have heaps of useful information.

I also modestly hope to gain more knowledge in the field of electricity - I may start from very low so I hope you will kindly bear with me !

Stay and drive safe,
Montecristo.
 

SawMaster

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Welcome to DCT @Montecristo :)

You could have done much worse than the A800S. The front cam is great considering the cost, however the rear cam is the opposite. But you don't often need perfect images from the rear so it should be good enough. The one thing this cam lacks is a decent parking mode, but again you don't get what you don't pay for and the A800 is a budget-friendly cam.

If you have any questions do not hesitate to ask; most members here are very friendly and willing to help (y)

Phil
 

kamkar

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Salut Montecristo.
Welcome to the forum
 
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Montecristo

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Thank you all for your warm welcome, merci (y)

You could have done much worse than the A800S.

Phil

Thanks Phil !
Frankly speaking, I was a bit naive with my purchase. Jumped on it during a sale on "Aliexpresso" based on shallow generic reviews. Thought that for this price I would still have a decent parking/surveillance mode...Thanks to you guys, I realize now this was a bad guess with the A800S :dead:! But hey no regrets, at least it is a budget-friendly first foot in the waters of dashboard cameras.

Kind regards,
Montecristo.
 

SawMaster

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IMHO, the front cam performance while driving is worth the whole price- you can't get any better vid quality at that price, and the handful which are better don't surpass it by a lot. But it seems that 70mai just isn't interested in user or owner input about their cams, and FW upgrades and bug fixes are minimal. It is a popular cam because of the front performance anyway- that is what you are most likely to need.

Parking modes in dashcams are varied in how they function, and in how well they work. Most do not "pre-buffer" and save some recording before they activated, so often by the time the cam starts recording the culprit is gone from view. Pre-buffering is not needed for "low bitrate" parking modes, as they are recording constantly but in a lower video quality to save card wear and to help the cam processor stay cool. "Time-lapse" is similar but can offer higher-quality pics, just fewer of them.

"Motion detect" does not work well in most cams- I'd only trust it ibn a few. And in most cams it either doesn't activate or activates too much. "G-sensor" is much the same- not reliable in most cams. So for good parking mode use, you're going to have to do some research on what a cam has available and in how well it works.

Because of how all this works, most of us who have "low bitrate" available for parking in our cams are now using that. IMHO it's the only truly reliable method.

Phil
 
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Montecristo

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Thank you very much Phil for this great summary - the different concepts related to parking mode are now very clear to me (I hadn't the faintest idea about them).

Perhaps it is useless, but I was thinking if there exist a "Low Bitrate + Buffered (whether G-force or motion triggered)" mode ?
Meaning that the low-bitrate constant recording would be complemented by event-triggered high-rate recordings.

Thank you,
M
 

kamkar

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I use low bitrate and have G-- sensor on when parked, this is my preferred way to do parking mode.
 
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Montecristo

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I use low bitrate and have G-- sensor on when parked, this is my preferred way to do parking mode.

Tusind tak, Kamkar ; may I ask with which dashcam model do you use for such configuration ?
Could you confirm this means you have a low bitrate recording + (as case may be), even-triggered recording in higher bitrate ?
And sorry for this general and vague question, but is there a hint or tip (software ?) which helps verifying a low bitrate recording ? That makes hours of recording, potentially tedious without any clue.

Thank you,
M
 

kamkar

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Using parking guard are also something new to em, only last year did a brand provide the hard wire kit for a camera they sent to me.
So for about a year i have used parking guard on the Street guardian SG9663DR, but i have now changed to use parking guard on the Viofo A139 system they sent to me a little while ago.

I only use parking guard for 1 hour ( on a timer in the camera ) this cover all my shopping and at home i have cctv on my car where it is parked.

In the SG camera the low bitrate recordings are just among the regular recordings, but the files are easy to spot on the PC as they are just 118 MB in size where as normal recording files are 350 MB in size ( for 3 minute files )
Last year when i got the SG camera i made a test with the car parked and using low bitrate, as i was not sure low bitrate would be good enough to capture plates on cars passing by, but that was no problem at all.


I have only tested G - sensor activation in my car on the SG model, but as i recall it dont change to normal bitrate as that would mean the camera would have to stop and change recording mode and so some seconds would be lost, so the files the G - sensor lock in the RO ( Read Only ) folder are just low bitrate too.
I would assume the A139 do the same
Low bitrate are regular video files with sound and everything, just they are in low bitrate to make the files take up less room on the memory card.
When driving and pressing the event button ( i do not use G sensor when driving as that is bad ) then the camera of course record in regular bitrate.

Both cameras can also record time lapse in parking mode, as i recall with 1-2-5-10 FPS, but then the files have no sound, and i assume the G - sensor if activated would just lock those away and so you would have no regular video after a accident in the parking lot only time lapse.

As i recall the A139 put the low bitrrate files in a folder named parking, so they are not among the regular files and so even more easy to find.
But as use small icon + file info when i browse a folder on my PC so also very easy to see what files are parking as i can see the size of the files while i scroll down thru the recordings.


Yes if you use parking guard a lot, it would be good to have G - sensor on to lock a actual event, and so act as kind of a beacon too, but there is a downside the G - sensor are not super sensitive so a person could key the whole side of your car and the sensor would not feel that, but then low bitrate would always be recording so it will see that, but then you will have to see the scratch to know.
Either camera do not give a warning when you get back to the car if there have been a event, this is a problem with most cameras i think but some do give a warning as i understand, and that is how it should be.

With the SG9663DR it is a must that you mount the remote unit on something solid so G - events can be picked up by it, i just have mine lying in the car so i can kick wheels and nothing happen, but drop a match stick on the unit and the G - sensor will feel that.
Other types are not having that "problem" as they generally mount on the windscreen glass, which are solid attached to the rest of the car, so shocks from other places of the car can travel to the G sensor to be picked up.

The low bitrate files are not locked so in time when the card is full they will get deleted to make room for new recordings, but having a sufficient large memory card will help with that.
I use 256GB cards in my regular cameras, and 128 + 64 GB cards for camera i test ( too expensive for a pension to buy large memory cards for testing memory card compatibility )
 

SawMaster

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I don't know of a cam which couples motion detect with low-bitrate, but some might have g-sensor acti8ve too- I really don't know. Before low-bitrate recording became common I used to just let the cam record constantly. Not something I recommend as it voids warranties and is very tough on the cam, but it was the only way to be certain of not missing an event. Especially with battery-equipped cams like the A800 constant recording can kill the cam quickly, sometimes in as little as 2 months.

No cam is going to have everything, so you've got to figure out what you want then find a cam which gives you the most of those things. That can be tough to do as many of the advertised functions may not do what they should. Motion detect and g-sensor are advertised for almost all cams, but are often either too sensitive or not sensitive enough if they actually work at all. And then how they are implemented matters. One cam has a 'radar' motion detect which works almost perfectly, but once it activated it is about 20 seconds before recording begins, which makes the function useless. There will be a delay before recording with any cam which is not pre-buffered ranging from around 1 1/2 seconds to 5 seconds. The shorter time is probably good enough but in 3 seconds the car which hit yours can be driving off with it's plate no longer in the view of the cam.

From reports I've seen the A800 seems to have a usable g-sensor for parking but has too long a delay before recording. It's better than nothing but far from ideal. There are much better cams for parking protection but they will cost more- sometimes a lot more. Should you decide that you want to upgrade to one of those you can find accurate information here on DCT. Reviews and reports found elsewhere may be biased or not in depth, Amazon reviews are noted for that. There are many knowledgable folks here who will quickly find and point out inaccurate information so you can generally trust what you find here on DCT. I was lucky in finding DCT before I bought my first cam- I was about to make a serious mistake in choice but the good folks here led me to the cam I needed. I now try to do the same for others.

Phil
 
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Montecristo

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Thank you very much Kamkar, Phil.
You have already shared plentiful information which helps me much in understanding what can be reasonably expected from dashcams.
(Regarding my question on low bitrate, I think that I made the assumption that low bitrate = low resolution, which I realize is not accurate or as simple).

I am going to hone my knowledge with the the A800S and hopefully explore next options in due time thanks to you all.

Enjoy the weekend !
M
 

kamkar

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No resolution remain the same, and it is also true bitrate have a say in image detail, so in essence the faster or more movement in a video the higher bitrate you would like to resolve all that information.
But with my test i was pleasant surprised i must say, and i never park near traffic going faster, the general Danish town speed are 50 km/h, but larger roads can have 60 or 70 km/h speed limits, but then most often you can not park at the side of such roads.

Bitrate are also a bit low in dashcams, it is a trade off as higher bitrate also mean more heat generated, so the low bitrate for parking mode are the newest way to combat heat generation if the car are parked in the sun on a hot day, cuz electronics will only go so high in temperature before the camera will shut itself down due to high heat.
This heat issue are also often seen in new action cameras, granted with much higher bitrates ( 5 X higher / 100 mbit ) but both the last couple of gopro and also my dji osmo action camera, are not super happy recording really long videos, not least if there is no airflow across the camera.

You should never go below 1080p in resolution, there are still a lot of cheap 720p cameras around, as there is also false 4K cameras.

We are always here to answer more questions.
 
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Montecristo

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Hello Kamkar - thank you for your additional insight, I expect to follow closely the temp behavior of the A800s, especially given the fact it has a battery rather than a capacitor.
Haven't wired the dashcam yet, hope that the hardwiring questions I posted in the forum related section are worth considering by the experienced forum members.

Cheers !
M
 

kamkar

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While driving are probably no problem as long as the battery hold it together, with the battery cameras i think most of the degradation of the battery happen when the car is parked.
Some battery cameras also last longer than others, i assume here too there are cheap batteries and then there are expensive batteries, and everything in between.
 
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