What's best small (no LCD) dashcam?

SjConnor

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I was ready to buy BlackVue DR590 but reviews stated it's not really worth the money because performance is not that great. At $150 it's not that expensive, but I just want something as small as possible. I don't need GPS (why do people need GPS on dashcams?)
Thanks in advance everyone.
 

SawMaster

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Welcome to DCT :D

Still hard to beat a Mobius with supercaps in daytime; battery version will do in cooler climates, night vids are not so good when compared to today's better cams. The Gitup F1 is quite nice but doesn't have supercaps so is currently unsuitable for hot climates but they are working on a cap-equipped version. A decent basic cam is the B1W. Or if the form-factor is suitable the WR1 is good but further development is doubtful.

So there's a short list of candidates which might be suitable for you :) "Best" is a superlative word- base your decisions on your specific needs and planned uses as all cams have their good and not-so-good points, so what is best for one might not be for another ;)

Phil
 
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SjConnor

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Thanks for the amazing detailed and super fast reply.
B1W looks really good at first sight, I don't think WR1 is worth the gamble since it seems to have a lot issues and to be honest I like the cylindrical shape of B1W / Blackvue style and the $50'ish tag is nice, but the video quality looks a bit jagged in this video:

I really don't mind the battery powered ones but I prefer actual dashcam instead of Mobius or other action cam type cameras.

I am planning to use Power Magic Pro to hardwire so that it can turn on and record while parked when necessary. I do wish the cameras still came with internal battery, though. but since I would still wire them for cleaner install, the only added expense & hassle is adding voltage protector in between.

It seems like blackvue's are not highly recommended due to extremely high cost and quality not being in line with the amount paid for them.
I will check B1W forums to see how reliable it is, I just wish there was a better quality version.

I still like 119's picture quality it seems like the most recommended camera these days.
Thanks again, if you can think of other cylinder shaped cams, please let me know. I also like the fact that it has a very small footprint on windshield with small black mount.

Oh and thanks a bunch for the warm welcome!
 

SawMaster

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As I often say, you don't get what you don't pay for. The B1W is a budget-level cam so you can't expect top-level performance from it though you do get a lot for your money. If the vid quality is good enough for you, it's low price lets you add a rear cam or equip a second car for nearly the same price as one really good cam :)

The Korean cams usually have good build quality and many features but are lacking in design development and often in vid quality as well. For the video quality they offer most folks consider them overpriced. Getting a tooth pulled is more fun than dealing with their customer service :( BlackVue has the DR750S and the DR590. Thinkware has the F50 and the F770 (not tubular but a similar front profile). None are outright bad choices, just bad bargains IMHO.

The Innovv C5 is a motorcycle cam but the remote lens has a very small footprint. The Mini 9096 dual-channel uses a tubular form factor though in a larger diameter. You might also consider using the rear unit from a dual-channel cam with the main unit mounted elsewhere. And while Mobius is indeed an action cam, it is different from all the others in also being easily configurable to dashcam use without any compromise of the functions dashcam users want. The GitUp F1 is very similar save that it is a newer design with a better sensor and more capable processor. I can see this one eating into Mobius sales once the cap version emerges. GitUp is the action-cam branch of Viofo who makes the A119 cams. And of those, the A119 and A119S(Sony sensor for better low-light performance) are among the best dashcams made today. Lots of value with these, and the 'wedge' design actually hides well from the ouside in most cars :cool:

Street Guardian offers the SG9663DC with a wedge primary cam and a small remote. Unlike most other dual-channel units both cams give excellent vids. They are soon to come out with a dual-remote cam that will probably be the most discreet 2ch dashcam made. They are a little pricey but offer great performance, continuous development, and unmatched customer service :D

With so many choices available it can be tough to decide among them all :confused: Make a list of the features you want and arrange them in order of their importance to you. Compare the list against the available cams keeping in mind that none of them will likely give you everything you want. Once you get down to a few choices compare the vid performance and reported user experiences. By then the best cam for you will emerge as a clear choice. There are more good cams at good prices than there were even just a few years ago and while it makes decisions tougher, that can only be a good thing for us!

Phil
 
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SjConnor

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My priority is (at least for now) getting something as discreet as possible. Not because I want to hide it from others but just to avoid ugly block from being visible from in and outside.

I definitely prefer something with power Jack on top or using one with elbow connector so it goes up instead of side.

I don't really need GPS, I don't even know why people want it, speed or location is not important to me. Maybe people use it for speed traps or speed camera detection? Any other benefits? I would really love to be notified of speed cameras but since these require manual updates, it want make it too convenient.

I actually like the A119 v2, the shape is good even though it's big, quality is nice too but the wifi connection of the smaller ones sound really convenient.

I don't mind paying for a reliable and decent quality (don't need 4k or some gimmicky features like lane assist, etc) but like you said you don't always get what you pay for in case of dashcams.

For rear, it's not too important, worst case I can get two as I didn't want to wire from front to rear.

I just want something reliable, and let's me know if it's not recording or if there is problem with SD card.

Sounds like 119 v2 is nice. They fixed the GPS mount connector pins. Followed by B1W.

I will definitely check the others you mentioned but does blackvue actually have the reputation of being reliable ?
 

Matt_V939

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Those wedge shaped are really discreet (A118/119). Also because they look "less" dashcamera than others, (including tubular IMHO)
 

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A119 Pro, Mio Mivue 508 for the work van
The A119's power port I'm sure is on the side, not the top, In the photos below is my A118c, it's not too noticeable, and from inside you barely even remember its there at all, I have the extra cable casing on as well so from inside in the drivers seat it just looks like part of the mirror.. GPS was an optional add on, I had it (for the sake of playing with it on Registrator Viewer)

1.jpg

2.jpg

3.jpg
 
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SjConnor

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Thanks guys, it sounds like I'll go with 119 V2.
DPR, thanks for the pics, I think adding GPS gives you top connector vs side on the cam itself.

What exactly does GPS give you other than speed on video? Also no wifi on Vaifo cams is wifi really that useful?
 

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Wedge cameras are quite stealthy, and them having a screen have little to do with their actual size.
The screen will typical go dark after some seconds after you set off from home.

Other than speed stamped in footage the GPS can let you track your path on a map with dedicated dashcam player.

Wifi are meaningless on cameras with a screen, ATM setting up camera are really all its good for.
 

SawMaster

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Wifi on today's cams isn't what you'd expect compared to other devices. DL'ing a one minute clip to your phone or the cloud might take 3-5 minutes or more. :eek: It's really only sufficient for doing the settings on screenless cams and grabbing the current pic to help with aiming :rolleyes: Most of us pop the card into a PC or an OTG cable-equipped phone for viewing or saving files.

With the A119 or A119S in front and a B1W in back you have what I feel is the best bang-for-your-buck that you can get with today's dashcams ;) Get Samsung Evo Plus cards fulfilled by Amazon in the sizes you want and you'll be good-to-go for a long time :cool:

Phil
 

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Having GPS also means the time and date are set (providing you have the correct time-zone for your location), and it also plugs in the top on the A118c. Mine didn't show the speed stamped on video playback though which I actually liked, only when using RV where it shows the mapped journey
 

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Viofo A139. A129+. SGGCX2. GitUp.
You can think about Viofo WR1 which is also with Sony IMX323.

enjoy,
Mtz
 

magistrfet

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Thinkware f50/f70 is simple but korean dashcam. Last f70 will be with sony starvis imx291.
Small and portable dashcam. But main - low defective rate when mostly china dvrs
 

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Not agree. Standard quality for low budget korean dashcam. Not so good but not bad. For this price -$90 it's good. Also have compact size and more smaller when a119 viofo. B1w has nice price but its so low budget camera and i dont think what it has low defective rate and. Its china 3d manufacturer dashcam.
Wr1 is not produce now like I know.
F70 only announcement, so here will be imx291 and more compact size, so I think its more high price but more better.
 

magistrfet

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B1W has better video than Thinkware F50, would hope the F70 is better
Maybe...dont know because not seen direct compare...maybe u can provide link? Thanx...
but...not correct compare only via picture quality. Herr is defective rate, functions, design, brand promo, hardware, stable working and etc...
I agree - f50 not best and i hope f70 will be better. But for me example more important stability, defectuve rate and warranty when other. Maybe not only for me.
 

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Too many ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Maybe...dont know because not seen direct compare...maybe u can provide link? Thanx...
but...not correct compare only via picture quality. Herr is defective rate, functions, design, brand promo, hardware, stable working and etc...
I agree - f50 not best and i hope f70 will be better. But for me example more important stability, defectuve rate and warranty when other. Maybe not only for me.

there's links already on the forum for video samples, the B1W is too new to know about defective rate and warranty issues but the video is far superior to the Thinkware F50, video performance is something people judge you on straight away, things like warranty they don't think about unless it becomes a problem
 

kamkar

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Yes B1W are a nice little camera, my biggest gripe wit it so far is some dropped frames, but i think this are to be fixed with firmware.
Mine are still on the windscreen, but with new cameras coming i may have to relocate it to the rear window, but i am not quite done with that little sucker yet.

I wish some one would do a barrel camera but put the lens in the end of the barrel, that could potentially be the camera with the smallest footprint on the windscreen.
Like a micro version of the old contour action cameras, it should also allow for designing a simple but still sturdy mount.

And to this day it always ensure i am smiling when i leave my car as the B1W say " system going down" when shutting down :giggle:
 

SawMaster

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Well at least there's several cams fitting the OP's needs. Not so many years ago there would be about two cams doing that :rolleyes:

I've seen some cams with the lens on the end at BG and GB. I don't think the form-factor would be good as the protruding tube would interfere wih sun visors or the RVM. As side cams they would be bumped into by passengers. Mounting would be a problem too. Tube cams with the lens on the side avoid those problems and are relatively discreet as they don't look like a cam to most people. Mobius and F1 have a short enough side-profile to do OK and the WR1 excels there though at the cost of it's bigger frontal footprint. It seems the best solution will always be a remote lens which uses the minimum size possible or a cam integrated into an existing sensor housing ;)

The B1W would be near-perfect if it had better IQ, but that would come with a higher price. It's a simple basic cam designed for the masses and IMHO is already adequate or better in every regard save for audio (I'm still not caught up with the latest there). When you consider it against similar-priced cams it's a clear winner :) If you want more or better you'll have to spend more to get it- nothing new about that :rolleyes: There is some trade-off in day/night IQ with the IMX322/323 sensor many cams now use but I think its worth it considering how poorly the older cams did in low-light. Other than Mobius I'm done with AR0330 cams now because of that one thing alone :cool:

As always the perfect cam isn't out there and never will be. You can still get most of what you want in one cam or another though, and that's a good thing (y)

Phil
 
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