Which 2CH dashcam should I buy? Thinkware Q800 PRO, BlackVue DR900S, BlackVue DR750S, or different one?

VicVicVic

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Hello. I have never used a dashcam, but am absolutely certain I will purchase one in 2019. I want a 2-channel dashcam, as in a front-facing camera and a rear-facing camera.
  • In 2019, Thinkware released the Q800 PRO, a 2K dashcam that is $383.99 at BlackBoxMyCar for the 2-channel setup. (Price show is $399.99 - 4% coupon.)
  • In 2018, BlackVue released the DR900S, a 4K dashcam that I have seen at a historical low of $350 at Drop.com (formerly known as Massdrop).
  • In 2017, BlackVue released the DR750S, a 1080p dashcam that I have seen at a historical low of $275 at Drop.com.
Between these three, which would you recommend? I am definitely also open to other recommendations, as I have learned a lot from the experts here over the years.

A bit about what I'm looking for:
  • My main reason for a dashcam is for recording evidence, just in case there is a road incident.
  • Reliability is of the utmost important.
  • Also important: A "set-it-and-forget-it" ease of use, especially because the primary driver is my significant other, who I do not want to put in extra work and she does not care for consumer electronics.
  • I do not want the dash cam to be charged via the cigarette lighter receptacle, if possible, because I use that to charge two smartphones every time I drive.
  • Smart features are nice to have, but not necessary. (As an example, if there are two similar dashcams, but one has smart features and the other does not, I'm willing to pay around $50 more for the smart features.)
  • I'm in the San Francisco Bay Area of the US, so heat issues will not be a problem.
  • My budget is approximately $350, but can push for up to $400, if there is justification.
Thank you!
 
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kamkar1

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You cant do set and forget, at least it is not recommended though some brands do claim that.
But at least the models you are looking at are newer ones, so they will sound a alarm if something are not right.

The new Q800 PRO sound interesting, personally i am eager to see what it can do, but as of now no one know but given the brand it cant be half bad.
The DR900S i would not touch, next generation will be better i am sure.
The DR750S are often recommended over the 900S as it have better low light performance and no thermal problems.

It don't sound like you have a focus on the "smart" features the Thinkware or Blackvue cameras offer, so you should also consider brands like Street Guardian and others.
 
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VicVicVic

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You cant do set and forget, at least it is not recommended though some brands do claim that.
But at least the models you are looking at are newer ones, so they will sound a alarm if something are not right.

The new Q800 PRO sound interesting, personally i am eager to see what it can do, but as of now no one know but given the brand it cant be half bad.
The DR900S i would not touch, next generation will be better i am sure.
The DR750S are often recommended over the 900S as it have better low light performance and no thermal problems.

It don't sound like you have a focus on the "smart" features the Thinkware or Blackvue cameras offer, so you should also consider brands like Street Guardian and others.
Thank you for responding!

Yeah, it seems like the DR900S is a bit problematic and a lot of people seem to recommend the DR750S over it, even without price being a factor. I may take the DR900S out of contention.

I understand that maybe set-and-forget isn't always gonna work out, but I guess what I'm looking for is reliability and not having to tinker with the product.

Are there other specific dash cams, such as a Street Guardian one, that you'd recommend? Thanks.
 

kamkar1

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With higher end dashcams the memory card are pretty much always the weakest link, and even the best brand / model memory card can fail, and as i personally learned 2 times it can die amazing fast.
But as i said thats not a issue with modern cameras, in the old days your only bet was to look over the recordings on the memory card now and then ( still recommended to do ) and spend 10 minutes or so on the computer with the memory card in a card reader.
10 minutes are about what i use looking over a 128 GB memory card to see is drive sessions start / end in places that seem normal, and after that i sample some random files in the same way, so just see if file can launch in the generic windows 10 media player, + a few seconds of play for my brain to detect the place the video are recorded )
you of course don't have to look at every second of footage recorded, that would take about 16 hours for a 128GB memory card.
Inspection like this every 2-3 months should be fine.

My driving sessions pretty much always start / end : where i live - my friends house - my sisters house - my mothers place - the 2 places where i do my shopping.
So if a session suddenly start way down the road from where you live or come often, or in the middle of some road, thats reasons for concern, the dashcam should boot and start recording in seconds, so drive sessions should start in a familiar place.

If you PM ( start conversation ) with Street Guardian USA in here Jon will be able to advise, but models like SG9663DCPRO and SGGCX2PRO are fine dual channel systems, if you buy direct you will also save the Amazon fee, both places you register online for 2 year warranty on camera and if you go that way also the memory card bundled with camera.
And no of the other brands match Street Guardian in customer care and support, most hours of the day issues / questions in here about SG models will have a RPLY time ( form the boss himself or retailer ) in measured in minutes
 
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VicVicVic

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Thanks again, kamkar1.

Most of my research was just trying to figure out which dash cams to buy, so your suggestion on checking the memory card is excellent. I do know that I should get endurance-type cards meant for dash cams and devices that record on a loop. And I definitely will get a brand name SD card and buy from a reputable retailer, as I know there are counterfeit ones.

I have seen Jon of Street Guardian get recommended by others, so I'm considering that route. Thank you.
 

kamkar1

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Yes endurance cards are good as they have warranty for dashcam use, some of the cards SG bundle with might not be endurance but SG do a 2 year warranty along with the camera.
In the old days endurance cards was a lot more expensive, but now they are clearly a good option to consider ( PT i am testing the new Kingston endurance card that when i got it was cheapest endurance card here )
But all the major brands have endurance cards or cards thats OK with dashcam use,,, just some times that info can be a little hard to resolve.
 

kamkar1

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Blackvue and thinkware cameras can be a little fuzzy on what memory cards they like, SG do their best to make cameras that work with all or most memory cards in all sizes, if you want you should be able to run 400 - 512 GB memory cards in your SG product
 
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