Author Topic: Dash Cams - Are they worth it? All seem to have terrible image quality.  (Read 2952 times)

Offline kenny1462

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 22
  • I NEED TO UPDATE MY SIGNATURE!!!
  • Body: SUV
  • Colour: Soul Red Metallic
  • Engine: 2.2L 150ps
  • Fuel: Diesel
  • Model Grade: SE-L Nav
  • Transmission: Manual
  • Year: 2016
I have been looking at Dash Cams with a view to putting one into my new CX-5 when I get one and I have looked at all of the UK reviews I can find as well as the footage available on youtube for each make.

The overall image quality seems terrible even on the so called "top end" models like the Nextbase 512G and the BlackVue DR650S-2CH 2-Channel.

In the promotional videos for both of these (the nextbase one was filmed on UK roads) when passing a parked car if you pause the video you can not make out the reg number which I would have thought is one of the things you NEED to clearly see.

Am I missing something here?

Offline BigAl

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 579
  • A CX5, a CX500B and a CX650C. Too CX'y...
  • Body: SUV AWD
  • Colour: Soul Red Metallic
  • Engine: 2.2L 175ps
  • Fuel: Diesel
  • Model Grade: Sport Nav
  • Transmission: Manual
  • Year: 2015
Re: Dash Cams - Are they worth it? All seem to have terrible image quality.
« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2016, 03:10:20 pm »
Kenny,

I have the above mentioned Blackvue, so have attached a couple of videos taken with it as links to Dropbox. These are from the front camera, set at full HD and 30fps. They aren't perfect, but are better than you see when viewing the videos back through the supplied software. You'll have to download them to view the full-res version rather than just watch via the link. One thing I found was that, with the sun in front, the reflection of the dash top speaker grill wipes out any detail. A polarising filter would probably cure that but Blackvue don't make one. I've been running this for about 18 months with the intention of fitting all our company cars with them, but won't be doing that as I've had too many issues with it. Its the third one I've had, the GPS has failed on two, and the memory card at 32MB records less than 24 hours with parking mode enabled. (You can fit 64GB now after a software update, plus record more by sacrificing frame rate or resolution.) The PC software is a bit clunky as well. The good thing about this camera is that its shape lends itself to fitting beneath the mirror mounting without sitting too low, although it doesn't have a screen. Just be careful, as I found there arent many places where a camera can go within the wiper sweep that won't be in your line of sight (especially, if like me, you are tall!)
https://www.dropbox.com/s/u9uqf02jje7txcj/20160919_122753_NF.mp4?dl=0
https://www.dropbox.com/s/a3509n7oj0ks7t7/20160720_141243_NF.mp4?dl=0

Alan

Offline kenny1462

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 22
  • I NEED TO UPDATE MY SIGNATURE!!!
  • Body: SUV
  • Colour: Soul Red Metallic
  • Engine: 2.2L 150ps
  • Fuel: Diesel
  • Model Grade: SE-L Nav
  • Transmission: Manual
  • Year: 2016
Re: Dash Cams - Are they worth it? All seem to have terrible image quality.
« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2016, 05:54:28 pm »
Hi BigAl

Many thanks for your reply and for the videos (really good of you and a great help).

I liked the look of the Blackvue because it seems to be sleek and not as obtrusive as those with a LED screen.

Let's be honest when you buy a brand new car the last thing you want is a honking great screen and a blob of a dash cam unit cluttering up your vision through the window screen. Plus as its brand new car there is the question of having your dash, A pillar and head lining pulled apart to fit the cables (would this affect your manufacturers warranty).

Seems to me that a lot of these companies (meaning the cheapo budget brands) are out to make a quick profit on the growing popularity of Dash Cams. I think the idea behind them is great as they would be a huge help if someone hits your car but I was shocked at how bad the video image was.

You need to be able to see everything clearly the most important of which has to be the Reg plate of a car. It's not as the technology does not exist as we know the police have it. My Phone can take much better video than some the cams on the market but Insurance Companies prefer Dash Cams.

I know Insurance company Adrian Fux has quite a range of eligible Dash Cams that would provide a discounted scheme through them and both Surething and Swift Cover will give discount if you have a Nextbase dashcam fitted but the footage I have seen from Nextbase is grainy and not exactly clear.


Offline BigAl

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 579
  • A CX5, a CX500B and a CX650C. Too CX'y...
  • Body: SUV AWD
  • Colour: Soul Red Metallic
  • Engine: 2.2L 175ps
  • Fuel: Diesel
  • Model Grade: Sport Nav
  • Transmission: Manual
  • Year: 2015
Re: Dash Cams - Are they worth it? All seem to have terrible image quality.
« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2016, 10:02:13 am »
Kenny,

One thing I didn't really address is whether its worth having one in the first place. Given my experience I'd say definitely as I do about 25k miles/year. As you probably realised, the clip with the HGV in the outside lane I'd saved to send to the company involved, which they were appreciative of. The one with the Porsche was one of a string as her driving got progressively worse over the next couple of miles, resulting in her nearly taking me out when she went tried to turn of onto a slip road from the outside lane  ::) I have one set of video from a road rage incident with another driver who decided that merge in turn didn't apply to him, drove up a path to cut me off and started ranting at me. Fortunately he was wearing a hi-viz jacket with his company name on it... He no longer works for them. Some clips can be quite entertaing - my son has a youtube channel with loads on.

Also realised that you were referring to the 650S; mine is its predecessor, the 650GW, so some of the points I made may well have been fixed. Whichever one you go for, I'd recommend http://www.carcamerashop.co.uk/ as a supplier, their service and support is excellent. Just note that yopu also need to get the powermagic unit if you want the camera to run in parking mode, plus upgrade to a 64GB card if you do.

Alan

Offline SimonB

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 2
  • I NEED TO UPDATE MY SIGNATURE!!!
  • Body: SUV AWD
  • Colour: Meteor Gray Mica
  • Engine: 2.2L 175ps
  • Fuel: Diesel
  • Model Grade: Sport Nav
  • Transmission: Automatic
  • Year: 2016
Re: Dash Cams - Are they worth it? All seem to have terrible image quality.
« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2016, 03:38:08 pm »
I have a MiVue 538, which is perhaps at the pricier end of the market, but it did well in reviews and felt it worth paying a little more for a quality unit. Like Alan, I found that a large SD card (128GB) was required to ensure that I got several days coverage which allowed for me forgetting to upload video that I wanted to save. I also disabled parking mode to get more capacity, and because my battery saver is set at 12.4V which meant I got little footage before it shutdown. I did a lot of research on the battery savers and battery life and came to conclusion that nearly all of them only allow up to 12V, which apparently is not great for batteries. I forgot which one I bought in the end but can probably go and find it.

Video quality looks comparable to Alan's (on the downloaded copy). A few times I have wanted to record registrations and have always been able to.

The unit has an LED screen, but this can be set to turn off shortly after power up. It is fixed just to the left of the rear view mirror, and I now forget it's there. I had it professionally installed (into a Freelander 2 - I am on this forum since I am considering a CX-5) and they located a connection point in the passenger footwell which meant only running the cable around the lining and the side of the dash, nothing had to be removed.

Last Thursday someone cut me up on a roundabout, causing me to emergency brake to a halt, resulting in the vehicle behind me hitting my rear. I of course wished that I had a rear dashcam, but I at least managed to record the idiot driver who cut me up. Whether the insurance companies will take it further is up to them, but I have piece of mind that incidents that occur in front of me will get recorded. There is so much bad driving these days that I feel better having it there.

It records location coordinates and speed, has an emergency recording feature, and parking mode. It can also work for a short period as a still camera, but I used my phone to record the accident details, as will most I imagine.

Be aware that car service centres dislike them, since it may record what they actually do after you hand your car over. So check after a service that it is still turned on and pointing in the right direction.

Offline SimonB

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 2
  • I NEED TO UPDATE MY SIGNATURE!!!
  • Body: SUV AWD
  • Colour: Meteor Gray Mica
  • Engine: 2.2L 175ps
  • Fuel: Diesel
  • Model Grade: Sport Nav
  • Transmission: Automatic
  • Year: 2016
Re: Dash Cams - Are they worth it? All seem to have terrible image quality.
« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2016, 01:10:01 pm »
Just to add to this, some users on the FL2 forum that I frequent are speaking highly of the Thinkware cameras (particularly the F750 and F770).

Offline kenny1462

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 22
  • I NEED TO UPDATE MY SIGNATURE!!!
  • Body: SUV
  • Colour: Soul Red Metallic
  • Engine: 2.2L 150ps
  • Fuel: Diesel
  • Model Grade: SE-L Nav
  • Transmission: Manual
  • Year: 2016
Re: Dash Cams - Are they worth it? All seem to have terrible image quality.
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2017, 05:10:03 pm »
Just to finish this topic off I went for a Thinkware F770
Front/Rear in the end.

Over all I am very pleased with the video quality.  ;D

Mazda CX-5 Forums

Re: Dash Cams - Are they worth it? All seem to have terrible image quality.
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2017, 05:10:03 pm »