meathead1 wrote:I would imagine if I took a camera in to, say, Best Buy or FutureShop, they would be able to wire it up like that? Or am I way out on this?
Any place that does car audio installations would probably do it, but I bet it would cost as much as the camera. You've already got power to the mirror right? I don't think it'd be that hard, especially with some tech guidance from Ryan P.
Installing it after I pick it up on Monday. I will let you know if it lives up to all the hype... I like the fact that it also has a 'rear camera' which simultaneously records all the traffic behind you car, not just the front traffic you're approaching.
Also, with a park mode, it will record any movements/G Shocks applied to your vehicle while the car is off (front and rear).
Huge price tag, but having just bought some new wheels, it's worth it to me. Compare it to what people are paying for after market alarm systems...
Aberdee wrote:A Go Pro seems to be your best bet. A few friends of mine have them. Very easy to use, great vid and sound. Controllable record time thought he SDcard you place into it. It was a sleek device. One guy using it is 60 years old. Cant understand computers but gets a go pro.... Mounts it to his truck, but also his dirt bike when riding.
I have a GoPro that I have used as a dashcam, but...
- no GPS, so no speed data on your camera
- the looping video settings on my 3+ are odd and I have yet to figure them out
- the cases it comes with have no opening over the USB port so you can't charge the camera unless you modify the case (otherwise, it'll last maybe 2 hours on a charge)
- you need to buy a good suction mount system as the GoPro doesn't come with one ($30-50)
- the GoPro is a fair bit more expensive than most dedicated dash cams
- the GoPro is a major attention-getter to bad guys who want to break into your car to steal it (unless you remove it from your windshield each time you get out of the car)
- no screen on the back (most models) so you don't know what the camera is seeing unless you link it to your smartphone or whatever
- I don't find the night video very good on GoPros. The lens is fairly small so night vids are pretty dark.
It might work will in some circumstances, but IMHO won't replace a dedicated dashcam.
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There are newer versions of the camera out now, but this one is pretty decent.
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Since you drive a tow truck, I imagine the sudden braking is an even bigger challenge than in most vehicles.
I recently picked up a G1W (1080p HD dash cam), and have caught some really bad drivers.
The funny thing is most of these "accidents" could be avoided if people followed the rules of the road, put down their cellphones, and paid attention.
mark y wrote:I have a DOD LS430W dash cam coming this week ($260 @ FutureShop). From what I can see it's been consistently highly rated for a couple years now. I'll let you know how it work out.
DOD's are really good cams. I've had an LS300w for a while and haven't had any issues. Great quality too.
They had a guy on dashcamtalk order an ebay unit to pull it apart and review. From the outside, it looked BETTER than the authentic camera. On the inside, it was made with such flaky hardware it almost renders the camera inoperable.
- excellent, smooth video
- very good colour balance and light sensitivity, without lens 'flaring' at night when headlights hit it
- very good dynamic range
- Fairly small, but a reasonably good screen on the back so you can see what you're aiming at
- very good suction mount (it really sucks!). Also comes with an adhesive mount
- super-long power cord, easily routed across the headliner, down the A pillar, under the dash, and to a 12v socket (still 2' to spare, too)
- Also comes with a USB (standard to mini) cable for computer sync, and even comes with an HDMI cable so you can play directly to your TV or monitor if you are so inclined.
- pretty good program that comes with it (works on PC and Mac) that shows the video, your speed, a GPS-based map of where you were when the video was shot, and a few other items.
- sound recording is horrible (but I mute mine anyway). The mic must be the lowest quality one available.
- menu is a bit hard to figure out at first, and the manual is not very detailed
- too many icons on the screen make for a very busy display, though it does show all the critical settings at a glance.
- The buttons are not well designed. The power button and record/pause button are side by side on the top, and the power button turns the unit off with any touch of the button (you don't have to hold the power button for 2 seconds or anything - it goes off right away), so that has led me to turn off the power accidentally a few times. Fortunately, boot-up is very quick (a couple seconds).
- Rear buttons are impossible to read without very good light, or feel. The "save" button that manually saves a segment of video, is right by a couple other buttons so it's very easy to press the wrong one. Likewise, the right-side buttons on the back are the same, so it's very easy to mute/unmute audio, adjust the exposure value, etc. You can't go into the menu while it's recording, which is a good thing.
- case is a bit plastic-y and not the most rugged thing built, that's for sure, but it's acceptable.
I have not played with the motion-detect mode (made for when your vehicle is parked), nor have I fine-tuned the shock sensor.
However, given what I've seen so far and the price now under $200, I'd buy another one. The night-time video is absolutely excellent. Way better than my GoPro 3+. You get almost no flare from oncoming headlights and it's even good in the rain at night. I was really surprised how good the dynamic range is and also the light sensitivity. It can see at least as well as I see at night, which is impressive for a camera, and the video doesn't appear to be grainy during darker video.
Once something interesting happens in front of my vehicle, I'll post some video. My only wish is that it was weatherproof so I could use it on my motorcycle, which I may yet do if there is no chance of rain.
**EDIT Dec 30 - You cannot cut the lighter plug off the power cord and connect it directly to 12v power. It'll damage the camera. You can probably guess how I found this out. The lighter plug outputs 5v to the camera which is what the camera runs on. Sending 12v to it is not good. We'll see how good the DOD tech support is now, I guess...
I bought both from geekbuying.com for around $50.00. Never had an issue with either and the daytime video quality is excellent; night time is still very good.
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