Dash-cam advice | The Z Club of Great Britain

Dash-cam advice

Discussion in 'Anything and everything' started by Rob Gaskin, Nov 2, 2017.

  1. Rob Gaskin

    Rob Gaskin Membership Secretary Staff Member

    Hi folks, I'm seriously thinking of buying one of these.

    Can anyone recommend a particular model or give me some tips on what to consider when buying.

    Also can these be used as a method of recording track-day action or is that beyond their capability?

  2. Mr.F


    My 370Z came fitted with a BlackVue model and I have recently seen their front and rear system fitted to a customer's 300ZX. Work well, good picture quality and well respected units.
  3. Rob Gaskin

    Rob Gaskin Membership Secretary Staff Member

    Thanks Mike, what model is your's?

    Is it easily removable when parking and leave no tell-tale marks on the windscreen?

    Also does it operate automatically or do I have to switch it on each journey?

    As you can tell I'm a novice.
  4. Mr.F


    Both systems I have experience of are hard wired but could be unplugged and removed from their brackets. They are quite discrete so hardly seen up alongside the rear view mirror.
    Mine is DR380 or DR-400 - can't remember without taking it out. Older version so probably superceded by now...
    Operation is automatic but can be overridden e.g. for track day recording.
    More recent versions will Bluetooth recordings to your phone with appropriate app.

    From the manual:
    High-definition Video
    The BlackVue uses high quality mega-pixel lenses, which produce clear and sharp
    images even at night.
    Smartphone/PC Viewer
    The product comes with a PC viewer and applications for smartphones (running on
    Android). You can check images easily and customize various settings.
    Normal Recording
    The product makes a high-definition video recording of all the events while driving.
    Parking Mode Recording
    The product automatically shifts to the parking mode. If there is no movement of
    a vehicle for a certain period of time, the device automatically shifts to the parking
    mode; and if the movement of a vehicle continues, the parking mode becomes
    automatically deactivated. In the parking mode, only if the camera detects motion
    or an impact occurs, recording gets started. (The product is equipped with motion
    detection technology developed by Pittasoft, which specializes in IP cameras.)
    Event (G-sensor) Recording
    If the vehicle is given an impact, the G-sensor built in the BlackVue detects the
    impact and starts recording the event.
    Sound Recording
    The microphone built in the BlackVue records surrounding sounds while recording
    Check Images on Various Devices
    You can check recorded images on a variety of devices that can play MP4 files.
    Refined and Easy-to-Use Design
    The BlackVue with its sleek and cylindrical design makes the vehicle's interior look
    even better.
    In addition, you can easily adjust the camera angle so that it can record the inside
    of the car.
    Voice Guide
    The voice guide provides information about the current status of the BlackVue.
    GPS Driving Record GPS models only (DR380G-HD, DR400G-HD, DR400G-HD II )
    The built-in high-sensitivity GPS creates a record of the speed and location of the
    vehicle at the time of recording. You can check the driving records via BlackVue
    software. (when connected to the Internet)
  5. Rob Gaskin

    Rob Gaskin Membership Secretary Staff Member

    Great, thanks Mike.
  6. Dale

    Dale Committee Member

  7. Paul_S

    Z Club Member

    I have a RoadHawk Vision SuperHD WiFi dash cam (every now and then they publish a discount code so I got mine for £99 delivered).

    I had a cheap cam from Amazon before that (£35 without a card if I remember correctly) and that was fine, but it was quite large and it got in the way of the passenger sun visor - so it kept getting knocked out of alignment.

    The thing I like about the RoadHawk is that it's so small you can hide it behind the rear view mirror. That's thanks to the fact it has no screen. The clever thing is that you can install an app on your phone to view live video, download clips & stills, etc. You can still remove the card if you want to plug it into your PC but it's a neat thing to be able to do on the fly.

    I wrote a mini review here :)

    If you're not bothered about reading the review I would still recommend you have a look at the vid clip I uploaded at the end - some people are just asking for trouble :eek:
  8. Rob Gaskin

    Rob Gaskin Membership Secretary Staff Member

    Thanks guys. I 'nearly' bought a Nextbase 512 yesterday from Halfrauds. I get 10% discount there with my Benenden Health account. Anyway when the salesperson said that I needed to buy a mini SD card before it would work I decided to come home and look at some more reviews. However it seems that's the situation with most.

    I reckon one day dash-cams will be a feature of smartphones.

    Paul - is there anyway I can incorporate my rear view camera?
  9. uk66fastback

    Z Club Member

    Very informative review Paul ... I see the wire from it disappeared upwards somewhere? Down an A pillar to the 12v presumably ...

    Seems a compact little fella and really, WHY do you need a screen on one?
  10. Rob Gaskin

    Rob Gaskin Membership Secretary Staff Member

    I like the fact that the ones without a screen can be hidden out of view - like your's Paul and Mr F's.

    If you don't have a screen how do you know what you are deleting during 'housekeeping'?
  11. Mr.F


    Use app on mobile phone or remove SD card and use in a card reader on PC / laptop.
  12. Mr.F


  13. grahamjc

    grahamjc New Forum User

    I used to use the BlackVue 500 or 550 in the GTR as my track day cams. Brilliant bits of kit and excellent quality video. The only issue was the time frame on the camera and editing the segments together from a track day.

    For purely road use, highly recommended
  14. Jimbo

    Jimbo 1978 260z in yellow

    i have the next base 312gw and its ok, however the parking mode seems to be a bit of a con.
    you have to switch parking mode on so if you get bumped while parked up it will switch itself on and start recording which it doesnt do if parking mode isnt switched on!!
    annoyingly mine was wired in by halfords themselves and the camera only powers on once i switch the ignition on. my camera on the other hand thinks that the bang it felt when i opened and closed the dirvers door causes it to start recording in parking mode.
    the parking mode recordings only last for 30 seconds before switching itself back off.
    by this time i would allready have started my car and driven off so the entire journey goes unrecorded because it missed the signal from the igntion to start recording because its allready recording in parking mode triggered by my door opening and closing.

    this is a real problem!!
    the only way around would be for me to wire the camera into something that becomes live as soon as the car is unlocked so is triggered to switch itself on in normal mode before i open the door and trigger the parking mode.
    another thing is 32g memory cards only seem to last around a year in these cameras before going corrupt.
    and make sure its not charging all the time as it knackers the internal batteries as i found out that fords cigerette lighters are live all the time as opposed to my bmw i had before.
  15. Rob Gaskin

    Rob Gaskin Membership Secretary Staff Member

    Thanks Jimbo - what a pain!
  16. Rob Gaskin

    Rob Gaskin Membership Secretary Staff Member

    Well I made my decision and I bought 4 NextBase units from Halfords. I bought myself a 512 and each of my kids a 212. Of course I needed SD cars but I bought those ( SanDisk) from Asda.

    The main reason I used Halfords is that the store is very 'handy' and I get 10% discount. I couldn't get the ones Paul or Mike have from Halfords and I don't want issues with online sales if I have problems.

    Jimbo - I'll report back on the 'parking mode' problem. That did concern me but I may disable that - it's accidents whilst driving that I mainly bought them for. I have heard of many incidents where a camera would have (or has been) very useful.

    Two incidents have happened to me whilst I've been making my mind up - an old guy in a Volvo estate just pulled straight out in front of me (in my Xtrail) because he thought I was turning! I can only assume because I was driving slowly (dangerous junction and had it happen a few times) he assumed (no signal!) that I was turning left. Secondly someone waiting to pull out of a side turning on my right waited until I was right at the junction and then pulled out. It was a dual carriageway and I was in the right hand lane, filtered for a fork in the road 20 yds away. I swerved to the left lane (empty) and as I looked at the car it had a 'P' plate on the bonnet. That was a close call.
  17. Rob Gaskin

    Rob Gaskin Membership Secretary Staff Member

    Jimbo, is this what your instructions say? (I printed instructions for reference).

    7. Parking Mode
    When Parking Mode has been turned on, the Dash Cam enters standby mode when the
    12Vdc supply has been turned OFF (typically removing your ignition key).
    The Dash Cam will also enter standby mode if no physical movement is detected for 5
    minutes, this is designed to allow use of a permanent 12Vdc supply, i.e hard-wire kit.
    Should physical movement of the vehicle be detected, the Dash Cam will power on and
    start recording a 2 minute protected video. If no further physical movement is detected
    then The Dash Cam will return to standby mode, if physical movement is detected
    subsequently, then the camera will continue to record normally, i.e. driving once more.

    Options: On and Off
    Default Setting: Off
  18. Huw

    Z Club Member

    Been quite impressed with NexrBase customer service. Had a cheap 112 version for many years. Battery failed couple of weeks ago. Just stopped holding charge. It was well out side the warranty but contacted them anyway. They sent me a prepaid bag to send it back to them in. They had a look but couldn’t fix it so offered me a replacement at less than half price for being a loyal customer. Ok the camera is a base model and been superseded, but I got a new camera and full 12 month warranty. Can’t argue with that.

  19. Jimbo

    Jimbo 1978 260z in yellow

    kind of.
    the trouble is when in parking mode the opening and closing of the door triggers the parking mode emergency recording in protected mode.
    once its finished a 2 min or whatever it is cycle it turns itself back to standby and isn't recording.

    I've already set off before all this happens hence why i have issues with using it.
    i think if you could supply 12v to it as soon as you unlock the door that would solve the problem as it switches the camera on normally when it gets 12v supply.
    trouble is ive slammed the door shut before i turn on the ignition :rolleyes:
    the 512 is supposed to be the better camera so please let me know how you get on with it rob.

    one more thing make sure you check the card contents once every few months.
    mine went corrupt on me the other month and only found out when i checked the camera for some footage i wanted and it wasn't there:(
  20. Paul Henley

    Paul Henley
    Z Club Member

    Just bought 2 of the Nextbase 512G's from Argos for Xmas for my 2 sons following the good internet reviews.

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