Car DVR (Edit - found one)

Ok you’ve probably seen those videos clips on YouTube. Most recently capturing the small asteroid 17 meters in diameter and weighing 10 thousand metric tons breaking apart 12 miles above the Earth’s surface over the Ural Mountains over Russia on February 26, 2013.

Supposedly these little onboard cameras are pretty popular especially in Asia & Europe. So why aren’t we seeing more of them here? Who cares. All I know is that want one.

So who’s got one and if you do have one what are some of the features you like about it or some of the features you could do without?

****EDIT - September 23, 2013****

Thanks for all the suggestions, info, links, & personal experiences. I just pulled the trigger on this one:

Mini 0801 Ambarella A2S60

I'll report back when I had a chance to play around with it and take it out for some night shots.

This is now my favourite YouTube clip:

Yeah, I have been on a search for a dashcam but not sure if I need one or which to get for good price/quality?

Yeah I'm in the same boat as you. I'm not sure if I need GPS or which one records better at night. I'm planning on using it for my offroad adventures.

I think there was a thread about them but not sure if there were any good suggestions in it.

I can’t find it anymore… :frowning:

Thanks. I'll check it out. My original budget is about $100 but since I don't know much about these devices, it could go up if I can't find any decent DVRs in that price range.

If you have an android phone, the Torque app has a pretty cool video tool built in - even has some integration with G-Maps. I can’t remember if it works with the free version. I haven’t used it in a while, but i don’t remember if it looped as I would like it to do. I’m sure it’s not as nice as a better camera, but it works with something I already have.

Don’t get the “GS1000A 1.5” LTPS 1080P Wide Angle Car DVR Camcorder with 4-LED Night Vision” from Fasttech (SKU 1271804). At least, don’t get the one I got.

I got one in March of this year, and it gives me nothing but grief.

Initially, I thought the whole unit was faulty, but it was just the memory card that was defective. FT settled that amiably enough, but now the thing hangs and reboots randomly at least once a day. Sometimes it just stops recording. Then it’ll start again at some indeterminate interval. Oh, and the window mount broke; luckily, I had one from something else that did the job. It seems like a reset and a format helps a bit, but my unit is really a dog.

edit: a little research showed me what my problem was… GS1000 - DashCamTalk explains (roughly) that “blue display” gs1000s are crap, and that “orange display” versions are decent. Turns out that mine is a ‘fake orange menu’, which means that it’s a blue menu model that’s had its colors changed to orange. Forgot to mention earlier that the internal battery doesn’t hold a charge. Sigh.

So, my advice is not to buy from FT at all. We’ll see if they post my review.

second-last edit: I just realized I’m inside FT’s 6 month warranty window… my last edit will be to report back on how they deal with me.

i got one on Ebay for 20 bucks, it works great.

This guy specializes on reviewing Chinese pocket/dash/outdoor cams:

Lots of great articles and reviews there ;)!

I bought a very cheap one first. No HD, no fancy features. It worked pretty ok, but I didn't like it being very visible on windshield => attracts thieves & causes questions like "Are you filming me? Why?" (it didn't have great video quality either and had 2-5s pause between clips)

So I invested just a little bit more and bought one of the cheapest rearview mirror DVRs from Focalprice (was about $50 with some coupon). It's quite well hidden, doesn't scream "Camera!" => I can leave it in my car and it works automatically: Turn car on -> camera turns on & starts recording.

Video quality is very good for the price, but only 10fps with Full HD, so I'm using 720p 30fps, which is smoother and shows signs and license plates well enough. Night recording is much better than in my previous one.

No skipped seconds in this model, and it features also loop recording, so it automatically deletes oldest clips when the card is full (except the ones locked by G-sensor, or by pressing lock button).

All in all, I'm happy with this one.

Thanks for all the suggestions, info, links, & personal experiences. I just pulled the trigger on this one:

Mini 0801 Ambarella A2S60

I'll report back when I had a chance to play around with it and take it out for some night shots.

Looks nice, GPS and G-Sensor seem like great additional features.

Pricey tho, isnt it :D?

You're right it is a little pricey. I hope it's not a POS. I made the mistake of having one too many of these and the ebay app on my phone. My new rule is no online shopping while drinking.

Hehe :D!

quite right that there are some great apps to convert your smartphones into a dashcam in minutes, but if you want to use it all the time, I do think that a real dashcam is better choice. I have tried similar apps with my phones, but stopped after realizing that the phone was getting dangerously hot. It may have been the app, but I’d rather not risk it.

FYI: if you’d like a dedicated dashcam with reasonable price, check out, my buddy using one for several months, the footage and audio is to be honest excellent. I am very impressed…

If you’re looking a for good and inexpensive dash cam, I’d suggest you look into the G1W. I think they are about $60 USD and have great image quality even at night.