Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: HD Car Dashboard Camera Car Accident DVR with LCD and 140 degree wide angle lense IR NIght Vision
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on March 29, 2013
I read several reviews about this item and was somewhat skeptical about it. After I played with it a while I became pretty good at operating it. One review stated problems with the owners manual and they were NOT kidding. The Owners Manual that comes with this is NOT all that helpful at all. This Camera would be much easier to operate or learn how to operate if it had better instructions, but it doesn't. If you are NOT good at figuring things out like this (like programming a remote control for your t.v.) you WILL have problems with this. There are several settings this Camera has that aren't even mentioned in the little manual but after going through all the buttons and settings SEVERAL TIMES I found this pretty simple to use. I'm not real happy about the suction cup mount but it holds to my windshield just fine. If it would have had a Ball or Swivel Mount it would be MUCH easier to aim out the windshield too, but again, it holds the Camera very steady. I live in California and they have VERY strict requirements on where anything can be mounted to a Windshield so I had to rearrange it a couple of times before I was happy with the location for recording. Also the Highway Patrol here mentioned the fact that you must remember this is a recording device and in all cases if someone gets in your vehicle you MUST tell them they ARE being recorded and MUST ask them for their permission. And I would strongly suggest you ask them while the camera is recording so that is captured as well. (gotta luv them "Privacy Laws")

OK, here goes my review on the Captured Videos.

I have posted a Video Review on here too (This was my very first recording) and if you have your sound on you will hear me making a few comments as i'm driving. I recorded the names of the intersections I was at and at approximately 2 minutes 30 seconds into this video i was playing with the Zoom feature, which is NOT mentioned (by using the arrow keys while recording) and if you look close it does loose video quality while zoomed. at approximately 3 minutes 30 seconds into the video i zoomed back out and you can tell the quality improved by quite a bit. you can also hear my radio playing in the background (i didn't have the volume up very loud either) and you can also hear the exhaust brake on my pickup too (it is making a short noise when i am decelerating)

I had my camera set to "Loop" after 10 minutes(which is the longest time available on my unit) but now have that turned off as well. I have it set to HD quality too. One comment was that the image was not clear. Given the fact this Camera is NOT a High End expensive unit don't expect it to operate like one. For the cost of this Camera the Video quality would hold up in court if needed, i think. I found that when I was at a Stop Light I could read a License Plate number of the vehicle in front of me in the recorded video however driving down the road the image was not clear enough to do that. One person mentioned that if you did need to save the License Plate number all you need to do is Call Out the number and the Audio will record your voice just fine. I did this several times and this works great. Also just a note here. My windshield was not all that clean either but I still found the video very acceptable. As of yet I have not tried this camera at night however I DO NOT expect a lot from this unit. I just don't think the IR quality will be good at all. After I try it at night if I have anything to offer I will update my review.

This camera will also allow you to capture Still Pictures as well as Voice Messages too. All you need to do is get comfortable with the settings and buttons on the camera.

I first tried this camera with a 4 GB microSD card and it doesn't take long to use all 4 GB if you store a few files. It stored about 1 hour of video in HD. When I bought this camera I also bought a 16 GB microSD card as well and now have it installed in the camera, so i'm sure this will do a great job. also, i just bought another 16 GB card as a spare just in case.

I gave this a rating of 3 because of a few things but the ONE thing above all others about this Camera is the lack of documentation. Had the instructions been better I would have given this a 4 rating. The camera does exactly what I would expect a $30.00 Video Camera to do. I believe I got what I paid for and will have this camera ON any time I drive anywhere from now on.

UPDATE:

after having made several recordings with this Video Camera I still believe for the money it works fine. Again, it's a $30.00 camera so Do Not expect the IR or Night Vision to work like a $3000.00 set of Night Vision Goggles. it's just not going to happen. The night recordings I made are dark, yes, but you can still make out many images though not clearly unless you are in a very well lit area.

as several stated before, the documentation with this camera is almost useless. it shows where the buttons are and what they do but it DOES NOT go into any detail as to how to set up this camera for use. i've noticed several people commented about the L.E.D. lights. these 2 little lights, one on each side of the camera lens are NOT for Night Vision. they are simply lights, like 2 little flashlights, to help brighten a very dark area but could not be used if this camera is mounted close to the windshield. this camera takes some working with but when it is set up properly it works good......... Good Luck, i hope this helps.
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on January 1, 2012
I was hoping for a home run based on the other reviews... however after trying it out I am sending it back.

The worst limitation was that the camera focused on the dirt on the windshield and everything else is out of focus. This was even true after cleaning the windshield properly as the minor scratches on the windshield stole the focus. License plates were far from readable and speed limit sign are barely readable.

Minor limitations:
- Video can be played back from the camera, but without audio and also cannot be paused. Audio was not usable when the vehicle was moving fast due to road noise, but very usable when moving slowly in town.
- The LCD screen always stays on while recording video even when shut. This drained the internal battery quickly.

The good:
- VLC player played the video back (including audio) on a Mac without issues.
- good suction cup for attaching to windshield
- love the LCD display for positioning the camera

Other details:
There is no Infra Red recording... but it has two very bright LEDs you can turn on to record closeups at night.

A 16G memory chip allows these recording times:
- 1080p provides 240 mins of recording
- 720p provides 298 min of recording
- 640p provides 530 mins of recording
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on June 16, 2012
My thoughts:
This is obviously developed by a smaller group of designers than most products, but for the price, I think this is an exceptional dashcam.
I simply tossed away the suction cup and used a small spacer and "re-closable fastener" aka "toll tag velco" to hold the camera in place which makes the whole assembly small enough to hide above, and behind, the rear view mirror.
For the video quality - no it can't capture plates unless you are stopped behind a vehicle at a red light. I am more concerned with capturing the where-and-when of events though. The way I see it, simply calling out a plate is good enough since you can check the audio later.
The two cons are that the transfer rate of the unit is not fast enough to support live playback when you plug the camera in to a computer. I fixed this with a $1.50 micro-USB reader which simply stays in the ashtray. USB mode takes 8 minutes to copy a five minute video, or I can use the card reader and get it done in 30 seconds. The card reader is more convenient for me needs too since I don't like moving the camera.
The second con is that the auto-record feature works about 95% of the time, so you have to watch the record light to make sure it didn't forget to start with the car.
Other than those two things, this camera works precisely as advertised which is awesome for $30 + a $10 memory card.
One idea for buyers, grab a second memory card and a card reader so you can swap cards to preserve video while still recording if something happens.
I would buy this unit again.
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on July 18, 2012
The LCD screen seems will fall apart from the main body anytime. The infra-red night vision is not working at all. Have a hard time to set up resolution. The license plate of the car in front of mine is very unclear, I will say unreadable. See the attached video. I set 5-minute recording mode, it works, that's good.
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on May 29, 2012
False advertisement. It says it can do 720p but it cant. Its standard video only. So if your looking for something basic that can cover yourself in a bad situation, it will do its job and even show date and time. but if your looking for HD video quality, this is not the camera you want.
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on December 10, 2011
PROS: HD recording is amazing, and for the price it is a very easy device to learn and use.

CONS:
15 minute recording then it loops, if you stop the recording to save something, you must ensure that you don't let the recorder loop after 15 minutes or it will erase and record over what is already there. That is a huge CON for me.
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on January 25, 2012
do not buy this camera. the quality is very poor and very choppy. The power chord that came with the camera did not work, so I had to buy my own. It does feature auto turn on/off, but sometimes it does not work. It does capture basic footage, but does not have the quality to capture signs or license plates.
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on March 28, 2012
This camera does not produce 1080p video. The menu's 'wide' format only allows up to 720p, which is still wide format, but not 1080 lines of resolution. The image is very blury. Don't expect to be able to read plates or details with this camera. Night vision works, but again is very blury. Image stability is good. Mount is good. Battery charge indicator never shows 'full' despite charging all night long. I was disappointed. (I discovered Chinavasion's CVLL-DV51 1080p Car DVR--Difference is pretty phenomenal.) I contacted my seller of this and they promptly responded that they would update the posting NOT to say 1080p, and also offered a refund, but only at 50%. So I kept the cameras (I bought 2) since the cost of shipping them back was a 'wash.' Not a great camera. Better ones are out there.
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on January 30, 2012
UPDATE: Well, the one that actually did work (albeit not very well) has now stopped working entirely. Less than six months. This product had a lot of promise but clearly the quality is not where it needs to be. Too bad.
------------------------------------------

I bought two of these (one for each car).

The first one stopped writing to the SD card after one day. I replaced the SD card and it seems to work (the first SD card works with all other devices so I'm not sure what the problem is). However, now the camera mysteriously stops recording while the car is in motion. The "IR" is non-existent. Finally, the battery lasts less than an hour. It's a pain to think that I have to recharge between trips or always use the car adapter. Overall. Very disappointing.

I wasn't even able to get that far on the second one (for a more thorough review). The "night vision" is turned on so the LEDs shine when it's dark (and why would anyone want two bright lights shining out of their windshield). The problem is that in the settings menu, the night vision and two other menu options don't even show up (they show up in the manual but not on the screen) so I can't even turn it off.

Overall, this was a pretty disappointing purchase. It's a great idea but perhaps the technology isn't quite there yet.
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on June 14, 2012
Received my carcam in the mail today. I opened it up and was upset when I saw the box it was in. I said, this isn't the camera I ordered. Then I opened the box and saw the camera I ordered was in the box of another model camera. The first thing I pulled out was a small USB cable. By the looks of it and it's wrapping I knew I was about to find a USED carcam. And that I did inside its dirty loose wrapping. The camera wasn't just used, it was well used. I won't even go into detail about the dings and scratches. Other than the used camera and the USB charging cable. I found a car charger as well, however it is a car charger that fits a 1/4" round dc plug. You know, the old dc plugs that everything used to have before they went micro USB chargers. Which is what the car cam has a micro USB dc plug. So the car charger was just tossed in to take up space and make me think it came with a charger but it's the wrong one. Ug... So, it works fine though. Except the 16gig sd card I ordered from honk kong as well DIDN'T WORK. Even tried formatting it on the computer and on my digital camera but they wouldn't format it. Just errors. My buddies sd card worked fine though so I need to get another one NOT from china. So it worked. Quality is fine, just fine, go watch YouTube videos uploaded from CarCam, for the price I'm impressed. I wasn't expecting much anyway. It comes in Portuguese language so you have to be able to at least understand what a cognate is to navigate your way to the language menu where you'll see the word English in plain English amongst the Portuguese. If you don't think you can find the language menu your screwed. Unless you speak Portuguese. Anyway, can't wait to mount it in the car and record some of the worst drivers in the world in Lost Angeles. One star for the cam five stars for the price. You get what you pay for. Ps, I think Infared is the chines translation for flashlight. That's right, NO infrared. Oh and I almost forgot. I pulled a sticker off of the side that said made in china and underneath was a hole. A hole where there should coulda woulda been an hdmi port. But no, no port, just a hole exposing the circuit board inside. AWESOME! I bet they said I hope they never ever ever remove this made in china sticker. Irony
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