Most helpful positive review
88 of 91 people found the following review helpful
Sain Store HooToo F198 dash cam
on August 14, 2011
I have been using my F198 for a few days now [aug 15, 2011]...
In VGA mode it takes a decent picture. This mode is good enough to see stop lights & the cars in the field of view. The wide angle lense provides a very good picture of what is going on, but there is some loss of clarity. You can read the licence plate of cars stoped directly in front of you, and with some time you might pick up a letter/number at a time for moving cars. It is much like a cell phone cam & shows cars pulling in your lane, or crossing the light well.
I set the motion detect mode on. At first it was not active at the time I started recording, but then I stopped the car - powering the F198 down & when I powered back up, it was in motion detect mode. The mode is not sensitive enough & is not acceptable for use when driving, so I advise leaving motion detect mode off.
At VGA resolution, it could record three 15 minute clips on 2 Gb. Then it deletes the oldest file when creating a new file. This process takes 2-3 seconds.
The F198 has a car-off detection & will stop recording when the car is off. This requires a switched circuit. The F198 detects loss of power & properly closes the active file using the battery before powering down. When the power input comes back, the F198 automatically resumes recording. If your cigar lighter is not switched... this feature will not work.
The menu is a bit difficult, so read the directions. The IR led mode works well from about 3-4 feet. similar to filming with a flashlight. You do not want to use IR mode for night driving because you will be recording the windsheid reflection... use standard mode.
The mount did not have a swivel end on it, so you end up extending it more than desired to get the correct angle. A better mount willl lower the profile of the camera in the window.
The LCD screen does not switch off when closed. This would be nice, but my battery did not go dead when recording over night.
I believe I got about what I expected because I first looked the camera up on the internet google/yahoo & also saw a video on you-tube. It is useful & of reasonable quality for the very low price.
Updated Aug 1, 2012: This camera has been working non-stop 24 hrs in my car for almost 1 year. The swevil at the camera connection is a bit loose & can't be tightened, so occasionally the camera may get turned if I drive too rough.