Top positive review
32 people found this helpful
Nice Gaget in case of accidents or teen drivers.
on March 2, 2013
I narrowed my car cam to 3 choices available on amazon. I purchased this first because it was the cheapest with the most features. I liked that it had dual (front and rear) cameras, GPS speed and location tracking, G-force sensors, automatic on-off, and built-in screen for real-time monitoring or reviewing previous recordings. After using this for 3 days, here is what I found out:
1. Suction cup works in freezing temperatures. Just make sure it's clean before installing.
2. Once set up, car cam is easy to use. If plugged into the car accessory outlet, it can automatically turn itself on and off when the car turns on and off.
3. Video is as clear as a Non-HD camera will give you. Because it gives a nice Wide-field view, it will not allow details such as license plate numbers.
4. After formatting a micro-SD card, the unit will auto copy the required JPlayer onto the card. After inserting into your computer, double click the JPlayer.exe file on the card (or copy it to your desktop) It works on my Win7 computer. Use of the JPlayer is mostly intuitive.
5. The unit is smaller than I expected (similar size to a toilet paper roll).
6. Sound is as clear as I expected considering background radio and road noises.
7. Can record Front or Rear Only, or both at the same time. Recording can be turned on/off manually if needed.
8. GPS (when it works) gives helpful info about speed, location and tracking on a mini Google map in the player.
9. G-Sensor is interesting but not that helpful unless in a crash or high speed turns, etc.
10. Built-in monitor screen is needed for setup, but I prefer it off during use so not to distract when driving. This could be helpful to review a recording if needed on site of an accident. I prefer to view on the computer.
1. User Manual is difficult to understand. You need to read the entire 7 pages before attempting to use this item.
2. Unit is made in China, but comes in Russian as default language. Following manual will allow you to press the appropriate buttons blindly until the language is changed to english. Then all menu items will be obvious.
3. Screen default is to time-out around 10 seconds. This makes it difficult to play with when new. You can change this in the menu to stay on. After you know how to work the unit, you can change it back to screen saver.
4. GPS features give very helpful information such as location, speed, and tracking on a map. But it takes up to 30 seconds to work, or sometimes not at all (at night for me). The speed is about 5 seconds delayed from what the video is showing, so it is not exactly real-time.
5. JPlayer but could be designed better. The "Large size display" button makes it 50% larger for me, not full screen as I would expect. This may also depend upon your monitor screen resolution.
6. JPlayer shows a map of a chinese city as default if your GPS did not work during the video recording.
7. Time zone is incorrect, no option to change it.
8. My video played well, but takes a long time (~30sec) to manually jump to another file on the card. I hope this is because I did not use the recommended class 6 card speed. I ordered a new ($23) 32gb class 10 card to hopefully fix this.
9. Four LED Infrared lighting for the rear camera is focused into a narrow spot in the center, about 1/10 of screen area. This allows a night view inside the car, but could be much better if spread out more (poor design).
Overall I like this and plan to purchase another one for my other car. I give it 5 stars for overall value, minus 1 star for poor manual and requiring a special JPlayer to view videos.
Using a 32gb class 10 card made all the difference. No more delays jumping from one video to another during viewing.
I forgot to mention that you can export the video and snap a photo, but it takes a long time for the video and does not show extra features like GPS or speed info.