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Customer Review

291 of 303 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Impressive and very feature rich dashcam with a wide field of view, July 4, 2013
This review is from: Timetec 62RHG680-B8G Road Hawk HD 1080P Automobile Digital Video Recorder System with GPS, Gsensor & Google Maps, Black (Electronics)
Length:: 9:37 Mins

This is an impressive and feature-rich dashboard camera with excellent video quality in both day and night conditions.

It is recommended to install the camera as high on the windshield as possible, as the lens has an extremely wide angle. Due to the wide angle details like license plates are very hard to see. The manual recommends audibly reading off a plate for the onboard microphone should you need to remember it.

Unfortunately the only way to mount the camera is to use adhesive that permanently attaches to the windshield. Thankfully the manufacturer also included a standard tripod mounting screw on the camera so it is possible to use third party windshield mounts. Just be sure to get one that can position the camera very close to the windshield. I do hope that they can consider including a suction cup option in the future.

Operating the camera couldn't be simpler: when it gets power it starts recording. The camera is configured through the included software that runs on both the Mac and PC via the Adobe Air platform. I would have liked to see an option to invert the video which would make mounting the camera upside down with a third party suction cup a little easier.

The camera will support SD cards up to 64 gigabytes in size and came with an 8 gig card that stores about an hour or so of high quality 1080p video at 30 frames per second.

Video quality is excellent and smooth - even over bumpy roads. The included software will overlay the vehicle's position on a Google map as well as indicate the approximate speed at the time of the recording. It was remarkably accurate in my tests and did not take long to find its position. The camera includes a GPS antenna that can be mounted outside the vehicle for cars that have coated windshields that block radio signals. The gps and speed data is embedded inside the video files but they play fine in VLC and Quicktime on my Mac without the need for conversion.

The camera also features an "event" function that will preserve video files with a button push or a significant shock (there is an onboard sensor that detects g-forces). Those clips will be protected from being erased when the card fills up, although the manufacturer recommends turning off the camera after an accident.

The camera can record in 1, 5, 15, and 30 minute increments. But recording files above a minute in length will disable the "looping" feature that erases old files when the card fills up. There is no gap in recording between files but you'll just have a lot of them accumulating on the card.

Overall this is an impressive dashboard camera and well worth considering!
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Showing 1-10 of 11 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 15, 2013 3:14:10 PM PDT
Minerva says:
Excellent review, many thanks!! Very systematically covered each point, and gave feedback on pros and cons. I found this such a relief being a newbie in this area. I need a dashcam DVR for both my small Yaris commuter car and also my Class C RV I use for road trips. I was looking for a GPR, dashcam, accident recorder, ... and also need a backup camera. Pity they don't make a package deal for all these functions. I still need a backup camera, but I guess DVR in rear is not necessary.

My feedback is to please speak a bit slower as my brain could not process as fast on technical points. Also a bit about installation would have been helpful for DIYers like me.

Many thanks for your most excellent review and time - absolutely invaluable for purchase decisions!

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 15, 2013 6:15:28 PM PDT
Thank you for the nice comments!

Posted on Apr 12, 2014 11:02:00 PM PDT
Skunkarific says:
Great cam except for the adobe air. There are other operating systems other than Windows and Mac. To code for only those two is a deal killer for me.

Posted on May 5, 2014 3:11:21 PM PDT
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

Posted on Jul 18, 2014 4:41:01 AM PDT
VERY GOOD presentation of the product!

Posted on Sep 30, 2014 7:07:18 PM PDT
Julian Rouse says:
WOW! I wish there were such comprehensive reviews of other models, as well. This sure cleared up a great deal of confusion for me.

Posted on Oct 26, 2014 1:04:00 PM PDT
common sense says:
I'm surprised you didn't mention in addition to the permanent mounts, how do you go about getting the camera set for the proper picture? Without a built in monitor or sight window to help you aim it, it would seem sort of a hassle to put it up, record, take it down, check the video, then try to adjust to a new position based on the previous position, repeat the process as many times as needed. Can you possibly offer some idea how you went about accomplishing this?

Posted on Mar 27, 2015 9:44:13 PM PDT
Louis Braun says:
Lon, you are a "great" reviewer. Your command of the product, the English language and your skill at presentation (flow, organization and tone) are superb. I hope you are doing this for a living. This particular review was well above average and helped me understand the recorder's system and capabilities. Thanks much, and again, sell your abilities and briefing style to some large corporation somewhere. You could make a mint.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 25, 2015 2:10:30 PM PDT
The Doctor says:
The wide angle ability of the lens gives so much extra view in all 4 directions (left/right/up/down) that as long as the camera is fairly level and fairly pointed straight, you're going to get more than everything. I've learned from experience that it makes no difference how you position the camera.

Posted on Apr 19, 2016 9:51:17 AM PDT
Jack Brown says:
Great review. I want a wide angle considering that I have a lot of 4-way stops around me, and I want to capture anyone rolling through the stop sign and hitting me (i.e. I stopped first, clearly their fault). It happens. A narrow angle lens will likely not capture the other cars at a 4-way. So that would be a good demo situation for footage to compare cameras.

The 1 minute thing concerns me, thanks for pointing that out. If the file rolls over to a new minute and you get hit, it may only "lock" the few previous seconds. This may not be enough critical evidence. The previous minute(s) with real info was not locked and may be overwritten, and with no screen/buttons you have to connect a PC/phone to manually lock that file? Consider a serious accident you may be hospitalized and nobody accesses the camera for a long a time. My DC/lighter is 100% on all the time. Even a big card (64GB) is holding 8 hours? That evidence could be wiped pretty quick. This problem exists with longer time frames (e.g. 5 or 10 minutes) in theory but the odds are a bit different relative to the file size and transitions.

On the visibility of the license plate numbers, I have read some folks can use the video to make a still .JPG image from a single video frame. They can't read the plate in the video, but in JPG you can zoom in and if the resolution is good enough then the detail is there and the plate is clear. Also, is there an algorithm used to show such a wide angle without the usual fish-eye distortion? I mean the video may be stretched or compressed to make it look normal to human eyes and that could obscure some fine details like plate numbers. So if still/JPG capability is built-in would it be the same? Just curious.
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