Dashcam Recommendations

cemerson

Registered User
I figured that when I get my new car in March, I'll also get myself a new dashcam to go with it - saves the hassle of extracting it all from the old car, but also good to keep the technology up to date. I currently have a Blackvue DR550GW-2CH, but there are some aspects about it I don't like. I can't seem to get it permanently powered - I suspect there's a fault with the Power Magic Pro I'm using - but also the Blackvue software is a bit janky, and they seem to be pushing everyone towards a cloud solution now that noone wants, so I'm looking at other options.

I want a 2 channel one (front & rear cameras), and will be hard-wiring it in to the fuse box as with my previous one, so a parking mode & power management option would be good. It should be pretty discreet (anything with a screen on the camera itself is already too big IMO), preferably allow remote control & downloading of videos via mobile, as I like that part of the Blackvue, and finally have decent image quality including night time.

I know there are quite a few threads out there on dashcams and I have looked at a few of them, but a lot of the suggestions don't tick all the boxes above. Are there alternatives out there, or am I stuck with Blackvue if I want all the above?
 

Rob2k68

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I have the later BlackVue 2ch DR650S with the Power Magic Pro and it ticks all of my boxes - very pleased with it.
 

cemerson

Registered User
I have a friend with that one (I helped him install it), but he says that the move to their cloud solution is being pushed on them and I'm not sure I like the sound of that.
 

DrEskimo

Registered User
I have the 650-2ch and I agree with your points above. The quality is actually really poor for its price and this is mainly because they reduced the bit rate to accommodate the cloud service, which is useless....

If I was buying again I would go with the Thinkware 750.
 

DrEskimo

Registered User
I would love a few recommendations too. I have a place in MK that does these..

http://www.richtersport.co.uk/view-category.php?categoryID=47&manufacturer=2&model=7

Blackvue DR650GW Front and Rear Cameras for £525 seems good value?

The unit costs £300 so they are charging £125 for a 16gb SD card and 10mins of wiring to your fuse box!

Honestly look on YouTube and install it yourself. It takes minutes. Long bit is just tucking in wires around the trim to hide it away.

Also best to get a 64gb card.
 

cemerson

Registered User
There's a Thinkware 770 now which I was just looking at. Sounds like it could be a reasonable alternative - though the front unit is a lot bigger, and it does have a lot of usless (in my view) features like lane departure warnings, collision warnings etc - all stuff my car does anyway.
 

azibux1

Registered User
I went for a Blackvue 650GW 1CH

Was considering the F770 thinkware, just wanted to point out that I believe you can turn off the pointless features if you don't want them
 

cemerson

Registered User
I went for a Blackvue 650GW 1CH

Was considering the F770 thinkware, just wanted to point out that I believe you can turn off the pointless features if you don't want them

Yeh, I think you can... just wish I didn't have to pay for them in the first place!
 

AudiNutta

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I would love a few recommendations too. I have a place in MK that does these..

http://www.richtersport.co.uk/view-category.php?categoryID=47&manufacturer=2&model=7

Blackvue DR650GW Front and Rear Cameras for £525 seems good value?

That is a horrendous price considering you can get the top of the range one for £349. I picked it up for £320 in a sale from this company. They also have the alternative you have seen with no screen.

http://www.in-car.com/vehicle-recorders/blackvue-dr750lw.php

Perhaps they are charging £200 for fitting, where in the UK are you? I'd travel the length to fit for £200 ;) ;)
 

AudiNutta

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The unit costs £300 so they are charging £125 for a 16gb SD card and 10mins of wiring to your fuse box!

Honestly look on YouTube and install it yourself. It takes minutes. Long bit is just tucking in wires around the trim to hide it away.

Also best to get a 64gb card.

I got a SanDisk 64GB card for mine, had endless problems to the point where it wouldn't record anything other than freeze frames. Been told I have to use their own BlackVue card, £65! Extortionate for an SD card.
 

DrEskimo

Registered User
I got a SanDisk 64GB card for mine, had endless problems to the point where it wouldn't record anything other than freeze frames. Been told I have to use their own BlackVue card, £65! Extortionate for an SD card.

Pretty sure I have a 64gb Samsung one and had no issues...although it could be a 32gb...!
 

AudiNutta

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Pretty sure I have a 64gb Samsung one and had no issues...although it could be a 32gb...!

64GB is supposedly a high maintenance card to run. But, it makes the difference of a few hours footage to 12 hours+, which in parking mod sin important. So maybe I will use my next overtime shift as an excuse to buy the proper card ;)
 

DrEskimo

Registered User
64GB is supposedly a high maintenance card to run. But, it makes the difference of a few hours footage to 12 hours+, which in parking mod sin important. So maybe I will use my next overtime shift as an excuse to buy the proper card ;)

Nah now you've said that I might be wrong and actually have a 32gb, so you could be 100% correct about 64gb compatibility!

Besides, if it doesn't work on a Sandisk 64gb then something is still wrong!
 

AudiNutta

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Nah now you've said that I might be wrong and actually have a 32gb, so you could be 100% correct about 64gb compatibility!

Besides, if it doesn't work on a Sandisk 64gb then something is still wrong!

My BlackVue is maximum 64GB. The technical guy has told me that they are a pain and need formatting on a windows computer at least once a week.

My camera is being sent off this week to be checked out, because I still seem to be getting some issues with fluency of the footage so they are testing both the camera and SD card so they know which to replace under warranty.
 

cemerson

Registered User
Just a note to anyone running a cable from front to back in the A3... make sure the cable goes BEHIND the curtain airbags at the top of the A pillar. Last thing you want to do is stop them going off (in all likelihood the cable would just break instantly, but no point taking that risk).
 

AudiNutta

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Just a note to anyone running a cable from front to back in the A3... make sure the cable goes BEHIND the curtain airbags at the top of the A pillar. Last thing you want to do is stop them going off (in all likelihood the cable would just break instantly, but no point taking that risk).

I did read about this somewhere else on here. To feed mine, I pulled the pillar trim out of the rubber and tucked the cable inside the trim and replaced the rubber. I didn't want to bend and damage the trim too much, as well as not wanting to disturb the airbags. Judging by the speed and power those airbags deploy with, I'm sure a small 3mm cable won't stop it. But, I hope to never have to use that feature anyhow.
 

Rob2k68

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My BV 650S is running a Samsung 128Gb card that I had left over from an S7 phone that I couldn't get on with. Works perfectly and never needs attention - good to have the extra capacity when having both front & rear cameras.

I posted this in another thread showing my preferred cable routing crossing the A pillar at the base rather than at the top over the airbag, alternatively remove the trim and thread it under the airbag as per AudiNutta above .....
CAB_2.jpg
 

cemerson

Registered User
It's more of an issue when you run the front -> back cable for the 2 channel cams, not so much when just powering a single front cam
 

cemerson

Registered User
I did read about this somewhere else on here. To feed mine, I pulled the pillar trim out of the rubber and tucked the cable inside the trim and replaced the rubber. I didn't want to bend and damage the trim too much, as well as not wanting to disturb the airbags. Judging by the speed and power those airbags deploy with, I'm sure a small 3mm cable won't stop it. But, I hope to never have to use that feature anyhow.

Well noone hopes to use it, but careful you don't invalidate your insurance in the event they do go off. The airbags aren't going to go off just by you touching them and there's plenty of room behind them, just have to poke the cable behind there.
 

cemerson

Registered User
Thanks for the suggestions everyone - I'm fairly settled now I think on the Thinkware F770 (hardwired in) with a Cellink B battery pack backing it up.
 

SDB

Registered User
I have aThinkware 770 with a Samsung 128Gb card and all the 'useless' extras turned off. It works faultlessly and is tucked behind and to the left of the rear view mirror. You hardly notice it. Important when Mr MOT man fails you for obstruction on the windscreen, like they did with my old tax disc being on the screen.
The only issue is the stop/start doesn't cut in very often as it records a lot on parking mode and I have the cut off voltage set at 12v. So I either need to do more miles to keep the battery topped up or buy a Cellink B (expensive).
 
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Wibbly

Registered User
Sadly the Android app for the Thinkware 770 (which seems to be a requirement to configure it if you have an Android phone) has an appalling rating on Google Play which, if the app is that bad, rather qualifies out what otherwise looks like a good product :-(
 

SDB

Registered User
I have an android phone and the app is perfectly usable. It's not the best app but does job. It's the same app that's used on the iPhone (that's what the Mrs has and uses on her 770). The iPhone app is quicker to download data via WiFi.
If it's a problem to you, you can always take the card out and use the computer based app to make all your changes to the settings.
 

DrEskimo

Registered User
I have an android phone and the app is perfectly usable. It's not the best app but does job. It's the same app that's used on the iPhone (that's what the Mrs has and uses on her 770). The iPhone app is quicker to download data via WiFi.
If it's a problem to you, you can always take the card out and use the computer based app to make all your changes to the settings.

Yea the BlackVue app is not great, but is alright too.

Like you I just remove the SD card to upload any clips. Far better.
 

Wibbly

Registered User
I have an android phone and the app is perfectly usable. It's not the best app but does job. It's the same app that's used on the iPhone (that's what the Mrs has and uses on her 770). The iPhone app is quicker to download data via WiFi.
If it's a problem to you, you can always take the card out and use the computer based app to make all your changes to the settings.

Ah ok, so you don't require the phone app to configure all the options, and you can use a PC app instead - I didn't realise, thanks
 

Wibbly

Registered User
Do any of the upmarket dashcams allow the GPS to be switched off (or at least removed from the video recordings? Looking for higher end systems to get greater stealthiness and picture quality. Do I have to stick to selecting products without GPS in the first place?
 

SDB

Registered User
Do any of the upmarket dashcams allow the GPS to be switched off (or at least removed from the video recordings? Looking for higher end systems to get greater stealthiness and picture quality. Do I have to stick to selecting products without GPS in the first place?

The F770 has an embedded GPS, so can't be turned off but the speed stamp setting on the recordings can be hidden. If having the gps data still embedded in the video file bothers you, then just run the file through something like Windows Movie Maker and do a 'Save As' to a create a new file in order to strip out all the embedded data.
In any case, if you're trying to hide your speed I wouldn't bother, as it's really easy to work out, all you need is two fixed points (e.g. lamp posts) and the time taken to travel between them.
 

Wibbly

Registered User
In any case, if you're trying to hide your speed I wouldn't bother, as it's really easy to work out, all you need is two fixed points (e.g. lamp posts) and the time taken to travel between them.

Good point!
 

cemerson

Registered User
I turned the speed off mine because it was incredibly laggy and inaccurate, basically useless. They probably wouldn't bother doing the fixed point measurement anyway unless you were really going for it, but if you were just over the limit (or the GPS claims you were) and that was noticed they're much more likely to get you for it I bet. If you present evidence to them on a plate, they'll use it if they can. If you don't, they'll only bother going after you if it's very obvious you were speeding, even if it would be easy to do.
 

Ormesome

Registered User
Sorry to jump this thread,thought i would ask here instead of creating a new one....Actually dreading this question because i think i know the answer, but has anyone had a dash cam fitted by Halfords? i know they are all feckless/unskilled etc.... but when I'm back in the UK i have no tools whatsoever and at £30 i though it was quite good deal especially as the Garmin dash cam is a good price there. Do they really install it? my brother paid £4 for a mirror glass to be installed once! the teenage Halfords worked came out and just wacked/stuck it on top of the old one! haha! hoping it won't be like that!
 

royalsteve68

Registered User
I have had and used loads of different cameras over the past 10 years. Alot of the blackvue range. The whole winycam range. Various generic Chinese cameras like the mini 0806. Rubbish ones from halfords and eBay and Amazon. Gave up with blackvue and winycam due to dab interference issues. Last year had thinkware 750 camera installed in my audi. Last week got the thinkware 350 installed in my Peugeot as the blackvue was causing dab issues on the new stereo. Pretty pathetic that blackvue still haven't addressed these issues after they were highlighted over 3 years ago. Both thinkware are superb. Way way better than blackvue. Software is streets ahead aside from cloud store option which the blackvue has even though it's terrible. Next thinkware will have cloud. They are also releasing a pass through battery like the the anypower battery I have installed in my audi.

Only issue I have with thinkware is the camera holder isn't quite as good as the excellent blackvue holder and the thinkware is a little more fussy with micro sd cards
 

BigBill

Registered User
Sorry to jump this thread,thought i would ask here instead of creating a new one....Actually dreading this question because i think i know the answer, but has anyone had a dash cam fitted by Halfords? i know they are all feckless/unskilled etc.... but when I'm back in the UK i have no tools whatsoever and at £30 i though it was quite good deal especially as the Garmin dash cam is a good price there. Do they really install it? my brother paid £4 for a mirror glass to be installed once! the teenage Halfords worked came out and just wacked/stuck it on top of the old one! haha! hoping it won't be like that!

Although I shared your concerns I had a dash cam fitted at Halfords last week without any issues. The £30 charge includes the hard wire kit which they sell for £20 so I thought that was a reasonable cost especially as they have a 15% off dash cams offer running at the moment.
I guess it will be down to pot luck on the actual person you get to fit it but I suppose the same could be said about any job you get done anywhere.
 

royalsteve68

Registered User
Sorry to jump this thread,thought i would ask here instead of creating a new one....Actually dreading this question because i think i know the answer, but has anyone had a dash cam fitted by Halfords? i know they are all feckless/unskilled etc.... but when I'm back in the UK i have no tools whatsoever and at £30 i though it was quite good deal especially as the Garmin dash cam is a good price there. Do they really install it? my brother paid £4 for a mirror glass to be installed once! the teenage Halfords worked came out and just wacked/stuck it on top of the old one! haha! hoping it won't be like that!

Ugh, Garmin dashcam with a SUCTION holder. WTF. LOL...ugly as sin and will take up alot of space. Get a decent camera with a proper holder
 

royalsteve68

Registered User
Sadly the Android app for the Thinkware 770 (which seems to be a requirement to configure it if you have an Android phone) has an appalling rating on Google Play which, if the app is that bad, rather qualifies out what otherwise looks like a good product :-(
works fine on my thinware 750 and 350
 

Ormesome

Registered User
Although I shared your concerns I had a dash cam fitted at Halfords last week without any issues. The £30 charge includes the hard wire kit which they sell for £20 so I thought that was a reasonable cost especially as they have a 15% off dash cams offer running at the moment.
I guess it will be down to pot luck on the actual person you get to fit it but I suppose the same could be said about any job you get done anywhere.

Ah awesome thanks for the reply mate. Nice to see someone happy with the service. Did you watch them hardwire it?how did they do it? i half expected a spotty teenager to come out and plug the cam in the cig lighter and walk off!! It seems a really good deal to be honest. Just found this for £79 all in. Got to be worth a try.

http://www.halfords.com/technology/dash-cams/dash-cams/nextbase-212-dash-cam-with-fitting-bundle
 
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