Video cam for a car

Started Apr 4, 2013 | Discussions
Owen
Owen Senior Member • Posts: 2,838
Video cam for a car

Can anyone recommend a quality video cam for use in an auto? Most of the one's on Amazon have really bad reviews such as bad video, stops recording, mount doesn't stick, etc.

Any help will be appreciated.

Owen

Sean Nelson
Sean Nelson Forum Pro • Posts: 12,926
Re: Video cam for a car

Are you looking for something like a dash cam to record the view ahead so that you have a record in case of an accident?   The obvious choice is a GoPro Hero of some flavour.   There are tons of different mounting options available, and I know the Hero3 Black model has a "circular recording" option which lets you just record on the same memory card over and over, continuously recording on top of the oldest material so that you always have, for example, the last 2 hours (depending on the size of the memory card and the recording options selected).   Other models may also have that feature, but I couldn't say for certain.

Menneisyys Senior Member • Posts: 1,449
Re: Video cam for a car

Owen wrote:

Can anyone recommend a quality video cam for use in an auto? Most of the one's on Amazon have really bad reviews such as bad video, stops recording, mount doesn't stick, etc.

Any help will be appreciated.

Owen

While the GoPro is a decent choice, it has one drawback: it's a thief magnet when left in a car unattended and, unless you purchase the screen backpack / Wi-Fi monitor, you can't easily see if / what it's recording. For documenting stuff like this, you could use a cheaper camera. For example, I've been using the Crocolis cameras. They have sufficient wideangle, can operate off a car charger, come with a decent car mount, offer overwriting the latest recordings, have really decent (beteween 3 and 4 hours on a single charge depending on the resolution - this figure applies to 720p24) battery life and are inexpensive (around $120) - that is, you don't lose much if it's stolen.

There are two models, definitely go for the  new (2012) version as it has significantly better audio quality and somewhat better low-light performance.

YouTube is full of reviews of these cameras; see e.g. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YHYc5LFf224 . Here's a review of the old (2011) model: http://www.techmoan.com/blog/2011/9/18/the-crocolis-hd-extreme-cam-longest-review-ever.html

eenymac Senior Member • Posts: 1,146
Re: Video cam for a car

Depends on what you really want.  A dedicated dashcam or a camera that can be easily removed for other uses.

If you want a dedicated dashcam them then there are plenty of good models out there.  I have been using a Blackvue HD380 for nearly a year now.  I fitted it up near the rear view mirror so from outside the car it's not really noticeable at all (you'd have to really look hard to see it). It records in 720p - there are 1080 models now available - even a WiFi model I think, and the quality is pretty good.  See them here:

http://blackvue.com/en/contents/sub1.asp?idx=16

Plenty of sample video on Youtube and elsewhere I think.

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Carey Brown
Carey Brown Senior Member • Posts: 1,685
Extreme Cam - my recent purchase

I received my "Extreme Cam" three weeks ago ($150 on Amazon) which I'm trying to use as a car cam.

Pros:

Reasonable 1920x108px30fps video quality. From the few I was able to record I estimate that it will take about 3 GB per hour at this resolution.

Water proof (haven't tried it yet but I'll be in a heated pool next week and may try it)

Suction cup to attach to windshield was well made.

Car power cord was very long for mounting camera in car somewhere other than the windshield.

Variety of other ways to attach camera to handlebars helmets etc.

Cons:

Chip was a PITA to get in and out (I thought it was defective), found you needed some pokey thing to push the chip all the way into the housing.

With the car charger plugged in the screen is flipped out of the way which makes it difficult to see if the record light is on (lost 2 videos because of this).

When using the camera with the windshield suction cup you end up with the camera upside down so you'll need some software to rotate it back (not supplied but shouldn't be a big deal).

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Sean Nelson
Sean Nelson Forum Pro • Posts: 12,926
Re: Extreme Cam - my recent purchase

Carey Brown wrote:

Chip was a PITA to get in and out (I thought it was defective), found you needed some pokey thing to push the chip all the way into the housing.

I assume this camera uses MicroSD cards, and that's a very common issue with them.   You really need good fingernails and a steady hand to deal with such tiny cards.

Carey Brown
Carey Brown Senior Member • Posts: 1,685
Re: Extreme Cam - my recent purchase

Not micro SD,  just regular SD. The problem was that the chip needed to be inserted BEYOND the surface of the chassis. Even a finger nail couldn't push it in deep enough. And to get it out was worse, it wasn't sticking above the surface of the chassis but below it.

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Sean Nelson
Sean Nelson Forum Pro • Posts: 12,926
Re: Extreme Cam - my recent purchase

Carey Brown wrote:

Not micro SD,  just regular SD. The problem was that the chip needed to be inserted BEYOND the surface of the chassis. Even a finger nail couldn't push it in deep enough. And to get it out was worse, it wasn't sticking above the surface of the chassis but below it.

Sounds like a bad design.   Most such SD slots have a depression so that you can push the card in far enough to seat it and release it.

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