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The Eagle

Dashcam Recommendations

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I'm thinking of getting a dashcam, situations like this one are a good reason to have one:

Can you recommend a small, unobtrusive one that's easy to mount and to use with good picture quality even at night?

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I recommend one of those old BBC vans with a "Grandstand" style camera mounted on the roof

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I got the 2.7" 1080p generic one from eBay, it currently sells for £20. It seems to do the job pretty well, the daylight footage is more than good enough, like most cameras the footage taken in low light is nowhere near as good. In terms of bang for your buck I would highly recommend it.

Do you have a link to the one you got?

There are loads on ebay, and several that are around £20.

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Techmoan has some excellent reviews too.

I was just watching one of his reviews of the mini 0801, I might actually get this one, it's more expensive than the one recommended by Shaneyson but it's quite a bit smaller and therefore less obtrusive:

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Wired a few dashcams in to family cars over past few years. [Turns on and begins recording when ignition turned, and stops recording and powers off when ignition turned off]. All the cheapo types from China - not HD.... my 12 year old car was easy to hook up to Ignition Switch Live, (and convenient grounding point next to it) with using an 2amp glass-fuse, in the inline-fuse set up.

Newer family cars with CANBUS I had to tap into power with an add-a-fuse.. basically like an extension point.. chose a non-critical part of car system to tap into, (I chose electric wing mirrors), with the add-a-fuse, and a 2amp blade fuse to the power feed for the camera. Cameras tend to get hot in the greenhouse cabin in Summer but surprisingly not had any battery failures, and only one fried SD card. If I knew how I'd position camera to start/stop with ignition, whilst fixed positioned in from grill of engine compartment... not sure how I'd get ignition power to it there though.

Just bought a new car... (sold the old car with dashcam included as a selling point) so need a new dashcam too... wondering this time if it can be powered directly the the USB port, or whether that USB port stays live even when ignition key removed (eg like the 12v power socket does on many cars I'm familiar with).

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Bump this old thread for a recommendation for a cheapo please ? The ebay link above is a walkie talkie now. Btw the internal search for dash cam didn't work  ? I used google but it could be that I used two words and not dashcam. 

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I've got an A118C in the back of the car, which cost about $100 over here (plus $25 if you want the optional GPS) and is pretty good aside from a few small idiosyncracies (e.g. it tends to crash due to the power fluctuation if I start the engine when it's running). A number of manufacturers make them to the same design, and some make upgraded versions with better hardware, like the one I have in the front of the car.

There's a newer version (A119C) with higher resolution and frame rates, which I'll probably upgrade to next year.

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I've been thinking of getting a new one and have been leaning towards getting one of the cheap action cams -- the SJ4000 type (c. £50) has a mode that essentially gives you a dashcam -- and you can easily use it as a camera or action cam when the want/need arises.  Comes with a range of attachment systems as well.

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One of the things I like about mine is that, once installed, it looks like part of the car. It's less obvious to a thief than a camera that looks like a camera stuck to the windscreen.

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31 minutes ago, MarkG said:

One of the things I like about mine is that, once installed, it looks like part of the car. It's less obvious to a thief than a camera that looks like a camera stuck to the windscreen.

Perhaps the A118 or newer A119 ?  I like the look of them.  Also like such capacitor type dashcams, where heat inside car far less of an issue vs dashcams with batteries  (as I understand it).  I like look of A119 but looks to struggle in certain light conditions, and video too dark, so I'm waiting for a few improvements.  And the grey adhesive pad draws the eye, vs the black pad of the A118.

Ah just noticed MarkG post abut A118 and A119.

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I got the A118C in the end, the capacitor was one of the reasons (a LiIon battery under the windscreen is a fire waiting to happen on a hot summer day and we get a lot more of those here in Germany compared to the UK) but I'm happy with the picture quality too, especially when considering that I only paid 60 Euro for it.

With regards to "struggle in certain light conditions, and video too dark" the 118 has that issue to but I found that increasing brightness by two notches in the config fixed this problem for me without affecting bright scenes negatively.

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The only time I really have problems with the A118 picture is when it's facing directly into the sun. It reduces the exposure so much that the picture looks like it was shot at night. But that doesn't happen often.

Night quality isn't the best, but it's still decent for a $100 video camera. I rarely drive at night, so that doesn't bother me.

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I have one that is a mirror that fits over your exist mirror. The advantage of this is that it's easier to leave installed. Otherwise you have to mess around every time you start the car.

I also have it plugged in to the ODBII port and not the cigarette lighter. This works well.

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I'm now thinking of getting a dashcam as a defence against crash for cash scams, and general evidence in the event of a claim.

Reason  is a friend of mine had a crash for cash incident on Attercliffe Common in Sheffield (main road from Meadowhall to the town centre). He was behind an old saloon car at a T junction, no traffic crossing either way, so the car pulls out to the left, onto the empty road. He glances to the right (like you do)  to check that no car is coming from the right before he follows the car out. And in the corner of his eye he noticed that the car had done an emergency stop half way out into the carriageway. He brakes but bumps into the back of the car. The impact speed is so low that no damage is done to either car, not even enough to rub the dust and dirt of either bumper.

Shortly after all 4 doors of the car flew open and 4 Pakistanis jumped out (a cliche I know!): One holding his neck and theatrically proclaiming the pain he was in. One was holding up a phone with the video camera on, recording my mate, their cars, and the number plates etc. And a driver was loudly saying 'what you up to mate, you drove right into the back of me' etc.

He pointed out that nothing was damaged and that the impact wasn't even enough to break the film of dirt on his bumper. But he still had to exchange details etc.

He hasn't heard anything in the intervening few months, and reckons that because of the non-existent damage they've pursued more credible claims, e.g. ones where there's some damage. But he's 99% certain it was an attempted crash for cash scam.

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After a near miss the other day I bought a NextBase something or other from Amazon. Haven't actually put it in the car yet. Going to have a pretty crappy power lead dangling around the dash. My research consisted of logging onto Which.

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