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Dash camera recommendations

Posted: Fri Jun 26, 2020 1:51 pm
by sapphireblack
Toying with the idea of an inexpensive model, plenty on eBay but are any of them any good?

Real world experiences would be appreciated 8)

Re: Dash camera recommendations

Posted: Fri Jun 26, 2020 3:54 pm
by X5Sport
All of mine are Nextbase models. I use a 512GW in the Gran Tourer and an earlier spec in the E46. The Roadhawk HD in the X6 I would not recommend as it falls over when the air temp is <5°C and it needs an external GOS puck antenna as the screen seems to block signals in the camera mounting position I use (up by the rear view mirror). I’ll be replacing that with a new Nextbase. All are powered from hardwired supply devices not the 12V sockets.

Don’t buy any that record at anything less than 1080HD as the image quality is often not high enough for use.

Things to check are:
Recording data rate should be around 12Mbps or better. Lower data rates means over-compression of the images to the recording file and poor pictures.
Good low light performance - the camera has to be as good in the dark as it is in daylight.
Should have GPS on board to record time, position, direction of travel and speed. Some screens will block GPS signals.
Uses a decent sized memory card of at least 16GB (32GB is better) so you keep a decent length of time on the card before re-use.
Forget about WiFi etc. It’s a gimmick.
I would recommend a camera with at least 140° Field of view so that you can see plenty either side of the car.
In sunnier climes then the ability to add a Neutral Density filter is useful. It drops the light level into the camera so reducing over-exposure.
See if the camera can be powered from a hard-wired supply. That means no trailing wires and leads to the 12V socket. Better for cameras that can add parked car protection.
Some cheaper cameras are known to cause interference to DAB radio, especially those with a second rear mounted looking back camera.
Finally, a polarising filter may be handy for getting rid of screen reflections.

Re: Dash camera recommendations

Posted: Fri Jun 26, 2020 4:20 pm
by sapphireblack
A comprehensive reply, thank you. I dont see this being used very much but who knows.

A quick Google shows some refurbished 512GWs . I had thought to power it via a USB socket, Touaregs have numerous 12v sockets. That said to get a lead from the mirror area down to a USB I'd have to go right past one of the fuse boxes. Never sure how-to piggy-back from the fuse directly. I have some two ways with an earth strap on them but what value and which fuse? Much VW stuff seems to be unswitched live too, so choosing correctly would be important.

Car is due a pre Europe drive inspection next week, and i hope to be gone soon after, perhaps I'll ask the friendly auto electrician.

I'm not off for good yet, there are many hoops to jump and copious paperwork to navigate in Greece before I can get a residency permit. Brexit has made all of this very much harder :headbang:

Re: Dash camera recommendations

Posted: Fri Jun 26, 2020 4:28 pm
by X5Sport
I did use a USB socket for a while on the X6 but BMW told me off for it as it was drawing more than was good for the supply apparently. It showed up during a health check error code. You can buy piggy back fuses that replace an exiting fuse with a device that just plugs in, gives the same protection but has a power feed as well. It’s how the Gran Tourer one is done. I found an earth pin behind the glovebox and just attached to that.

No idea what the VW ones are rated to, but for BMW above the glovebox, I think it’s only about 1A (5W @ 5V or so) as it’s either USB 1 or 1.1. Theirs are a read only design, not a power out.

Re: Dash camera recommendations

Posted: Fri Jun 26, 2020 4:57 pm
by sapphireblack
Thanks again. The Touareg has two easily accessed fuse boards, each end of the dash has a removable cover (when doors are open) where i will hopefully find a 1amp switched supply.

A task for tomoro before temperatures start to climb 8)

Re: Dash camera recommendations

Posted: Sun Jun 28, 2020 11:37 am
by Mike88
Can you fit these without the wires being exposed? A dash cam with a wire dangling down your windscreen is not a good look. Anyone used Halfords who fit Nextbase cameras with excellent reviews for the price of a camera plus £35?

Re: Dash camera recommendations

Posted: Sun Jun 28, 2020 1:22 pm
by sapphireblack
Basic stuff tbh. Cables tucked behind headlining at the top, down the A post trim and under the dash.

There are You Tube tutorials to help. :thumbsup:

Re: Dash camera recommendations

Posted: Sun Jun 28, 2020 1:29 pm
by X5Sport
Mike88 wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 11:37 am
Can you fit these without the wires being exposed? A dash cam with a wire dangling down your windscreen is not a good look. Anyone used Halfords who fit Nextbase cameras with excellent reviews for the price of a camera plus £35?
All my cabling is run up the A-pillar from behind the dash, across within the headlining to give a tail that just appears and plugs into the camera.

For those fitting rear mounted cameras too, I can strongly recommend that you do not run cabling from rear to front within the headlining. Two reasons being that there may be a curtain airbag in there and secondly some cameras have been found to generate significant RF noise that interferes with UK DAB reception. The best place to run the cabling is along the floor below the carpets and if you can, regularly tape them down with adhesive metal foil tape. This reduces the interference significantly and should eliminate any interference.

The issue is caused by poor screening in the camera electronics and inadequate screening of the link cables making them act as antennas. Not particularly useful. European DAB uses much higher frequencies (L-Band around 1500MHz) than us (218-229MHz) and is less compromised or susceptible. The UK band plan is impacted by EU TV services operating at much higher power on the same frequencies and which we are not allowed to interfere with!

Re: Dash camera recommendations

Posted: Wed Jul 01, 2020 6:45 am
by sapphireblack
In the end I've decided to try a less conventional option.

Aesthetics play an important role in my life and 'dangly down' cameras are far from neat, and for me quite intrusive in the field of vision. The live screen I didn't fully understand either, capturing important events is surely what the concept is about, not viewing while driving, or maybe I'm justifying my choice?

I went for a more commercial option of a 380GW. It has no screen, a plus for me, is neater and far less obtrusive based on published images. It is being supplied as a kit with hardwire loom. It will obviously record all movement of course, I can retrieve anything important in the normal way and it will just look better :) If it's a bummer it can simply be returned.


It looks like this :D

Image

Re: Dash camera recommendations

Posted: Wed Jul 01, 2020 8:58 am
by mr angry
I fitted blackvue 750 front and rear cameras powered from an obd plug. Not the cheapest but very discrete and all wires hidden

Re: Dash camera recommendations

Posted: Wed Jul 01, 2020 9:04 am
by sapphireblack
The car mine is destined for has so called limo rear glass and a tailgate. Not sure a rear view would have any merit for me.

Re: Dash camera recommendations

Posted: Sun Jul 05, 2020 8:03 am
by sapphireblack
sapphireblack wrote:
Wed Jul 01, 2020 6:45 am
In the end I've decided to try a less conventional option.

Aesthetics play an important role in my life and 'dangly down' cameras are far from neat, and for me quite intrusive in the field of vision. The live screen I didn't fully understand either, capturing important events is surely what the concept is about, not viewing while driving, or maybe I'm justifying my choice?

I went for a more commercial option of a 380GW. It has no screen, a plus for me, is neater and far less obtrusive based on published images. It is being supplied as a kit with hardwire loom. It will obviously record all movement of course, I can retrieve anything important in the normal way and it will just look better :) If it's a bummer it can simply be returned.
I tempted fate it was a bummer, incomplete basically. It is incredibly small and neat though.

I've returned it, so its time to start again :(

Re: Dash camera recommendations

Posted: Sun Jul 05, 2020 9:01 am
by X5Sport
Mine are mounted outside of the field of vision between the mirror and screen on the passenger side. Not so easy to achieve with BMW because of the size of the mirror mount and covers for the forward looking sensors etc. I’m sorry it didn’t do what you needed, what was wrong/missing?

Re: Dash camera recommendations

Posted: Sun Jul 05, 2020 9:14 am
by sapphireblack
This is the item i bought 203034941446.

This example had non interference locking side panels and was partly prepped by Nextbase for the "commercial" vehicle owner/user.

However, they didn't include any instructions or the special screwdriver needed to access the tamper proof elements. I think the seller meant well but?

I'm on the case of another one now but in retail packaging. I really like the small size and unobtrusiveness of this model.