Dash Cam Pro Review – Should You Buy It?
Could the Dash Cam Pro be what you need for extra confidence when driving?
About Dash Cam Pro
Regarded as your “Personal Security Camera for Your Car” by its manufacturer, the Dash Cam Pro is a dash camera that lets you record audios, as well as full HD videos as you drive.
This dash camera is small enough to fit on the car’s windshield without distracting you as you drive and it’s claimed that this camera offers the highest HD resolution at a low price, while boasting elegant motion detection, image stabilization, and a 32GB USB drive that holds up to 14 hours of recorded time. The camera is also said to have a 120-degree wide angle view.
In this article, we’ll review all these features to see whether or not the camera is worth spending your bucks on.
How Does the Dash Camera Work?
- Place the camera’s pivot mount on the windshield then snap on the suction cup into place.
- Next, pull down its wide angle (120-degrees HD camera) for an instant view video screen.
- Drive away confidently.
- To review your videos, use the built-in screen. Alternatively, you could download the video to your flash drive or computer for saving and sharing.
According to the manufacturer, the built-in SD card slot means that the Dash Cam Pro will record for a maximum of 14 hours, while giving you a wide 120-degree view of your car’s front view. The best bit is that this camera lets you program it to restart using the ignition from the car charger. And if the car is parked, you don’t have to worry about not knowing what goes on in your absence since the camera will detect motion.
The other selling points of this camera include the image stabilization function, the picture mode, time/ date stamp, the auto adjustment from light to dark, as well as its endless recording in a loop. This Dash Cam Pro also boasts six built-in infrared LED lights which allow video recording at night.
Looking at its marketed features, this dash camera sounds like the real deal. But, is it?
Is Dash Cam Pro Superior to What’s Offered by Competitors?
In your search for the best dashboard camera’s you’ve probably come across cameras with varying price ranges. While there is a category of various high-end dash-cameras, you will also come across dozens of budget-friendly cameras. And many of these cameras have features similar to those of Dash Cam Pro – the wide-angle lenses at least 120 degrees, night visions, rotating LCD screens, anti-shake technology or image stabilization and the automatic on/ off functions. The reason for the similarities is that these are the features and functions you should check out and compare when buying a dashboard. No one wants a camera that will shake throughout, and we certainly don’t want to buy a camera with poor quality resolution; hence the search for HD cameras.
HD Camera Quality
Out of all the features mentioned above, it is becoming increasingly clear that you need a High Definition camera. And you might be considering this Dash Cam Pro Camera because it promises HD quality videos. So, does this camera come with superior HD qualities compared to other similar cameras on the market?
Let’s see: by definition full High Definition, like the one in this camera (also true HDTV or ultra-HD) refers to the television display technology which exceeds the sharpness and the video quality of the original HD technology. HD images have a resolution of 1920*1080 pixels.
Unfortunately, this camera’s quality is not as great as marketed. Even though the quality of the recording is expected to be superior thanks to the incorporation of the image stabilization technology, and the anti-shake technology, it is not that good and is comparable to the old VHS quality videos.
And speaking of the anti-shake technology, you might have issues stabilizing the camera especially if the suction cup fails to stick to the windshield. If yours fails to stick firmly, expect some shaky recordings.
Some users report that the lowest setting offers better video quality than the HD setting. The infrared night vision function is not impressive either.
The audio works well though it’s a bit too loud for some people.
This dashboard camera features an endless loop function which is supposed to prevent the loss of footage from the camera’s memory card when space runs out. Ordinarily, this function would rewrite on your old files to prevent loss of footage, and it is expected to be an automated process.
We use the word supposed to because the camera’s loop recording function is a total disaster as it fails when space is exhausted.
One of the most common questions asked when it comes to this dash camera is how the camera can store recordings for up to 14 hours. Well, while the camera doesn’t come fitted with a built-in hard drive, it has an SD card slot. So, all you have to do is to insert an SD card then start rolling.
Unfortunately, it is unclear if the camera will actually roll continuously for 14 hours since the manufacturer fails to furnish us with information about the camera’s bit rate. To determine exactly how long the camera will record for, you must have the camera’s bit rate.
The other drawback is that the camera does not let you export the video directly, and you have to remove the SD card manually the insert it into your computer’s SD card reader to view, save and share the video. You also have to delete recordings from the disk once you’ve viewed and saved it – doing every day is nightmarish. The worst bit being the weak SD card slot which could break when in use. Also, there are times that the camera gives you a “No Media” error; when this happens with the memory card inserted, you will have to take out the battery, and the SD card then put them back in before switching it back on.
It also lacks internet connectivity functions for direct video backups to the cloud.
Using the camera
Despite the drawbacks above, this camera is easy to use, and the manual is rather straightforward. You might like the fact that the camera lets you choose between three recording resolutions; 720p, 1080p or VGA. You also get still photos and video recording. You can turn on and off motion detection.
The screen makes the use of the camera a lot easier with the viewable functions like the brightness levels, battery levels, date/time stamp, as well as its current resolution. The Mode button lets you play back the video easily or to delete any unnecessary footage.
- Fairly good video quality for recordings during the day
- Loop Recording to prevent losses
- Recordings at night are bad, especially because the infrared lights don’t work well
- The window mount is weak
- The parking feature does not work too well either because of the camera’s low battery life
- Weak SD card slot
- A tiring process of removing and inserting the SD card
- The unit shuts down randomly.
- The suction cup might not stick tightly leaving you with shaky recordings
The features of this Dash Cam Pro do not tell the entire truth, and unless your only motivation is the low price, you might want to check out other alternatives. Remember that you often get what you pay for, and you might take home a stronger camera if you spend a little more money. This dash camera represents a good idea executed poorly.
Even when I try to take it out and put it back in, it keeps on saying “no SD card”