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Pocket GPS World :: View topic - Reviewed: BlackVue DR500GW with WiFi Drive Recorder
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Reviewed: BlackVue DR500GW with WiFi Drive Recorder
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Darren
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 3:36 pm    Post subject: Reviewed: BlackVue DR500GW with WiFi Drive Recorder Reply with quote

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We've reviewed a number of in-car drive recorder/black box cameras now. By and large they can be split into two distinct types, those with GPS and those without. Each type can be further differentiated by the quality of the camera, the latest sport high definition camera sensors, making it much easier to discern vehicle registration numbers and other details. An obvious benefit when using one of these cameras.

South Korean company BlackVue specialise in the manufacture of drive recorders. Their latest model, the DR500, goes one further than all the rest with the inclusion of WiFi in addition to a HD camera sensor and GPS. The WiFi feature is accompanied by apps, available for Android and iPhone, which allow you to view live video from the camera as you drive or to review and download the individual camera files. Is this a novelty or a genuinely useful feature?

Read the full review here.
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TuppyTrucker
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 4:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It does look very good, but at that price it needs to be. I've been playing with a cheap dashcam, only VGA resolution, but for 25 you can't have everything.

The wifi remote view on your camera could be extremely useful for RHD vehicles on continental roads. If you position the camera to the far left of the windscreen you could use an iThing to view the road ahead for oncoming in front of the truck you're trying to pass without having to expose too much of the car across the centre line . Very useful between Limoges and Poitiers. I often wish the screen on my TomTom could be interfaced to a LHD dashcam for that very reason.

I tried this on my cheapo, but it's built in screen is too small to see anything useful.

It could also be useful on a mast pointing backwards when transporting high loads under low bridges.
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houghw
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 4:08 pm    Post subject: I wonder... Reply with quote

I could do with one of these at the back of my car...

Every morning I travel down the A428 and M11 and have to endure drivers continually following too closely. I thought about fitting up my small (25) helmet cam for the job but on its mico SD card I can only get around an hour's worth of video before the card is full.

Then again, what is the point? The police around here aren't really interested in prosecuting drivers who drive inconsiderately anyway!
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rkm_hm
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 5:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In the review, you say "At highest definition setting, a 16GB card can accommodate a few days worth of driving"

Are you sure about that? What assumptions are you making about a typical day's driving?

I have the earlier model (DR400G-HD) and at full HD at 30fps the 16GB card holds only 4hrs 37mins worth (or 6hrs 54mins at 15fps)

Unless the new model uses some very fancy form of compression, I wouldn't have thought that it would run for longer than these times.
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Darren
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 5:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I haven't added up the total driving time involved but my card filled with three days of use which involved two journeys to East Grinstead. That's a 2hr round trip from me and another two hour trip to Thorpe Park plus local journeys so a minimum of 6hrs of driving.

However I did have compression set to High as that was the default as it came out of the box and I have audio turned off.
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rkm_hm
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 6:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Darren wrote:
I haven't added up the total driving time involved but my card filled with three days of use which involved two journeys to East Grinstead. That's a 2hr round trip from me and another two hour trip to Thorpe Park plus local journeys so a minimum of 6hrs of driving.

However I did have compression set to High as that was the default as it came out of the box and I have audio turned off.


Ah, I don't think that compression is configurable on mine - so that presumably gets you some more time, as does turning off sound.

Even so, you could still fill it in a single day quite easily if doing a long journey, such as London to Aberdeen.
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Darren
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 6:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Of course, but then, if you're someone who spends 8hrs a day behind the wheel I'm sure you'd consider a larger memory card. Or look at reducing the quality or frame rate.

And, should you need to save an event you can do so using the app easily enough.
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rkm_hm
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 7:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Darren wrote:
Of course, but then, if you're someone who spends 8hrs a day behind the wheel I'm sure you'd consider a larger memory card. Or look at reducing the quality or frame rate.


Yes, indeed, but that wasn't clear from the review.

Darren wrote:

And, should you need to save an event you can do so using the app easily enough.


Yes, that's a useful feature which mine doesn't have. If I had a suitable smartphone I could transfer the micro-SD card to it to view the footage, but even then I'm not sure I could copy it.

With the WiFi feature and a suitable Ap, you'd probably rarely need to remove the micro-SD card - although, with mine, BlackVue do recommend that you re-format it quite often.
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adchesney
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2013 9:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just a thought...as most people have "smart phones" that have built in GPS, G-Sensor, Compass, wifi, cloud storage, etc. Oh and front and rear facing cameras - surely our "Smart Phones" could also be used as a car DVR?

I've not looked BUT, I bet there's an App that does everything this dedicated Car DVR does?

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neil_r_cooper
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2013 9:37 am    Post subject: DR500 Reply with quote

Darren what is quality at night? I purchased a neat little unit with wired rear facing camera (took a while to run the cable) but strangely the rear facing camera is much better at night than the front facing. Obviously the IR LEDs are completely useless as they only have a range of 5ft but a good LUX sensitivity front camera would be very useful.
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Darren
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2013 9:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are apps, but they're far less convenient. You need lots of memory to capture HD video, and you need the camera to be high up on the windscreen for the best view.

Yes, at a push, an app will do much of this, but the dedicated device, that's always on, and requires no user interaction, is still the best solution.
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Darren
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2013 9:40 am    Post subject: Re: DR500 Reply with quote

neil_r_cooper wrote:
Darren what is quality at night? I purchased a neat little unit with wired rear facing camera (took a while to run the cable) but strangely the rear facing camera is much better at night than the front facing. Obviously the IR LEDs are completely useless as they only have a range of 5ft but a good LUX sensitivity front camera would be very useful.

I don't have any footage to hand but I did review night video files and it was pretty good.

I'll try and save a file next time I drive at night to show you.
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Tomo
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2013 10:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a dashcam already, had it a few years now so is just VGA. If something happens I just have to remember to 'speak' out any registrations so the mic catches it for future use.

I like the idea of upgrading to a HD one, but the smaller recording time puts me off, obviously its a trade off between quality and length of recording time.


I like to have around 2 weeks worth of driving, which on a VGA cam, with a 32Gb card is doable. Then, if I was to be NIP'd, I could hopefully review the incident and respond accordingly.

There was another review of this unit I saw and im sure it mentioned you can change most the settings from within the phone app, although its not immediately obvious how you do so. If I remember, you have to swipe across at the top of the screen.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2013 10:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

adchesney wrote:
Just a thought...as most people have "smart phones" that have built in GPS, G-Sensor, Compass, wifi, cloud storage, etc. Oh and front and rear facing cameras - surely our "Smart Phones" could also be used as a car DVR?

I've not looked BUT, I bet there's an App that does everything this dedicated Car DVR does?

ADC


And then the phone rings and interrupts the video recording just as someone pulls out on you...

MaFt
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neil_r_cooper
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2013 10:41 am    Post subject: Darren Reply with quote

Darren thanks for reply. I will interested to see night vision as 50% of my driving is at night this facility is a must. A problem with the cheap DVRs is that the auto light level sees a street light as bright and backs the gain off to make it clear but that plunges the rest of the scene into blackness.
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