Not perfect, but very close to – H.264 720P Wide Angle 6-LED Night Viewing Digital Car DVR Camcorder w/ Mini USB/SD/HDMI (2.5" LCD) Reviews
posted by trouchelle on 05/06/2011
Involvement:Expert (understands the inner workings) - Ownership:1 week to 1 month
Having tried other cameras for car recording, I decided to stick to this one.
It is actually HD, without a re-sampling like with other cheaper cameras.
Quality is very good during any time, both day and night.
Uses BL-4C battery (used also by Nokia phones), which is widely available.
Recording starts automatically on power on.
Recording state is clearly visible, positioning is easy because of LCD screen.
Can replay recorded video on LCD (also HDMI).
3 seconds' gaps between files, so buy at least 2G card for this and set 15-min recording interval between changing files to minimize overall gap probability.
It's not USB-powered, but uses its own connector. (It's obviously a 5V-powered device, so you can make your own spare cable from any Car-to-USB cable if you know how to behave yourself with a soldering iron and can find a spare connector)
It uses 1/4" photo tripod thread for handling, so you have to turn it to its place and then tighten it with extra screw. To dismount, you have to unscrew it.
Car handler is way too big, it could be much compact.
It's also noisy when comes to recording sound.
Microphone tends to record more high frequencies than low, so noisy car handler makes horrible clicks when you drive on uneven surfaces. Not a big deal actually, you are unlikely to review your videos anyway, and when you do, you don't have to pay attention to clicks.
This is Zoran COACH-based camcorder.
Detected as USB drive when connected to computer (no camera interface if you need it for some reasons).
Can be mounted on standard photo tripod (1/4"), though upside down.
It produces files using H.264 video codec. Resulting files are 243 megabytes per 5 minutes with 29.97 frame rate.
I didn't test how long it survives without power cord. Shouldn't be a problem, actually, because you're probably not going to use it outside of your car.
Also, I'm not sure about its ability to recharge itself via USB. I suspect it may not be possible, but I didn't test this.
Overall, it's as good as it can be for the price.
Night recordings are much above my expectation.
I've bought it to replace a cheaper camcorder, and I can say that I'm really happy with replacement.
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