This would be the third dash-cam that I’ve purchased since they became a ‘thing’ several years ago. The two others I had, died almost immediately after being installed in our various vehicles, they were (for the most part) basic pieces of junk with extremely basic capabilities, but were priced as if they had more ‘oomph’ than they actually did when used in the manner to which they had been advertised.
My wife asked me a couple of months ago if I was interested in getting a dash-cam. After regaling her with the stories about my previous attempts, she was unswayed so she went ahead and purchased one that was touted to have ‘4K’ video capability, and could use a 128GB micro SD card for storage, allowing about 10 hours of video time either in 3, 5, or 10 minute increments.
Naturally once it had arrived and I went to put it to use, I discovered it really didn’t have the touted 4K capability, it’s a simulated 4K on playback, the guts of the camera can’t produce that quality. So basically it’s false advertising, but sending it back would mean incurring a shipping fee (they’re going to get you coming or going) so it was better just to make it work and wait a year or so until a new one comes out that actually does have that capability, though I don’t honestly think we need one.
We’ve just gotten back from vacation, and I was testing it out on the road, so to speak. The first storage card I had for some reason didn’t work, even after I formatted it several times both on my computer and through the unit itself. For whatever reason once it was used by the unit it was unreadable, so I endeavored to get a new card before we left to go visit family in the Hudson Valley of New York, where I grew up. Unfortunately, I didn’t manage to get one until we’d been in Poughkeepsie for a day, so I missed out on some decent opportunities to record video of places that were familiar to me, and yes I’m still kicking myself about that. Too, when I finally did get the card and inserted it into the camera, I completely forgot about formatting the card, and even if I had, I never plugged the unit in so it wouldn’t have recorded anyway. Took me a few tries before I actually got it to work, and was able to confirm that it was recording by removing the storage card and attaching it through a reader to my smartphone, which was easily able to transcribe the video and play it. This is a shot of us going over the Mid-Hudson Bridge (the locals call it that, and always have. In 1994 it was renamed the ‘Franklin D. Roosevelt Mid-Hudson Bridge‘ in honor of FDR, but like the Tappan Zee downstate being renamed after former Governor Mario Cuomo, it’s still referred to by its old name by anyone local) yesterday morning. It’s a pretty crisp and clear snapshot from the video, and I doubt anyone could tell the difference between a HD image and a 4K from this vantage point. I certainly can’t.
I expect it’s going to take a little more trial and error before I’m completely comfortable with having it in the car. I expect also I’m not going to be recording video daily, although I believe the intent of dashcams is having it on all the time in case something does happen, as one isn’t likely to turn it on just before something unfortunate occurs. Better safe than sorry, right? And in the event of an accident, even if it ended up being my fault (anything is possible) it’s better to have evidence just in case something could be seen another way. So for the time being, it’ll stay in the car. At least to justify the 10 minutes it took me to install the long power cord along the visor and around the interior in order to hook it into the car’s power system.