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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Given a few recent postings about dash cam videos really coming to the aid of owners providing evidence for insurance, and legal in general, purposes I thought I'd pose this question. What are the best dash cam choices currently?

My wish list would be under $200, cordless if possible (battery operated, maybe charge once a week) and good quality video and field of vision. I know there are two camera setups, one for front and other rear, maybe other configurations but I would probably keep it simple to start and have one just up on the windshield.

Tesla is just talking about opening up their on board cameras to be used as dash cams, taking video to make dash cams obsolete. That's probably 5 to 10 years out for most manufacturers so for now, it's an aftermarket solution.

Looking forward to hearing some reviews... TIA
 

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Best? Too subjective. I went with a very cheap Amazon special Toguard. Works extremely well. Sound is decent, picture is excellent. Works extremely well at night. I see very little reason to pay $200 bucks for such an item that bakes in the sun all day long. Mine has been going strong for over a year now. No issues other than occasionally having to clear the SD card manually. It rewrites it automatically but occasionally it needs to be done manually. No big deal. I would recommend something that got good reviews and is under $50. Best of luck to you.
 

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firehawk72 said it best. I too went with a Toguard and you can find details in my dash cam install thread: http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread.php?271233-Dash-cam-placement-blindspot-vs-sideways

I wouldn't rule a wired camera. I found running the wires along the headliner and stuffing them in between the trim using tape anchors to be quiet easy and not too ugly if you've got a black interior. All in all, I spent $150 for my 4-camera setup (includes 32GB microSD cards too). If you just got the Toguard front+rear setup (just install the front per your OP), I'm sure you can find one on Amazon now for $50.
 

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To re-iterate something I've said in the past....
I've run a dashcam for a few years now and learned early on that the dividing line between cheap and quality units is VAST. Trust me, get a quality unit or don't bother at all.
So it's good that the OP is starting out with the right mindset and a realistic budget.

I understand why the OP wants to go wireless, but he needs to get over that issue. Even if he finds a good camera, the "maintenance" of installing and un-installing for charging will get old really fast and then the camera will wind up sitting at home, or in the car non-functional. It's just human nature.

One of the things that doesn't get enough attention in reviews is the lens angle. For example, a 130 degree lens will give you "A" pillar to "A" pillar coverage across the front of your car, but also means that you have to be pretty damned close to another vehicle to read the license plates in the video. Personally I think a lens running around 117 degrees is better for automotive purposes.

A co-worker just bought a Z-Edge Z3 for his 'vette and I have to tell you the video the thing captures is like watching a professional movie. I've never seen anything quite like it and even though I think 170 degrees [correction it's 145 degrees...typo] on the lens is just too wide the resolution of the camera mostly compensates.

Other companies that have begun making names for themselves are Blackvue (probably best of the best) to Rexing (some good budget stuff) with well known companies like Garmin finally getting their act together.

My personal experience is with Transcend. I have a DrivePro 100 in my Volt (now replaced by the 110 in their lineup) and we just got a drivepro 50 for my wifes car.
 

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Pro Tip
Does your suction cup mounted dashcam (or GPS) keep falling off your window?

Clean the glass well with a good cleaner, and clean the suction cup with warm, soapy, water and let it dry.
Then put a light film of vegetable oil on the suction cup before applying to the window.
 

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I am thinking about a camera upgrade. How is the video quality of the transcend 50 vs the 110? The 110 has the lower 2 megapixel sensor but it is a Sony chip, if that makes a difference. Both are 130 degrees wide. The 50 is f/1.8 which could help.
The specs on the z-edge z3 list it as 145 degree FOV.
 

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This is what I bought in January, 2015 from Amazon:

Black Box G1W-C Capacitor Model Dash Cam – Heat Resistant – Full HD 1080P H.264 2.7" LCD Car DVR Video Recorder – WDR 140° Wide Angle 4x Zoom Motion Detection Night Vision G-Sensor

and

SanDisk Ultra 4GB Class 6 Micro SDHC Memory Card Up To 30MB/s With Adapter- SDSDQY-004G-U46A (Label May Change)

The small memory card is overwritten every 3+ minutes of recording. But my reasoning for buying the smallest memory was price and that I need only seconds of recording to document an accident. The capacitor model camera negates any worries of dead batteries in the camera. The camera is powered from the PTO in the dash cubby with the small wire being unobtrusively run directly up to the camera that I mounted on the passenger side behind the mirror.

I researched this camera and watched a few youtube critiques before the purchase. I’ve had no problems with the setup in the 2 ½ years of operation other than the suction cup losing its grip when baking in the sunlight on really hot days. It’s happened maybe three times. I admit that I haven’t done the proper prep of the glass and cup prior to mounting – my bad.

My experience with this camera and memory chip is nothing but good and I can recommend this setup.

EDIT: My car is a Gen1 2014.
 

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A119S Dashcam is very nice

I really like my A119S dash cam. It has a low profile and almost disappears behind the rear view mirror. I have also used it with a USB battery to video a 9U baseball game. About $120.
 

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I am thinking about a camera upgrade. How is the video quality of the transcend 50 vs the 110? The 110 has the lower 2 megapixel sensor but it is a Sony chip, if that makes a difference. Both are 130 degrees wide. The 50 is f/1.8 which could help.
The specs on the z-edge z3 list it as 145 degree FOV.
I couldn't tell you about the 110, I have a 100. I was just mentioning the 110 because that is the new one in their lineup. The 50 does a good job overall.

Yes that should have been 145 degrees... typo. I'll correct it.
 

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I have two of these wifi versions: https://www.amazon.com/AUTO-VOX-Dashboard-Recorder-G-Sensor-Recording/dp/B01LX22APJ/

Pros: I like the wifi version so that the unit is small and is not noticable.
you can download videos straight to phone without removing card.
It has held up in the heat of summer since I have it connect to a live wire that keeps it running 24/7.
Using a 64g card allows for more than 24 hours of recording before it overwrites.

Cons: image quality not as great as a more expensive camera but it does the job. Its not terrible but not as good as my cell phone camera.
 

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If you want quality at a good price this is what you want.

DDPai mini2 Wi-Fi dashcam HD 1440P(2K), night-vision, 140° wide angle, loop recording, G-sensor, parking monitor, built-in supercapacitor, snapshot bu https://www.amazon.com/dp/B071YB6VBW/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apip_sfWpRkn9JufLi
I have 2. 1 front, 1 back. Both with 64GB cards. These cameras BLOW the BlackVue 650S clear out of the water in terms of video quality and the app is a million times better.
 

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If you want quality at a good price this is what you want.

DDPai mini2 Wi-Fi dashcam HD 1440P(2K), night-vision, 140° wide angle, loop recording, G-sensor, parking monitor, built-in supercapacitor, snapshot bu https://www.amazon.com/dp/B071YB6VBW/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apip_sfWpRkn9JufLi
I have 2. 1 front, 1 back. Both with 64GB cards. These cameras BLOW the BlackVue 650S clear out of the water in terms of video quality and the app is a million times better.
This sounds great....So you get power via a usb connection? Can you show us how you have it mounted and how you connect it in your Volt? Do you leave the USB wire connected all the time or just for charging? and if so, how long does a charge last?
 

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This sounds great....So you get power via a usb connection? Can you show us how you have it mounted and how you connect it in your Volt? Do you leave the USB wire connected all the time or just for charging? and if so, how long does a charge last?
It’s not wireless, it took me about 10 minutes to install each one. The front one is hardwired to the passenger side fuse box, and the real one is hardwired to the rear fuse box on the driver side. They are always on and recording.
 

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It’s not wireless, it took me about 10 minutes to install each one. The front one is hardwired to the passenger side fuse box, and the real one is hardwired to the rear fuse box on the driver side. They are always on and recording.
If you have them always on, doesn't that deplete your 12v battery?
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
A co-worker just bought a Z-Edge Z3 for his 'vette and I have to tell you the video the thing captures is like watching a professional movie. I've never seen anything quite like it and even though I think 170 degrees [correction it's 145 degrees...typo] on the lens is just too wide the resolution of the camera mostly compensates..
Looking at the Z-Edge Z3 based on Dutch's reference in his post, looks like a nice unit. One concern is the size of this thing coupled with the black plastic housing that covers the Volt's camera system behind the rear view mirror. Where the heck would you position a unit like the Z-Edge Z3? The black plastic housing covers such a large area, makes it a bit of a challenge to install a dash cam with a screen.

I've been driving for a lot of years, luckily without incident. I'm starting to wonder whether it's worth the hassle of installing/having a dash cam. I know it's like insurance and it's invaluable if you ever really need it, just debating in my mind right now whether to pursue it.
 
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