Thursday, October 04, 2018

Got a dashcam.. because.

I recently purchased a Vantrue N1 Pro dashcam. I thought it'd be good to have after watching all the bad Vancouver driver videos on youtube. Thus far, I must say I haven't met any crazy bad drivers - yes, I've driven through Richmond and Surrey - and if anything I thought most of the folk are pretty chill. Definitely have met some people with no regard for others, but just slowing down and letting 'em go ahead does the trick.

So far, I've been using it to improve my driving skills. For example, over the weekend, I entered a right turn lane over a solid line instead of the dotted lines closer to the intersection. Not going to make that mistake again!

The N1 pro is one of the "middle" of the pack cameras. It doesn't have the almighty super capacitor people rave about, and it only does 1080P. It doesn't have wifi, and it only captures the forward view. What I did like about it is the price, and contents of the package.

First, it comes stock with a suction mount. That's perfect for people like me who drive only carshares. Next, there's a 12V to USB mini cable for powering the camera. That cable also provides an additional usb port for charging, pretty neat. Also included is a micro usb cable. You can power the camera via mini usb through a port on the suction mount, or to the camera via micro usb. Interesting design choices, but eh.

In use, it's fine, I guess? It's my first dashcam*. It captures the going-ons in front of my ride very adequately. To be clear, it's not one of those "2k" cameras, and license plates and similarly small details are only visible up close when everything's not moving. The controls are not very intuitive, but once you've read the manual, it's clears it straight up.

One minor annoyance of this camera is the input for the mini usb faces to the driver's left, I wish it was on the right. If not, the camera works great for it's price. I could use the micro usb cable, which is exits on the right of the camera, but I won't subject a tiny microusb cable to the weight of the cable, and the mini usb is the one that has the 12V adaptor connected to it.

The packaging is probably my main gripe. It's too damned nice. I really dislike how "wanna be Apple" the packaging felt like. For gods sake, all I need is a a box with some protection, I don't need no fancy slide out paper sheath with quality printed manuals. And a separate box to hold the cables and mount. Slick, high quality bag of the camera. No seriously, I'm not sure how much the packaging adds to the price. It's really nice, and I'm just going to toss it in my storeroom till I sell the camera.

If there's one thing I hope the camera will be updated with is the exposure compensation. Right now you can only adjust it in gradations of one stop, that's pretty massive. I think having the option of half stops would really improve the blown out skies. Also, there's no memory card with it. I'm using a 32GB card with it at the moment and it fills up pretty rapidly; three minutes of footage runs about 345mb, so about 4hours-ish of footage. No biggie, as the camera has a loop mode that erases old footage when the card fills up.

I must say some days I wish I'd just blew more money and got a top of the line 2k camera. But I don't drive that much, and if I really wanted good driving footage, it would be better money spend getting a mount for my dslr.


*I originally bought a Viofo A119S, but it just stopped working like after fifteen minutes. Didn't want to deal with that so returned it andn got the N1 instead. The A119S does seem like a better camera though; high resolution, super capacitor. And the button layout made more sense. Packaging was not over the top. But yeah, failing after barely half an hour? Nah I'm good.

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