cam overview

fyi: I eventually removed the plastic over the lens!

 

Have you ever thought about all the awesome moments & memories you have when you drive?  I love driving, that is one of the reasons I chose a Class A.  I want to drive around and see the country!

I have seen a lot of weird stuff.  Last summer in Upper Michigan I almost hit a Bald Eagle as it was swooping across the highway.  I have seen some crazy homemade campers.  I have seen tires blow out on cars in front of me.  I have seen some fancy exotic automobiles driving amazingly fast on interstates.

I have witnessed amazingly bad storms.  I have seen beautiful golden hour sunsets.  I have viewed vistas of amazing grandure and space.

I can now record what I have seen.

I bought the dash cam (affiliate link) for myself on my birthday.

I had been looking at dash cam footage for years.  Check out this crazy Russian dashcam footage!  In Russia crazy stuff happens so much that dashcams are required for insurance reasons.

That is just crazy, and I want to record all the crazy and amazing stuff I have seen!

I was a bit worried about the low price.  When you look at the cost of a go pro camera, or other miniature action cam, $300-$500 isn’t out of the question.

This little sub $70 camera looks great.  I will share with you some tips.

This camera lets you record in a looping 10 minute loop (it keeps recording over the last 10 minutes) or it will record until the card is full.  When the memory card is full, the camera will just turn off.  I think the camera has a button where it will keep a 10 minute loop if you see something you want to save.

I don’t want to mess with my camera so I just have the camera fill up the memory card.  At the end of the week I save what files I want, and then reformat the card right inside the camera.

The camera uses a 32meg mini-SD card (affiliate link).  My one wish would be that I could have put a 64 or 128meg card in.  I don’t know if they make a mini-SD card that big, but the camera will not accept one.  Make sure you buy a memory card because the camera does not come with one!

A must have feature of the camera for me was the ability to record in Quicktime.  The camera records in h.264 and iMovie and Quicktime both work great with the file.  This lets me edit the final product without doing any type of file conversion.

My 25 minute commute takes about 1 gig of space at the full setting of 1080p.

I keep the audio recording off.  I really liked having audio on so I could hear our reactions to unusual events.  The problem was I felt like I had a huge loss of privacy when I talked to my wife and kid.

I constantly imaged having my camera footage turned into evidence and being questioned about my private conversations.  I just elected to quit worrying about it and turn off the audio recording to protect my privacy.

The other adjustment I ended up having to make was to have the video screen turn off 3 minutes after the camera turns on.  This gives me enough time to make sure that camera is aimed correctly and recording.  The main reason that I set the screen to turn off was because of my video game background.  I really wanted to drive my vehicle in 3rd person!

Having the screen turn off gives me less distractions when I drive.

You can see a little off-road trip we took at a state park.  The camera is amazingly smooth for being used on such rough roads:

My camera probably isn’t mounted in the perfect spot.  I sometimes get reflections of my hands or lights from my stereo on the windshield.  The dash cam picks up those reflections.

I have yet to use the dash cam with the RV.  I did figure out where I will mount the camera.  I started looking at the windows of semi-trucks on the highway.  I guess that is a perk of having a gigantic suv.

I noticed many truck drivers put dash cams on the side windows instead of on the front window.  I can’t reach the front window from my captains chair, so I will also put my camera on the side window.  I checked and I think it will fit just fine.

The camera includes cable overload.  It comes with an adaptor and an extra long cable.  The cable is designed to be run all around the inside of your car and be hidden.  Since I have to move my cam between cars I can’t do a nice install.

dashcam installed

The dashcam also has cables to hook up to my tv and my computer.

The mount took a few tries to understand.  For a while my dash cam kept falling off the mount, but I finally figured out how to slide the camera on.  I had the mount on the window backwards so things didn’t work correctly the first few weeks.

Overall the quality of the camera is amazing.  It does a great job on having a wide viewing angle.  The camera is easy to move and mount, and the camera produces footage that is easy to archive and edit.

Three features I never end up using are the ability to take stills, motion sensor recording, and use a flash.  I can’t imagine what you would use the flash for.  Maybe if you wanted to use the dash cam as a handheld camcorder?  I could see the led light being used then.  Since I don’t want to touch the dash cam when driving I never touch the button to take stills.

I think the motion sensor is supposed to make the camera record if the car is jarred – IE someone backs into your car while it is parked.  The camera has an internal battery so it can perform this function under it’s own power.  I usually have the camera hidden so it can’t be stolen, so this doesn’t really work for me.

My biggest complaint about the camera is the name.  Black Box G1W-B is a crazy name!  The Amazon listing had so many comments about originality and piracy it made me a little worried about what I was getting myself into.

The camera seems to be a great value for the money.  I have used the camera for a few months now and I loved it!  I would recommend that you make sure you get a large memory card.  Their are a lot of options on the market for dash cams, but the ratings and other reviews I have seen on this model were right on.

This is a great dashcam, and I love to record all the adventures I go on with it!

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