You can buy this on-board in-car video camera from DealExtreme for less than $60. Have you ever wanted to take onboard video footage of your daily drive. Maybe for practical purposes like capturing car accidents or just document your life in general. If so this is the perfect little device. It has 2 key features that every car camera should have. First is power-on recording. The minute you start your engine, this camera will turn on and start recording. This is possible when you power it through the 5V input by using the included car adapter. When you turn off the engine, the camera stops recording and turns off. Very slick. The 2nd key feature is continuous loop recording (or as the Chinese call it, cycled recording). When the SD card is full, it will erase the old files and overwrite them. I was not able to find this feature in any of the more expensive cameras I’ve seen. It also has motion detection. When it senses that the camera is in motion, it’ll start recording. So if you only want to record when your is moving, it can do that as well.
Video is recording AVI format while in photo mode, pictures are in JPG format. You can use the attached 2.5″ screen to view live footage or playback recorded files. It’s native resolution is 640×480 and it does have a mic to record sounds too if you like. With the built-in 500mah battery, it can run without being connected to a power source for a little while. In my case, I have the car adapter wires discreetly routed through the side moldings and tucked away.
The quality of the video recorded isn’t bad. Check out my Youtube review to see what I’m talking about. You can’t really make out license plates but it’s good enough I say. It’s viewing angle is pretty good too. You can record the whole view of the windshield.
One thing you should not do is have the 2.5″ screen down when driving. Why? You get distracted looking at the LCD screen and can get into an accident. Then you’ll really have something to record 🙂
The unit can be mounted with the included windshield mount.
Car charger, USB cable, camera, windshield mount
Camera with 2.5″ screen
Photo taken with the camera in photo mode. It’s not great but this capability is there if you need it.
Example of the menu system
– High resolution clearly recognize the faces or car plate
– 2.5″ TFT LCD display
– 1/4 color CMOS HD sensor
– Built-in 300K Pixels camera
– Video format: AVI
– Selectable resolution: 1280*960 (WXGA, Interpolation) / 720*480 (WVGA, Interpolation) / 640*480 (VGA, recommended) @30fps
– Viewing angle: 120 degree
– SD/MMC card slot, support up to 32GB
– Cycled recording
– Repeat storage by section: 2/5/15 minutes
– Automatically start recording when power applied
– Microphone included
– Built-in 3.7V/500mAh rechargeable battery
– Power input: DC5V
– Power supplied by car charger
– Interface: USB 2.0
– Package included:
– 1 * Car camera
– 1 * Car mount
– 1 * Car charger
– 1 * USB cable
– 1 * English user manual
I think this camera is the bee’s knees. It’s just awesome. It does everything I ever want in a car camera and more. The only thing I’d probably want is higher resolution recording so you can actually make out license plates and probably make it smaller and more discreet. But like all technology, I’m sure this will become a reality and cost half as much in a few years.
Get it at DealExtreme
The following video contains my review as well as some onboard footage of it in action.