I have become a fan of dashcams lately. Not because I want to have footage of being the first to arrive on the scene of my next accident, but for a bunch of other reasons we highlighted in our first review of the BlackVue DR5000GW-HD
So what's new with this model?
For starters, it's a dual channel unit....
So what does that mean? Initially when I read the announcement I thought a second lens might have been incorporated in the unit to film the car's interior. After all, the BlackVue is capable of recording audio from the occupants of the vehicle, so why not video as well?
If that were the case I would have turned off the video as I do now with the audio.
I value my privacy too much.
No, the second video feed comes from a smaller camera that can be connected via a 4.5 metre long cable to the main unit. The idea is to route that cable to the rear window of your car and take footage of following or overtaking vehicles. Adhesive clips (that don't stick too well) are included. The length of the cable was long enough for my Ford SUV.
Why the Second Camera?
I'm not sure of the statistics but from experience I know that not all accidents are caused by events happening in front of you. Just a few weeks ago my daughter's car was hit on the rear bumper whilst stationary in front of a pedestrian crossing. Nothing major to prove to the insurance company and the case was easily sorted out. But it will be extremely handy to have footage from both the back and the front to prove your innocence when you're involved in an accident that's not your fault.
The rear-facing camera is also very useful when you're parked and have opted for a permanent connection to the car battery. Thieves might check the car from all angles first before breaking in.
If they do, you'll have the footage to have the police identify them – that is if they don't take your BlackVue setup first... Hopefully they will be deterred by the flashing light on the unit and move on to an easier target.
The second camera, whilst similar looking, is much smaller as it basically is just a lens housing. All processing and storage is done with the main dash cam. Resolution is HD whereas the front camera is Full HD. Sony Exmor CMOS sensors will ensure that the images are reasonably good. Front is 2.4 MP and Rear cam is 1 MP. The angle of view is 137 degrees – same as upfront.
Pittasoft sent us a new cable for the rear camera after some folks had reported occasional connectivity problems.
So we waited a few more weeks for the new cable to come in to test the rear-facing camera.
Rather than noting any problems as annoying, we are actually pleased that Pittasoft took preventative measures to just send out new cables to everyone. They truly stand by their products!
Currently I have the cable still visible as it snakes to the back of the vehicle but as I'm changing over to a new car soon, I'll wait till then to put the whole system on permanent battery power and hiding the cabling as much as possible.
I'll update this review then with more photos and a video.
As I mentioned in the earlier review, the playback software is well done, both for your mobile and on a desktop. There is no reason you could not use this dual channel setup as an action camera setup indoors. Or within a vehicle or aircraft. The PiP (Picture in Picture) view gives a good feel of what's happening in front and back.
We've seen too many incidences of road rage and manoeuvres from other vehicles that could easily have led to accidents and which would have involved our vehicle.
An independent witness is worth his/her weight in gold to prove your innocence. In a serious crash your BlackVue can also prove your innocence and thus be worth its weight in gold...
Besides, knowing that everything is being recorded, makes you a more careful driver who will stick to the speed limits a lot easier!
Highly recommended and at around 470 Aussie dollars good value for money.
If this model is above your budget you might find a good deal on their earlier models too.