In most traffic conflicts, high quality video recordings are not required. For example, you must confirm that you were driving at a traffic light during an accident or the car that you “caught” from behind really cut you off. But, if the culprit is hiding from the scene, and the state of stress prevented him from remembering his license plate number or the car was damaged in the parking lot and it is necessary to identify the culprit (again by the license plate number of the car or the vandal’s face), then the quality of the video image and the device’s battery life are at the forefront.
In the test, we collected video recorders worth up to 10, 000 rubles: six of them with the claimed Full HD video, one device with two cameras and HD video plus a communicator on the Android platform with the corresponding application that simulates a video recorder.
The test procedure is simple: by connecting all eight devices to the vehicle’s on-board network, we made synchronous recording in daytime conditions (including in the direction of the low sun at sunset). We performed a night synchronization with those devices that are not equipped with a backlight, so that the subjects did not play along with each other. These worked in turn in similar conditions.
Evaluated by six criteria:
1. Appearance and installation (compactness, weight, inconspicuousness, features of a tripod).
2. Interface (location and size of buttons, ease of use with the menu, display specifications).
3. Optics (viewing angle, zoom, the ability to rotate the lens, the number of cameras).
4. Formats and media (duration, size and format of files, codec, resolution and bitrate of video recording, photo resolution, type of memory card).
5. Functionality (shooting modes, availability, type and effectiveness of the backlight, sound recording, motion sensor, screen flip, connectors for interfacing with other devices, GPS module, type and characteristics of the battery).
6. Options and price.
The result is shown in the summary table.
1st place: Datakam GS-800
Datakam GS-800 (9000 rubles) Datakam GS-800 (9000 rubles)
Compact, convenient tripod, backlit camera. It can be directed to the driver's or passenger window. Plus hinged rotating display. The GS-800 is equipped with an external GPS module and marks the image not only with the date, but also with the speed of the car. When viewing a track using a proprietary program, you can track the movement route using the Google-maps service. Compression up to 8 Mbps - the optimal ratio of quality and file size. A clear picture, good optics, a removable BL-5C battery with a capacity of 1000 mA / h and rich equipment with a card reader. In addition, the developer regularly improves the software, offering new firmware.
2nd place: ParkCity DVR HD 530
ParkCity DVR HD 530
ParkCity DVR HD 530 (9999 rubles) ParkCity DVR HD 530 (9999 rubles)
An expensive and non-standard device, has a removable touch screen and an original case in the form of a tube, which, however, can take pictures on its own. The menu is devoid of exposure settings, contrast, effects and other functions that, in fact, are not interesting to the user. Shooting is fully automatic. Good optics, slightly higher bitrate 10 Mbit / s. ParkCity has a built-in battery (1000 mA / h) and two types of backlight: LED and infrared, which allowed us to show consistently good results in various conditions. The tripod is bulky, but convenient to adjust and mount. Included is a 4 GB SD card and a convenient bag.
3rd place: DOD F880LHD
DOD F880LHD (7800 rubles) DOD F880LHD (7800 rubles)
The lens rotates 30 ° in the vertical plane. A tripod is located under the device; no other combination is provided for installation. In the night shooting mode (using an infrared filter), tripod elements are displayed in the frame with glare. The effect is enhanced with the inclusion of IR illumination. Good optics, MOV container, honest resolution - 1920x1080 and bitrate - 8 Mbps. The device is well adapted for night and battery life, plus the already familiar BL-5C battery (1000 mA / h). The main complaints about the installation method and menu, which is not intuitive in everything.
Dmitry, programmer, professional paraglider:
- A friend in flight on a motorcycle glider peeled off the camera and flew into the propeller. The camera is in chips, but a flash drive was found. The last file was completed incorrectly and did not play. I took up the analysis and wrote a recovery program. Then the bikers turned after the accident. All files are resurrected.
In Datakam, DOD and QStar, the video stream contains special markers that allow you to restore 100% of the video and sound in case of sudden interruption in recording. ParkCity has an MPEG Transport Stream file container - no recovery is required, files can be shredded as you like, and they will still be “watchable”. Inside the Mystery 790 files, it’s exotic: it’s possible to extract only fragments of the recording. Mystery 820 uses the H.264 codec with an AVI container - non-standard. It is possible to restore the recording, but you will have to sweat. Mio also has AVI, but with the MJPEG codec, technology is 15 years old, but the file is easy to recover.
4th place: QStar A5 Night
QStar A5 Night
QStar A5 Night (7300 rubles) QStar A5 Night (7300 rubles)
The menu is simple, the display is bright, the buttons on the front side are excellent! Optics are well adapted for night shooting. There is no backlight, but the image is quite clear. In daytime shooting (above), the moment when the low sun shines towards is selected. The car is very dark, which, in particular, indicates an insufficient dynamic range of the camera compared to the leaders. The video parameters, identical to DOD, allowed us to show consistently good results. The four leaders use a fast and high-quality AVC encoder and produce decent stereo sound. QStar can cleverly capture motion in the frame, sorry not for long. The built-in battery lasted for 1.5 hours.
5th place: Mystery MDR-820DHR
Mystery MDR-820DHR (4700 rubles) Mystery MDR-820DHR (4700 rubles)
The location of the buttons is inconvenient - at the end, and the icons are flashing. The menu is simple and straightforward. The body is too noticeable. There is no backlight, but there is a motion sensor. The capacity of the removable battery is 500 mA / h. Resolution 1920x1080 may have been obtained by interpolation (increasing lower resolution while maintaining source quality). High bitrate - 12.5 Mbps, and 30 frames per second do not save: the image is blurry, but due to the large viewing angle of 140˚ it is distorted. Sound mediocre: MS ADPCM, 44 kHz, mono. Included is a 4 GB microSD, on which the device creates a folder system according to the shooting date. By the way, it is necessary to check regularly whether the date and time have gone astray - the degree of trust of the court in correctly marked video recordings is higher.
Maxim Khanzhin, lawyer:
- In case of an accident, give the inspector a memory card with a record. Make sure that he seals it in an envelope, inscribing the date and time of the seizure, introduces the registrar's mark, the method of attachment and the location of the cameras in the protocols. You have the right not to give the card, indicating all the information about it in the protocols. Having made a copy of the video, send the original by registered letter to the court. Be prepared to provide an examination record. Legislation on the issue: Art. 26.2 Administrative Code, Art. 26.7 Administrative Code "Documents", Art. 55 Code of Civil Procedure of the Russian Federation "Evidence", Art. 77, 78 Code of Civil Procedure of the Russian Federation, Art. 84 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of the Russian Federation and others. The law does not distinguish between analogue and digital recording. There is no mention of resolution (number of pixels) and device certification.
6th place: Mio MiVue 225
Mio MiVue 225
Mio MiVue 225 (4490 rubles) Mio MiVue 225 (4490 rubles)
There is no battery - the device is almost weightless, but devoid of autonomy. Tripod mount - uncomfortable threaded connection. Uses an outdated AVI container and MJPEG codec - a poor combination for HD video. Files are too bulky: five minutes of recording will take 750 MB. The registrar manages to record 15 frames per second (instead of 30, as competitors), while the bitrate of 20 Mbps is unreasonably high. For Full HD, the resolution of the matrix should be at least 2 megapixels. In this case, only 1.2 megapixels are claimed. Obviously 1920x1080 is obtained by interpolation. The position is partially saved by very good optics. Low-quality sound: PCM (without compression), 11 kHz, 176 kbps, mono. Bonus - an original sticker on the glass.
Out of Set: Mystery MDR-790DHR
Mystery MDR-790DHR (4657 rubles) Mystery MDR-790DHR (4657 rubles)
Takes on two adjustable cameras. Each is equipped with IR LED. However, its effectiveness is in doubt. Inconvenient arrangement of buttons on different sides of the device. Each camera writes an image of 1280x720 size - an honest physical resolution of each matrix. Records are glued into one picture on top of each other (1280x1440, 8 Mbps). Modern H.264 codec and MOV container. Sound average: AAC, 22 kHz, 44 kbit / s, mono. If the frame is in the sun, you can make out only the silhouettes. Weak optics and low sensitivity of the matrices, but there is a motion detector. Built-in battery (300 mA / h), included - 256 MB microSD. Performs its function only in good lighting.
Out of credit: Android communicator
A special device, sharpened for one function, performs it better than a universal one. Many have a “smart phone”; downloading the “DVR” application is not a problem. Will have to fork out only on the holder. It’s good if the car supports the Bluetooth protocol so that the incoming call does not interfere with video recording. The optics are not inferior, the video quality is at the level of the test leaders, but it’s very difficult to find and configure an application that works correctly with this phone model, in particular, with an integrated GPS module. But the record can be copied to the device’s memory and to a spare memory card, because there’s a lot of useful things on the phone’s card - I don’t want to give it to the inspector who makes the accident.
Konstantin Vasiliev, editor:
- Only half of the subjects met the expectations for the quality of the video image. Good optics without a competent and modern software part is not happy. As well as the desire of manufacturers at any cost to go into the popular Full HD-segment. The seditious truth was also confirmed: a decent amount would have to pay a tidy sum. The backlight is effective at short distances and attracts attention, and the main role is played by the optics and sensitivity of the matrix, the optimal viewing angle is 120 °. By the way, DVRs are also able to take photos. The best result is the Datakam GS-800 with honest 8 megapixels (photo size - 3264x2448).
Please note that only MOV files can be played without problems on any modern Apple product. To view the entries in Windows, you will need to install the appropriate codec. Typically, the instructions have an Internet address where you can download it.
Many devices come with HDMI cables to demonstrate recording on a television, such as in a courtroom. QStar and DOD also have an analog cord with tulips. A memory card is included with Mystery and ParkCity. A motion detector is available from Mystery, QStar and DOD. The most convenient tripods are at QStar, ParkCity and Datakam, and the longest-lasting batteries are at the top three.