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Thinkware Dash Cam Review

Thinkware are known for their extensive product range including a huge variety of price points, designs, and features which has continued to grow and improve ever since they entered the market in 1997.

Their cameras are built to be discreet and stylish with the look and performance of a premium product while maintaining a reasonable price tag.

Thinkware pride themselves on being the worlds leading and most reliable dash camera brand, shown by their saying;

‘It is not just a simple camera, but a dependable partner that captures every second perfectly for you whilst driving. Nobody can be sure what will happen on the road. However, Thinkware dash cams never miss a thing.’

Thinkware dash cam prices vary drastically from £99.99, up to £368.99.

Click here to see this information as an infographic.

Thinkwares Best Dash Cam Features

WiFi & GPS

Built-In WiFi & GPS is a standard feature for nearly every Thinkware camera model.Thinkware Mobile Viewer App M1

Built-In WiFi allows you to connect your smartphone to the camera through the Thinkware mobile viewing app.

This provides easy access to the settings of the camera, along with the ability to review or download footage, drastically improving usability and efficiency.

GPS allows you to view the location information of your vehicle, including current location, previous journeys, the direction of travel, and speed. This can be very useful for proving your location in a car cloning court case, or as evidence against claims of speeding.

For those who don’t have built-in GPS, you are able to purchase the external GPS antenna in order to access these features.

Range Of Products

Not strictly a dash cam feature, but one of the most impressive things about Thinkware is the varied range in which they offer.

Rather than sticking with the standard front and rear options, they have products such as the M1 Motorsports cam made for extreme use on vehicles such as motorbikes where normal options won’t do the job.

The M1 isn’t just impressive, it sets the gold standard for motorsport cameras and definitely ticks every box. You can find out more about the M1 Motorsports Cam here.Thinkware M1 Motorsport Front and Rear Dash Cam Image 2When it comes to regular dash cameras, they have a massive variety of prices which can fit any budget, all the while ensuring that every camera is high quality. Higher quality than you’d expect for the price.

For a basic, budget dash camera which gets the job done, take a look at the F50.

For the best Thinkware money can buy, take a look at the Q800 PRO.

Furthermore, the Thinkware X700 is a great option for those who would rather lose some discreetness in order to have a display screen. For recording the inside of your vehicle there are several IR cameras available which are perfect for taxi drivers.

It is clear to see that Thinkware has covered all angles within the dash camera market and likely have an ideal solution no matter what your requirements are.

Day/Night Recording Quality

Another feature of Thinkware cameras which stands out is the quality for both day and night recording.

1080p Full HD recording is standard throughout all their cameras, with some high-end models going even higher.

Aside from this, they make use of wide dynamic range (WDR) correction for day-time recording. This eliminates excessively bright spots on the recording to correct the colour balance and ensure a clear image.

The difference this makes is definitely noticeable, shown below.

Thinkware Wide Dynamic Range Correction Example

Furthermore, night-time recording is improved in low-light environments such as alleys and car parks with their SUPER NIGHT VISION 2.0.

This uses image signal processing (ISP) technology to provide clear, visible video in any situation. Again, the difference is clearly visible, shown below.

M1 Motorsports Cam Night Vision Recording

 

Parking & Time Lapse Mode

Parking mode is definitely a strong point of Thinkware dash cameras.

They have two options.

Standard Parking Mode

The first of which is a standard parking mode where the camera will be inactive while the vehicle is parked, but the motion sensor will be looking for movement and impact around the vehicle.

When something is detected, the camera will begin recording and automatically save this footage to a write-protected section of the SD Card.

The motion sensor is very accurate in Thinkware cameras, along with having very good voltage detection which will automatically stop parking mode when the battery of your vehicle begins to get low. This stops the battery being drained below a point where starting up again would be an issue.

Time-Lapse Mode

Alternatively, Thinkware cameras have the option of Time Lapse when in parking mode.

This allows the camera to continuously record while parked, rather than only when motion is detected. The recording will be at 1 frame per second to form the time-lapse.

The main benefit of this is that it extends the standard length of parking mode by up to 1 hour!

Design

There is plenty of variety within the Thinkware range in terms of design. However, all of them are modern, nice looking pieces of kit which are clearly designed to be as discreet as possible.

While they have more traditional rectangularly shaped options such as the Thinkware F200, they are recognisable for their design which can be seen on the higher-end models including the F770, F800, and Q800 Pro.

This design (shown below) allows the dash cam to sit flush against the windscreen, meaning it can be tucked much higher and more discreetly behind the rearview mirror, and is, therefore, less visible to others, and less obstructive to the driver.

Thinkware F800 pro flush discreet design

Furthermore, the X700 is an ideal option for anybody wanting a screen on their dash cam, without sacrificing quality and reliability, while also maintaining a level of discreetness.

Driver Safety Warnings

Driver safety is clearly a top priority for Thinkware, and this is reflected in the built-in driver safety warnings within their dash cams.

All of these features are completely optional and can easily be turned on/off using the cameras app.

The first of the driver safety features are speed camera alerts. When enabled, the camera will emit an audible alert to warn the driver of red lights, static, and average speed cameras, along with mobile camera hotspot areas.

Along with this, lane departure, urban forward collision, front vehicle departure, and front collision warning systems are all integrated within the Thinkware dash cams.

When the urban forward-collision warning system is enabled, the camera will calculate the real-time distance between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you. It will then issue a 3-level early warning to the driver depending on the danger of collision

By enabling the front vehicle departure warning, your dash cam will inform you that the vehicle in front of you has started to move.

Overall

Thinkware have an excellent variety of dash cameras with all the features you would want or need.

In terms of quality, value for money, and reliability, they are unrivalled.

If you would like to find out more about our range of Thinkware dash cams then please contact us using the form below, or click here.

For advice on the best option for you, or to arrange professional fitting of your dash cam, contact us here.

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BlackVue Dash Cam Review

BlackVue-DR75S-2Ch premium dash cam reviewBlackVue entered the dashboard camera market in 2008 and have been growing their product range since. They have become a key player in the premium dash cam space and always provide cameras packed with the latest features.

From Parking Mode to the BlackVue Cloud, and even Stealth Mode, they cover everything.

The BlackVue price range drastically varies from £149.99 up to £499.99, and everything in between, all with their own pros and cons.

Our best selling BlackVue dash cam is the DR750S-2CH without a doubt. This is the camera which will be primarily featured in the BlackVue dash cam review below.

What’s Great About BlackVue Dash Cams?

There is no denying the quality, design, and features of the BlackVue DR750S-2CH. The recognisable design paired with features unique to BlackVue gives the feel and performance of a premium product.

cloud connected

The DR750S and the DR900S are both cloud-connected camera systems. With access to the BlackVue Cloud, you will be able to easily store important footage at any time – without having to worry about SD Card, phone, or computer storage.

This also means that you are able to retrieve the important video evidence at any time, regardless of where you are.

This is a huge convenience to the user and is, therefore, a highly desirable feature of the BlackVue cameras.

Click here to learn more about the BlackVue Cloud.

WiFi & GPS

Built-in WiFi and GPS are standard across the whole BlackVue car camera range. For many people, these features are non-negotiable when it comes to choosing the best camera for them, so it is reassuring to know that all BlackVue options have this covered.

The benefit of built-in WiFi & GPS is that you are able to connect your smartphone to the camera – just like you would with a router at home.

From here, you are able to review or download footage directly onto your phone. This ensures that your important video footage is safe, and clears up SD Card space on the camera.

The GPS information provides you with accurate location details alongside the video footage. This can become vitally important if ever in a car cloning situation where you need to prove the whereabouts of your vehicle at a certain time and date.

Recording Quality

Recording quality is a standout area for BlackVue cameras, with arguably the best footage of any camera.

All cameras have a minimum of 1080p HD recording from both the front and rear which is already impressive. However, if this isn’t enough for you, take a look at the DR900S. This camera records in 4K Ultra HD from the front camera, making it one of the highest quality dashboard cameras on the market.

The DR750S features 1080p Full HD from both the front and rear, with 60fps and 30fps respectively. A Sony STARVIS Image Sensor is used for drastic improvements in low-light video quality, allowing for a more accurate account of any incident.

BlackVue Hardwire options battery pack reviewParking Mode

Parking mode is another feature where BlackVue has made some serious improvement.

This mode allows the camera to take power from the battery of the vehicle while parked. Movement and impact will then be picked up and recorded by the camera, meaning you can capture any damage done to your vehicle without being anywhere near it.

However, due to the power consumption draining the battery, this mode will cut off once the battery reaches 12V – generally providing 2-3 hours of parking mode recording.

The BlackVue DR750S improves on this by producing less heat and having a lower power consumption. This will increase the parking mode recording time, keeping your vehicle protected for longer.

Furthermore, the motion detection used for parking mode is superior to many other cameras. BlackVue have improved theirs in order to reduce the amount of “false positives” such as trees or people passing in the distance.

Motion detection can also be completely disabled so that only impact is recorded.

With parking mode being such a vital feature for many people, it is good to know that BlackVue prioritises its performance. They even have an additional battery pack which can be installed in order to increase the duration of parking mode by up to 12 hours.

The way Motion detection works in Parking Mode has been improved to reduce the amount of “false positives” such as trees or people passing in the distance. You can also disable motion detection so the DR750S will only record when an impact is detected.

Design

BlackVue have always made sure to have beautifully designed products which you would be proud to have in your car. Alongside this, being discreet and functional is always a priority.

BlackVue DR490L Dash Cam ReviewThe classic cylindrical shape can be seen on every model – other than the 490L which features a 3.5″ LCD screen. This allows the camera to be discreetly installed behind the rearview mirror. No distraction is caused to the driver, along with eliminating visible wiring coming from the camera.

Their status LEDs allow the driver to clearly see if the camera is on and recording when it should be.

stealth

The DR750S’ stealth mode is definitely a feature which allows them to stand out from the rest. This combats dash cam owners being concerned that the camera increases their risk of vehicle theft.

It achieves this by allowing you to turn off all LED indicators, even when in parking mode. This means that when paired with the small, discreet design, your system will go completely undetected to those outside of the vehicle.

What’s Not Great?

At Dash Witness, we love BlackVue car cameras. However, there are a few things where they fall short to some of the other brands. Whether or not these are detrimental will depend on your individual needs and preferences.

Time Lapse Mode

Many other vehicle cameras have a time-lapse parking mode. This enables constant recording in 1 frame per second.  Which uses less power and memory than traditional motion detection. These allow a longer parking mode.

BlackVue cameras do not have this feature. However, with the reduced parking mode power consumption of the DR750S models and up, it is debatable whether the time lapse mode would be necessary.

Driver Safety Warnings

Another feature which the BlackVue cameras lack compared to other brands is advanced driver safety alerts.

Other premium options such as the Thinkware Q800 PRO feature multiple safety alerts including speed camera warnings, front collision and lane departure alerts, and more.

These can be very useful for many drivers who want improved awareness on the road.

However, these features are optional and are sometimes seen as intrusive due to the audible and visible alerts. Because of this, many drivers will disable them. This means that the lack of these on BlackVue cameras is not an issue for the majority of buyers.

Price

Being a premium car camera brand, BlackVue cameras can cost you a considerable amount.

This is potentially off-putting for us dash cam users. However, BlackVue truly justifies the price of their cameras.

The level of features and camera quality improves as you go through their range. You have full control of getting a basic camera system which gets the job done, or a high spec dash cam rivalling a photographers camera.

What isn’t compromised throughout their range is high quality and reliable systems.

With dash cameras, you get what you pay for. When you are dependant on something for safety and evidence in many situations, you don’t want something that isn’t high quality and reliable.

 

If you are looking for a discreet and reliable dashboard camera system with premium features, we highly recommend BlackVue.

Click here to view our range of BlackVue Cameras.

If you would like to speak to one of our dash camera experts, please use the contact form below.

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Dash Cams – Best Buy or Don’t Buy?

Dash Camera Professionally Installed

Owning a dash camera is becoming increasingly popular amongst drivers, shown by a 2018 AA members survey. 20% of members currently own a car camera, a 19% increase from the 1% just five years ago. This is without doubt due to the many benefits they can provide.Nextbase Dash Cam

No matter how good of a driver you are, unfortunately, you cannot ensure other road users can be as trustworthy, meaning that the video evidence recording on a dash cam provides valuable evidence in the case of an accident, or a staged ‘crash for cash‘ car insurance fraud claim, possibly saving you thousands.

Along with the protection a dash cam has to offer, further monetary savings can be made. Through car insurance discounts that many brands offer – such as Axa, and Swiftcover. You can gain 10-20% off of your insurance, just by having a dash camera in your vehicle.

Features To Look For

When deciding which dash cam is the best fit for your needs, it is important to be aware of what features are on offer, and why they’re useful. Main ones to look out for are:

  • HD Recording – At least 1080p resolution.
  • Parking Mode – Allows recording for a period of time after parking the vehicle, and can prompt your dash cam to record if any impact is detected.
  • GPS – Tracking allows location, time and speed to be seen when looking back at an event.
  • G-Force Sensor – Detects impacts to the vehicle to begin or automatically store recording.

Pricing of a dash camera is the main concern for many potential owners, but it shouldn’t be. A quality camera with simplistic functions can be purchased for just over the £50 mark. The depth of features will tend to increase with the price.

 

How To Use Your Dash Cam

Dash cams prove crucial in cases of accidents or unlawful cases of car insurance fraud. However, there are some things you should be aware of when becoming the owner of one.

  • Dash Cams catch dangerous or illegal driving of others, but could be used against you if you’re still seen to be in the wrong.
  • In the UK, personal use vehicles do not need permission to install a car camera, however with shared vehicles, or when driving in other countries, some laws apply. We always recommend you check on these before installing a camera.

If you have been the victim, or witness of a car accident, then footage recorded from your dash cam can easily be used in the case. To submit evidence directly to the police, use the National Dash Cam Safety Portal. You may be asked to make a formal statement if your footage is used.

 

How To Decide

Nextbase 312GW
Nextbase 312GW – £99.99

In the Which.co.uk article on best buy dash cams, scoring was based on three variables; video quality, ease of use, and features. While price isn’t considered in the results, the evidence shows that the top 4 dash cams range from £59 – £249, meaning that nearly any budget can allow for a good quality camera.

Nextbase dash cameras came up top according to which.co.uk, with their range of Nextbase Lite, Deluxe, Professional, and Elite. Catering for all price points, and scoring highly in the aforementioned scoring variables.

To view our range of quality dash cameras, click here

If you’re interested in booking a dash cam installation, receiving a quote, or would like to talk to one of our professionals about our range, please contact us on 01865 598599, or by filling out the form below.

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The Best Dash Cam For Driving Instructors

The best dash camera for drivig instructors

It is becoming more popular for driving instructors to use a dash cam in their lessons.  One requirement is a camera that has a mobile app so they can playback footage to help a learner driver improve and point out exactly what they did wrong and how to correct it. They also need a camera that can be configured to run silently, as to not disturb learners during lessons or tests by beeping or ‘talking’.

These requirements rule out the majority of cameras, although Wi-Fi connectivity is becoming increasingly popular, it is not the norm with the majority of cameras on the market. Even fewer cameras are this configurable, with many not being able to completely turn off all noise that the camera makes. The BlackVue DR750S dash camera is what many driving instructors have purchased due to its unique ability to meet these precise requirements. This camera can come as either a front only or front and rear configuration.

BlackVue DR750S Features

The front and rear camera records in 1080p Full HD. This recording quality means that the footage will be crisp and clear. The DR750S also has built in GPS and Wi-Fi for use with the smartphone app and comes with cloud compatibility allowing you to view your camera remotely. Alongside these features, the cameras cylindrical design means it is our most discreet camera.
DR650S-2Ch
When connected to your camera over Wi-Fi, you can change camera settings, review previously footage and watch the camera live. This can be useful if you want to use the dash cam in driving lessons, as you can easily find the footage and play it back to the learner.

This camera also has the availability of parking mode recording when used with a hard-wire kit. This will result in the camera staying on for a period of time after the ignition is off, ensuring your vehicle is protected even when you are not in it.

View the BlackVue DR750S-2CH

The Dash Witness team will be more than happy to assist you in choosing the best dash camera for your needs and with any technical questions you may have after purchase. Feel free to contact us using our online chat, email or telephone with these queries.

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New Release: The BlackVue DR490L-2Ch

BlackVue DR490L-2Ch

BlackVue recently discontinued their DR750LW-2Ch dash cam, which was their first camera that incorporated a screen. Now however they have released the DR490L-2Ch. This camera has again strayed from their flagship cylindrical design and instead opted for the squared shape as per the previous 750LW.

The display is a 3.5″ LCD touch screen that allows you to watch previously recorded footage and change the camera settings. The navigation has been designed to be simple and intuitive to give you the best user experience. Using the screen allows you to set up the brand new feature, Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS), which when enabled will emit an audible alert when your vehicle is close to or crossing a line on the road.BlackVue DR490L-2Ch

Alongside the improved discreetness of this camera, the power magic pro is not needed for parking mode. This is because the camera has an in-built voltage cut-off device, meaning you simply need the hard-wire lead that comes with the camera for the use of parking mode. Alternatively,  you can have the camera plugged into your cigarette socket as a cigarette power cable is also included. It is worth noting that the cameras parking mode feature will not function if you do not have it hard-wired.

Another impressive feature of the DR490 is 1080P full HD front and rear camera recording quality. In other BlackVue models only the front camera is 1080P, with the rear camera recording in 720P. This ensures you get the highest quality recording possible for even clearer video evidence. The DR490 also has night vision, meaning your night time recording clearly shows what is happening.

There is one feature missing from the BlackVue DR490, Wi-Fi. However, this feature is not needed as you can playback footage or amend settings by using the LCD touch screen.

Overall the BlackVue DR490 has a wide variety of features that make it an impressive system, it is also very discreet which is a requirement for many people when searching for a camera. For those of you who want a camera with a screen, this is definitely one of the best options on the market.

Buy the BlackVue DR490L today

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Thinkware F750-2Ch Dash Cam

F750 Car Camera Front Angle

F750 Car Camera Front AngleAt Dash Witness, we sell an extensive range of dash cameras. This has enabled us to become experts at understanding all varieties of camera, from a single forward facing unit, to an eight camera DVR system (Digital Video Recorder).

The Thinkware F750-2Ch is one of the most popular cameras we sell, it was awarded the 2015 CES Innovation Award, making it the first dash camera to win a major accolade. This high performance camera allows the consumer to have a front camera, and an additional rear camera if they wish. Recording in 30FPS at 1920 x 1080, the detailed footage is in Full HD and has a broad viewing angle of 140°.

This dash cam has advanced technology that is capable of warning you when you are approaching red lights, static or average speed cameras, and even places that regularly have mobile speed cameras (it’s worth noting that this feature can be disabled in the settings, it can be over enthusiastic in mobile speed camera zones). The Thinkware F750-2Ch also uses dual save technology, saving the latest events to both the SD card and internal memory of the camera. This ensures that if the SD card is damaged, footage can be retrieved from the internal storage.

The Thinkware F750-2Ch has an impressive four recording modes. Firstly, it has ‘continuous recording’ which does exactly as the name suggests – records from the moment the ignition is turned on, until the car engine is switched off.
‘Parking mode’ is the second option. In this mode the camera will record for a short while (car battery dependent) whilst the car is stationary and the engine is turned off, only saving footage if motion, or an impact is detected. The third type of recording is ‘manual recording’. Pressing the record button on the back of the camera, a manual event is triggered, saving the previous ten seconds and following fifty seconds of footage to the internal memory. ‘Incident recording’ is the final recording mode, the camera records what happens ten seconds before, and ten seconds after, a collision has been detected.

F750 backThe Thinkware F750-2Ch has built in GPS that logs the time, speed and location of the vehicle. It also has built-in WiFi so you can connect your mobile device to the camera, this allows you to view the camera live (useful when aligning the direction of the cameras), or review recorded footage. When using the app over the direct WiFi connection the camera will stop recording.

In conclusion, the Thinkware F750-2Ch is an outstanding camera that has a multitude of features that make it unique and specific to a range of requirements. It is currently priced at £229.99 also making it one of the most cost effective front and rear dash cam packages about. See the full spec list, or purchase the Thinkware F750-2Ch here.

For any enquires please don’t hesitate to get in contact with us by using our contact form , or by calling 01865 598599.