Road test uncovers best buys
WHEN it comes to dash cameras, Big Rigs readers have plenty to choose from.
So when Uniden and new-brand Transcend brought out new cameras this year, we jumped at the chance to give them a road test.
Dash cameras have come a long way; so far that now the police will review footage before writing out a ticket after an incident and some insurance companies are offering discounts to clients running the cameras.
Transcend's DrivePro 200 retails at $249 and comes with a 16GB micro SD card so you are ready to start recording straight away.
The great thing about the Transcend unit is that it uses new technology that allows you to control the unit remotely.
Just like a WiFi Go Pro, you can download an app that allows you to see what is being recorded in real time, view previously recorded footage and back up to your mobile device on the go.
The downside is that in the box, you don't get a USB charger, just the in-car charger.
This unit also came with something like 3M tape to mount the device, which holds well but isn't good if you need to transfer the device from vehicle to vehicle.
However as we were reviewing the DrivePro 200, Transcend brought out a suction mount accessory (RRP $24.95).
Apart from the camera in the box, you get video cables for playback on your TV.
Like the Uniden, the DrivePro allows you to set your exposure level and how sensitive you want its automatic incident recording sensor to be - low, medium or high - and the unit starts when your car starts.
Voice and loop recording is optional and there are two resolution settings.
In emergency mode, files are protected from being overwritten. This includes when the G-Shock sensor is activated or if you hit the red emergency button on the left-hand side of the unit.
But if it's features you are after, you can't look past the Uniden iGo Cam 750.
It comes with speed recording, new red light and speed camera alerts and lane assist to warn you if your vehicle is moving into another lane.
You do need to set up lane assist before you use the camera; it only takes a few minutes and uses lane and line markings to determine a point of reference - but this feature is limited in poor visibility like pouring rain.
The iGo Cam 750 also records GPS information.
Uniden claims the iGo Cam 750 comes with the "latest in vehicle accident recording black box technology", saying the sensor and collision detection mode ensures the camera identifies any changes in motion which will instantly trigger recording.
The Uniden camera also has some internal memory and like the DrivePro 200 records in full HD 1080p but, with a wide 170-degree angle lens and 2.7 inch LCD colour display. The DrivePro 200 has a 160-degree wide angle lens and 2.4 inch LCD screen.
We gave both units to a truckie to try for a week and the Uniden was a winner. It doesn't come with an SD card but that can be picked up for around $30. In the box you get a HDMI cable, USB cable, a twist lock mount that you can take from vehicle to vehicle and software for your computer.
The software allows you to plot on a map where you've driven.
The verdict: Our undercover tester liked the Uniden iGO Cam 750 for its many features.
What you get
Full HD 1080P recording, 160° wide angle lens
Free 16GB Class 10 Micro SD card included - records 2.5hrs of video
Wi-fi connectivity and exclusive app (iPhone/Android) for downloading and sharing videos
Large 2.4" LCD screen and brightness controls
Uniden iGO Cam 750
One 1080p Full HD ultra-wide 170° angle lens
Speed camera warnings
G-sensor and collision detection mode
Lane assist and speed log
Geotagging saves details of the location where an incident occurred
Car plate stamp makes it easy to identify the user's number plate while viewing footage
2.7" LCD colour screen with brightness controls
HDMI port and AV out
Multi positioning cable for easy assembling