Our 2017 Dash Cam Recommendations and Hot Picks
It’s a new year, which means new, improved and updated Dash Cam releases. We have been busy testing some new and exciting Dash Cams throughout 2016 and we are excited to offer some hot products to our customers in 2017.
Over the past year we’ve been working closely with some our of Dash Cam manufacturers and assisted them with testing their newest models under Australian driving conditions. We have tested a new single channel and two brand new dual channel systems, which are all pretty impressive.
The NEW 2017 DOD line up is an exciting release onto the Australian Dash Cam market. These premium models set a new benchmark in performance and video quality to provide Australian drivers the best video evidence and reliability on the road – both day & night.
So which Dash Cams should you be purchasing in 2017?
Our current Number 1 top pick for a front recording, single-channel Dash Cam is the Vicovation OPIA 2. You simply can’t go wrong. It is a Dash Cam in a league of its own in terms of reliability and performance.
The OPIA 2 is the premium release, single-channel Dash Cam from Vicovation. Vicovation are a leading manufacturer of high quality Dash Cams and were one of the pioneers of the Dash Cam industry. They don’t manufacture numerous other electrical goods so they can focus solely on perfecting their Dash Cams, and they have done it on the OPIA 2. The OPIA 2 boasts the highest recording resolution in a Dash Cam at 1440P 2K. Blurry/pixelated number plates or poor clarity of small details when reviewing footage is greatly reduced. It contains the powerful Ambarella A12 chipset and records at a high 25Mbps bit rate. These features allow for sharp and detailed footage with very little distortion.
It is a true set and forget Dash Cam, and once installed correctly you don’t have to think about it or barely touch it. Night time/low light clarity is sharper and clearer with the assistance of HDR technology and superior image sensor. The Angle of View is Ultra Wide at 160° (widest recording angle on the Dash Cam market) so you capture more lanes (up to 5) and more of what is happening around your car.
The OPIA 2 is one of the highest temperature resistant Dash Cams around with an operational temperature at 75°C so Parking Mode recording in a hot car should not be an issue. The OPIA 2 isn’t prone to freezing, restarting, or malfunctioning in hot weather like other Dash Cams do. No wonder it is a popular choice of our mining accounts in WA. Maximum storage capacity is 128GB, which will record around 11 hours of footage before looping over old files. You also have the flexibility of recording at lower 1296P and 1080P (with 60FPS) resolutions to give you longer recording time.
As standard, the OPIA 2 contains an in-built G-sensor for impact detection while driving, Parking Surveillance Mode, a one-touch Emergency Record/SOS button that locks and protects the current video file from loop recording and a custom text feature which allows you to imprint a name or licence plate onto the footage. The OPIA 2 can be rotated 360 degrees in both the included adhesive and suction mounts so you have the ability to record footage at the front side windows. This comes in handy if having an altercation or conversation out your window.
The OPIA 2 comes with handy AUTO Parking Mode with Motion Detection or Time Lapse recording (unlocked via the Power Plus hardwire kit). This means that when hardwired with our Power Plus Hardwire Kit, the OPIA 2 automatically detects when you have parked and when you start driving again. It automatically records any motion or impact while parked and automatically switches back to normal driving recording when you restart the car and drive off. There is no need to manually turn on parking mode and remember to turn it off. This premium and feature packed Dash Cam is priced at $349 so may not suit buyers looking for an entry-level Dash Cam. Being a front recording Dash Cam only, it won’t interest those wanting a dual system to record both front and rear areas. If you want GPS to track and imprint location and speed on the footage, and unlock other Driver Assist features you’ll need the additional Vicovation GPS module (optional extra).
Our Number 2 top pick for a high performance, front recording Dash Cam with IN-BUILT GPS is the new DOD LS475W. This is the latest 2017 front recording release from the reputable and innovative DOD brand. What separates it from its younger brother, the DOD LS470W, is:
- Incorporates the latest SONY STARVIS sensor that is specifically designed with ultra high light sensitivity and low light enhancement for dusk/night time driving conditions. This is valuable while driving at night or while recording in parking mode at night time or in dimly lit carparks. Daytime clarity is crisper, brighter and sharper.
- Ability to record at 1080P with 60FPS (frames per second). This means the moving footage is smoother and cleaner than at 30FPS. Motion blur is reduced so passing/moving number plates can be easier to identify.
- Large 128GB storage capacity. Until now, DOD Dash Cams have supported a maximum 64GB Micro SD card which allows a max recording time of around 12 hours. With the large 128GB support, users can now achieve up to 24 hours of footage before loop recording.
- Speed Camera Alerts for Australian roads has been introduced. The LS475W Dash Cam will make an audible sound when approaching a fixed speed camera or an area common to be a mobile speed camera “hot spot”.
The DOD LS475W still contains all the high quality and high spec features you expect from DOD Dash Cams. Reliability is premium having a high temperature resistance of 65°C and a solid construction. The LS475W has a Wide Angle of View at 145 degrees and produces some of the best footage in all light conditions. It boasts the largest lens apertures on the market at f/1.6 that soaks up more light producing crisp and clear footage. The ISO sensitivity is at an impressive and market leading 12800 that is ultra sensitive under low light conditions. We love that the GPS is in-built and has a super fast 10Hz refresh rate to pin speed and location far more accurately than most Dash Cams on the market. This fast refresh rate is especially important if using the Heads Up Display feature which turns the screen into a digital speedometer with compass direction while driving.
Parking Surveillance Mode is AUTO, so it automatically and seamlessly activates and deactivates between driving and parking mode so you don’t have to remember to turn it on and off when leave and re-enter your car (unlocked via a hardwire kit). The LS475W has a brighter, red coloured one-touch Emergency/SOS button that locks and protects the current video file from loop recording. You can also imprint custom text on the footage like driver name, vehicle model, and license plate number for easy identification.
We love the feature-packed DOD LS475W so much that it will stay in one of our work vehicles.
For a long time we have been waiting for a new dual channel (2CH) system to emerge. Not one, but two, new dual channel models from DOD have been released and we must say, DOD have produced some high spec, market-leading units.
The newest 2017 dual channel release from the respected DOD brand is the DOD RC500S-2CH. This premium unit takes dual channel Dash Cams to a new level – in both technology and video quality. The DOD RC500S-2CH is entering a flooded 2-channel market, so DOD have made sure to separate its new models from the pack with the latest technologies and some of the highest spec features currently available.
The DOD RC500S-2CH is a front and rear recording Dash Cam. It has a discreet and cylindrical design. It records BOTH FRONT & REAR at 1080P FULL HD resolution. Most dual Dash Cams on the market still only record at 720P in the rear that can make it more difficult to pick up licence plates/details. DOD recognised this and greatly improved on it. In addition to 1080P FULL HD at the rear, DOD have further enhanced video clarity with LARGE f/1.6 LENS APERTURES and ULTRA HIGH ISO SENSITIVITY, up to 12800, to produce some of the clearest/sharpest day and low light footage. The newest and latest SONY STARVIS Sensor is ultra sensitive to light, is bigger = bigger pixels = better image. The SONY STARVIS sensor is perfect for recording night time driving or while recording in Parking Surveillance Mode at night time or in dimly lit carparks. The SONY STARVIS sensor sensor is incorporated in BOTH front and rear cameras for superior video quality front & rear. The front and rear camera record at a high 15Mbps so video detail is the sharpest around.
The RC500S-2CH does not have a screen which makes it smaller, compact and discreet. Wi-Fi connectivity and the new DOD App allows the user to connect the RC500S-2CH to their smartphone or tablet to control the Dash Cam, change settings and review, download or transfer footage. The Wi-Fi connectivity feature also allows live viewing of footage on a smartphone or tablet while driving. The ULTRA FAST in-built 10Hz GPS processor (updates GPS data 10 times per second) is the fastest on the market that tracks speed and location accurately while enabling for Speed Camera Alerts on all Australian roads. G-sensor for Impact Detection while driving and to record knocks and bumps in Parking Mode comes standard.
Parking Surveillance Mode is auto, so it automatically activates and deactivates between driving and parking mode meaning you don’t have to remember to turn it on and off when leave and re-enter your car (unlocked via a hardwire kit). Integrated is a handy one touch Emergency/SOS button, which quickly and easily locks and protects the current video file from loop recording.
Included extras that come with the DOD RC500S-2CH Dash Cam are a DOD CPL filter for the front camera and a 32GB Micro SD card. The RC500S-2CH supports up to a large 128GB SD card that provides up to 12 hours recording time per camera before looping over.
The DOD RC500S-2CH video quality is world class thanks to its leading technologies and features never before seen in any other dual channel Dash Cam.
Check out these videos to see the DOD RC500S-2CH performance against the higher priced competition:
Increase the resolution to 1080P via the cog wheel on the bottom right of the clip for the true video quality
It doesn’t stop there. DOD have gone one step further for customers and designed a similar high spec, dual channel unit except the front camera has a screen. This new 2017 model is the DOD LS500W-2CH that is designed for those customers not wanting to control their Dash Cam via Wi-Fi on a smartphone. The integrated 2.7″ front LCD screen allows the user to operate the unit like a normal front recording Dash Cam. Accessing the menu and reviewing footage can all be done via the camera screen itself, no need to download an App to your smartphone or use Wi-Fi.
The DOD LS500W-2CH has all the same premium features and latest technologies as the DOD RC500S-2CH, plus more. This Dash Cam provides Australian drivers with the best video evidence and reliability on the road – both day & night.
The video quality of the DOD LS500W-2CH is identical to the RC500S-2CH so check out the videos above.
If you want a dual Dash Cam with a screen, this is the one for you.
We understand some buyers don’t want the highest spec Dash Cam and simply want reliability and to easily and effortlessly record quality footage while driving, that is it!
For these buyers our current recommendation is the entry-level Vicovation MF1. Don’t be fooled by the words entry-level as this Dash Cam doesn’t compromise on quality.
The Vicovation MF1 Dash Cam is a one of the highest quality, entry-level Dash Cams on the market. The MF1 is a true set & forget Dash Cam that is simple to operate. For an entry-level Dash Cam, it is surprisingly equipped with some high-end features, like 160 degree Ultra Wide Angle of View and f/1.8 large lens aperture for crisp video quality. The 75°C heat resistance is a testament to its build quality and isn’t prone to shut down, freeze or malfunction in hot Australian weather. The MF1 Dash Cam records at 1080P Full HD and utilises Ultra HDR Technology to provide outstanding day and night time clarity. The new discrete and minimalist design incorporates both a quality Aluminium casing, which assists with heat dissipation, and a large 3″ LCD screen to easily navigate the menu and review footage. The Parking Surveillance Mode feature is easily manually activated and deactivated by use of a clever hot switching button. Vehicle speed and location can be tracked and imprinted on footage, plus additional Driver Assist Alerts can all be unlocked by the Vicovation GPS module (optional extra).
The Vicovation MF1 Dash Cam is a smart choice this year for those wanting a stylish and functional entry-level Dash Cam. It would hard to find these specs, features and style in other entry-level Dash Cams.
There you have our hot picks for 2017. Please check in regularly on our website or facebook page to keep up to date with any new models or updates on Dash Cams under testing.
If you have any further enquiries or would like more assistance please do not hesitate to contact us on (03) 9338 8772 or email@example.com. We are more than happy to answer any questions or assist you with a Dash Cam recommendation.