Although crucial technology for when you’re in an accident, adding a dash cam to your vehicle has plenty of other uses, including for automatic recording of audio and video during interesting events. The best part is is that these devices are usually incredibly simple to set up and use. You basically attach the suction mount to your windshield, power the camera through your car’s DC power outlet, and then turn your car on, at which time recording begins.
The SENWOW Full HD DVR Dash Cam is one of the more full-featured offerings in this category, with a large function list and a range of configurable options. It can even be used as a Web cam for your PC.
In the box you get the camera itself, which has a removable 32GB microSD card pre-installed, windshield suction mount, DC car charger, miniUSB cable, and instructions. The camera is suitably small and solidly built, and features a high quality 3″ TFT LCD screen that is easily viewable in a variety of lighting conditions.
The first thing you’ll want to do is set the date and time. After that, you can pretty much leave the extensive settings at the default and just set it up in your car. It should go on just about instantly as soon as you turn your car on. On a related note, to save yourself the same trouble that I had, I can tell you that pressing the OK button and then the M button twice will give you access to the settings, which will let you change the capture resolution to as high as 1920×1080 (default) or as low as 640×480, cyclic recording between Off and 10 minutes, Wide Dynamic Auto Adjustment of Light on or off, Exposure, Motion Detection to start auto recording when in standby mode, Audio detection to start auto recording when in standby mode, Date Stamp to put the date and time on the recordings, and Gravity Sensing to help protect a recording from being overwritten when a crash is detected. The second settings tab lets you adjust the aforementioned date and time, whether or not the beep sound is heard, the on-screen language, and the Frequency between 50HZ or 60HZ, and several other features. In short, this thing is loaded with options, but again, you’re probably just best off setting the date and time and leaving everything else as-is.
As mentioned earlier, with the included miniUSB cable (or equivalent), you can plug the device into your PC to access the device as a mass storage unit to get the videos off of the included microSD card (if you don’t have your own microSD reader), or to use it as a Web cam. You can also use the miniUSB cable to charge the dash cam’s battery, although as with most of these types of devices, it really doesn’t last long on battery power.
The video recording format is as MOV files, which is obviously widely compatible. As you can see in the sample video, at the highest resolution, 1920×1080, quality is excellent.
There is a lot to like about this dash cam, including the low price.
Thanks to SENWOW for the review unit.