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Apr 24

I am a dashcam enthusiast, so when I got a chance to review this unit, I jumped on it. I also got this unit for a discount to test out, but as you would see the review is 100% genuine.

I am comparing this to my Roadhawk DC2 dash cam which has been my primary camera for more than a year, that camera was bought for $200 so yes I would expect it to have more features, but when you are going for a dashcam you want something which would be useful incase of a court case or insurance claim. Otherwise whats the point of getting a dashcam.

Sample Videos :

Day :

Indoor Video :

Night Video :

 

Now that you have had a chance to look at the image quality and the date stamping on the camera, 

Lets move onto the PROS :

  1. Good LCD Screen – Unlike my Roadhawk camera, this one has a screen which is really useful for replaying footage after something interesting has happened. The LCD screen is clear even in bright sunlight.
  2. In-built battery backup – This is a game changer, the internal battery is a godsend as it allows this to be a parking sensor. My roadhawk has an attachment which allows it to connect directly to the battery however I believe that would just drain my car battery. An internal Li-On battery is a nice solution to that problem.
  3. Good image quality – The videos are of good quality, not great, not awesome, not excellent no matter what the other reviewers tell you. They need to get a real dashcam if they think this is the best video quality they have ever seen. Don’t be carried away by those hyperboles.
  4. G-sensor – Any good camera needs to have a G-sensor which would capture collisions and not overwrite on them as you could discover a dent weeks later and then that image might have been overwritten.
  5. Good mounting equipment – The mounting equipment which comes with this camera is great. Never underestimate its importance. My $200 dashcam from Timetec came with a ridiculously badly designed mount which I had to go get replaced.
  6. Image taking – The camera does allow you to take images instead of locking videos, I love that :) , sometimes its nice that instead of taking out my camera phone I can take the image on a click.

 

Now the CONs :

  1. A little buggy – I have noticed a couple of bugs, the most annoying being when I start my car the camera starts and then immediately shuts down. I have no clue why that would happen. I have to remove power and restart again for the camera to start. I will be emailing the company about this.
  2. File sizes are too huge, for a worse image quality than my Roadhawk, the file sizes seem to be a lot larger.
  3. Funky white balance – The WB on my unit is funky, its washed out (as the video also shows) , it does have an adjustment which I need to play with.
  4. Video stamping is inadequate – The video cannot be stamped with speed unfortunately, that’s a deal breaker for me. As this has no GPS, I don’t think it can measure speed.
  5. Unintuitive buttons – The buttons are a little bit hard to understand if you are just starting out. It took me a while to understand how to lock and erase video segments, unfortunately not before I had erased a clip I wanted to save :(.
  6. Poor Microphone Quality – The bass is just out of whack with the camera, in the sample video you can almost feel the mic vibrating and distorting the sound.

Verdict :

Overall, this is a solid camera for the price, with good video quality and a ton of features more expensive cameras don’t seem to provide. However depending upon your budget you may just decide to go forward with a camera that has GPS. If you are just a hobbyist and don’t really care about insurance aspects or ticket aspects this might just be good enough. Speed is the only thing this cant capture. I would give it 3/5 stars.


Apr 03

So I have decided to give Robo-Investing a shot with Wealthfront, the only reason I chose Wealthfront over Betterment for the time being is the promise of free investing irrespective of a time period. I find that more generous than Betterment’s offering of free investing for a few years or so.

So here’s the thing, I don’t expect radically different gains but I am hoping that the tax loss harvesting will save me some $$$ especially since I invest a lot in my ESPP and have capital gains.

Stay tuned here for the full results of my experiment, if you are looking for a referral code to Wealthfront for a free $5000 in investing, sign up using my link : https://t.co/YWjBFOtc0c


Apr 02

This is a bizarre video, the Mumbai traffic police should be ashamed of cheating innocent people like this and this racket should be busted immediately.


Apr 01

The TimeTec RoadHawk DC-2 camera is a fairly high end camera for the dash-cam enthusiast in you. Whether you love to record long drives or are looking for a camera for insurance purposes, this can be your goto camera depending upon your budget. The camera’s standard price is around $179.99 which when compared to other options in the market is a bit steep, but is the price worth the quality ? Lets have a look.

image

Specifications :

Real Full HD 1080p@30fps video latest A5s Processor (Ambarella).

  • High quality image sensor providing excellent video quality and tuned for low light sensitivity.
  • Gyro balanced image stabilisation
  • SD XC compatible up to 128GB (8GB included)
  • Built-in 1hz GPS Receiver
  • Built-in microphone
  • New vertical mount designed to have the lens of the camera sitting closer to the screen of the vehicle minimising reflection
  • Algorithm for detecting SD card errors.
  • Alarm input for remote triggering events and output for communicating with tracking devices.

 

Construction and Installation
The camera feels sturdy to hold and comes with some 3M stickers and a long winding cable. I have connected it to my cigarette lighter but some people may feel like attaching it to the battery directly. The mount that comes with the camera I feel is pretty useless as you cannot take off the camera in a market or a crowded area while parking the car. this is an open invitation for prowlers.

I ended up spending some more money to buy the suction mount which I believe should be standard on this. The camera also has no battery which is a big negative for me since I use it with the cigarette lighter. What that means is that if my car is parked and someone hits it, I wont be able to find out who hit my car.

Audio/Video Quality

One of the main features of this camera is its HD 1080p recording. The company takes great pride in the recording quality of the camera and to be honest it doesn’t disappoint. Here is a sample video where a jerk runs a red signal, as you can see the violation if any would have been recorded quite clearly. Regarding recording number plates, the camera cannot do much on moving cars. However if you stop behind a car you can be certain that its number plate is recorded.

Daytime Video

Nighttime Video

The internal Mic does work well, I cancelled some noise in the video but nothing that should be of concern.

GPS Logger and the G-Sensor

The GPS works great and so does the G sensor. GPS takes a minute or so to lock in at mornings and the G-sensor does go off on rough bumps so I believe if I were ever in an accident it would go off.

Offline software

The Road Hawk comes with a nice side software through which you can view videos with speed overlays and Google maps integration. The software also shows X and Y G-Force for those interested.

image

Overall Impressions

Overall I am very happy with this camera. The battery is one thing I miss the most. Another thing is that the wire is so long it kind of coils near my cigarette lighter. But the joy of recording jerks driving like jerks is really priceless.