Monday, July 27, 2015

F1S Dash Cam by Black Box

I was very impressed with the construction of this camera and it delivers on video quality as well. There isn't really a "Brand Name" for dashcams but I think this is a good benchmark to compare others too. I can't show you the full quality in my video because of file size limits but it is 1080p and looks nice.

Build- This is a very sturdy camera and I'm confident carrying it around and letting it take some bumps. If the suction mount gives out(it hasn't) and the camera falls and bounces around you shouldn't have any problems. It's a little larger than a lot of dashcams I've seen but not so large that anyone will wonder what the bowling ball hanging in your windshield is. All buttons are on the back so even when mounted in your car you can see all the functions. The 3" screen is large and plenty bright for reviewing footage even in sunlight. You get three cords: mini-usb, mini-usb charger, and gps antenna. The mini-usb plug dates this cam a bit but my only complaint comes along with the GPS antenna. It is So. Stinkin. Long. It does allow you to choose placement but I'd rather not have to go through the work of pressing another cord behind trim pieces. I recently reviewed another BlackBox camera and that one had the antenna on a 4 inch cord right on the suction mount so you never even had to think about it. I'd like if this one had that too.

Function- Video quality with this one is great. I had no trouble viewing license plate numbers once they were 35-50 ft away and that's about as good as you'll get with 1080p. The menus aren't the most straightforward but you should only need to set them once and then the camera will just turn on and off with your car(assuming your car cuts power to the outlets when it's off). You won't have to be distracted by this screen when driving at night either as it turns off after a few seconds even when recording. Just hit the ok button and it comes back and hit it again to lock the current footage. Once you have something you want you can either take the camera down and use the supplied cable to hook it up to a computer, or juts pull the memory card. The mini hdmi port allows you to hook right up to a TV as well. For viewing on a computer I recommend grabbing a piece of software called Registrator Viewer(just google it). This allows you to watch your videos right next to a live map of the location the video was taken.

I'm very impressed with this offering from BlackBox. Between the durability due to the nice construction to the great results you see in the video this one deserves all five stars. I received this product free in exchange for nothing more than my honest opinion.

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