Text: Brent Co / Photos: Kai Huang | posted September 30, 2013 13:16
User-friendly premium dashcam
Dashcams have received increased attention thanks to the recent Skyway counterflowing incident and Russian dashcam (dashboard camera) video compilations posted on YouTube. Vicovation is one of the newer Taiwanese technology companies specializing exclusively in dashcam products.
The Vicovation TF2+ Premium is a high-definition Dashcam (technical term: In-Car Digital Video Recorder, or DVR) with an LCD display. It is encased in a high-quality plastic enclosure with matte finish resembling a small point and shoot camera. The company claims that hardware design has been based on high-temperature endurance for in-vehicle applications where cars are normally left parking outdoors exposed to heat. It rates operation at 0-degrees to 75-degrees Celsius.
Each package contains a TF2+ device, 4-meter 12-volt socket charger, USB cable, suction mount, double-adhesive mount, quick release adapter.
Vicovation prides itself as a company that exclusively uses large aperture 6G glass megapixel lenses for all its cameras. The TF2+ Premium comes with a f/2.2 lens with 3-Megapixel CMOS sensor, 2.4” TFT LCD display, and a wide view angle of 140-degrees that can be adjusted to 160-degrees. It features HDMI, AV and a USB 2.0 output port which also handles power as it is not equipped with an internal battery.
It’s WDR (Wide Dynamic Range) function combined with 3DNR (3D-Noise Reduction) gives better contrast in low light situations and reduced noise. The function can be activated manually or by the automatic scheduling through Vico Schedule which can also adjust EV value for day/night recording. Low-light recording could still use some improvement because of relatively darker street lighting of Philippine roads making vehicle plates unrecognizable at times during our test.
Installation is pretty much straightforward and only takes about 5 minutes of your time to position the mounting bracket, align the camera and set-up the camera. Having an LCD display takes out the additional effort to check if the camera is positioned properly by viewing the videos.
Video is compressed with H.264 and records to .MOV files in 5-minute intervals. Video resolution is rated at a maximum of 1920 x 1080 Full HD quality at 30 frames per second with options to record to 1280 x 720 at 60 frames per second or 1280 x 720 at 30 frames per second. Storage is via SDHC card up to 32GB in capacity, a Class-10 certified memory card is recommended to ensure efficient recording.
A G-sensor triggered emergency record function takes a quick snapshot, 10-seconds before and after the event and saves it to a special folder in case of a road accident. The sensor is configurable to 5 settings depending on use.
The Vicovation TF2+ Premium, which retails at Php12,000 is considered as a premium dashcam product. The quick release adapter and flexible mount options are a big plus in case you want to move it between vehicles. Usage is pretty basic without any external software needed to configure the device.
Vicovation In-Car DVR products are available through Dash Cam Manila.
Night time recording