My Blackvue Rant (1 Viewer)

SquirrelMaster

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So here I sit rather annoyed with my blackvue. I used to run a thinkware pro f750?(i forget the model) but I went through 4 of them all having issues and the last one ended up on the side of the highway after it decided to restart every 45 seconds and announce it was restarting every time. So then I held out for the Blackvue dr900s because I really liked the idea of 4k.

So far my experience has been very mixed. I'll start off with the pros.
  • I really like the image quality both during the day and at night. It looks great and does everything I need it to.
  • The mount and hookup is rather good. I get no bounce or rattle when I drive and the car its on is extremely bouncy.. One issue with the mount but I'll address that further down.
  • The microphone is surprisingly good. It picks up everything and does it well. I can have loud music going and it will still pickup someone in the backseat talking. Also if my windows down are down and there's a lot of wind noise, it does a good job of filtering it out.
  • I like that it supports large SD cards. I currently have a 256gb samsung card in it.
And now for the cons that individually are not that bad but add up to a ****ty experience for me personally.
  • The half-assed parking mode. This seriously seems like a major oversight. It seems they designed the camera and then forgot to add parking mode so they just created the power magic pro. My car sits at 11.6 volts when off (which is the lower limit of the PMP) so I do not get too much extra recording time. This is one thing the thinkware camera did amazingly. It has a dedicated battery power as well as an extra ignition sense wire. If I am parked and idling listening to music, it goes into parking mode and starts recording my door/trunk closing when I get out then announces impact detected when I come back to my car so at this point I have stopped listening to those warnings. Another issue is If I get pulled over, I sure as hell don't want my dashcam going into parking mode. I would like it to sit and record the whole thing.
  • The proximity sensor is a huge gimmick. It's a cool idea but its effective range is so small, its basically a capacitive touch sensor. A capacitive sensor would be better however since I can tap it with my finger as opposed to bring a bigger, flatter area of my hand to the sensor and leave fingerprints all over my windshield.
  • The wifi functionality sucks. This is a huge annoyance for me. If cloud recording is enabled, the camera does not let you automatically shut off wifi when it is not in parking mode. It will grey out the wifi default off option. This is kind of annoying since my previous phone would connect to it and not internet... Luckily my new phone has the option to keep lte on all the time so even if I am connected to the blackvue wifi, I still have internet. This however doesn't fly with blackvue either. If you launch the app and are simultaneously connected to the camera's wifi as well as 4g, the app refuses to connect to the camera. I have to go in and disable my data for it to work. Completely unnecessary and annoying process to connect. Then when I finally connect to the camera, half of the time it takes 30ish minutes to download a clip so I have to disconnect, turn off the camera's wifi manually, turn it back on, reconnect, and then download the video.
At the end of the day, using this camera is kind of frustrating and I like the pros too much to throw it out because of the cons.
Anyone else having a similar experience to me?
 

Patton250

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I have enjoyed mine with the exception of anytime it’s 85° or warmer and the sun is out mine shuts down after 10 minutes if the car is parked.

I live in Florida. :ughh:
 

SquirrelMaster

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I have enjoyed mine with the exception of anytime it’s 85° or warmer and the sun is out mine shuts down after 10 minutes if the car is parked.

I live in Florida. :ughh:
Mine used to overheat and shut down a lot but i haven't noticed it as much since its gotten colder
 

Vortex

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Yeah I wish the Blackvues were perfect and without issue. All of these dashcams seem to have some annoying trade-offs and I haven't found a single one that makes me go, "Yep. This is exactly what I'm wanting. I don't need to look at any other dashcam."

I like the DR900S overall for its 4K, video quality, buffered parked recording capabilities, alert notifications, ability to easily format the card from the side button, shape and design, and so on.

I do wish the low light sensitivity was better, it had better high heat tolerances, the lenses in certain copies weren't misaligned and causing a side/corner of the frame to be soft, and my phone could be connected to its WiFi without breaking its data connection.

I agree with you about having the parked recording being triggered by the engine being on and off which'd require a different hardwire cable. Personally I like the PMP because I can turn parking recording on and off as needed. It's handy for disabling it when parked in a garage, but the dashcam will still record when I'm driving, no matter what. Without an external controller, I'd have to unplug my dashcam altogether and have forgotten to plug it back in before. So, trade-offs.

At the end of the day, I just wish someone would build the ultimate dashcam without any annoying compromises. That'd be amazing... :D
 

SquirrelMaster

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Thanks for the reply. I totally get no one thing is perfect but I guess I was really optimistic about this one especially since its like $500. I did forget to mention the buffer for the parking recording and I'm glad you did because that is a great feature.
 

Vortex

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Thanks for the reply. I totally get no one thing is perfect but I guess I was really optimistic about this one especially since its like $500. I did forget to mention the buffer for the parking recording and I'm glad you did because that is a great feature.
Yeah totally. I think the higher pricepoint sets a certain expectation, but just because it's expensive doesn't always mean it's sensational across the board.

We see the same thing with RD's. The Max360c is the most expensive windshield mount RD on the market, but cheaper detectors offer longer range, better filter, MRCD support, and so on. The Stinger was crazy expensive, and it was nowhere near perfect. Even the R3 which gets rave reviews overall has its share of issues too.

I guess that's just the annoying reality of the RD's/dashcams that we use. None of them are perfect, no matter how much you spend...
 

InsipidMonkey

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My car sits at 11.6 volts when off (which is the lower limit of the PMP) so I do not get too much extra recording time.
Just an observation, but this seems extremely low. How do you have it wired? Seems like you are seeing pretty high resistive losses. I would suspect if you re-tap the hardwire or run wires directly to the battery you'll see much higher voltages and will be able to use the PMP and parking mode effectively.
 

STS134

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The wifi I basically consider useless. I never use it. What am I supposed to do, stream video 24/7 and consume LTE data the entire time? Also, my PMP is set to 12.5V. In my ICE car, this would easily provide hours of recording time, but in my PHEV, it sometimes records for a few hours, and sometimes cuts out quickly. I think this is because the 12V battery is not charged whenever the car is on (unlike in a car with a starter motor and ICE only), but it only gets charged when the charge level goes below a certain threshold. I could set it to 12.0V, but that's probably bad for the battery.
 

SquirrelMaster

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Just an observation, but this seems extremely low. How do you have it wired? Seems like you are seeing pretty high resistive losses. I would suspect if you re-tap the hardwire or run wires directly to the battery you'll see much higher voltages and will be able to use the PMP and parking mode effectively.
Because I have a gasoline car with regenerative braking that relies on a super capacitor and a DC DC converter. I know it's a low value for most cars but this specific package runs at a lower voltage because of the regen braking as well as the special battery to support it. No losses. That 11.6 is measured at the battery directly. And the hardwire runs to an extra fuse box with ignition relay under the hood.
 

TheJM

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Yeah I wish the Blackvues were perfect and without issue. All of these dashcams seem to have some annoying trade-offs and I haven't found a single one that makes me go, "Yep. This is exactly what I'm wanting. I don't need to look at any other dashcam."

I like the DR900S overall for its 4K, video quality, buffered parked recording capabilities, alert notifications, ability to easily format the card from the side button, shape and design, and so on.

I do wish the low light sensitivity was better, it had better high heat tolerances, the lenses in certain copies weren't misaligned and causing a side/corner of the frame to be soft, and my phone could be connected to its WiFi without breaking its data connection.

I agree with you about having the parked recording being triggered by the engine being on and off which'd require a different hardwire cable. Personally I like the PMP because I can turn parking recording on and off as needed. It's handy for disabling it when parked in a garage, but the dashcam will still record when I'm driving, no matter what. Without an external controller, I'd have to unplug my dashcam altogether and have forgotten to plug it back in before. So, trade-offs.

At the end of the day, I just wish someone would build the ultimate dashcam without any annoying compromises. That'd be amazing... :D
Vortex, I have had a very similar experience as those above with my blackvue cameras. Ive gone through 4 650s and a 750 all warrantied (thank the Lord) because of issues from blurry sensor on front and rear camera, one camera kept eating SD cards...I could go on.

Anyway, do you have a recommendation for a camera for those of us that are unhappy with our Blackvues? I know there are a lot of cameras out there and know you have tested them all.
 

Vortex

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Vortex, I have had a very similar experience as those above with my blackvue cameras. Ive gone through 4 650s and a 750 all warrantied (thank the Lord) because of issues from blurry sensor on front and rear camera, one camera kept eating SD cards...I could go on.

Anyway, do you have a recommendation for a camera for those of us that are unhappy with our Blackvues? I know there are a lot of cameras out there and know you have tested them all.
It's funny.. I did a collaboration video recently with Alex, the CEO of BlackboxMyCar, and this is one of the points that we discussed. (I'm gonna work on that video soon and want to start getting videos up from it next week.) Anyway, one thing he found is that the Thinkware cameras overall are more reliable. Apparently they have fewer issues, the cable ports themselves are more rugged (USB instead of coax connectors), I think the heat tolerances are better, and so on.

I'm not a huge fan of the implementation of some of their features so I prefer the usability of the Blackvues, but when it comes to reliability (which is a big deal, especially with dashcams that need to just always work), he's finding that the Thinkware cameras are better in this regard.

Unfortunately their top of the line F800 Pro "only" records at 1080p, but they're working on a 1440p variant that they teased at SEMA so higher res models should be coming in the future.
 

sdrawkcaB

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In one of the most critical scenarios it could have helped me this year thus far, it turns out it wasn't even recording as it was frozen up (software) and not functioning. - www.rdforum.org: Gun pulled

I prefer the usability features of the BlackVue, but can tell you first hand from experience I have been very disappointed with reliability. I agree that the high price point seems to have implied to me that a certain reliability should have come with it. At this point, I actually am not recommending the BlackVue's to people who ask me. I'm recommending the generic A119S.
 

Patton250

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Yeah I wish the Blackvues were perfect and without issue. All of these dashcams seem to have some annoying trade-offs and I haven't found a single one that makes me go, "Yep. This is exactly what I'm wanting. I don't need to look at any other dashcam."

I like the DR900S overall for its 4K, video quality, buffered parked recording capabilities, alert notifications, ability to easily format the card from the side button, shape and design, and so on.

I do wish the low light sensitivity was better, it had better high heat tolerances, the lenses in certain copies weren't misaligned and causing a side/corner of the frame to be soft, and my phone could be connected to its WiFi without breaking its data connection.

I agree with you about having the parked recording being triggered by the engine being on and off which'd require a different hardwire cable. Personally I like the PMP because I can turn parking recording on and off as needed. It's handy for disabling it when parked in a garage, but the dashcam will still record when I'm driving, no matter what. Without an external controller, I'd have to unplug my dashcam altogether and have forgotten to plug it back in before. So, trade-offs.

At the end of the day, I just wish someone would build the ultimate dashcam without any annoying compromises. That'd be amazing... :D
Giant amen to that. What about the new Thinkware? Any info?
 

SquirrelMaster

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I had the worst experience with thinkware including the capacitor in one of them exploding when the camera was on my windshield...
 

Patton250

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I had the worst experience with thinkware including the capacitor in one of them exploding when the camera was on my windshield...
I liked my 800 pro except for it always has to boot up and talk for 20 seconds. Really annoying. That part really sucks. Other than that I thought it was perfect.
 

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Giant amen to that. What about the new Thinkware? Any info?
Nothing beyond what I mentioned a few posts ago. :) The F800 Pro will be replaced by the QA100 which is the same thing, but shoots at 1440p. Thinkware is also wanting to stick with the same type of sensor to maintain the same level of lowlight performance, unlike Blackvue whose low light sensitivity went down when they stepped away from the Sony Starvis sensor when going from the DR750S to the DR900S.

No real news beyond that otherwise, but we should hear more at CES.

 

SquirrelMaster

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I liked my 800 pro except for it always has to boot up and talk for 20 seconds. Really annoying. That part really sucks. Other than that I thought it was perfect.
I guess they fixed things after the f750

--- DOUBLEPOST MERGED ---

One thing that pissed me off the most about the f750 was the format button that was so easy to click on accident and lose all footage.
 

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Nothing beyond what I mentioned a few posts ago. :) The F800 Pro will be replaced by the QA100 which is the same thing, but shoots at 1440p. Thinkware is also wanting to stick with the same type of sensor to maintain the same level of lowlight performance, unlike Blackvue whose low light sensitivity went down when they stepped away from the Sony Starvis sensor when going from the DR750S to the DR900S.

No real news beyond that otherwise, but we should hear more at CES.

When is it available? Will the cloud version work well? Really like the cloud on the Blackvue. That’s what informs me when the camera shuts down due to overheating. I would really like to get all the details on this new Thinkware.
 

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When is it available?
Watch the video I linked you to. I ask about the release date towards the end. In short, it's TBD. They don't even have a finished prototype of the dashcam yet.

When is it available?
Will the cloud version work well? Really like the cloud on the Blackvue. That’s what informs me when the camera shuts down due to overheating. I would really like to get all the details on this new Thinkware.[/QUOTE]

It's the same as the F800 Pro. Blackvue's cloud functionality is better, IMHO, and more feature rich, but Thinkware offers a bunch of functionality too. This video may help.

 

Patton250

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Watch the video I linked you to. I ask about the release date towards the end. In short, it's TBD. They don't even have a finished prototype of the dashcam yet.

Will the cloud version work well? Really like the cloud on the Blackvue. That’s what informs me when the camera shuts down due to overheating. I would really like to get all the details on this new Thinkware.
It's the same as the F800 Pro. Blackvue's cloud functionality is better, IMHO, and more feature rich, but Thinkware offers a bunch of functionality too. This video may help.

[/QUOTE]
Thanks man. :)
 

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