If you were building your own dash cam, what would be the key features and price poin

Please select only ones that would be a key feature, and then an acceptable price.


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Chrislorl

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If you were building your own dash cam, what would be the key features and price be?

So, After reading quiet a bit about these. looking at a tone of cameras I thought I would ask for opinions.
I am listing most of what I can think of in the poll, but please fee free to add on.
 
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protias

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Re: If you were building your own dash cam, what would be the key features and price

1080p
Good night vision
Good day vision
Limit sun flare
GPS data
Speed data
Recording of 24+ hours
WiFi
3G / 4G communication to watch remotely
 
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GA Speed

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Re: If you were building your own dash cam, what would be the key features and price

I would like it to have:
multiple camera inputs (2-4)
up to 1080p
tap in to OBDII to also record selectable inputs (speed, break on/off, throttle position, ect..)
GPS
run off 2.5" HDD removable
 

Chrislorl

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Re: If you were building your own dash cam, what would be the key features and price

GA speed, That all could be done, but we both know it wouldn't be under $200.00 :)
Seems 1080P is a common theme here...
 

kpatz

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Re: If you were building your own dash cam, what would be the key features and price

Support for the highest-capacity SD cards (64 GB and higher)
Full HD
Good performance in any light range (darkness to direct sun)
Auto-delete oldest files when card is full
Configurable per-file recording lengths (not just a max of 3 minutes--1 hour should be available if desired)
Automatically start recording on power up, and clean shutdown on power down (like Blackvue does with a small onboard battery)
Compact
Stable/reliable (my BV occasionally freezes on boot-up)
Fully customizable display settings--speed, date/time, location etc.
An option to have the LEDs extinguish after recording starts for stealth (have them light briefly when a button is pressed to confirm recording is active)
$200 or under
Readily available in USA/Canada (no need to import from China/Korea on ebay, etc), with English and other languages easily available.
Software compatible with PC, Mac, iOS and Android
Ability to turn OFF event recording, or at least be able to turn down the sensitivity enough so going over bumps doesn't trigger it
Overlay video input (to add telemetry data to the video, from an OBDII scanner or other external source)
Have a button that "flags" the current recording file (say by changing a prefix or suffix on the file name) when pressed. This way, when you have a save or encounter, you hit the button, and you can easily find the interesting footage by looking for the files with the flag in the name. This would be handy for long trips to make it easier to find the interesting parts.
 
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Vortex

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Re: If you were building your own dash cam, what would be the key features and price

^very good above.

Image quality is the biggest thing, both day and night. Color rendition, detail, smooth video, contrasty yet with dynamic range, etc.
1080p, 24 or 30 fps
English software
Quick bootup times
A little status LED that can be seen from the driver's perspective
Easy removal and insertion of memory card
GPS
Customize what is and isn't displayed on video... time, date, speed km/h or mph, etc.
Matte black
Proper venting and cooling so it doesn't have heat issues, both overheating and having reliability issues as we as issues with the lens
Power and audio cables shouldn't be interchangeable
Typically once you set it you don't have to reconfigure it so setting it from a phone isn't a big deal, but being able to remotely view the camera to a phone would be really slick.
$200 or less is the key pricepoint
OBD-II telemetry data would be fantastic
 

rjk

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Re: If you were building your own dash cam, what would be the key features and price

I don't think any car camera application would require more than 30 FPS, so that's all I'll need. I wonder how soon manufacturers will figure out some kind of smart spot metering? I'd like a camera to be able to identify a license plate and then apply corrections to bring it into focus. I'd also like to be able to specify certain parts of the picture that should never be metered for focus or light.

1080p seems excessive for most car/driving applications, until you find one day that you really needed that license plate...!

Personally, I don't want any of the current crop of cameras. What I really want is a properly full-featured DVR system with multiple inputs, as well as a standardized, inexpensive way of connecting cameras. I want progressive reduction in quality - I.E., after a few hours, convert the video to a lower bitrate or resolution to save space. I want to be able to connect things - GPS, OBDII, tach, audio, etc.
 

Run4donut

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Re: If you were building your own dash cam, what would be the key features and price

Soon you will see more Ambarella A7 cameras that record 1080p at 60fps
 

Chrislorl

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Re: If you were building your own dash cam, what would be the key features and price

This is all great info, thank you.
Actually I develop stuff like this for a living. I came here for the RD & Parking Sensor info and this has been an added benefit.
I do have another question:
What is your preferred recording format?
MOV
mp4
AVI
 
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rjk

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Re: If you were building your own dash cam, what would be the key features and price

This is all great info, thank you.
Actually I develop stuff like this for a living. I came here for the RD & Parking Sensor info and this has been an added benefit.
I do have another question:
What is your preferred recording format?
MOV
mp4
AVI

Good question.... I imagine the format is usually chosen based on how efficiently it can be encoded and stored, to save energy and storage space. However, some formats might be harder to edit than others, for example. I wouldn't know what's best from that perspective though - not a video editing maniac myself.
 

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Re: If you were building your own dash cam, what would be the key features and price

This is all great info, thank you.
Actually I develop stuff like this for a living. I came here for the RD & Parking Sensor info and this has been an added benefit.
I do have another question:
What is your preferred recording format?
MOV
mp4
AVI

How do they compare in terms of quality and compression capabilities?

Are MP4's smaller than AVI's? I remember seeing issues with .MOV files needing Apple-specific software years ago, but I doubt that's the case now.

Most of us use simple software like Windows Movie Maker, so whatever's the lightest with the best video quality (on opposite ends of the spectrum perhaps), that'd be the way to go.
 

Benji

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Re: If you were building your own dash cam, what would be the key features and price

I've always envisioned a more modular system, based around something like the Intel NUC or a laptop.

The central unit is something like a NUC/laptop with 6 or more USB2/3 inputs then the cameras need to be cheap, like $50-100 a piece. The cameras need no intelligence other than each compressing their own 1080p/60fps video (optional mic) on the fly, they need to be as small as physically possible, water proof and possibly with their own IR emitters but that's optional, the MOST important thing about the cameras is that they need to have really good sensor in them!

The central unit has the largest capacity drive (preferably SSD), enough to store 24 hours minimum (preferably 7 days) for EACH camera and has optional wifi/GPS/3or4G/mic input. It does the job of saving to disk the streams coming from the 1-6+ cameras and providing an optional telemetry overlay. Devices should be able to connect to it either via wifi or via 3/4G and view any of the streams individually or possibly all of them either with an app or some web based interface. The central unit controls power on/off and provides power (via USB) to the cameras, motion detection and all that jazz.

I thought about building a test setup like this with a laptop and 6 webcams but I don't know what software could record the stream for each camera at the same time? It would be nice if there was some cut down linux distribution that was as automated as possible with a web based configuration menu or something and would automatically detect and add cameras when plugged in, it could also send out alerts and statistical information.
 
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rjk

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Re: If you were building your own dash cam, what would be the key features and price

I've always envisioned a more modular system, based around something like the Intel NUC or a laptop.

Exactly what I've always wanted. The closest thing I've been able to find for an "All in one" package is this: http://www.everfocus.com/product.cfm?productid=1716&tab=specs
But it uses HD-SDI inputs which require expensive cameras.
 

PointerCone

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Re: If you were building your own dash cam, what would be the key features and price

GA speed, That all could be done, but we both know it wouldn't be under $200.00 :)
Seems 1080P is a common theme here...

Plug and play, HD, night vision and the MAX card capacity that you can get for continuous recording without looping. I know its asking for LOT , BUT I for one am willing to spring for more than $200 if its an easy to use/ reliable /plug n play unit; You're going to need in the future wi-fi or bluetooth capability too.
 

Benji

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Re: If you were building your own dash cam, what would be the key features and price

Exactly what I've always wanted. The closest thing I've been able to find for an "All in one" package is this: http://www.everfocus.com/product.cfm?productid=1716&tab=specs
But it uses HD-SDI inputs which require expensive cameras.

Hmm, apparently with a quick bit of Googling I was able to find this which seems VERY impressive (and free!):

http://www.ispyconnect.com/

Also this:

http://www.zoneminder.com/wiki/index.php/Welcome

iSpy seems VERY extensive! Awesome features such as automatically syncing to Google Drive etc....

HOLY CRAP! IT EVEN HAS NUMBER PLATE RECOGNITION!

http://www.ispyconnect.com/userguide-alpr.aspx

iOS app, Android App, Windows 8 app.... Integration with MediaPortal and so much more!

Have a look at the video:

[video=youtube;WLZRow9S7UY]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WLZRow9S7UY[/video]

This thing is insane!

[video=youtube;WYVuvfMzW8Q]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WYVuvfMzW8Q[/video]
 
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rjk

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GA Speed

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Re: If you were building your own dash cam, what would be the key features and price

Wow, looks like I will have to abandon specialized hardware and figure out how to make a low power high performance PC instead.

What about using a raspberry PI and a USB webcam.

Sent from my ASUS Transformer Pad TF300T using Tapatalk 4
 

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