With so much road rage and so many errant motorists, the best defence for any driver is to install a video recorder in the car. Not just a front camera but a rear one as well.
The Marbella QB6 full high-definition (HD) dual-cam video recorder is a useful option.
It has the widest coverage for a car camera of its class. Both its front and rear cameras have 170-degree wide-angle lenses and can record in full HD (1,920 x 1,080 pixels) or HD (1,280 x 720 pixels) quality at 30 frames per second.
Both cameras have night-vision capability and motion-sensing technology that should automatically record videos upon detecting movement or impact.
At the back of the front camera is a 3-inch display that lets you view videos live from both cameras even while you are driving. While this is nice to have, what it means is that the display gets really squeezed and you cannot see much of either.
At the top of the front camera is a USB port, with a video port on the left, and power button and an OK button on the right. At the bottom is a slot for a microSD card of up to 32GB. The rear camera has only an AV port.
The package comes with suction mounts and adhesive pads for both cameras, a car charger with a 3m USB cable and a 5.5m AV cable.
Installation may seem complicated, but it is not difficult. Mount the front camera on the front windscreen and the other on the rear window using either the sticky pads or the suction mounts.
Next, connect the AV cable from the rear camera to the front camera's Video port. Then, insert the car charger into the cigarette lighter slot and connect the USB cable to the front camera.
I found the front camera suction mount's neck to be in the way of the AV cable and it took some effort to get it in. Then I could not attach the rear camera to the suction mount. And those sticky pads from the box are not very good. So I used my own double-sided 3M stickers to do the job for the rear camera.
The wide-angle lenses give superb coverage of what is in front and behind your car. Video quality is clear but not razor sharp. At night, you can see everything quite clearly. Audio pick-up is weak.
The motion-sensing technology works in the sense that when you start driving, it starts recording. When the car is stationary, you need to tap the camera several times to initiate recording.
Despite its so-so image quality, having the Marbella QB6 dual-cam video recorder installed in your car will give you some peace of mind. If you have an accident, you know at least that you have evidence.
Lens: 170-degree wide-angle (front and rear camera)
Display: 3 inches
Memory: microSD card slot
Weight: 80g (front camera), 25g (rear camera)
Value for money 3/5
This article was published on Sept 10 in Digital Life, The Straits Times.
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