With the rate of traffic accidents climbing each year, along comes a higher chance of having one. Even the best of drivers get into accidents, albeit caused by the irresponsible driving habits of others. Recently there have been numerous cases of insurance fraud, where innocent drivers would suddenly be struck by a cyclist who’s motive was to collect insurance from the driver of the car. The only real way to prove your innocence in such cases is through video footage. Enter the dashcam.
This review is on the Opia2 Dashcam made by VicoVation. In the review I will highlight some optional accessories like the Vico PowerPlus, GPS Mouse, and a lens filter which can be purchased separately.
The Dashcam came packaged in a professionally designed box, and included a 13 foot power cable, an adhesive window mount, a suction cup mount, and a quick release mount. The fact that it gave me the option to choose from three different mounting styles made me excited, as the average dashcam only includes one mounting option, either a suction cup mount or an adhesive mount. This also allows me to transfer the camera to multiple cars by keeping one mount in each car. In order to use the quick release mount, you have to remove the mounting base from either the suction cup mount or the adhesive mount by unscrewing the thumb screw and replacing it.
Setting up the dashcam is as simple as mounting to the windshield using one of the included mounts, inserting a Micro SD card, and plugging in the power cable to the cigarette lighter outlet. The wire is long enough to conceal along the top of the windshield and down the drivers side column. The plug can then be plugged into an available 12V jack, or it can be hard wired using the Vico PowerPlus kit, which is what I do. Using the kit is as simple as connecting the the three wires to their corresponding locations in the fuse box. Using a fuse tap, I connect the yellow “Battery +” wire to one of the fuses that are constant, the red “ACC” wire to a fuse that is only powered when the car turns on, and the black “Ground” wire to a bolt that is connected to the chassis in the car. The location of these fuses will be different in every car, just look at the manual. The Vico PowerPlus kit allows the camera to remain powered while the car is off to keep the footage rolling while the car is parked, all while keeping an eye on the cars battery level so as not to drain it. There is also an integrated display, fuse protection and overheat protection in the unit.
Next, I plugged the GPS receiver into the unit and mounted it to the top of the windshield with it’s adhesive. The receiver adds a time stamp ass well as the coordinates and speed to the bottom of the video. This can come in handy when accused of going over the speed limit. There is even an option to create a custom text stamp on the video.
Operating the camera is easy due to the nice user interface, and there are a lot of options that can be setup. Firstly, the video quality can be set to either 1440p, 1296p, and 1080p. Personally, if you have a big enough memory card, I’d use the highest quality available as the videos are rendered very sharp. Also in the menu is the ability to turn on and off multiple features, such as mic volume, change recording mode and video length, emergency recording, parking mode motion detection and time lapse.
As for video quality, I am really impressed of why this little unit puts out. First it has a pretty wide field of view at 160 degrees, which captures a little to the sides of the vehicle. During the day the color is pretty accurate and the video is sharp. At night it is also clear, and sharp enough to read license plates. The ability to add on a polarizer filter adds some more depth to the videos during the day, although I find that the filter could have been made smaller.
I would recommend this dashcam to anyone in the market for a quality way to record their driving.
This dashcam can be found over here on Amazon: http://amzn.to/2gm3mgX
This video was taken at night with the CPL filter on. The filter effectively cut out a lot of glare from oncoming vehicles and street lamps.