In the latest in the string of dashcam reviews I’ve been taking a look at the Kehan KH8210-30V. Here are my thoughts.
Upon unboxing the dashcam, I immediately noticed that its housing is actually quite uniquely designed and well thought through. Inside the box you get all of the usual components you’d expect – the dashcam itself, a super long power cable for your car, as well as a (very basic) manual and a windscreen mount.
Setting up the dashcam is very simple. First, pop your memory card into the dashcam and turn it on (you may need to plug it into the mains the first time you use it). Configure your basic preferences such as recording length, resolution, and sensor sensitivity by using the clearly marked buttons on either side of the screen. I have to admit I was very impressed by the simplicity of the UI and well labelled buttons beside the display.
Once you’ve got your settings and preferences configured, you’re ready to fit the dashcam in your car. There’s nothing particularly unusual here, except from the useful addition of the power connector within the windscreen mount. What this means is that you can wire the power source for the dashcam into the windscreen mount rather than directly into the dashcam. Why, you might ask? Well, it actually makes it considerably easier to dock and undock the dashcam – particularly if, like me, you feel the need to remove the dashcam from display when you aren’t in your vehicle. Definitely a feature I haven’t seen elsewhere as yet.
Recording performance is very decent with this dashcam. I got some very impressive results in my tests – most notably when testing during the daytime. Shown below is some test footage that I uploaded to YouTube. The YouTube footage shows the very decent wide angle that the camera captures. Night time footage was also fairly good, with decent pickup of nearby vehicles even with no other lighting.
Overall, I was very impressed with this dashcam and I personally can find very little to complain about (for once!). The only minor niggle I came across when I tested the unit was that in some cases recording didn’t automatically start when I pulled away. Other than that, the camera worked flawlessly and represents a good value for money solution.
As I’ve highlighted before on GEEK!, I feel that dashcams are becoming ever more important in business as well as personal vehicles. The increasing level of crash-for-cash accidents, paired with the ever-increasing price of insurance (particularly for young drivers) makes dashcams almost vital in proving your innocence during a not-at-fault claim. Thankfully dashcams are starting to get much cheaper and more readily available, and some firms are even offering discounts for fitting dashcams to vehicles.
The ELEPHAS Novatek 96655 dashcam is another dashcam that’s recently entered the market. Upon opening the box you’ll find the usual contents that you’d expect – the dashcam itself, a charging cable (for your car), and a mounting device. Additionally, it comes with a rear view camera that can be installed separately should require it and then be connected to the main unit.
Setting up the dashcam is reasonably simple – although I personally found the interface to be a little clunky at times. The main buttons are on the bottom of the device – this sometimes makes it harder to access controls and navigate through menus. Once you get used to it you’ll be fine but it does take a little brain training!
Once you’ve set your basic preferences like video quality, audio recording and motion detection, you’re ready to fit the dashcam into your car. Simply attach the mount to the top of your windscreen and clip the dashcam in. After that, you just need to get a power source to the dashcam (using the supplied power adapter) and you’re ready to go.
You’ll find that as soon as you start driving the dashcam should power on. I was impressed by the unbelievably accurate motion detection that I believe is accomplished using an on-board accelerometer – there’s certainly no need to worry about turning the dashcam on manually when you start driving.
Recording quality was impressive – particularly in daylight conditions. It was a little less impressive in evening or night-time conditions but it certainly performed better in low light than some other dashcams that I’ve tried.
The video below shows a sample of the evening footage that I recorded with the dashcam. As you’ll see, even in low light it recorded some very decent footage – any object hitting your vehicle would be easily identifiable. You may still struggle to identify registration plates in low light, but I feel that the low light recording performance was good given the size of the camera.
The biggest niggle I found with the dashcam was the sound effects which I felt were a little annoying. I couldn’t find any way to turn off the bootup and shutdown sound which means that every time you start and stop your vehicle you get a very tinny tone. Hardly a massive hindrance but it might be annoying if you do a lot of start-stop driving.
Additionally, I’m not entirely sure why the manufacturer bothered fitting a battery to the device as it holds absolutely no charge at all – maybe one minute of charge at the most. I’ve seen other dashcams have a slightly more useful battery fitted to provide an emergency power source, but the battery in this device is just nonsensical. You’ll want to keep it connected to a 12v supply whenever you’re driving.
Other than those small issues, the dashcam is otherwise very impressive. The recording quality is solid in all conditions and having the rear camera is a massive bonus if you like being protected from all angles. A minor software update would fix the sound issue that I had – but for that issue I’d probably have given it closer to 5 stars.
There’s been an increasing focus on in-vehicle video recording in recent years, partly thanks to a rise in the amount of fraudulent insurance claims (such as “crash-for-cash” set-ups) and partly due the increasing difficulty of proving innocence in a collision scenario.
In fact, dashcams – as they are so-called – aren’t anything new and have actually been on the market for a number of years though. However, as their quality has improved and prices have fallen, they are all of a sudden becoming an important accessory to have, with some insurance providers even offering discounts if you have one fitted.
I was keen to give the technology a go and got my hands on a Tendak model direct from Amazon. Complete with a 2.7″ on-board display, all power cables and a 16GB memory card, it comes with everything you need to get started.
Without even getting to the actual testing of the product, I was immediately surprised by the size and weight of the dashcam. It is much smaller than I was expecting it to be – and this is no bad thing at all – after all, the less distractions I have in my windscreen, the better. While small, it does have excellent build quality and feels like a product that was built to last. The buttons on the left hand side of the unit are sturdy but a little difficult to press, but this doesn’t really detract from the design of the product given how rarely you’ll use them once the dashcam is set up.
Speaking of which – set up was very easy indeed. I unboxed the product indoors, stuck it on charge for a while and then switched it on. Before you do anything else, it is essential to ensure the date and time is set correctly as you could be relying on that in a legal scenario. Using the on-screen menus with the left hand side buttons was admittedly rather fidly and did take some getting used to – but it just takes a little mastering. I went ahead and set mine in 720p 60fps mode – the device is fully capable of 1080p but I wanted the higher frame rate as I feel this could be important if I ever needed the footage to send to an insurance company. Once you’ve set up your basic settings like motion detection (you’ll want this on if you want the device to work automatically) and power saving mode (turn this on if you don’t want the display on all the time while you’re driving), you’re ready to mount the device in the car. You may also want to turn on or off the on-board microphone – I for one am not hugely fussed about my in-car conversations being recorded and turned this off!
Fitting the device in your vehicle should be fairly easy. The included windscreen mount works perfectly well and securely fits the dashcam its housing. The next step is wiring the device in – and depending on your vehicle you might find this frustrating. I myself have a Mk7 Ford Fiesta which, surprisingly enough, is actually used in the product demonstration photos. In my case, I could run the power cable along the top of the windscreen without it being visible, but would need to remove trim from the side of the car to hide cables completely. The supplied power cable has ample length and you shouldn’t run into any problems there. I was also pleased to see that the included 12v vehicle charging adapter also included a built in USB port for phone charging.
Once it’s fitted, you’re ready to go. The device will boot up automatically as soon as you feed it power, and will record almost instantaneously. It’ll then, depending on how you’ve configured it, will break footage down into segments. I chose 3 minute segments as I felt this would be enough to capture most scenes. It’ll keep recording until the motion stops as long as you’ve got motion detection on (which was unbelievably accurate – almost too accurate!). And that’s about in terms of getting it going.
One word of warning though – make sure your vehicle doesn’t feed power to its 12v socket all the time – for two reasons. First, you risk running your car battery flat if it is constantly feeding power to the dashcam. Second, you’ll overwrite all of your footage with potentially usage stationary footage if you haven’t got motion detection on. Thankfully, most vehicles these days have ignition-timed power sockets, but it’s fairly important that you do check before you buy.
Video footage from the dashcam was, in my view, outstanding. OK – let’s be fair – this is a fairly small camera – but for its size I feel it performed very well. Daylight footage, in particular, was very good with very decent frame rates and suitable definition. The wide angle lens also captured almost the entire viewing area of my windscreen, which was impressive. Night footage wasn’t as good, but still fairly acceptable – especially in well lit areas. It would capture a crash at night without much trouble – but you might have some trouble reading a registration place.
Take a look at the sample footage I took to get an idea of how it performs.
Getting the footage from the camera is easy-as-can-be. Simply remove the microSD card, place it in a card reader or SD card adapter, and then copy and paste the video files you need. G-sensor detected “crash” footage is shown in the EVENT folder, while normal video footage is stored in the VIDEO folder.
The only major niggle to me was the battery. It has a rechargeable battery built in that’ll function for about 30 minutes. I get why it’s there – most likely for backup power, but it seems fairly unnecessary to me. Not exactly a massive blow, just a bit of a disappointment in that area.
Overall, I was genuinely very impressed with this dashcam. It produces excellent footage, fits neatly in your vehicle, and doesn’t cost a fortune. At around £50, this could pay for itself easily in the event of an accident.
Better still, some UK insurers now offer discounts for having a dashcam fitted. Swiftcover offers a straight 10% off for any vehicle that has a working dashcam fitted, while AXA Car Insurance offers up to 10% off for a vehicle with a working dashcam. With this in mind, your dashcam may even pay for itself!