I have not been paid to give this review, nor do I expect to be. I just thought you all might like to know about it.
About a month ago, a woman pulled into the lane I was traveling in on the interstate. While I managed to avoid the vast majority of damage to the both of us, we did make contact. We exchanged information and went our separate ways that morning, but she’d later make up a story which blamed me for the accident and cause me about 10 days worth of strife having to deal with insurance companies and body shops and filling out reports.
In the comments to those posts some of y’all proposed that I get a dash camera. I had been thinking of doing that a few months before after watching the antics of my fellow commuters. After I found out about her lie, that settled it.
But which one to choose?
After a moderately exhaustive search, I decided on the Amacam AM-M80
It was the right size, the right price, and had the right features. I ordered it with the wife’s Prime account and got it two days later. I read the instruction sheet and installed it the next morning before leaving for school.
I only have two complaints about the item and the first one is the instruction sheet. It would be more useful as a kleenex. Only about 10% of the instructions you’ll need for it are actually on the page. For the full meal deal, you need to go to their website and download the ten page pdf file, so not that big of a problem.
That afternoon after coming home I did that and it has been smooth sailing ever since.
It accepts a 32gb microSD card and records around three hours of video in increments you can select. It can record more time if you turn the resolution down from 1080p. I have mine recording 5 minute increments and having it delete the oldest file when memory runs short. It also has a microphone to record sound, but I turn that off because I sing when I drive, and no one wants to hear that. Lastly, it has an impact sensor which tells the device to record a still image of the impact. Driving in my Jeep, I’m not sure how ideal that function actually is.
Essentially, once you set the features to your preferences and it’s internal battery charges, you can forget about it, except for the turning it on and off. It imprints the time and date on all images and video, so make sure to set those as well.
The 1.5″ view screen is big enough that you can see what is going on within the recording system but small enough to not distract you while driving. The number of features and your control of them is easy. The window attachment mechanism actually works, and most importantly of all, the video quality is excellent, even in the dark.
My second and only other complaint is that the power input slot location is on the top side of the camera. While this would be great if I were to hard wire it into my fuse panel and run the wire over the top of the windshield and down the A-pillar under the interior window trim, but for more casual use, this is not ideal. I will likely hard wire it into my truck, but I’m not up to doing that in the Jeep.
In conclusion, for $60 plus another $15 for a 32gb microSD card, it is a pretty sweet little package of CYA. I’ll soon be buying another one so that I don’t have to switch my current one between vehicles. I have yet to talk to my insurance company to see if I can get a discount for having a dash cam. I still haven’t decided if they need to know.
I would recommend this item to everyone else I know and like. And I have been.