With all the modifications I’ve done with our EcoSport, the cost of getting another dash camera became prohibitive. To help offset the costs, one of our generous readers sent me a new Transcend Drive Pro 110. Our donor realized that modification projects do cost a lot, and wanted to help out offset the expenses by sponsoring a project. Thank you very much!
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The following product review is NOT sponsored by Transcend. There are NO sponsored reviews nor advertisements on this website, EcoSport DIY Series.
I am currently testing a Transcend DP110 Dash Camera, purchased locally for about 5500 pesos. Among all models produced by Transcend, DP110 is the cheapest one with a screen (display). I prefer stand-alone dashcams with dedicated displays over ones with no screens at all, or even those that connect with smartphones and use the phone’s screen for displaying video feed.
DP110 is good enough for the task of recording and has the following basic functions of a dash camera:
Time-stamped video is clear, both daytime and night time recording (it has enhanced low-light recording, but no infrared night-vision mode found in hi-end models).
It has an “emergency save button”. You’ll find this very useful in case of an emergency.
Saves automatically when bumped (sensitivity can be adjusted).
Loops 3 or 5-minute videos (with audio). The oldest video gets overwritten with the newest video (except if the video is tagged as important—if it is saved manually by the user by pressing the emergency save button, or saved automatically when the camera detects vibrations).
Has a built-in battery, allowing the dash camera to save the current video if power suddenly gets disconnected (some prefer capacitors over batteries though).
Has a dedicated display (for me, this is a must)!
The camera comes with a power adapter, a mount, and a user’s manual. Installation takes only about 5 minutes! I would recommend Transcend DP110 to anyone looking for a low-cost yet fully-functional dash camera.
This tutorial video shows how to connect wires on to an EcoSport’s fuse box, such that the dash camera turns on only when the engine is running, i.e., the dash camera turns off as the engine is switched off. If done improperly, this could likely void your warranty, so be very careful in following this modification.
This modification requires basic knowledge of electronics and must be carried out only by those familiar with it. Please do it at your own risk.
I have purchased a Polaroid N302 precisely for its superb night-vision capability. I have been using this dash camera with my EcoSport for more than a year now and has never had any issue with it. It captures video with time-stamp at 1080P (HD) resolution. Shown below are photos extracted from the video-recorded files, to demonstrate the difference between normal mode (colored), and night-vision mode (black and white).
High-end dash cameras feature what is called night vision mode. In night vision mode, the camera achieves heightened sensitivity in low-light environment by capturing not only visible light, but also infrared light (which is visible to the camera but invisible to the human eye). This is the same technology used in military-grade night-vision goggles.
In June 2017, I was involved in a minor road accident. Back then I did not have a dash camera. A week later, I had one installed.
Dash cameras are important investment and may be useful in case of accidents. I have prepared a guide on how to choose a dash camera, and identified the essential and optional features present in most dash cameras.
Any dash camera should serve you well. If you have a dark or mirror-like tint, you may need a dash camera with enhanced capability, such as night vision feature found in higher-end models. In the camera that I am using, it automatically toggles to night vision mode (you will hear it mechanically change internal fiters) to accept infrared light, thus, yeilding enhanced sensitivity in low-light conditions. At daytime, it records color video, at night, it switches to infrared recording (black and white video, like a CCTV camera).
A dash camera must have a decent screen, and dedicated playback buttons. You should be able to play and scan the saved video using the dash camera (no laptop required), which will come handy when settling a dispute on the road.
Look for a dash camera with a dedicated microphone on/off button (for privacy reasons) and a dedicated save video button (quick-access button to save current video). Some cameras even have touch-screen functions, which is an optional feature.
Some dash cameras feature GPS mapping to log information about the vehicle’s location and speed. Wireless connectivity (like Wifi) is an optional feature, which allows live viewing of the dash camera (and playback access) through your phone.
Check if the dash camera has an accident auto-save function (locks the current video when it detects vibrations). To those worried that their vehicle might get damaged while parked, some dash cameras have a parking-accident auto-record feature (just make sure to buy a dedicated power pack to avoid draining your battery, since the dash cam in park mode must be powered continuosly even when parked).
A dash camera must have a built-in battery, so it could save the video the moment power is disconnected. Please note however that dash cameras with built-in batteries may suffer from premature battery degradation due to exposure to heat. Newer dash cameras are equipped with capacitors instead, which can work well without degradation, even at high temperatures.
Having a dash camera, even the cheap ones, will always be better than having no dash camera at all.
The following product review is NOT sponsored by Yi. There are NO sponsored reviews nor advertisements on this website, EcoSport DIY Series.
We’ve upgraded to a newer dashcam—a Yi Ultra. Some of the notable features of this camera include (1) large video resolution of 2.7K or 2704 by 1520 pixels, (2) wifi connectivity with a smart phone for viewing and downloading files, (3) high sensitivity in low-light conditions, but no IR night-vision mode, and (4) voice-activated photo capture (takes photos by saying “Yi, take a photo”). The Yi Ultra replaces our old Polaroid N302 dash camera.
In addition to a front-facing dash camera, some car owners prefer to install a rear-facing camera. In the case of an EcoSport, this camera may be mounted on the rear door. The power supply cable of the camera may be neatly hidden behind the rear door panel, and passed through the door’s rubber connector.