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Evidence of Accidents
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A recent addition to the range of in-car dash cameras available is the 312GW model from Nextbase. An in-car dash camera’s main purpose, rather than being used for taking behind-the-wheel Selfies as posted by Brooklyn Beckham in his brand new £33,530 A-Class Mercedes vehicle, is to capture incidents that could prove that your driving was not the reason for a traffic accident.
With an appearance that reminds me of the instant-style cameras popular a few years ago, the 312GW is predominately black in colour with a few matte silver highlights. Along with the camera unit, Nextbase supplies a pair of leads allowing the camera to receive power from a standard home power source or an in-car cigarette lighter socket via a mini USB connection. You also get a powered Click & GO GPS Mount for attached the camera within the car, Quick Start pamphlet, window sticker and a CD containing a PDF version of the User Manual and software for Windows and Mac computers.
The 312GW has dimensions of 92 x 57 x 37mm (W x H x D). Mounted on the front of the camera is a six-element 140 degree wide angle sharp lens. Capable of delivering full 1080p high definition recordings at 30fps, the lens is protected by six layers of glass. Recorded content is stored on a microSD card (not supplied) up to 32GB capacity which fits into a slot on the right side (when faced from the front) of the camera. Connection sockets for AV Out and mini USB are located on the top of the camera unit.
Taking over the rear of the camera is a 2.7-inch clear LED screen. Overlaying this screen are icons covering features such as date, time, resolution, battery level, audio and capture mode. Running down either side of the screen are controls for menu, record (doubling as OK) and mode on the right with power, up/down and protect file/WiFi button on the left.
With this latter WiFi feature you will need to download the appropriate app from the App or Play Store for use on a tablet or Smartphone. The App allows you to create a WiFi link between the Nextbase and mobile device for the transfer of content. Unfortunately my successful rate with this feature was very limited. More often than not I would be presented with messages that stated the opposite. The Nextbase in-car cam would state that a connection was made but my Smartphone denied this state of affairs. On the one occasion that I achieved a connection I was able to view a saved file but then the connection was lost and I was forced into another attempt to restart the connection process.
When mounting the Nextbase in-car cam inside a vehicle, you are provided with a Click&GO Magnetic Powered Mount. Before attaching the Mount to the windscreen the mount slots into a compartment on the in-car cam that is revealed once a cover is removed. You will also need to connect the supplied USB lead to a port on the Mount and link the lead to an appropriate in-car power source (cigarette lighter socket).
Setting up this arrangement is fairly straightforward as long as you take care to ensure that the camera has a clear view of the road and it, and the lead, do not obstruct the driver’s road awareness. One suggestion is that the 312GW is positioned behind the rear-view mirror while the lead is affixed to the edge of the windscreen. Measuring 380cm, the connecting lead should be long enough to be affixed in this way for most cars.
Depending upon your needs, the 312GW offers a range of settings adjustable from a menu option. You can select the recording resolution and exposure plus turn on/off the audio recording feature and enter your car’s number plate for displaying on any video captures. The length of video files can be set with the proviso that the oldest files being automatically removed to make space for later recordings. There is a Parking Mode that can record any movement of your car while it is parked. Other features include stamps for Speed, GPS and G Sensor. The latter can record and display acceleration, deceleration, turns and impact data for use when submitting an insurance claim. Incidents will automatically be recorded and saved.
The 312GW in-car cam can operate in three modes allowing you to capture video and still images plus play back captured content. As well as reviewing content on the 312GW’s screen, you also have the option to use the supplied software for checking out content on either a Windows or Mac computer. Content from the 312GW can be streamed to the computer playback software suing the supplied USB lead or maybe by transferring the SD memory card to the computer.
Apart from my inability to get the WiFi feature to hold a firm connection, I was happy with the performance of the 312GW device. It was easy to set up and captured content was of good quality. As yet, touch wood, I have not had the opportunity to test its ability to help with an insurance claim. Currently this product is being listed at £99.99 but you will require an SD Card.
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