The Trusty Dashcam – 4K Or Bust

Have you needed your footage for insurance? I have. I had a 1080P camera that could not clearly identify the license plate of the offending vehicle in a car park – slow-moving and stationary. Whilst the camera showed I was not at fault, the insurance company punished me for the claim, not the offending vehicle owner, as they could not be accurately identified.

Anything less than 4K is a waste of time for its intended purpose – to prove fault and ensure the person at fault is financially punished. Even 4K has its limits to read a license plate correctly. You can upscale and attempt image correction, but if the pixels are not there in the original image, nothing will get better in an upscaled image / video.

Take a look at the below resolutions, the same source in 1080P, 2K & 4K, each away, and zoomed in. That short distance away, if that happens to be the best shot your camera gets, 1080P stands no chance of identifying the vehicle, and 4K only just does the job.

1080P

10 metres away
Zoomed without clarity

1440P (2K)

10 meters away
Zoomed with better clarity

2160P (4K)

10 meters away
Zoomed and legible for insurance purposes

The same image in 3 resolutions, only when you hit 4K does a number plate become readable and legible for insurance at just 10 metres. We haven’t included darkness, rain, or a vehicle passing at speed. 4K can be useless under such conditions, let alone daylight. If dashcams get released in 8K, that would be my only recommendation. You need resolution to clearly see number plates.

In my wife’s X5 we run dual 4K single channel Blackvues. I was going to install the new DR900X into my Dmax, but I decided against it, as the previous model I have in the X5 is exactly the same camera (DR900S). The only difference between the DR900S and DR900X is that the new one has a USB port for the Blackvue cellular system. An extra $200 for a USB port! No thanks.

The DR900X is about $600 for a single channel. The DR900S is $400 for the single channel. Both have cloud storage functionality. The old via wi-fi to a third party device and the new via the Blackvue device. The Blackvue addon cellular is about $250 plus the cellular data pack. You can buy a Telstra wi-fi router that runs from USB in your car for $70 plus the data pack.

For me, the new DR900X system is not a saving. It’s like the Blackvue lithium packs. It’s far cheaper to buy other lithium and install them into your car directly to run dashcams than buy Blackvue products.

Memory Cards

Ok, getting started on this subject, just annoys me at how much companies are ripping people off. DashCams Australia sell the 256Gb compatible for $150, or Blackvue genuine for $270. Seriously? You can buy a 256Gb memory card specific for dashcams at Amazon for under $80. That is a massive difference.

I run the linked memory card in my dashcams. Put it in, format it, and away they go. A fraction of the cost that Blackvue or other representatives sell their own for. Don’t get ripped off. The memory card I purchased from Amazon has over 17,000 reviews; when reading through them, most are using them in dashcams.

If you don’t need the function, don’t pay for it. If you think these companies offer the best prices, think again. Google to find the best price.

2 thoughts on “The Trusty Dashcam – 4K Or Bust”

  1. Viofo129 front and rear cameras, WiFi, under $200, professionally installed for $315. Crystal clarity, number plates super clear, why waste money on inferior units

    Reply
    • The under $200 unit is 1080P… there is no way it gives crystal clear anything for number plates at that resolution, let alone moving, rain, night, etc.

      Reply

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