I am a paranoid gadget geek so it makes sense that I would purchase a dashcam. I am also somewhat obsessed with watching Russian dashcam videos on Youtube (trust me, you will enjoy them). I did a lot of research on purchasing my first dashcam and with the help of reddit’s /r/dashcam and several decent online video reviews I finally made a purchase.
I went with the Viofo A119S with GPS ($119 on Amazon) that was released in December. It was highly lauded as being the best budget cam and I figured for my initial foray into the wonderful world of cams I would do best to not break the bank.
I got it set up in my 2016 Mini Cooper Countryman in less than 5 minutes. I managed to tuck the cable into the windshield and run it along my dash to the 12v socket in my center console. Surprisingly the cable isn’t in my way, but I will need to secure it to the dash seam. The camera seems to be pretty discreet which is mega important in crime ridden San Francisco.
After getting the camera powered on it was really easy to go through the menu and select my settings. I turned the audio recording off, turned on the GPS tracker, didn’t bother with the lane change or forward warning systems, set my date/time, and that was pretty much it. I was ready to roll!
Here was a video of my first ride at dusk across the Bay Bridge.
Wow! The video quality is amazing. The set up was so easy. It is really discreet.
Overall bang for buck this is pretty awesome. Now I want to catch someone doing something shady – but hopefully not running into me.
Viofo A119S with GPS – Specs
Cost: $119 on Amazon
- 1440P 30fps & 1080P 60fps HD Video & Audio Recording
- 2.0″ LCD Screen
- GPS Logger
- Novatek NT96660 + OV4689
- Capacitor Model for Improved Operating Temperature Records in Loop Recording
- Takes up to 64GB SD Card
- G-Sensor & Motion Detection Capabilities
The only thing I wish is that I had park recording for those asshole SF drivers that hit your bumpers when parking. This would require a hardwired connection which I need to research further. The Viofo isn’t great for park recording either (from what I’ve read). I would also like a rear view cam. The system that I looked into for these features would’ve run me about $500 not including installation so I opted to wait on that investment.