The QooCam 8K is the first consumer 360 camera that can shoot 8K resolution. It’s release coinsideds with the GoPro Max, the second generation of GoPro’s 360 camera range. These two cameras are set to battle it out for supremecy, but which one is the better option? While the QooCam features impressive specs the GoPro comes with a range of unique shooting modes and software options which could make it more user friendly. Let’s take a close look at both of these 360 cameras and see which one comes out on top.
QooCam 8K vs GoPro Max
2 x f/2.0
2 x f/2.8
8K @ 30fps – 4K @ 120fps
5.6K @ 30fps – Hero Mode 1440p @60fps
30 MP (jpeg & RAW, RAW+)
16.6 MP (jpeg)
Yes – 4K
Yes – 1080p
Ultra Steady – 6 Axis Image Stabilization
“Hypersmooth” 6 Axis Image Stabilization
With waterproof case (added extra)
Fully Waterproof up to 16ft (no case required)
Shock Resistant Casing
64GB Internal – Up to 256GB Micro SD
Up to 256GB MicroSD
3200 mAh Minutes of Video
1 Hour of Video
Gyroscope, Wifi, Bluetooth
Gyroscope, GPS, Wifi Bluetooth
x2 Microphone, 3.5mm Audio Jack
x 6 Microphone (ambisonic audio)
iPhone & Android
1/1.7“ Sensors, Touchscreen, 1 Shot Panoramas
Reframe App, 360 Time Lapse, Time Warp, Single Lens Hero Mode, LCD Screen, Voice Control
Just looking at the specs the QooCam seems to have the superior hardware. Not only is it capable of shooting 8K video it also has larger sensors for capturing more light. The QooCam also features internal memory and a microphone jack, so how can the GoPro Max compete? While you are likely to get superior quality photos and videos from the QooCam 8K the GoPro Max does have an excellent software ecosystem that makes it easy to use and it also features a rugged design that won’t be as easily damaged.
Both cameras feature a touch screen for full manual control and preview of your shots. These are the only two consumer 360 cameras to feature touch screens which makes shooting with them much less frustrating. Like on a modern DSLR you’ll be able to adjust all settings on the fly, rather than having to connect to an app to do so.
The Max is clad with a toughened rubber coating which protects from scratches and also comes with lens protectors. the Max is definitely built with action shots in mind. The QooCam 8K is more vulnerable and doesn’t feature the same protective design. The GoPro Max is fully waterproof out of the box however the QooCam requires an added case to be used in water.
Video and Photo
The QooCam is the first 360 camera under $1000 to shoot 8K 360 video. This is a huge step up from previous cameras which have so far only reached 5.7K. This huge resolution should make for excellent quality video including sharp details and minimal pixelation. When re-framing 8K video you will be able to punch out a 4K flat image from your 8K 360, a huge increase compared to other cameras. One issue with shooting such large resolution video is the huge file sizes involved, as well as dealing with a complicated and arduous workflow.
The GoPro Max can shoot 5.6K video at 30fps which is around half the pixels of 8K. In comparison with the Insta360 One X the GoPro Max came out favourably with superior quality and colour, however the camera simply can’t match up to the huge resolution offered by the QooCam. Additionally the QooCam utilizes a larger sensor in it’s lenses, 1/1.7’’ CMOS, which is roughly 50% larger than the sensor used in the GoPro Max. This allows the QooCam to capture more light and create greater dynamic range.
Slow motion is another new feature the QooCam has that the GoPro lacks. The Max is limited to 30fps at 5.6K whereas the QooCam can shoot 4K video at 120fps. While the 4K resolution will be noticeably lower quality, the addition of super slow motion makes for a wonderful combination. One saving grace for the GoPro MAx is its Hero Mode which allows you to shoot with just one lens like a normal GoPro action camera, this mode also features stabilization and is a great way to mix traditional video with 360 video.
The Max can also utilise just one of it’s lenses so you can use it like a normal GoPro action camera, without having to worry about the 360 element. GoPro calls this Hero Mode and it allows for higher frame rates but is limited to 1080p. The Qoocam doesn’t yet offer a similar mode but considering the hug resolution it’s capable of shooting in, just using one lens would likely result in superior quality video.
10 Bit Video
While the GoPro is certainly the best 5K camera thanks to GoPro’s excellent video processing chip and color profile, the QooCam 8K simple outguns it. Even without the far higher resolution capabilities the QooCam also offers 10-bit video which allows for a far higher range of colors. If you are someone who takes post processing seriously then the QooCam will offer far greater range and versatility thanks to its ability to shoot 10-bit. Check out this awesome night shot which the Max would never be able to replicate.
When it comes to photography the story is similar. The QooCam offers 30mp photos in RAW and RAW+ whereas the GoPro can only muster 16.6mp with no RAW option. Both cameras have a panorama option that shoots wide angle panoramas in a single shot. The QooCam is actually shaping up to be the best 360 camera for photography and Kandao have an excellent reputation in this field. The only other camera that comes close is the Ricoh Theta Z1 which also features larger sensors.
Reframing is what 360 cameras are used for the most, that is taking a 360 video and turning it into a “normal” video by adding keyframes. It makes for super smooth, stabilized, cinematic video and allows you to control where the camera looks after filming. The GoPro Max App allows you to reframe your video into a 1080p standard video. The App is super intuitive and offers a wide range of options, howver the final quality of the video is limited.
The QooCam 8K, again thanks to that huge resolution, is able to create 4K re-framed video, a first among consumer 360 cameras. The downside is that you will require a pretty powerful desktop setup to be able to handle 8K video editing and the workflow is likely to be arduous.
To GoPro Max was released with a range of software options. Firstly the App, which allows you to automatically create videos using the clips you shoot with, where you can reframe your 5K video into a 1080p quickly and easily. The desktop software allows you to do the same thing on a laptop but with more export options. If you are a Premiere Pro user you’ll also be able to use the reframe plugin to intuitively re-frame video. Using this software you can create some really awesome footage.
Kandao has also released both mobile and desktop software for their QooCam 8K. The mobile app can frame your 8K footage as well as add filters and change speed. The desktop software allows you to stitch and render your video at the highest quality.
Memory: The QooCam has 64GB of built in memory as well as the option to expand this with a MicroSD Card. The Max has no in built memory but its smaller file sizes don’t require as much memory
Audio: The GoPro Max features 6 in built microphones which work together to create 360 audio. The audio is very good and means you don’t require any external audio to record your voice. The QooCam 8K doesn’t have high quality in built audio but does have a 3.5mm audio jack so you can use external devices.
Stabilization: The GoPro Max features GoPro’s hypersmooth 2.0 stabilization which works to completely stabilise all moving video. The QooCam features similar stabilization software but is not as well tested as GoPro’s
While the QooCam certainly outclasses the GoPro Max in terms of hardware its not exactly built to be an action camera. 8K footage will allow you to create very high quality 360 videos and the ability to reframe in 4K is a first and alone makes the QooCam the camera to beat this year. On the other hand the lack of water resistance and no damage protection means it’s not as ready for action shots. What really sets the QooCam apart is the ability to shoot 120fps slow motion video, 10-bit video and the larger image sensors; all of which put the QooCam firmly in the next generation of 360 cameras. The GoPro Max strength lies in its dual video modes and impressive software ecosystem which allows you to edit your footage in many different ways, regardless if you are an amateur or professional.
Nearly two years after the first GoPro 360 camera, the Fusion, comes their second attempt. The GoPro Max ($499) is the next generation 360 camera featuring hypersmooth 2.0, 5.6K video resolution, Hero Mode and a revamped app designed to make using your 360 camera as easy as possible. That last point is an important one because the Fusion was criticised for being too difficult to use for the average person. I’ve been using the GoPro Max for around a month now so I have a pretty good idea of the cameras pro’s and weaknesses. Have GoPro managed to create the best 360 camera ever or are 360 cameras still too complicated to use?
GoPro Max Review
8 Total Score
GoPro Max – It’s GoPro’s Best Camera Yet The GoPro Max is two great cameras in one.
High Quality Video
Hero Mode & 360 Mode
Super Smooth Stabilization
Rugged and Waterproof
Excellent Editing App
Lacks Full Manual Control
No RAW or HDR Mode
Missing Desktop Software
User Rating: 4 (1 votes)
Two cameras in one. The best 360 camera out right now. Includes free SD Card
One of the greatest strengths of the GoPro’s Max camera is its design and build quality. Waterproof up to 5 metres without a case and made from protective rubber casing, the Max is built to handle many hostile environments. In the box you’ll also receive lens protectors which will shield the vulnerable lenses from breaking should you drop the camera. The Max is definitely built with action in mind and it’s sufficiently protected.
The Max is larger than GoPro’s Hero range of cameras but still easily fits in one hand. The Max is also the first consumer 360 camera to be built with a full touch screen display. This alone makes the Max the most user friendly camera to use.
You can adjust all settings from the camera as well as view media right after you’ve shot it. With all other 360 cameras you need to connect to a phone in order to preview your video or change settings. The Max also features voice commands which tend to work most of the time, however I still think manual controls are quicker overall.
The GoPro Max is primarily a camera built for video; either action shots or vlogs, this is what you’ll be using your camera for 90% of the time. Thankfully GoPro have put a lot of effort into making the Max an exceptional video camera with a multitude of options. Some features haven’t made the transition from the previous Fusion camera but overall there is an improvement all-round.
You have two video modes when shooting with the Max; 360 mode and Hero mode. Let’s take a look at both of these and what they should be used for.
The Max is a 360 camera so you are going to be using the 360 mode a lot. This mode will utilise both lenses in the Max to shoot 360 video, you can then re-frame this video to create super smooth, cinematic shots. Alternatively you can upload this 360 video directly to Facebook and YouTube and watch on a VR headset for immersive video. It should be noted that the Max is mostly built around the re-framing process and this is how I’ve been using the camera.
The GoPro Max features two f/2.2 lenses and a video resolution of 5.6K. Frame rate is restricted to 30fps in 360 mode and there’s no way to alter shutter speed. While it’s a shame that there are not as many manual controls as I would like, even in automatic mode the Max produces the best looking video I’ve seen in a 360 camera. The video is sharp, colorful, vibrant and closer to reality than its competitors. In low light environments the camera handles well and doesn’t overexpose or create too much noise in dark areas. The Max utilises a chip designed by GoPro for video processing and likely uses superior quality lenses.
Having this high quality video also allows you to create higher quality framed video, which I’ve found to be the highest quality of any 360 camera so far. Once rendered in 1080p the Max’s re-framed video looks excellent, and when mixed with the unique shots only possible with 360 cameras, makes for some truly amazing video.
The video sometimes struggles when moving indoors and you’ll notice some blurriness. If there was a higher frame rate option then this could be rectified but you’re stuck with 30fps. The Max certainly works best outdoors in daylight. While 360 video still can’t compete with normal video in terms of quality the Max goes some way to bridge the gap and it certainly produces the best quality 360 video of any camera under $500
Hero Mode is the second major video mode that the Max can shoot in. You’ll recognise the name from the Hero line of cameras that GoPro are famous for. Hero cameras use just one lens and Hero Mode on the Max also uses just one of two lenses available to the Max. This allows you to shoot “normal” non-360 video using the Max. When shooting in Hero Mode you’ll be able to shoot in either 1440p or 1080p. No 4K resolution available like in other Hero cameras, but that would be a big ask. You also have a range of frame rates, including 60fps, 50fps, 30fps and 24fps.
The quality of the video when shooting in Hero mode isn’t the most amazing I’ve ever seen. It’s highly likely that your phone will shoot better looking video than the Max in Hero Mode. So, why use it? Well, for a start you can use GoPro’s Hypersmooth stabilization (more on that later) which works exceptionally well to keep video steady. Also, using the GoPro App you can combine 360 and Hero mode video with excellent results. Hero Mode also allows you slow motion video and an extra timelapse mode.
While Hero Mode certainly isn’t the main reason to buy the GoPro Max it’s certainly a welcome addition. This is the only 360 camera out right now that can utilise one of its lenses in this way and essentially makes the Max two cameras in one.
Timewarp / Timelapse
One of the main video modes of the GoPro Max is Timewarp, and it’s one of my favourite features. Timewarp is essentially a moving, stabilized timelapse. You record a timelapse while you move with your camera then re-frame it in the App. When done correctly the results can be quite stunning. You can record a Timewarp in 360 mode, allowing you to pan around the entire field of view, or in Hero Mode where you can return to normal speed at certain points.
Compared to the Max’s video capabilities photography focused features seem somewhat lacklustre. That’s not to say the Max can’t take great looking photos – it can – but there are some missed opportunities.
The GoPro Max can shoot 16.6 megapixel 360 photos. This resolution isn’t particularly impressive and there are competitors out there that can shoot up to 20 megapixel images and higher. having said that, the quality of the optics in the Max are such that it makes up for lower resolution with improved dynamic range and low light performance.
360 photos shot with the Max are vibrant and dynamic, if a bit pixelated around the edges. Certainly when viewed on a mobile device the images look excellent but on a larger screen you may notice the lower than ideal resolution.
Unfortunately GoPro have omitted several features that could have made the max an excellent 360 photography camera. There’s no automatic HDR mode, a feature that made the Insta360 One X a great camera for photos. There’s also no RAW Mode which would allow a more advanced to get the best image possible using editing programmes. These features may be coming in future update (The One X added RAW mode several months after release) but for now you’ll have to make do with standard jpeg images.
One photo mode that is unique to the Max is the Power Pano. This mode allows you to take a single 270 degree panorama in one shot. They look similar to the panoramas you can shoot with your phone, however instead of taking multiple images and stitching them together (usually with many errors) the Max shoots a seamless Power Pano in a single shot.
The photos aren’t the best quality you’ll ever see but they are fun, and thanks to the screen you can take some pretty unique selfies.
When announcing the Max GoPro made a fuss of its audio capabilities. They claimed that the Max could record audio at the same quality as a shotgun mic; this is quite a claim as most internal camera audio is pretty poor. The Max features 6 microphones scattered around its body which is in itself quite impressive. This allows the max to record 360 amibsonic audio which works great with 360 video. But how does it sound? In my tests the Max does indeed perform far better than any other action camera in the audio department. Voices sound clear and crisp an the wind reduction technology works a treat.
It might be a stretch to say the audio is as good as a shot-gun mic (maybe a cheap one) but it’s certainly more than good enough for vlogging and you won’t need to carry any external audio equipment
Hypersmooth 2.0 is GoPro’s new software stabilization technology. It featured in the last version of the GoPro Hero range and now it’s been added to the Max. 360 cameras are particularly ideal for stabilising video because the capture more pixles which can be used for stabilization. Hypersmooth does an amazing job of keeping your video steady while doing activities that other cameras would struggle with. If you are a surfer, skater, biker, climber or you want to record any kind of fast moving activity, then the GoPro Max will be able to capture smooth video even in the most challenging on situations.
Vloggers too will be happy because you’ll be able to move around with your camera without worrying if it’s moving or shaking too much. In essence the Hypersmooth stabilization makes the Max an awesome camera for both action shots and vlogging. Where the Max struggles is low lit indoor environments where you’ll notice shakiness and vibrations while moving.
App & Software
What makes the GoPro Max a pretty great camera isn’t the hardware but the re-vamped app which allows for very vast video creation. You can combine multiple videos, add music, titles, text and transitions within just a few minutes. The App is also able to automatically create and combine the best parts of your videos. The GoPro App is also where you’ll re-frame your 360 video and GoPro have made it as easy as possible to do so.
The App has a multitude of options including changing speed, color, adding filters and combining multiple clips together. Overall the GoPro App is the best App for editing 360 video I’ve come across.
While the GoPro App gives me little reason for complaint, the desktop app that GoPro developed is another story. For a start the main editing program is not available for Windows yet (apparently it’s coming soon) and the GoPro Exporter (which turns your 360 files into usable video files) has some features missing. You can only export your video in HVEC format and not MP4. Again GoPro says these features are coming soon but I’d expect them to available on release.
The GoPro Max has huge potential and is already the easiest 360 camera to use. It has among the best video quality of any 360 camera out now and its App is perfect for creating high quality video quickly. The camera is almost perfect for vlogging thanks to stabilization, a front facing screen and full 360 filming. You get two cameras in one thanks to Hero Mode and the audio is surprisingly high quality. While overall I’m happy with the camera and will continue to use it, it’s clear that GoPro wasn’t quite ready when the release day came. There have been complaints that some features are missing, particularly desktop software. There are also some pretty basic features such as full manual control over shutter speed when shooting video and the lack of HDR or RAW options when shooting photos.
I’m expecting GoPro to continue to support this camera with some pretty big updates, but this isn’t an absolute given. Overall this camera is worth the $499 price tag if you are looking for a next generation 360 action camera.
Price and Where to Buy
Two cameras in one. The best 360 camera out right now. Includes free SD Card
Are you looking for the best dash cam for your money?
This article will show you a few good, but cheap dash cams that just work. If you’re on a budget, you may not care about the latest gimmicks such as Wi-Fi and cloud connectivity.
Instead, you want your dash cam to be reliable, most of all. So you can just set it up and forget about it until the day you need the footage.
You also want it to record decent video, not cinema quality perhaps, but good enough to be able to read license plates should the need arise.
We aren’t going to focus on the latest releases here. The cameras featured below are best sellers that have all been available for at least a couple of years, are known to record quality video, and can be expected to work reliably for long periods of time.
The Yi Dash Cam (full review) is a basic and simple to use car camera from China. It may not be the greatest looking, but it does its job, and does it very reliably.
It actually records better video than some of the more expensive cameras. Its icon-based menu is simple and intuitive. It also has Wi-Fi so you can connect to it with your smart phone (free apps available for Android and iOS).
Note: If you check on eBay, you may be able to find a matte black version of this camera which looks much better. At the time of this writing, the black Yi is only available in Chinese, but the menu is straightforward enough to use even without knowing the language.
Extras: 2″ screen, capacitor, lock file button. Optional GPS in mount, optional CPL filter available separately.
The Viofo A119 v2 (full review) is our best-value-for-money dash cam. It can record up to 1440p resolution at 30 frames per second, or 1080p at up to 60fps. Video quality is great for the price, and reliability is good. This camera has been around for three years already, and it has been a best seller for a very long time,
GPS and a CPL filter are both optional, and cost extra. Wi-Fi is not supported.
The A119 v2 is fairly intuitive to set up and use. Having a capacitor instead of an internal battery makes it more resistant to high temperatures in the car, for example when parking in the sun on a hot day.
Its stealthy wedge shape makes the A119 v2 an inconspicuous addition to your car that looks almost like it was built in from the start.
UPDATE: The Viofo A119 v3 has been released in July 2019. It costs a bit more, but in its most basic configuration you can get it for around $100 (if you go without GPS etc).
If you’re looking for a relatively affordable dashboard camera with great parking protection (buffered parking mode), the A119 v3 is your best option.
As a result, the price of the A119 v2 has gone down. If you don’t need parking mode, the A119 v2 is still the best dash cam for its price. Just be aware that this camera will be discontinued soon — get it while supplies last!
If you want to record the road behind your car as well as the road ahead, the Mini 0906 (full review) is the cheapest good-quality front and rear dash cam on the market. Of course there are cheaper dual-channel dash cams, but most of them record low quality video, especially with the rear camera. The Mini 0906 records 1080p both front and rear, which is a must nowadays if you want to have any chance of catching details like other cars’ license plates.
The Mini 0906’s video quality is good during the day time, both for the front and the rear video feed. At night, front video is good also, but rear video is only average due to the lack of illumination. (If you need better rear video quality, check out the Viofo A129 which is a bit more expensive, but still costs less than $200 unlike the high-end dash cams.)
UPDATE: This camera has been a huge success and is currently sold out on amazon.com, but you can still order it on eBay or Aliexpess (links above). Or check out the Viofo A129 Duo, which is a bit more expensive but delivers excellent value for money.
If you don’t need GPS or a CPL filter, this camera is available for as little as $100 currently. The full package with GPS, CPL, and a hard-wire kit (needed for parking mode) costs around $125 at this time.
Powered by a capacitor, the Mini 0906 is more heat resistant than a camera with a battery.
In parking mode, the Mini 0906 records at a lower frame rate (time-lapse). When an impact is detected, it switches to normal recording for 15 seconds, then goes back to time-lapse mode. Note that you will need a hard-wiring kit for parking mode to work.
We monitor the dashboard camera market every single day, and these are hands down the most cost-efficient devices on the market right now (as of October 2019). If you’re looking to get the best bang for your buck, these are the dash cams to be looking at.
Have a great value-for-money dash cam that you think should be on this list? Let us know!
Pretty much the whole range of Insta360 Cameras are on sale for Black Friday 2019. You can get 15% off the most popular 360 cameras in their line-up, including the Insta360 One X. The One X features 5.7K 360 video, amazing stabilization technology, RAW photos and user friendly app. The Evo has many of the same features but can also shoot 3D 180 video for viewing on a VR headset. Let’s take a look at the full range of Insta360 discounts available this Black Friday/Cyber Monday.
Insta360 Black Friday Sale
Insta360 One X
The One X is the most popular 360 camera ever and it’s now available with a 15% discount. The One X has been used by everyone from skydivers to world famous vloggers to capture awesome videos. This is the cheapest the camera has ever been so grad a bargain while it lasts.
You can also get the Insta360 Real Estate Kit which includes a selfie stick, all purpose tripod, and 32GB Micro SD card. The One X is a great option for shooting real estate virtual tours quickly and cheaply.
The EVO is also available at 15% percent off, reducing the overall price to just $359. With the EVO you can create immersive 3D movies which work even better than the ones you see in the cinema. The EVO is a must for anyone who owns a VR headset and wants to create videos to watch on it, you’ll be amazed at how it looks. You can also get the EVO discount on the official Insta360 Website.
The professional powerhouse which has been used by the BBC, National Geographic and many other high profile film makers. The Pro 2 is the golden standard of easy to use, professional quality 360 cameras and it’s now available with a $500 discount.
If you are looking for something even more powerful then the Insta360 Titan may be for you. The Titan feature Micro 4/3 lenses for improved low light shooting and overall quality. This, along with the astonishing 11K video resolution makes the Insta360 Titan a cinematic quality 360 camera. The Titan is available with a $428 discount.
— Taxi / Uber cam (front and cabin cam in one unit)
— Max. resolution: front 1080p, rear 1080p
— Compare prices: Amazon Canada – eBay US / UK / AU – AliExpress – more vendors
— Optional external GPS
— 2″ Screen
— Video format: MP4
— Supports up to 400 GB MicroSD cards
— Needs class 10 (U1) card
— Novatek 96660 processor
— Time and date stamp on video
— Loop recording, auto on/off, G-Sensor
— Simple parking mode
— Lock file button
— Size: 111mm x 66mm x 29mm
— Operating temperature: from -20°C to 70°C (-4°F to 158°F)
— Storage temperature: from -20°C to 90°C (-4°F to 194°F)
— Apps for Android / iOS
— Wide Dynamic Range (WDR)
— Internal capacitor instead of battery
— Internal microphone and speaker, with mute button
— Voice announcements
— Adhesive and suction mounts
— Max. resolution: 1920×1080 @ 30fps
— Bit rate: 12 or 16 Mbps
— Sony Starvis IMX307 sensor
— Angle of view: 132°
Rear (cabin) camera:
— Max. resolution: 1920×1080 @ 30fps
— Bit rate: 8 or 12 Mbps
— Sony Starvis IMX307 sensor
— 4 infrared (IR) LEDs
— Switchable mechanical IR-cut filter
— Angle of view: 132°
Blueskysea B2W Review
Blueskysea’s B2W dash cam was released in 2019 and sports an uncommon design that looks somewhat clunky at first glance, but it’s actually quite genius. The two lenses are situated in cylindrical housings below the camera, allowing you to rotate them horizontally to cover either (or both) of your side windows. A great option to have if you ever get pulled over by police, and would like to record the interaction with the officer.
The casing is all black, making the camera if not stealthy, but at least not too noticeable, either. If you prefer, you can hide the camera behind your rear-view mirror and have only the lenses look out underneath. That way, your camera would be hidden out of sight for the most part, but it would be hard to operate using the screen and buttons. The B2W supports Wi-Fi though, so you can always control it using the smart phone app.
If you’re a Uber/rideshare driver and need the B2W to monitor your passengers, you may want to place the B2W in a more visible place, in case you ever want to point out to any drunk or misbehaving customers that they are being recorded.
Four infrared (IR) LEDs are situated around the inward facing lens, to illuminate the passenger cabin at night. The infrared wavelength being used is 940nm, which is invisible to the human eye but does get picked up by the IR camera.
On top of the camera, there’s a huge lock file button that’s easy to find without looking at the device. Great for saving video files when something important happens while you’re driving.
Forward video is good during the day, and fair at night. At night, readability of other cars’ license plates is a bit hit-and-miss though, except when they are quite close to you.
The cabin camera’s video quality is good during the day, and fair at night. It’s fit for purpose and you can see everything that’s going on, but at night, the cabin video isn’t terribly sharp due to the infrared-only illumination.
As for the bit rate, you can select between recording 12 Mbps on both channels, or 16 Mbps front and 8 Mbps rear. To record the passenger cabin, 8 Mbps is quite sufficient, as there won’t usually be any very swift movements or changes inside the car. So 16+8 Mbps is the recommended setting for use as a taxi/Uber cam.
Alternative Setups: Combination With Another Dash Cam
Some users have pointed out that apart from using the B2W as a taxi cam, it can also be used as a secondary camera in combination with another dash cam.
If you combine the B2W with another forward facing camera, you can set it up so it records the view out of your right and left passenger windows. For this setup, it would obviously be ideal to set the bit rate to 12 Mbps for each channel, and turn infrared off.
Or you can combine the B2W with a front and rear dash cam, giving you almost 360 degree coverage.
You’ll have to operate two cameras though, and manage the two separate memory cards that they record to. For this reason, we suspect running two dash cams in one vehicle may be overkill for most people. However, if you’re very security conscious, then this setup might be ideal for you.
Simple Parking Mode
When powered by a hard-wire kit (available separately, about $20), the B2W supports a simple parking mode. In this mode, whenever the car is parked and an event is detected by the G-sensor, the dash cam will “wake up” and record video for a minute or so.
It does take the B2W about 6 seconds to start recording, so if you’re unlucky, the perpetrator may already have left in the meantime.If parking mode is a priority for you, there a better parking mode cameras available.
Both adhesive and suction cup mounts are included. Adhesive makes for a more permanent installation, while a suction cup is great if you plan to switch the camera between vehicles, or use it in rental cars etc.
The B2W takes memory cards up to 400GB in size, giving you around 30 hours of dual-channel video footage. The manufacturer recommends using Samsung Pro Endurance, Samsung Evo, or SanDisk Ultra A1 memory cards.
Audio quality is good, but slightly muffled.
GPS is not included by default, but an external antenna is available for about $10-$20 depending where you buy.
A great feature of this camera is that it has voice announcements for important events such as memory card errors, locking a file, et cetera. That way you can be aware what’s going on without having to look at the camera’s screen.
The Blueskysea B2W is a good entry level dash cam for Uber and rideshare drivers. Its video quality is not as good as the Viofo A129 Duo IR‘s, but all the necessary details are there, and the B2W is a lot easier to set up.
What’s more, the ability to be able to swivel the lenses to the sides and record the driver’s and passenger’s window is a feature that not many dash cams have, and more than makes up for the somewhat unusual form factor.
Blueskysea B2W Video Samples
For full original video quality, make sure to watch on full screen and select maximum video resolution (use the cog icon in lower right corner). You may have to rewind the video after changing the resolution.
Day Time Front Video Sample
Forward video during the day is good. There is a slight fish-eye effect and the edges of buildings are slightly warped, but you can read license plates of other cars easily by pausing the video.
Day Time Rear Video Sample
Rear video quality at day is very good. The view of the passenger cabin is very detailed and sharp. You can even see license plates of other cars through the windows.
Night Time Front Video Sample
At night, forward video quality is fair. License plates of other cars are readable when close, but readability is hit-and-miss at medium and large distances.
Night Time Rear Video Sample
Interior video at night is in black and white due to the infrared lighting. The footage isn’t super sharp, but its overall quality is good. You can clearly see what’s going on in the passenger cabin.
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— Dual channel dash cam
— Max. resolution: 4K front, 1440p rear
— Price: Amazon US / CA / UK / DE / FR – eBay US / UK / AU – more vendors
— GPS built in
— Wi-Fi (2.4 and 5GHz)
— 4-5 sec bootup time
— Supports up to 128 GB MicroSD cards
— Time and date stamp on video
— Simple and time-lapse parking mode
— Buffered parking mode (with radar module)
— Lock file button
— CPL filter
— Apps for Android / iOS
— Viewing software for PC and Mac
— Wide Dynamic Range (WDR)
— Loop recording, auto on/off, G-Sensor, motion detection
— Operating temperature: from -10°C to 60°C (14°F to 140°F)
— Storage temperature: from -20°C to 70°C (-4°F to 158°F)
— Overheat protection
— Internal capacitor instead of battery
— Internal microphone and speaker
— Adhesive mount
— Advanced Driver Assistance System (LDWS, FCWS, uFCWS, FVDW)
— Safety camera alert (red-light and speed cameras)
— Thinkware Cloud 2.0 (includes remote live view)
— Max. resolution: 3840×2160 pixels @ 30fps
— Bit rate: 28 Mbps
— Size: 64mm x 112mm x 32mm (2.5″ x 4.4″ x 1.2″)
— Weight: 112g (.25 lbs)
— 8.42MP Sony STARVIS sensor (IMX 334)
— Angle of view: 150° diagonal
Rear Camera (Optional):
— Max. resolution: 2560×1440 pixels @ 30fps
— Bit rate: 14 Mbps
— 5.14MP Sony STARVIS sensor (IMX335)
— Angle of view: 156° diagonal
Thinkware U1000 Review
Thinkware are one of the leading, and most trusted, dash cam manufacturers from South Korea. In late 2019, they released their brand new U1000, which is ground-breaking in several ways.
First of all, this is Thinkware’s first dash cam that allows you to remote view the video footage over the internet (cloud view). Second, this is also Thinkware’s first 4K dash camera, and the first high-end dual camera ever to allow 1440p rear resolution.
The U1000 comes in an elegant black-and-silver casing that almost resembles a wedge shape. Wedge-shaped dash cams are among the most stealthy ones. Being relatively narrow, the U1000 is almost invisible from outside the vehicle, unless you know what you’re looking for.
The camera sticks to the windshield with a black adhesive, making it look just like a part of the car.
The control buttons are underneath the camera (facing down when the device is mounted to the windshield). On the left-hand side, there are three buttons: The power button on top, a Wi-Fi toggle button below that, and a mute microphone button on the bottom.
A bit below the center, between the two speakers, there is a large lock file / manual recording button, marked REC in bright red letters.
Near the top of the device, there are three LEDs: One each for Wi-Fi, recording, and GPS.
Below the LEDs, we can see some vents for cooling. More cooling vents are located on the sides of the camera. A small reset button (that you’ll need a pin to press) is situated on the right-hand side.
Apart from the usual connectors for power and rear video, the U1000 also has a port for an optional radar accessory. The radar costs around $90 extra, and it’s only needed for the camera’s energy-efficient buffered parking mode.
When recording at 4K resolution (3840×2160 pixels), the Thinkware U1000’s forward camera records very good video during the day. At night, forward video quality is also good, sometimes even very good. Most 4K cameras don’t perform that well at night, so the Thinkware U1000 is ahead of the competition in this regard.
The U1000’s rear camera is a bit less impressive: It records at 1440p (2560×1440 pixels), but its video quality is only fair, both at day and at night. Fortunately, the rear camera is optional. If you acquire the U1000 without the rear camera, it costs about $100 less than the dual camera version.
Forward video at day is of very good quality. When reviewing on a 1080p screen, it’s necessary to press pause to read license plates.
The U1000 is the first of Thinkware’s dash cams that allows you to view footage from your car remotely, over the internet. Previously, only BlackVue dash cams had this feature.
Other features of the Thinkware cloud include:
Geo fencing: Get an alert to your phone if your car leaves a predetermined area (great if you have teenagers, for example)
Parking & driving impact notifications: Get an alert if the G-sensor detects an impact, both when the car is driving or parked
Locate vehicle: Get exact GPS coordinates of your car, together with speed and driving direction, shown on Google maps
For the cloud features to work, you either need to have a cell phone in or near the car that the camera can connect to using Wi-Fi, or you can set up a portable Wi-Fi hotspot in the car (not included).
Simple & Time-Lapse Parking Modes
The U1000 supports several parking mode options:
Simple (called “Energy Saving 2.0” by Thinkware): When the G-sensor detects an impact, the camera wakes up within 1 second, then records for 20 seconds
Time-lapse: Records continually at 2 frames per second (fps), to save space on the SD card
Buffered: See below
A hard-wiring kit is required for any parking mode to work. This may or may not be included with your camera. If it isn’t, you can order it separately for between $20-30.
Forward footage at night is of good quality. You can read some license plates while just driving by, but not always.
Buffered Parking Mode With Radar Module
If you connect the radar module ($90), the U1000 can also work in an energy-saving buffered parking mode. The radar module will wake the camera up when a vehicle comes into range. The dash cam will then start recording, but only save the footage to the memory card if an impact actually happens. Otherwise, the footage is discarded.
If there’s an impact, video from 10s before to 10s after the event will be saved.
Buffered parking mode is not available without the radar module, and needs a hard-wiring kit as well.
The U1000 comes with a 32GB Thinkware branded memory card, but this isn’t a lot as 32GB will only give you about 90 minutes of footage if you’re recording front and rear (4K cameras produce huge video files).
If you use the forward camera only, 32GB will let you record about two and a half hours.
The maximum SD card size that the U1000 will take is 128GB. This is enough for 10h of front camera footage, or over 6.5 hours front and rear.
If you buy a larger SD card, make sure to get a high-speed, high-endurance one (here’s why).
Rear footage during the day is fair. You can see what’s going on, but the footage isn’t very sharp, and it’s hard to read license plates.
The camera’s in-built GPS system records your vehicle’s location and speed in the video footage. You can turn the speed stamp off in the settings if you’re concerned that this might work against you.
The U1000 is mainly operated via Wi-Fi, as it doesn’t have a screen itself. Free smart phone apps are available for Android and iOS.
Thinkware’s PC and Mac viewer let you watch recorded footage on a bigger screen, together with the route and speed record. It’s also possible to format the memory cards, change camera settings, and install updates with the viewer.
A CPL filter is available for the forward camera, to reduce windshield reflections of the car dash when driving in direct sunlight.
If you’d like to record at a higher frame rate, you can set the front camera to record at 1440p (2560×1440 pixels) and 60fps. At 4K resolution, it records a standard 30 frames per second. Higher frame rates may make it easier to catch license plates, for example.
Rear footage at night is fair. You probably won’t be able to read other cars’ license plates, unless they are right behind you.
The U1000 comes with the following Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) features:
Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS)
Front Collision Warning System (FCWS)
Urban Front Collision Warning System (uFCWS)
Front Vehicle Departure Warning (FVDW)
Additionally, a safety camera alert can warn you of red light and speed cameras on the road.
The Thinkware U1000 is 2019’s most advanced dashboard camera. It is also one of the most expensive ones, to date. Video quality of the forward camera is great. Especially at night, the front camera records very good footage, considering that 4K cameras usually struggle in low light situations.
The rear camera is a bit disappointing though, so it’s a good thing that it’s optional. You get a free CPL filter and hard-wire kit with the front-and-rear package though, so in total, it may still be worth going for.
The U1000 comes with a lot of extras, such as remote live view, impact notifications, radar-assisted parking mode, and more. Feature-wise, it’s right up there with BlackVue’s DR900S-2CH, but with better video quality.
We wouldn’t be surprised if Thinkware released an updated rear camera down the road. For the time being, if you’re looking for a cutting-edge, high-end 4K dash cam that records great video quality day and night, the U1000 is an excellent (though expensive) pick.
Compare Prices And Buy Online Today
The Thinkware U1000 is available for sale from the following vendors: