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      11-19-2012, 12:22 AM   #1
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BlackVue DR380G-HD Review (Best DashCam in the World)

Hey Guys,

I have been debating on getting a dashcam for my car for over a month now. I just jumped on the purchase last week and got myself a Blackvue DR380G-HD. I have heard great things about this camera and here is my personal unbiased review of the unit after having it for less than a week. Btw, I'm not affiliated with Blackvue, BBMC, etc. in any way.

First of all:

The Unit – The cam feels very good in your hand. Although it is light, the materials used will remind you that you have a premium product for a premium car in your hand. The glossy piano black finish on the 380-HD looks sharp and blends perfectly on our windshields (we have a dark tint on top). The ambient LED light which signifies that the unit is running as a nice touch to the camera.

Customization – This unit can be completely customized to your needs. For example, you can set the brightness of your cam, toggle the lights on and off and even set the voice read-outs on or off. The viewing angle can be easily adjusted as there is a mechanism which clips the cam on the spot for whichever position it is in. The cam can be rotated 360 degrees.

Features -
Parking Mode - This unit is only one of the few dashcams that comes with this feature. This parking feature only works if you have the cam hardwired to your battery with a power kit (discussed later). As soon as it detects motion, it will automatically turn on and record the surroundings.
G-sensor - Will activate the camera when your car is hit
GPS - To track your car’s location.
Voice-Read Outs - Another feature that is distinct to the Blackvues. A voice tells you when the unit is on, in parking mode, turning off, and even when the memory card is running of space. This is convenient so you don’t always have to check the unit to see if it is running/on or not.

Video Quality – Needless to say hands down the best in the world so far, the 400G-HD is even better with full HD.



(In Parking Mode)

Power Kit – This is bought separately from the camera and basically this allows your cam to be used in parking mode. The power kit essentially contiounsly draws power from your battery so it can power the unit in parking mode as well. The power kit also cuts off the battery supply at your own designated voltage or at a certain set time so that you won’t be stuck with a dead battery the next time you start your car. I think this is a must buy if you are getting a blackvue

Concealment - As you can see from this picture, no wires can be seen and due to our tint on the top of the windows, the camera blends perfectly.



(As you can see only the light, if you turn off the light, the cam is practically invisible)



(No wires can be seen at all. Everything is wired from the roof of the car into the trunk where the battery is)

Pricing – I got mine from www.blackboxmycar.com The 380G-HD goes for $195 plus the power kit which is another $60. The more expensive full HD 400G-HD II starts at $310 and another $45 for power kit. The makers of the Blackvues, Pittisoft, is raising the price very soon on all their units so it would be a great time to buy it and take advantage of the low price while you can! Contact Alex for more information on purchases on the website and don’t forget to tell him I sent you!

BBMC is one of the few authorized distributers of blackvues and finevues in North America. All the other group buys you see around are not legit until approved by the head office in Korea. Therefore, any group buys that have not been approved are not legitimate and if they somehow do have the units, the warranty does not hold. Buying from BBMC ensures authenticity, quality, and honours the original factory warranty from Pittisoft.

I would not hesitate to recommend anyone who care about their cars and want to hold drivers and pedestrians accountable for their actions. Video proof is undeniable when filing insurance claims. I live in a city filled with crazy drivers and this is probably the best investment I have made for my car so far.
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      11-19-2012, 06:23 AM   #2
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Thanks for the review. I think a dashcam is a great idea. I haven't invested in a dedicated unit, but I use my old droid phone, and and app called dailyroads voyager. It works pretty well, and even though I don't have the phone activated, I can have it upload my stored videos directly to my drop box whenever I get in range of my Wi-Fi This looks nicer than having a phone mount on your windshield though.
Once you get used to the peace of mind of having everything recorded in front of you, you'll wonder how you ever did without it.
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      11-19-2012, 08:48 AM   #3
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First off, +1 to that awesome tow truck driver for putting the front wheels of that Range Rover on a dolly, which avoided destroying the drive train. Alot of tow truck drivers in my city just don't give a ..

Anyway, awesome review! My favorite part was "premium product for a premium car".. I myself wanted one of these devices and bought a $60 one and it was a piece of garbage. When researching BlackVue had always come up as one of the best! I will definitely be considering getting one soon, great review! Personal review that I can trust. With all the insurance fraud and crazy things out there these days, way worth it!
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      11-19-2012, 12:38 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thecadman99 View Post
Thanks for the review. I think a dashcam is a great idea. I haven't invested in a dedicated unit, but I use my old droid phone, and and app called dailyroads voyager. It works pretty well, and even though I don't have the phone activated, I can have it upload my stored videos directly to my drop box whenever I get in range of my Wi-Fi This looks nicer than having a phone mount on your windshield though.
Once you get used to the peace of mind of having everything recorded in front of you, you'll wonder how you ever did without it.
Haha nice! I have a galaxy note (5.3inches) mounted on the windshield of my car. It does definitely take up a lot of visibility. I might try the app as well and perhaps mount my phone on the back window of my car to capture footage in the rear. Do you think that will work?
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      11-19-2012, 12:41 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmwforme View Post
First off, +1 to that awesome tow truck driver for putting the front wheels of that Range Rover on a dolly, which avoided destroying the drive train. Alot of tow truck drivers in my city just don't give a ..

Anyway, awesome review! My favorite part was "premium product for a premium car".. I myself wanted one of these devices and bought a $60 one and it was a piece of garbage. When researching BlackVue had always come up as one of the best! I will definitely be considering getting one soon, great review! Personal review that I can trust. With all the insurance fraud and crazy things out there these days, way worth it!
Thanks man! That tow was at my school. Unfortunately, I was a victim of one before. To be honest, I hate the scumbag towing services nothing but causing inconvenience to the public.

You should definitely check it out I have had coffee spilled all over my car, keyed, hit and run everything. Great way to file a claim to your local police. If you have any questions please feel free to ask me!
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      11-19-2012, 02:59 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cuiter23 View Post
Haha nice! I have a galaxy note (5.3inches) mounted on the windshield of my car. It does definitely take up a lot of visibility. I might try the app as well and perhaps mount my phone on the back window of my car to capture footage in the rear. Do you think that will work?
It should work no problem. Does the note have a special car mount that throws it into "car dock" mode? The droid has a magnetic switch so it knows when its in the dock. You can set the app to automatically start recording when its in the dock so you should be able to set it so that it starts recording when you start the car and stops when you shut it off.

Still think your cam has a nicer image. The app's image is of course dependant on how good your phone camera is. Here are a bunch of samples:
http://www.youtube.com/results?searc....1.-eEQ_Ocd7IU
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      11-19-2012, 03:15 PM   #7
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I have DR400G-HD.
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      11-19-2012, 03:17 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thecadman99 View Post
It should work no problem. Does the note have a special car mount that throws it into "car dock" mode? The droid has a magnetic switch so it knows when its in the dock. You can set the app to automatically start recording when its in the dock so you should be able to set it so that it starts recording when you start the car and stops when you shut it off.

Still think your cam has a nicer image. The app's image is of course dependant on how good your phone camera is. Here are a bunch of samples:
http://www.youtube.com/results?searc....1.-eEQ_Ocd7IU
Yes, fortunately my mount is from samsung and throws my phone into dock mode right away! I will give this app a try and let you know how it goes.

The only concern I have is that this way it will drain my battery like crazy if I have the camera and application on all the time right? The quality is more stable on the Blackvues I see a lot of shaky motion with the recordings on dailyvoyager. It is a good alternative I guess but you get what you pay for
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      11-19-2012, 04:42 PM   #9
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Nice review and thx. I have been looking for one (slim) since my wife was hit and the other driver tried to sue us. The cop didnt help either, lazy bastard, b/c he also gave my wife a ticket for failure to yield (!) Her ticket was thrown out in court and a video would've saved us a lot of hassle.
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      11-19-2012, 08:24 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E90SLAM View Post
I have DR400G-HD.
Just out of curiosity, how long does your cam last in parking mode?
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      11-19-2012, 08:40 PM   #11
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Quote:
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Yes, fortunately my mount is from samsung and throws my phone into dock mode right away! I will give this app a try and let you know how it goes.

The only concern I have is that this way it will drain my battery like crazy if I have the camera and application on all the time right? The quality is more stable on the Blackvues I see a lot of shaky motion with the recordings on dailyvoyager. It is a good alternative I guess but you get what you pay for
I think most people try to use those awful "bendy arm" one-size-fits-all phone mounts that wiggle like crazy. I bet your samsung works much better.

I leave my phone plugged up when I'm using mine.
It definately won't be as good as your new cam, but if it shows someone tailgating you, then rear-ending you- it could still be handy (it auto-saves recordings if it senses you have been hit)

Heres a video I took with the app- This guy was tailgating me for miles, when he got the chance to pass, he did- at about 70 in a 55. Just in time to meet up with a state trooper. https://dl.dropbox.com/u/37722965/BM...19_1000016.mp4

Probaby have to right click and "save target as" to your computer to watch it
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      11-19-2012, 08:42 PM   #12
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Pretty sweet camera. Nice features and good quality.
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      11-19-2012, 08:43 PM   #13
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Quote:
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Just out of curiosity, how long does your cam last in parking mode?
I switched it off. Since I havn't really want to install the "power box" and mess with electronics. (I'm not good at it)
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      11-21-2012, 04:55 PM   #14
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Not to threadjack, but I bought the Itronics ITB-100HD recently. I was able to get it cheaper than the BlackVue (and I heard problems with them overheating so I was wary). I've been pleased. It's similar to the BlackVue in that it rotates up and down but not side to side. It also has GPS mapping, speed data, shock sensor, parking mode and records in 1080, though I have it set to 720.

I think no matter what camera you have it's very hard to read license plates off to the side and the ones straight ahead are only readable if the light is very good or you are <10 feet away. Anyways, here is a video of mine in action:




And mounted in my car:
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      11-21-2012, 09:25 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seminole View Post
Not to threadjack, but I bought the Itronics ITB-100HD recently. I was able to get it cheaper than the BlackVue (and I heard problems with them overheating so I was wary). I've been pleased. It's similar to the BlackVue in that it rotates up and down but not side to side. It also has GPS mapping, speed data, shock sensor, parking mode and records in 1080, though I have it set to 720.

I think no matter what camera you have it's very hard to read license plates off to the side and the ones straight ahead are only readable if the light is very good or you are <10 feet away. Anyways, here is a video of mine in action:




And mounted in my car:
Quality looks pretty good. The unit is pretty big compared to the blackvue Hahah.

The overheating issue has been resolved in version 2. All the units on sale now are version 2
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      11-22-2012, 09:43 AM   #16
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OP, same place where I mounted my 400, PITA to take out that micro SD card at times!

I keep forgetting to change the LED color of the light to orange.
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      11-22-2012, 01:54 PM   #17
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OP, same place where I mounted my 400, PITA to take out that micro SD card at times!

I keep forgetting to change the LED color of the light to orange.
Haha yea, its the ideal place for our cars since we have the tint.

I would love orange to match the interior but I dont think with the new software update we can't change the colour anymore If you find out let me know man!
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      11-22-2012, 03:50 PM   #18
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Thumbs down

Frankly, I am a bit disappointed with Blackvue.

I've had DR400G-HD for past 4 months, and while it has a nice stealth form factor and does a good job recording in motion, there are couple of important things (for me) that it fails to do properly.

First, the parking mode recording. Recording in parking mode is not consistent. I mean, there are multiple gaps with no recordings (see the pic below). Sometimes, these gaps are quite important. At work, I park at a public parking lot with a lot in and out traffic. It is quite important for me to run the recording all the time. Yesterday, some ***hole hit my side mirror and surprisingly Balckvue had no recording of that moment! Very frustrating...

Second, it does not restart after shutting down itself due to a low battery. I hardwired the dashcam to the battery using the PowerMagic Pro. My settings are set to shut down the cam when the voltage drops below 11.8V. So it does this every once a while. However, it fails to restart the unit when the battery is fully charged again. It is quite annoying to go and manually flip the switch on the powerbox to start the unit again (tested multiple times and this is the only way to start the cam) -

Overall, it's a good dashcam, but not always works as stated.
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      11-22-2012, 04:10 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iSerge View Post
Frankly, I am a bit disappointed with Blackvue.

I've had DR400G-HD for past 4 months, and while it has a nice stealth form factor and does a good job recording in motion, there are couple of important things (for me) that it fails to do properly.

First, the parking mode recording. Recording in parking mode is not consistent. I mean, there are multiple gaps with no recordings (see the pic below). Sometimes, these gaps are quite important. At work, I park at a public parking lot with a lot in and out traffic. It is quite important for me to run the recording all the time. Yesterday, some ***hole hit my side mirror and surprisingly Balckvue had no recording of that moment! Very frustrating...

Second, it does not restart after shutting down itself due to a low battery. I hardwired the dashcam to the battery using the PowerMagic Pro. My settings are set to shut down the cam when the voltage drops below 11.8V. So it does this every once a while. However, it fails to restart the unit when the battery is fully charged again. It is quite annoying to go and manually flip the switch on the powerbox to start the unit again (tested multiple times and this is the only way to start the cam) -

Overall, it's a good dashcam, but not always works as stated.
I agree with you with the power cutting off thing. My unit shuts off after 36 hours normally and I have to go to the trunk where my battery is. However, other cars, if you have an A4, the battery is near the steering wheel so you can just mount your powerbox inside your car in the cockpit.

As for parking, I have yet to have any problems, you can always set the sensitivity to highest in the options in order to catch every detail. I also recommend getting a 32gb micro sd card to ensure the cam will capture the most it can prior to you going to your car and saving the videos that are important.

I will investigate this parking mode further to see if I have the same issues as you.
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      11-22-2012, 04:32 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cuiter23 View Post
I agree with you with the power cutting off thing. My unit shuts off after 36 hours normally and I have to go to the trunk where my battery is. However, other cars, if you have an A4, the battery is near the steering wheel so you can just mount your powerbox inside your car in the cockpit.

As for parking, I have yet to have any problems, you can always set the sensitivity to highest in the options in order to catch every detail. I also recommend getting a 32gb micro sd card to ensure the cam will capture the most it can prior to you going to your car and saving the videos that are important.

I will investigate this parking mode further to see if I have the same issues as you.
I have 32GB card and the sensitivity settings are on the max. But it has nothing to do with recording continuously. Let me know if you find out anything.

Also, the DR400G-HD has some overheating issues - it gets burning hot even in parking mode.
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      11-22-2012, 04:42 PM   #21
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I have 32GB card and the sensitivity settings are on the max. But it has nothing to do with recording continuously. Let me know if you find out anything.

Also, the DR400G-HD has some overheating issues - it gets burning hot even in parking mode.
Do you have the Version one of the DR400? I heard version 2 fixed the overheating issue.
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      11-22-2012, 05:10 PM   #22
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i don't understand why this isn't a flourishing competitive market here in the U.S. yet.. I would hope eventually bestbuy will have a section of these, quality tested, and just refined devices.. things are really hit or miss now..
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bmwforme is offline   United_States
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