Product Review (May 2014)
OJOcam Pro - 1080p Car Camera with GPS

By Kevin Nakano


OJOcam - 1080p Dashboard Car Camera with GPSThere are a variety of small dashboard cameras available to capture both video and audio while driving. These products are particularly popular in Russia where insurance fraud is all too common. Some of these devices are bulky while others offer only mediocre video performance - even those claiming 720p or 1080p resolution. The reason that many have poor video performance is that the sensors in these cheap cameras do not have native 720p or 1080p resolution and only scale the recorded video to these numbers.

One camera that recently caught my eye was the OJOcam Pro, which features a true 1080p sensor and a small LCD display for easy setup and configuration. In addition, the OJOcam Pro is offered with an optional GPS base that logs the location of the video being captured and can display the video while showing the route on Google Maps when downloaded to a PC. The video quality produced by the OJOcam was excellent.

The OJOcam accepts (Class 6) microSD cards up to 32GB in size. Strangely enough, according to the manual, Class 6 cards are recommended over Class 10 cards due to incompatibilitiy issues. Typical 1080p/30fps video takes up about 0.1GB per minute. This gives the user about 5 or 6 hours of video on the 32GB memory card. Video is compressed using the H.264 (mov) file format. The camera will automatically get time from the GPS satellites and will use the offset (-7 for Los Angeles) in the Time Set menu to determine the proper time zone. Non-GPS cameras can set the time manually.


OJOcam - 1080p Dashboard Car Camera with GPSLCD Display
The OJOcam comes with a small, but effective 1.5-inch TFT LCD display. The display helps the user position the camera for an optimal field of view while also providing information to the user for functions settings. The front indicator light turns red when charging the battery and flashes blue when recording. A solid blue indicates the camera is on and in standby mode. This is particularly useful when the LCD display (automatically) turns off.

Controls
There are four buttons for controlling the OJOcam Pro. A power button is on the end of the camera and three other buttons that are used for menu navigation, controlling the microphone (on/off), and for taking snapshots are next to the LCD screen.

Installation
Installation is easy using the double-sided tape to attach the mounting base to the windshield. There needs to be enough clearance to allow for the power cable to mate to the micro USB connector. The base (which also contains the GPS) provides power to the camera through the "quick-release" interface connector. Once the base is attached to the windshield, the camera simply slides on to the mounting base. There is a little bit of play in the connector interface which causes the camera to slightly droop. I compensated this small angle by adding some additional double-sided tape to one side of the mounting base. It is also recommended not to keep the unit in direct sunlight. The manual has an operating temperature of 32° F to 104° F (0° C to 40° C), which can easily be exceeded when left in the sun. I was told by the company that the unit can indeed work up to 140° F (60° C), so I tested this in my black truck for the past 3 week with no issues. The temperatures have reached over 120 degrees F and I have had no problems with the camera. Only time will tell if I have any issue due to high heat (accelerated life testing) on this unit.


 

Setup Menu
The OJOcam has a lot of configurable features with a total of 7 setup screens. This is one of the reasons why this product is so powerful. Video Resolution can be set to 1080p or 720p. The lower resolution allows for more recording time. The Photo Size can be set to 0.9MP, 2MP, 3MP, or 4MP, although I found little benefit using anything higher than 2MP. The Flicker setting (50Hz/60Hz) should be set for 60Hz in the USA. There are several controls for optimizing the image quality (AE ISO, White Balance, AE Bias, and AE Metering Mode). The Loop Setting can be set to 1 min, 3 min, 5 min, or off. We recommend using the default 1 min setting to limit the file size to about 100 kB to make playback faster and easier to manage. The Stamp (text overlay on screen) can be set to date, time, date-time, GPS data, driver number, or off. The Driver Number is a unique name that can be entered into the unit and displayed on the corner of the screen (i.e. Front Cam). The Power Off Screen can be set to 1 min, 3 min, 5 min, or off. The Video Record Mode can be set to video or video+audio. The G-Sensor Precision can be 2G, 2.5G, 3G, 3.5G, 4G, 4.5G, 5G, or off. Velocity Unit selects MPH or KPH. Languages can be set to English, Chinese or Russian.


Interfaces
The top of the camera has the micro USB interface (cable provided) used to connect to your computer for file transfers. There is also an A/V port, but no cable was provided, so we did not test this feature. The bottom of the camera has the microSD memory card slot and an HDMI connector (cable provided) allowing the camera to be directly connected to a display. There is no need to remove the memory card since the computer recognizes the device as a drive when connected with the USB cable and allows the user to drag and drop the files.


The OJOcam comes complete with a full set of cables and includes the following items.

- OJOCam Pro camera
- Car Power Adapter
- USB Cable
- HDMI Cable
- Spare Double-Sided Sticker
- Mounting Bracket with GPS Receiver
- User’s Manual


OJOcam - 1080p Dashboard Car Camera with GPSWide Angle 135° Lens
The OJOcam Pro has a wide angle lens that exhibits some barrel distortion as seen in the picture. This provides the user with a lot of information, making it ideal for capturing events in front of the vehicle. Since the camera has a wide lens, it is important to make sure that there are no obstructions in the field of view. The horizontal (azimuth) alignment is not adjustable, so mounting it correctly the first time will save you the hassle of removing and readjusting it. The vertical (elevation) is adjustable in 10 degree steps allowing it to work with a wide variation of cars with different windshield angles.

Still Image set to 0.9MP
(356kB)

Still Image set to 2MP
(757kB)
0.9MP Resolution
2MP Resolution
Still Image set to 3MP
(979kB)
Still Image set to 4MP
(1.10MB)
0.9MP Resolution
0.9MP Resolution
Still Photos
The OJOcam Pro has 4 resolution settings (0.9MP, 2MP, 3MP, or 4MP) when taking still images. Pressing down the OK button for a few seconds will capture a still image (stored as a JPG file). What we found during our tests is that there is a significant improvement going from 0.9MP to 2MP, but little or no difference going to the higher resolution (and file sizes). This is due to the native 2MP sensor resolution. The zoomed photos shown on the left are actual still images captured at the different resolution settings. Here is the original 2MP photo for reference.

OJOcam - 1080p Dashboard Car Camera with GPSVideo Playback
The OJOcam comes with a special video player loaded on the memory card. Unfortunately, my Norton anti-virus software flags the ojocam video player.exe file with a Suspcious.Clould.9 virus. We have not received a clear answer from the company as to whether this is a real issue or not, but we went ahead and tested out the software anyway for this review.

The user must navigate to the video files using the OJOcam video player software where it loads up the information including the GPS data. When video clips are played back, the location of the video clips are displayed on the Google Maps window to the right along with the vehicle speed. It is really amazing how well this works and it feels like a video game.


Conclusion
The OJOcam is a great product that delivers high performance video along with the optional GPS feature. The video quality alone makes this a worthwhile investment and for those wanting to capture HD video in their car or truck, this is your product. The included video player that gets written to the microSD card needs to be updated, just in case the warning received from my Norton anti-virus software is real. A different, but similar player is available at the OJOcam website and it passes Norton's virus scanning.

There are many other applications we can think of such as off-road vehicles and airplane cockpits where users could benefit from the high resolution video capture technology. At around $100 (on Ebay), it is money well spent. In fact, I have two in my truck (front and back).

- Kevin Nakano





OPPO BDP-103 Blu-ray Player





Review - At a Glance


OJOcam Pro - Dashboard 1080p Car Camera


Features

  • Video Resolution : 1080P at 30fps , 720P at at 30fps
  • Photo size: 4MP, 3MP, 2MP, 0.9MP
  • Flicker: 50 Hz, 60Hz (For United States and Canada, please choose 60Hz)
  • AE ISO: AUTO , 100 , 200 , 400
  • White Balance : Auto (recommended), Sunny , Cloudy , Fluorescent, Incandescent (White Balance is for correction under different lighting conditions. When White Balance is set to Auto, the camera will automatically compensate for different lighting conditions)
  • AE Bias
  • AE Meter Mode
  • TV Type : NTSC , PAL
  • AUTO Power Off
  • Date -Time display: Date -Time , Off , Date , Time
  • Motion Detect: Off , On
  • Power Off Screen: Off , 1 minute, 3 minutes , 5 minutes
  • G-Sensor Precision: 2.5G , 3G , 3.5G , 4G , 4.5G 4.5G4.5G, 5G , CLOSE
  • Beep Sound Volume: High , Low , Off
  • USB Mode: Mass Storage, USB Camera
  • Choose Card : Built-In Memory, External Card (This function is optional)
  • Language : English , Chinese , Russian
  • Default Setting: No , Yes (This function will restore all settings to factory default)
  • Format: No , Yes (Use this function to format a storage card - note that all the data stored on memory card will be erased , please back up information before proceeding with this operation)
  • Firmware Version: Display firmware version information

Specs

  • Display : 1.5“ TFT LCD
  • Image Sensor: 1/2.5” COMS Image Sensor
  • Lens: 135° Wide Angle View
  • Video Resolution: 1080P@30fps, 720P@30fps
  • Frame Rate: Up to 30fps
  • Customizable License Plate Field: Yes
  • GPS: Optional
  • G-Sensor: Yes
  • Video Compression Format: H.264
  • File Format: Video: .mov, Photo: .jpg
  • Video Save Interval: 1min / 3min / 5min
  • Record Loop: Optional Cyclic Video Recording
  • Recording Modes: Video / Audio / Motion Detect
  • Playing: Video / Photo / Mp3
  • HDMI Port: Yes (HDMI cable included)
  • Power: 5VDC@1A via Micro-USB Port
  • Storage: MicroSD Card up to 32GB (Class 6)
  • Power Adaptor: Cigarette Lighter Power Adapter Included

PC System Requirements

  • Windows 8/7/Vista/XP operating system
  • Intel Core 2 Duo CPU or better
  • 2GB (minimum) of RAM (4GB recommended)
  • USB 2.0 port or better
  • Video card (64MB minimum)

Company Information

Green Collections LLC
1917 Bay Street
Los Angeles, CA 90021, USA

Phone: 1-855-OJOCAM5 (North America), 1-626-236-2256 (International)
Source: Reviewer Purchased
MSRP: $120 (Street price)

URL: www.ojocam.com


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