Do you have a dash cam? Thousands of drivers in Ireland do, and for good reason. From keeping a watchful eye on your driving – and that of others – to an insurance safety net in the event of an accident, drivers are choosing to install the cameras and they’re increasingly common .
Even the Garda regularly searches for dashcam footage that can help investigate traffic collisions.
But not all dashcams are created equal. If you’re planning on installing one in your car, you need to make sure that it produces good enough quality images if you need it, and most importantly, that it’s easy to use and reliable. The last thing you need is for the dashcam to stop working just when you need it because it wasn’t set up correctly or the power went out. You just want one that works.
The Miofive 4K Dashcam does the trick. This sleek camera records high quality images at up to 4K resolution and 30 frames per second with a 140 degree field of view. It has a rear screen that gives you an overview of what’s being recorded, with information like GPS and speed overlaid on the footage. There are also driver assistance features, such as a fatigue alarm and parking mode, which will also act as a sentry for your car, triggering if there are any bumps picked up by the on-board sensors.
The dashcam has built-in storage, rather than a removable card, so you can transfer all the video footage you need out of the camera via wifi and the Miofive app.
The setup is quite simple. Once you’ve downloaded the mobile app and registered your device, you can calibrate the video from the camera to ensure the Miofive’s AI capabilities are working properly, such as alerts for moving cars.
Then you’re ready to attach the camera to the windscreen – it took a few tries to get it right, due to the placement of the USB port needed for power – and you can start recording.
Built-in storage is both a good thing and a bad thing. You don’t have any cards to lose or lose, but on the other hand, the storage you have onboard – 64GB – is all you have to work with. Considering the 4K footage, you might find it fills up quite quickly. It also means that in the event of a catastrophic drive failure, you cannot easily replace it.
But this is a dashcam rather than a video camera, and the only reason you really need to save footage is if there’s an incident. In the event of sudden acceleration or braking, the camera automatically switches to emergency mode – unless you have disabled it – and stores it in the EMER folder so that it is not overwritten by the loop recording. You can also trigger EMER mode manually by pressing one of the touch buttons.
There are also voice alerts, which quickly become irritating. Every time the camera is turned on, a hoarse voice informs you “Miofive continues to serve”. If you make a sudden move, you might trigger a warning, or the previously mentioned EMER mode might kick in. The app will also present your driving transgressions for all to see. You can turn the speaker down or turn it off completely if needed.
It is also worth reading about your data protection responsibilities. There are limits to what you can do with dashcam footage without invading others’ privacy – and breaking data protection and privacy laws, even if the dashcam is in a private car. The Office of the Data Protection Commissioner has published guidelines on the subject, and you should read them. One such limitation is the posting of dash cam footage to social media which may contain the personal data of others. So before you upload those clips to TikTok or Twitter, think about who else is there.
The camera itself is sleek and although it’s wider than the standard dashcam, careful positioning means you won’t notice it at all. Pay attention to its position, however, because the adjustment options are limited.
Images are crisp and high quality, although at the highest settings – 4K at 30fps – it should be. It also handles light changes from day to night well.
The not so good
That 64GB of built-in storage will fill up quickly if you’re recording at the highest quality and there’s no external storage option. It could also cause problems if there is an error on the internal drive, as it cannot be swapped out by the average user.
The positioning of the USB port for power and the LED indicator meant you could easily access either as a driver, but not both. Placing the dashcam where it made sense for the USB port meant the LED wasn’t easily visible at a glance, so unless the screen was always on you couldn’t tell if the device was recording or in standby mode.
Top of the list of things you should do fairly quickly is change the default password on the camera: it’s a very secure “1234567890”, leaving your camera open to anyone within range.
The app allows you to change the sensitivity of emergency mode settings and make the LCD display always on.
Smart and sleek dashcam that delivers great footage, although the lack of removable storage might be an issue for some.