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Old 10th December 2014, 15:01   #1
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Talking Use your Camcorder/Digicam as a Dashcam for Rs.100

Hi guys, I have a camcorder lying with me which is not used much these days because our mobiles phones are capable of 1080p recording.

But, it has excellent zoom for rare occasions which no mobile phone can match. So I didn't want to discard it.

So, instead of keeping it drawer for months I thought of putting it to some use.

After searching many products, I finally bought a "New 2014 Universal Mini Suction Cup Mount Tripod Holder for Car GPS DV DVR Camera" from aliexpress @$1.56 (Rs.100 approx).

I was not sure that it will give perfect angle when connected or not, I ordered another product which is yet to arrive but this one served the purpose.

Yesterday, I tried it and it's not bad considering a hundred rupees product can make your existing camcorder/digicam a dashcam.

Use your Camcorder/Digicam as a Dashcam for Rs.100-2.jpg <br /> <a href=Use your Camcorder/Digicam as a Dashcam for Rs.100-3.jpg <br />
I think almost all camcorders/digicams have tripod mounts, and most modern digicams are capable of 1080p recording.<br /> <br />
When you attach your camcorder/digicam to this mount, it is upside down, so you have to rotate the video 180 degrees. I searched and found couple of free softwares that are capable of rotating video, replacing audio with black or your preferred audio and trim unwanted portion of the video. I used Freemake Video Converter.<br /> <br /> <a rel=http://www.freemake.com/free_video_converter/

Samples videos (original are better).



And while trying, I found Maruti SX4 S-Cross being tested.



There are some limitations like your camcorder/digicam may or may not be charged in the car depending on model. Maximum memory card capacity of your camcorder/digicam may also be of concern (mine has 16GB in-built memory and it support 32GB SD card). But you don't loose anything even if it is used rarely.

Mods, feel free to merge it with appropriate thread.
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Old 10th December 2014, 15:23   #2
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Default re: Use your Camcorder/Digicam as a Dashcam for Rs.100

Good use of Digicam for occasional recording Mukesh, thanks for sharing.

Apart from the problems you mentioned there are few more like

- auto-start and auto-stop which dashcam provides
- to avoid theft, you will have to remove it if car is parked in open area/parking
- don't know if digicams can take care of shocks
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Old 10th December 2014, 15:26   #3
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Default re: Use your Camcorder/Digicam as a Dashcam for Rs.100

Hey thats a good job indeed. Especially so since you caught the S-Cross too! . A few doubts -

1. Does the suction cup hold well on rough roads? The handy-cams are generally much heavier than the usual stuff that the holders are designed for.

2. Did the handycam not obstruct vision? Its obviously large in ALL dimensions compared to a usual dash-cam & also needs to be installed more in the central area of the windshield due to the same reason.

3. Would you want to place a handycam which costs anywhere above 20k in that position? I agree that the suction cup costs 100. But an average dash-cam can be bought for about 2k online.
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Old 10th December 2014, 15:27   #4
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Default re: Use your Camcorder/Digicam as a Dashcam for Rs.100

I love this idea. Thanks for sharing. Any idea how to charge it while driving. It could be a very handy tool while driving long distance trips.
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Old 10th December 2014, 15:46   #5
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Default re: Use your Camcorder/Digicam as a Dashcam for Rs.100

Unless your handicam offers loop recording, it won't really work. Every 30-40 minutes storage will be full.
A dashcam requires loop recording so, it deletes the oldest segment once card is full.
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Old 10th December 2014, 15:48   #6
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Default re: Use your Camcorder/Digicam as a Dashcam for Rs.100

Quote:
Originally Posted by SaurabhSaran View Post
Apart from the problems you mentioned there are few more like

- auto-start and auto-stop which dashcam provides
- to avoid theft, you will have to remove it if car is parked in open area/parking
- don't know if digicams can take care of shocks
- Yes, auto-start/stop is not there but I found it as easy as switching on/off head unit.
- I agree, it is risky to leave it in parking. It is not for daily use but good for occasional long trips I guess.
- I think camcorders/digicams can take mild shocks (at least those without HDDs)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reinhard View Post
1. Does the suction cup hold well on rough roads? The handy-cams are generally much heavier than the usual stuff that the holders are designed for.

2. Did the handycam not obstruct vision? Its obviously large in ALL dimensions compared to a usual dash-cam & also needs to be installed more in the central area of the windshield due to the same reason.

3. Would you want to place a handycam which costs anywhere above 20k in that position? I agree that the suction cup costs 100. But an average dash-cam can be bought for about 2k online.
1. Wight of my camcorder is less than 250gms. Most 5.5-6.0" mobiles are 175-200 gms. I find absolutely no issues there.
2. It didn't obstruct vision when I used it for one hour. It is smaller than it appears in pics. Moreover, you can 80% fold the screen.
3. I didn't find it risky to put my camcorder there. It was firmly connected.


Quote:
Originally Posted by bblost View Post
I love this idea. Thanks for sharing. Any idea how to charge it while driving. It could be a very handy tool while driving long distance trips.
Charging is an issue. There are car charger available for battery but didn't find any car charger that can charge my camcorder directly in the car. I have a belkin car inverter but I don't want that much mess in the car.

But I had a Nikon digicam (S3100) that could be charged with car usb.
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Old 10th December 2014, 16:12   #7
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Default Re: Use your Camcorder/Digicam as a Dashcam for Rs.100

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reinhard View Post
Hey thats a good job indeed. Especially so since you caught the S-Cross too! .
But an average dash-cam can be bought for about 2k online.
Slightly off topic but what would be a good dash camera to buy for about the price mentioned above.
How long would it be able to record for?
Would it be motion sensitive?
Any details would be appreciated as I am interested in fitting one of these.

Regards,
SS
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Old 10th December 2014, 17:05   #8
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Default Re: Use your Camcorder/Digicam as a Dashcam for Rs.100

Great idea for occasional use. Regular use would be an issue due to the lack of looping and charging options. Also does this give a wide angle view like the dash cams?

Quote:
Originally Posted by suzuki san View Post
Slightly off topic but what would be a good dash camera to buy for about the price mentioned above.
How long would it be able to record for?
Would it be motion sensitive?
Any details would be appreciated as I am interested in fitting one of these.

Regards,
SS
EDIT: Just noticed the budget of 2K.

This thread discusses various options in detail, I recall seeing short reviews of cheap ones in the 2-3K range also

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/produc...ed-review.html

I personally have the SJ4000 which I sourced from US for ~$80

Last edited by Rajeevraj : 10th December 2014 at 17:07.
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Old 10th December 2014, 17:47   #9
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Default Re: Use your Camcorder/Digicam as a Dashcam for Rs.100

I did the same 2 years ago with a point-and-shoot Canon and recorded this video in Hyderabad:
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Old 11th December 2014, 00:38   #10
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Default Re: Use your Camcorder/Digicam as a Dashcam for Rs.100

Brilliant idea especially if the use is occasional. I will try this out once I buy a nice & strong suction mount. My car has an AC power outlet so charging is not a concern for me

Last edited by GTO : 11th December 2014 at 16:51. Reason: Typo :)
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Old 11th December 2014, 02:03   #11
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Default Re: Use your Camcorder/Digicam as a Dashcam for Rs.100

Hey, excellent idea. But when the memory is full like Tsk asked, do you stop and delete the old stuff ? or the camcorder allows you to record over the old files ?
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Old 11th December 2014, 11:49   #12
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Default Re: Use your Camcorder/Digicam as a Dashcam for Rs.100

Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
Unless your handicam offers loop recording, it won't really work. Every 30-40 minutes storage will be full.
A dashcam requires loop recording so, it deletes the oldest segment once card is full.
Yes, we can't compare it with a full-fledged dashcam because of its limitations but, come on, this is a "jugaad" dashcam with almost zero expense (almost everyone has a digicam with 720p/1080p recording) for occasional use.

Quote:
Originally Posted by humyum View Post
Hey, excellent idea. But when the memory is full like Tsk asked, do you stop and delete the old stuff ? or the camcorder allows you to record over the old files ?
My camcorder can have 80gb memory (16gb internal + 64gb SD card) so I wont worry too much about loop recording.

And if it is going to be super long trip, I can record videos at 720p.

Also, most modern digicams/camcorders provide USB charging. I have a Sony DSC-RX100M2 P&S and it is charged by micro USB just like any mobile phone. So, I can charge it with car charger.
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Old 11th December 2014, 12:42   #13
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Default Re: Use your Camcorder/Digicam as a Dashcam for Rs.100

I dont recommend to any consumer products to be used on the windshield esp those with battery. Even Though the AC is cooling inside the cabin the direct sunlight will heat the device a lot than its operating temperature and can lead to unexpected casualties. Also those devices are not meant for continuous charging. Any consumer grade devices should be used with enough cooling either passive or active.
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Old 11th December 2014, 17:56   #14
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Default Re: Use your Camcorder/Digicam as a Dashcam for Rs.100

Wonder if this could act as a bulky projectile in case of an accident or sudden braking ?
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Old 11th December 2014, 18:23   #15
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Default Re: Use your Camcorder/Digicam as a Dashcam for Rs.100

This is a neat method that I had earlier tried accidentally using my very basic Cannon Point and Shoot Digicam few years before.

It so happened that I was playing around with my usual DVR that I realized that the treaded stud on the suction mount that holds the Dashcam unit is of the same size and tread that my Digicam also can be fitted.

The Digicam of course had this hole to mount it on a Tri-pod as a standard feature that we see in all cameras.

We fitted the same and it worked quite well and super clear (at least when compared to my first gen Dashcam I had then).

The problems were:
  • Digicam was recording the videos inverted due to design of suction mount
  • Digicam had AA Batteries and not a cable based charging system
  • The amount of heat at the windshield area made me skeptical to use this (Dashcam however has performed under extreme heat and I am ok if they take that abuse) jugaad further even though I may have used a software to invert the videos later
  • Apart from this, the camera is an invitation to someone who wants to steal it! Removing and refitting this again and again can be painful and the suction mount often gets disturbed if one applies pressure in any direction to fit the camera very frequently.

Last edited by paragsachania : 11th December 2014 at 18:25.
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