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Rearview Mirror HD Car Camera – cool budget car dashcam in a mirror [Review]

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Car cameras (aka dashcams) come in all shapes and sizes, but one of the most interesting we think, is the type that comes embedded in a rearview mirror format. They’ve been around for a long while now, but the latest generation sport higher resolution and lower prices, which make them an attractive option for Joe Public.

This generic Rearview Mirror HD Car Camera features 1080p video resolution at 30 fps, displayed onto a 4.3 inch TFT screen which is embedded into the mirror. It’s clever, very easy to assemble and what’s more looks much less likely to attract thieves since it is so discreet. Check out our video below to get an idea of how it works.

First impressions
The device comes in a typically unremarkable package, and inside the box there’s the usual array of accessories and fitting bits. There is an extra long micro USB power cable, plus two rubber mounting brackets which you use to attach the larger mirror to your existing mirror in the car.

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In use
The mirror cam (as we will call it!) features the typical set of interface features. The sockets are located on the top, and include the microUSB power socket, a GPS socket and a slot for a microSD card (the unit supports up to 32GB capacity). For some strange reason there’s a blanked off HDMI socket for output to a TV, but maybe that’s just because this is the cheap model.

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One new feature of the latest generation of these products is the fact that it comes with a 2nd camera which can be set up as a rear parking camera, to complement the front camera on the mirror. This does introduce a measure of increased complexity, since you need to find a suitable power source en route to the rear mounting position, but it’s a nice option to have anyway. There’s an AV in socket on top for this camera.

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As you can see from the video, attaching the mirror to the existing mirror is super simple, just hold the cam up and drag the rubber mounts over to clamp it on. You can then adjust the swivel camera on the rear to point properly out of the windscreen, attach the power cable and you’re good to go. 10 mins tops.

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And that’s really all there is to it. You get a full set of configurations you can adjust via a small drop down control panel (another nice touch), which include the exposure, white balance, and video resolution from 720p to 1080p. There are one or two odd choices in there too. For instance we don’t really understand why there’s a flash lamp setting, or a digital zoom function, which just gives a narrower pixelated image, but hey, some people might find them useful.

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Activating these settings is just a matter of pressing two or three buttons, and selecting the right options, so again it’s a very easy job, which makes it less intimidating for those who are reluctant techies.

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Conclusion
The Rearview Mirror HD Car Camera is a nicely put together product which offers a quick and easy retro-fit onto your existing mirror. The long power cable means it’s also easy to fit the product into the car without a load of messy cabling, and if you opt to install the rear parking camera you can also use the long cabling to ensure a discreet installation. All in all, it’s a well thought out product and definitely worth considering if you’re in the market for a budget car camera.

Price: $51.99 / £37.06

Specification:
Image Sensor: 2 million pixel CMOS sensor
View: 120 degree wide angle
LCD Screen: 4.3 inch HD Screen
AV IN: Support
AV OUT: Support
USB Version: USB 2.0
Video Format: MOV
Compression Format: H.264
Video Code: 1080P/720P/VGA
Picture Resolution: 1600*1200
Photo Format: JPEG
TV Format: PAL/NTSC
Temperature: -10-70 degree
Blinking Frequency: 50HZ/60HZ
Support TF Card Capacity: Class 6(up to 32GB)

Nigel is the managing editor of the Red Ferret, as well as a freelance columnist for the Sunday Times newspaper in London. Loves tech and fancies himself as a bit of a futurist, but then don’t we all?

Nigel – who has written posts on The Red Ferret Journal.


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