Dash Cams – Buy Cheap, Buy Twice? Surprising Change of Opinion
Ok where to start? The above photo is a mix of cameras. 2 DRS1100’s, an iTronics ITB100HD and a Mini 0801.
I initially only wanted the best, the DRS1100 are both old and I stopped using them more than a year ago. The DRS1100 was one of the first dash cams and was the best at the time. From them, I upgraded to the iTronics ITB100HD, I bought 4 and had them shipped from Asia. They were the best on the market at the time too and they were expensive. Out of the 4, I kept 3 and gave one away in a Facebook competition.
Out of the 3, the one above stopped working with a “Boot Issue”. I hope the one that went to the competition winner is still going ok. After seeing what cheaper cameras could offer, pretty much the same thing, I decided there’s not much point going for the best of the best and having them shipped from outside the EU (risk of import duties, can’t claim the VAT back, expensive returns and if buying from Ebay, the seller may not even be around by the time it develops a problem).
I decided to get a cheaper camera for the replacement for the broken ITB100HD and went for the Mini 0801, and bought from Amazon and it was fulfilled by Amazon. This too developed a fault but the return process from Amazon was amazing, I went on live chat at 5am one morning, they sent a link to a page I just had to print out, cut around labels, stick to a box, bring it to the post office and it didn’t cost a thing. They refunded my card before I had even gone to the post office. With this in mind, I decided I’m only going to buy again “Dispatched and sold by” or “Fulfilled by” Amazon, I’ve had too many dash cams develop problems to be messing around.
I received 2 x Mini 0803 (update from the Mini 0801) today and although there’s a few bad reviews saying units have stopped working, overheated etc, I have that protection from Amazon so decided to go for it anyway. There is no camera currently out there at the moment which does EXACTLY what I want it to do. I started a thread on boards.ie about this only recently here: http://www.boards.ie/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=2057270716
Until something comes out that’s almost fitting that description, I’ll be happy with what I have for the time being, safe in the knowledge that I can return it if they fail on me.
This is the link to the Mini 0803: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00JJI41LI/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Again, just make sure you’re buying “Dispatched and sold by” or “Fulfilled by” Amazon. I went for the one with the internal memory but on second thoughts, it probably would have been better to save money on that, and put it towards a 2nd memory card because if anything is captured, it’s always best to eject the card and replace it so nothing important risks being recorded over. I can still do this with the internal memory using a second card, but you have to choose between “internal” and “external” card on the display, which is more hassle than just swapping cards.
So based on my experience of the reliance of these cameras, I’ve gone from wanting the top of the range and risking import duties and the likes, to putting the returns process at the forefront of my purchasing decision.