Review: Thinkware Dash Cam is vital car technology

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It’s time to get a dash camera. Thinkware makes good ones.

I had a chance to use a Thinkware Dash Camera in my vehicle and I loved it. I never thought I had a need for constantly recording the view out my vehicle’s windshield, but now I do. The vibration-free, high quality, recording of my travel is not only fun to view, but it could be vital to an insurance company or the law if my driving decisions were ever questioned. A Dash Cam is also of real value when sorting out the cause of traffic accidents.

Thinkware
The Thinkware dash cam is a keen device for recording your driving. All images © Bruce Aldrich/2016.

I used the Thinkware model F50. It’s is a tiny camera (smaller than a GoPro) that stick-mounts to the windshield behind the rear-view mirror. This position allows a good panoramic view (F50 provides a 140 degree viewing angle) out the front windshield and completely hides the camera from the driver’s view. The F50 is powered through a standard car charging port. The wire tucks between the windshield and the headliner.

For my vehicle, Subaru Outback, the wire was easily tucked along the windshield without any tools and without any need for clips or wedges to keep it in place. The Thinkware F50 car “installation” and insertion of the micro-SD card into the camera took less than 10 minutes. When the car’s ignition key is turned “on”, the camera records. When the key is turned off, the camera stops recording. Simple as that. The camera comes supplied with an 8 gigabyte micro-SD card (upgrade-able to 64 gigabytes) which provides about 30 minutes of recording before overwriting. The camera also records audio from inside the car.

When it comes time to view the video from your Thinkware, it’s easy to remove the camera from the mounting bracket and pop out the micro-SD card. The micro-SD card is loaded into the supplied adapter so nearly any Mac or PC can read and play video files from the card.

I also enjoyed the viewer application that can be downloaded for free from the Thinkware website. The PC Viewer automatically recognized the camera’s 30 frames per second MP4 files and created a “playlist”. The Viewer allows you to enlarge the video with a “zoom-in” feature to scrutinize license plates or road signs. The handy “save” feature allows you to easily download files to your Mac or PC.

Thinkware has a family of Dash Cams at various price points. Best Buy lists the F50 camera I used at $99.99. Other Thinkware cameras may include built-in viewers, larger capacity micro-SD cards, and GPS data. Thinkware also makes dedicated rear-view cameras.

I look forward to trying the optional “GPS Tracker” available for the F50 camera. The tracker would embed speed, time and location data in the recorded videos. A driving route map is also displayed in the integrated map function in the Thinkware PC Viewer.

The Thinkware F50 now gives me driving peace of mind, knowing I have a silent witness if some knucklehead causes me harm.

The full line of Thinkware products is also on Amazon.com via the link below:
THINKWARE H50 HD Dash Cam with 2.0MP CMOS CameraReview: Thinkware Dash Cam is vital car technology 4

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