Once you decide on the BlackVue dashcam you want to buy, you might want to also consider purchasing a Parking Mode accessory to go with it. Parking Mode accessory will prolong the dashcam’s recording time and keep on going even when the engine is off and the car is parked. But which Parking Mode accessory should you choose? How do you know which one will match your needs perfectly?
This article is here to help you with your choice.
If you are looking for a simple plug-and-play installation, the Power Magic Battery Pack is a fantastic option to consider. The Power Magic Battery Pack simply plugs into your vehicle’s cigar lighter socket and provides a female power socket to power your dashcam.
Note that Power Magic Ultra Battery also supports easy cigarette lighter installation. However, we recommend to hardwire it for faster charge (unless you have more than an hour daily commute, in which case you will fully charge the battery anyway).
If your vehicle sports a small-capacity battery or an aging battery that you do not feel like replacing just yet, an external battery is the way to go. Whether you plug it in the cigarette lighter socket (B-112/B-124X) or hardwire it (B-124X), a Parking Mode battery will only draw power when ignition is on. Since your vehicle battery would not give you a lot of Parking Mode time anyway, it may be a better choice overall. If you use the cigarette lighter configuration for your battery, make sure that your vehicle’s cigarette lighter socket is not powered when ignition is off, so as to preserve your vehicle’s battery.
For users who are not afraid to work with the fuse panel of their vehicle, the Power Magic Pro is a great accessory that enables Parking Mode with a lot of control. Due to its compact size, Power Magic Pro allows for a very stealthy installation, with no visible cable.
Additionally, the Power Magic Ultra Battery, in spite of its larger size, can be stealthily installed as well, as it is able to connect to the fuse box (recommended installation) and tucked under the driver’s or passenger’s seat or glove box.
Need Parking Mode protection for long periods of time?
This one is easy: Power Magic Ultra Battery gives you plenty of power by itself. But you can still more than double the capacity thanks to the Power Magic Expansion Battery. Even better, the Expansions can be daisy-chained for even more power (time to full charge will of course increase as well).
If you have a very large car battery, the Power Magic Pro can also work and is definitely more affordable. That said, you need to factor in the long term wear of your vehicle’s battery as well in case you use Parking Mode often. Driving your car daily for an hour at a time?
For a daily commute of an hour or more, the Battery Pack will give you great satisfaction. If you don’t drive your car daily or have a shorter commute, one of the other Parking Mode accessories may be a better choice for you.
WIRED Magazine (UK Edition) just released its 2019 dashcam test and BlackVue DR900S-2CH is on the list!
Once again, BlackVue was found to be the best dashcam on the market when it comes to image quality. It was Wired’s pick of the best 4K dashcam!
The test concluded that “the footage is undeniably the best on the market, day and night”.
Here’s a quote that proves the image quality of the BlackVue DR900S-2CH is undeniable:
“This is the only camera to feature an eight-megapixel CMOS sensor up front and a high-performance Sony STARVIS CMOS sensor in the rear camera. As a result, the footage is undeniably the best on the market, day and night. In fact, it is probably the only camera that snares footage of such high quality that it is possible to read the number plates of vehicles when said video is paused. The 162-degree field of view feels absolutely perfect for the task in hand and rids the resulting footage of that awkward fisheye look that some wider-angle cameras suffer from.”
BlackVue DR900S-2CH, our flagship 4K UHD Cloud dashcam, is available for purchase on our website here.
Introducing HDR Night Vision, a new feature for DR900S Series dashcams. The feature replaces Enhanced Night Vision and improves both day and night video quality.
You can find it under Firmware settings > Basic > Video > HDR Night Vision(On (Always) | On (Parking mode only) | Off). Don’t forget to hit “Save and close” to apply the changes.
Important: HDR Night Vision applies to 4K sensors only. For dual-channel models like DR900S-2CH, turning HDR Night Vision on will apply it to the front camera, while the rear camera will use Night Vision.
This feature was added with firmware version 1.012 for DR900S Series.
Brightness at night does not always mean clarity
Before HDR Night Vision, DR900S Series front cameras were using Enhanced Night Vision, which boosts ISO gain in dark environments, resulting in brighter images. Although a certain level of brightness is definitely required to distinguish details at night, brightness alone is not always enough.
To keep videos bright in dark scenes, dashcam image sensors increase their ISO sensitivity. This affects the whole image, not just the dark areas. This means if something was already bright—like a license plate—it can get totally blown out. In fact, with vehicle headlights on, license plates at night often appear too bright, almost pure white, therefore unreadable.
How to avoid this?
HDR to the rescue
The human eye can process highly contrasted images rather easily. A digital image sensor, however, is limited in the ratio between the darkest and the brightest point it can capture.
With most digital cameras, whether you capture a photo or a video, the camera adjusts exposure based on your point of focus. On your phone, if you focus on a bright element, the camera will adjust and make everything else in the frame appear darker. Conversely, if you focus on a dark point, highlights may appear blown out. Although sensors have become better at capturing highly contrasted scenes, they still don’t come close to the human eye. High Dynamic Range (HDR) is a way to overcome this limitation of digital sensors.
HDR Night Vision applies HDR to video capture
One of the main advantages of HDR is to preserve detail in both bright and dark areas of the image. You probably have experienced HDR capture with your mobile phone’s camera. It works by combining two or more exposures in a single image. It is like taking an overexposed image (too bright) and an underexposed image (too dark) and combining them together. Except that your camera does it all in one smooth sequence. The overexposed image will show more detail in the dark areas, while the underexposed image will preserve detail in highlights. By merging them, the resulting image is able to display a wider range of colors and detail than the camera sensor was able to capture in a single exposure.
HDR Night Vision follows the same process, applied to video recording.
Better nighttime and daytime video
The advantage of HDR Night Vision over Night Vision is that it improves not only nighttime videos but also daytime recording. At night, it brightens scenes while preserving highlights, which means you can read the license plates of cars and streetlights’ flare is reduced. On bright days, it also works wonders to minimize lens flare and reflections when facing the sun.
HDR Night Vision also produces richer and more accurate colors day and night.
What’s the catch? Should you use it?
You might ask “If it is so great, why even give the choice to deactivate HDR Night Vision?”.
For each recorded frame, HDR Night Vision combines two images in one, with various exposures. At night, it can cause a visual artifact in fast-moving bright objects which may be visible when pausing the video. However, the advantages outweigh the cons in most situations. It’s just something to keep in mind, and you are free to deactivate the feature if you prefer without. If you are interested in using HDR but think the rear camera would be too bright with Night Vision, you can adjust the brightness of the rear cam independently.
For the second successive year, Auto Express magazine’s annual dash cam group test (May 2019) has concluded that the BlackVue DR900S has the highest quality video footage amongst its peers, beating rivals from Nextbase, Garmin and Thinkware. Crucially, the publication highlighted the DR900S’s ability to handle changing light conditions and pick out pedestrians and licence plates in low-light. This latest Auto Express test reinforces BlackVue’s technological advantage over its rivals, and the 4K UHD DR900S’s reputation as the world’s most sophisticated dash cam.
See BlackVue at the Commercial Vehicle Show, Birmingham NEC from the 30th of April until the 2nd of May.
Come and browse the entire BlackVue model line-up, from the entry-level DR590 and the stunning range-topping DR900S 4K Ultra HD Cloud-connected dash cam, through to our range of specialist truck models and unique fleet tracking services.
Talk to our specialists and find out what makes BlackVue dash cams to No.1 choice for commercial vehicles and fleet operators.