Simon Lai reviews the Gator HD DVR 1080P Car Camcorder.
It’s time to revisit the dash camcorders from Gator after our first look at their impressive range a year ago.
The Gator HD DVR 1080P Car Camcorder (GHDVR292) is their new model and is capable of recording in high definition (1080P) as well as 720P, WVGA and VGA.
The GHDVR292 has squarer design than it’s elongated brothers like the Full HD DVR 1080P HDDVR520 so you may be forgiven for thinking all the footage will be in a 4:3 aspect ratio.
However, on playback, the orientation is still wide and you have the added bonus of less camera blocking your view. Besides, the viewing area on the unit isn’t all that important; it’s just there to help align the shooting direction (unlike the screen-less GoPro).
The suction cup mount is also new and improved. Gone are the bulky locking mechanism on the swivel ball, replaced by a two directional hinge to adjust the pitch. The unit, once latched on, can rotate left and right 360°.
Taking it on the road for a spin and operation is simple and straightforward as with most dash cams. Press the ‘OK’ button to start recording. The red light will also come on automatically if you connect the device to power.
You can select it to record continuously or in a loop of 3, 5, or 10 minutes. This means the recording will start again and erase the previous data once the chosen time is up.
To save the most recent data, turn off the recording or the unit and backup to a computer.
In order to force the device to lock the current recording, press the left ‘back’ button whist recording. You can also lock and unlock individual files through the easy to use menu.
Watching it back the video isn’t brilliantly sharp, but clear enough for the purposes and you will definitely see everything that is happening. Audio is also good and picks up sound well.
One minor grievance I had with the design is the positioning of the Mini USB port. The 12V charging cable is ‘L’ shaped and when plugged into the unit, the cable is orientated upwards. This is less convenient unless the cable is meant to go up to the ceiling and back down again.
The other disappointment is that the box doesn’t come supplied with a micro SD card for recording data. But comes as no surprise given the price and is still a good buy.
This Gator dash cam model is now the pick of the bunch. With an improved design that’s more compact, a user friendly interface, the right price point and records in high definition. What more could you ask for?
The Gator HD DVR 1080P Car Camcorder retails for $129.00.
*This product test comes courtesy of our partners at TDJ Australia.