I picked up the latest Blackvue DR400G-HDII which is the successor to the small, feature packed camera which suffered overheating issues.
The new camera has been extensively used and is in the thermal oven completing a 50 hour cycle at 60°C to determine it’s performance under heat. It’s doing extremely well so far, I’m pretty pleased with the results.
Once that’s finished I’ll be videotaping and writing the review. Look forward to it!
Here’s some photos of the DR400G-HDII (with all the outer coverings stripped away) as well as the testing setup. I find people are always surprised how much is packed inside one camera which is why it’s $200 – enjoy!
As well a sneak peak of what I’ve found:
I’m impressed with the High Compression video setting, it cuts the size by about 1/3rd but it only introduces a minimal of noise and artifacts into the picture. Here’s a comparison using an ISO 12233 resolution chart. The sharpness has actually degraded at night on the new model even with the new lens however I was told to film something more distant will give you the results in the full review.
I’ve also noticed some white balance issues, the video seemed extraordinary green. However – “Green tint was not intentional making. Our hardware engineers said nobody can make it better, though. “. I guess you will have to fix any issues in post production if you need it for film.
I had a few questions about the company because it just seemed there was little information out in the English domain, received them yesterday. The biggest surprise:
“official distributors are still working to bring BlackVue to Walmart, RadioShack, Costco, etc. “ – coming soon to a store near you?
What’s your name and your role within Pittasoft
Gregory Krasutski, Manager of International Marketing.
Originally Pittasoft made IP cameras but now Pittasoft makes dash cameras. Why?
A: Pittasoft started in IP cameras business, but the market wasn’t really big. We started looking for other areas, where we can implement the technology we got making IP cameras. And we saw great potential for dash cameras. That’s how Pittasoft transition happened.
What’s Pittasoft’s History?
July | Released Blackvue DR400G-HD
June | Released Blackvue 2 channels model. Released Power Magic Pro+
April | Head Office(Headquarters) extension move
Feb | Blackvue has been designated “ Hi Seoul Brand Company”
December | Designated as a Promising Export Firm by the Small & Medium Business Administration, Republic of Korea 2011′
Nov | BlackVue DR400G-HD awarded “Good Design, 2011”
Sept | Released Full HD vehicle drive recorder BlackVue “DR400G-HD”
April | Released Full HD IP Network Camera “Pitta 400”, Thermal Network Camera “Pitta 1000T”
Nov | Released Vehicle drive recorder BlackVue “DR300G”
June | Released Vehicle drive recorder BlackVue “DR300”
December | Designated as a Promising Export Firm by the Small & Medium Business Administration, Republic of Korea 2009′
September | Released Pitta 310 Series
June | Head office(Headquarters) extension move
March | Released Pitta 300 Series
August | ODC Contract with Mtekvision Canada
July | Established India branch office
December | Established a multimedia R&D center
July | Established Pittasoft Co., Ltd.
DR400G-HD is one of the top selling dash cameras worldwide. There were overheating issues in the summer. How did you solve overheating issue in DR400G-HD II?
To improve BlackVue performance in heat we used better components for it, high temperature resistant components.
Are there any other improvements to DR400G-HD II?
We made the lens better, so that far away objects come more detailed and slightly redesigned the camera.
Many companies make dash cameras in Korea. What makes your products better or more unique? How do you position Pittasoft on the market?
BlackVue offers more features than most other dash cameras, such as 1080p resolution, GPS and accelerometer. Also it comes with PC and smartphone apps. Apparently almost any video can player can play BlackVue recordings, but our apps have important extra features: location based video search and accelerometer graph. On the market we position BlackVue as a premium product, offering great functionality in a tiny enclosure.
Can you talk about Pittasoft’s plans for the future?
We’re planning to improve After Sales Service for our existing products. Improve quality and functionality of the future products.
Are there any plans to develop Advanced Driver Assistance Systems such as collision detection or lane departure warnings for your dash cameras?
We don’t have exactly plans on these features but constantly research new possibilities to deliver even better cameras.
A report by Zdnet predicted sales of 1 million dash cams for Korea in 2012 compared to 500 000 in 2011 – Why? Did Pittasoft sales grow a lot in 2012?
In 2011 over 500.000 dash cameras were sold in Korea and this year sales are estimated to reach 1.500.000. We see our sales grow proportionally.
Are dash cameras popular in other countries? What are Pittasoft’s plans for the North American market?
Overseas dash cameras gained significant popularity but still for us Korean market is the largest. Our total overseas sales amount to 40% of sales in Korea.
Canadian and the US markets are different. In Canada there’s already established online and offline BlackVue distribution network. But in the US there’re unofficial Ebay resellers and official distributors are still working to bring BlackVue to Walmart, RadioShack, Costco, etc. We plan to make BlackVue better known in the North America to make driving experience there safer.
What do you think? Anything else you would like to ask Pittasoft?
My unit suffered heat issues and Pittasoft refused to admit that it was a manufacturer defect. They kept pointing the finger at E-Bay stating I should not have bought it there. Rather than accept responsibility for a defectively designed product, they just made excuses and left me hanging – and I was well within their 1 year warranty period. Such shameful customer service – they should not be walking around with heads high by any means. If you make a mistake, owe up for it and correct things… not run away pointing at others. I will never buy another one of their products and I am going out of my way to tell others what they did to me. Hopefully my message can reach many others and they will take their business elsewhere.
Glad to here that they have at least tried to sort out the overheating issues.
I would like to know if the software is Mac (OSX) compatible?
It would make it hard work for me to use without it.
My biggest concern by far (about new DR500GW) – is it’s even larger vertical lens angle. 90 deg view? WTF ??? Even DR400’s 55 deg was way to much for me. Why do I have to record that bright sky view ( and get overexposure issues) and + even more of my cars engine hood ??? IMHO perfect angles would be 123 deg horizontal by ~40 deg vertical . Would save a lot of SD card capacity, and much less load (=less heat ?) on camera’s CPU . What do you think ?
but then you will miss the Meteor
I would think View angle would not affect file size as long as it doesn’t exceed the 1080p, correct? But it might reduced the clarity by stuffing more visual field into the same 1080p frame?
It still overheats especially in Australian summers
does this model still over heat in the aussie summer? is the DR500GW-HD hetter for heat? if you don’t have a smart phone, does this cam have a video out to watch on head unit?
I bought the 400er 2nd season, but I’m a little disappointed. License Plates are only readable while the car stands still 🙁
Would like to have the quality of a GoPro with GPS. Regardless of the price- Will this be ever possible?