Dual Camera DVR - i1000

September 19, 2015

I have a new camera I want to write about. About two or three weeks ago, someone bumped me while I was exiting the freeway or highway in some places. In any case, no damage was done, but I got a nice jolt and reminder to look  for a new camera and see what is out there now. I didn't bother after my first one since the quality wasn't there and it was more of a headache than anything. Since I got bumped from the back I thought I check out the dual camera dvrs vs the single front facing one. I found this one called the i1000. I checked out the usual youtube reviews and saw that this one seems to at least work than the first one I got. It is also somewhat small, but larger than the last one. Anyway I'll just move on to the pictures and I'll do a simple pros and cons at the bottom because this camera is also not perfect as you will see.

The box.

The actual dvr witht the front camera. One thing to note here is that the body is all plastic.

I like the simple sliding bracket but mine is way to lose and it kept falling off the mount with the slightest bump on the road.

At least the button on this one seem to work better than the other one I tested before. They both use the same type of buttons though.

The usb power connector that still won't fully charge the battery no matter where I plugged it. Computer, UPS, phone usb charger...nothing. Even in the car the battery still says barely charged. I read somewhere others mentioning something not great with the power components on these, or something to do with that.

All the included parts.

I opened it to check and make sure there was nothing shorted before I powered it on.

I also wanted to find out what size battery these used. Unfortunately the battery in this one was not labeled. I read some specs of 800-900 mAh. I couldn't tell you since mine didn't say anything.

 Here's what the front camera cables look like. I didn't bother taking this apart.

No specs on the bottom of the battery either.

Just some more pictures of some board components.

I also took apart the lighter power adapter. I like to hard wire my camera but there was no other cable so I have to use this one. There's a nice circuit in here so I'm guessing a hard wire adapter may be the same so that it turns off when power goes out. Or depending on what you plug it to since you don't want to keep it powered on all the time anyway. So far, at least it seems to work.

Here's a look at the rear camera. Unfortunately for me, the camera sat too high up under the trunk. But at least I could get it to fit right under it in the middle. I was also hoping it would have a metal mount. It's all plastic. Plastic would be fine in colder climates, but in hotter climates, a metal mount would be nice. I like that there are night LED's on the camera, so hopefully they help. Some say they don't really do much, but I have yet to really test them myself since I just got this.

I ended up making a 3D printed spacer to lower the camera. I had to make a couple of test pieces, but it turned out perfect to clear the camera from the trunk lid.

The 3D printed adapter.

I just stuck it to the original tape.

I then added my own double sided tape to the top side. You can get this tape at any home depot. Don't use the regular cheap white pieces, specially if it's going outside the car.

 Here's screenshot of the rear camera when the sun hits it. I was using 1080p on all these videos, but I just took some screenshots because I don't feel like uploading videos and most of these cameras are similar anyway. You can check some of them on youtube.

 The front camera. Although you can see everything okay, it's still not very sharp.

 Here's a shot of a couple of red cars and a green bin. As you can see the colors are not that great, but still view-able.

 Night shot, well that's pretty dark. I don't think I had the nigt leds on here so I'll have to test that later. It's hard to tell what's on since the icons are very small once it's in the car windshield. Plus I think they called it some weird name for that night LEDs option.

 After I turned on my headlights.

 Not much better once I got going in total darkness.

 A little better with other lights around, but it's still not as crisp. I had to get really close to see the plate.
 Here's another interesting shot. You can see the guys there but it's still hard to make out the faces.

 The rear camera gets these nice pink halo when the sun hits it, but most cameras probably won't do too well here either.

 Here's something I didn't realize until I saw this. The date and time are very readable which is nice. Unfortunately it's right in the middle where the license plates are. Which brings me to another major point. It's hard to tell which of these cameras has the newest firmware/software. Many videos I saw had a different firmware than what I got. They work the same but it's something to note.

 In short, mine came in Chinese and I had a hard time getting it to change to English, but it's not impossible.

So now this brings me to the pros and cons...
-Dual camera. The second camera can be placed outside or inside the vehicle. I like this flexibility.
-The physical format works well. Small lcd to review anything if it's ever needed.
-Night LED's.
-It has some interesting settings that you can customize, although some people did notice that the movement doesn't pick up too well. Using the car bump setting is pretty good, but it will also set that off when you open and close the doors. So you will end up with more useless files. Good setting but it's sort of  a catch 22. Specially if your mount is very lose like mine is.
-All the buttons are large enough and seem to be well laid out.
-Nice little remote to help you make changes instead of trying to reach up there. Specially if you tried to hide it as much as possible.

-Camera quality is still not quite there yet. Don't bother with the 720p, you can't read the plates. It will be good once they improve both the front and rear camera to be the same but higher quality.
-No option to change the date stamp to a different location other than the lower middle or just turn it off which is not what you want either. At least on mine. I saw other cameras had it in one of the upper corners.
-The physical camera felt a bit cheap since it's all plastic but at least it works for the most part.
-My sd card wasn't getting picked up for whatever reason. It eventually picked up, but this is similar to the problems I had with the other camera, so this is another thing that needs to get looked at and fixed.
-My camera tends to shutdown and restart randomly for no reason. There is an option to turn the lcd off so it's not always on but is still recording. This was not the problem I was referring to.
-No matter where I plugged the camera, I could not get it to charge in my room. It started charging once I used the cigarette plug in the car but only briefly. There is some weird issue with this as I read others having similar problems. I plugged it into the computer, the UPS usb and also used the phone plug since it's a usb too. It charged for a bit, but then shut down. The camera still won't fully charge even in the car. So there is a problem with that. It still works when driving but it would be nice if it would actually get fully charged.
-My camera fits lose in the mount so I'll have to put something to help with that or it will fall off if I accidentally move it.
-No hardwired adapter included.
-The cables makes the dvr a bit bulkier in the windshield but the format is still ok.
-I have a small car and the rear camera cable barely made it there once it got routed through the car.
-Very tiny icons
-There are a couple of different firmware versions from the videos I saw.
-I finally took this out for a spin in the car and what do you know, the darn thing kept falling off the small mount you attach with the double sided tape. It's just too lose that every little bump would just knock it right off. It was really annoying. I finally gave up putting it back on the mount and just left it hanging recording the dash. I'll try to add some tape to see if I can get it to fit better.

I'll add anything else I may have missed. But for now, if they do come out with new versions I hope they called it i2000, i3000 etc so that you know what's newer and hopefully the quality of both the camera hardware and the firmware will improve. I like the dual camera setup because you can put the second camera pretty much anywhere. Maybe they'll even get a four camera version for the sides, but this may take a while I'm sure. Not to mention it may be harder to keep it small. Not a huge deal since some electronics are so small now anyway. The specs on these things are pretty much a toss up as you can see in the images I have posted. So not exactly high quality video, but at least they are going in the right direction. For this reason if you can find them for about 20-30 bucks, sure they work so why not. Anything more though, that's up to you, but I wouldn't bother. I paid a bit more because I really wanted to find out and do the write up. You can find them for the lower amount, you just have to look in the right places.

September 28, 2015
 I finally got a chance to use the camera and here are the problems I have so far...
-It won't fully charge no matter where or how long it's plugged in.
-It won't record anything more than a minute even with the setting set at 5 minutes.
-Restarts randomly
-No videos of the rear camera now, I checked the folder and it's empty even though it shows the back camera when first turn it on.
In short, it's just not working the way it's supposed to. Night time is practically useless even with the night LED's.

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