As the result of cheaper and better cameras, dashboard cams and body cams are becoming more common in an effort to gather evidence when a crime or incident occurs. There’s a lot of choices out there, but security company Swann is adding a unique option to the mix. Its new DriveEye Ultra is an HD dash cam with features that also doubles as a good old-fashion action camera.
The DriveEye Ultra shoots 3-megapixel stills and Full HD 1080p video (with audio) with a 120-degree wide-angle lens (140 degrees if you switch to 720p), adjusts lens settings automatically, and can be mounted anywhere in your car with a suction cup mount. The camera’s dash cam mode has a lot of features to make things easier for the user. For example, right after you turn your car on and start driving, the camera’s “G-Sensory Technology” detects that and starts recording automatically. During an accident, the camera detects the crash and uses its Lock File function to prevent erasure or overwriting of data. Automatic stabilization reduces the video shakes from a crash.
The camera supports SD cards up to 64GB, which Swann says will hold up to 2,000 minutes of 1080p video at 30 frames per second, or 33 hours.It has an auto-looping feature as well, so once you reach your storage limit the camera automatically records from the beginning again and slowly erases the oldest data to the newest. Battery isn’t a problem either, because you can charge the camera in your car with the included car charger and cable. Measuring 2.5 x 2 inches, the DriveEyeUltra has a 2-inch LCD screen and buttons for operation, but it also has a smartphone app (Android and iOS) if you’d like to operate the camera remotely. If you want to show any of your footage to your friends (or police), it has a built-in HDMI output, and you can also connect it to your Wi-Fi and use the camera’s cloud setting if someone wants to view footage remotely.
If you want to go out and just film something outside your vehicle, switch on the DriveEye Ultra’s Action Cam mode, which turns it into a standard movie camera. Like a GoPro Hero, you can use the squared DriveEye Ultra to record POV footage of your skateboard tricks or downhill snowboard rides. (However, we would not recommend using it to record wheelies or anything dangerous with your car).
The DriveEye Ultra is available through Fry’s and B&H for $180.