With the increase in road rage incidents and the ongoing headaches that come from proving innocence or blame in road accidents, dashcams are becoming more and more popular in New Zealand. These dashcams are no longer just for the entertainment of those on YouTube, but provide some peace of mind for drivers, and make insurance claims a little less of a rigmarole.
Navman have brought out a range of dashcams in New Zealand and we were lucky enough to test out the Navman MiVue 580. This unit is their top of the range dashcam, which provides continuous recording at 1080p HD in wideframe and also has built-in night vision. The Navman MiVue 580 has the SONY™ Exmor CMOS Sensor, which improves light sensitivity and assists in maintaining quality in dark recording situations. The camera itself has a 6 glass lens for optimised quality in a range of light settings.
When unboxing the Navman MiVue 580 I noticed that it does not come with a data transfer cable or memory card. Thankfully I had a memory card provided, and one of the particular transfer cables already. Not really a deal breaker, as you can pick a memory card and transfer cable for pretty cheap these days, but this is just something to note, as you will need a memory card to use the device and a transfer cable to upload video to your PC of laptop. What the Navman MiVue 580 does come with is the camera itself, a mounting device, and the essential in-car only charging cable. Now I only mention that the charger it “in-car only” as it is not a USB charge cable, thus why you need to get a USB transfer cable.
On inspection, the Navman MiVue 580 is a very nice looking dashcam; it is large, but that accommodates the clear led screen on the back so you can see what is being recorded and can play back direct from the cam. The mount was a bit of a mission initially, as I have a small shade panel around my rear view mirror which would not allow the suction cup on the mount to attach to. I did eventually mount it off to the left of the rear view, and because you can adjust the angle, I had no problems getting the full frontal view of the car from this spot.
Setting up the Navman MiVue 580 is really easy. Once the car starts it automatically turns on. I went through the settings and turned off sound recording first for the sake of my dignity during sing-a-long trips to work and daycare with my daughter. Although, the sound-on feature could be amusing if you are wanting to upload some humorous dashcam videos to YouTube!
Secondly, I adjusted the sensitivity on the emergency recording. I started it off at full sensitivity, but soon dialed it back as I found accelerating off a little too quick at the lights would activate the recording, probably assuming you have been rear-ended. I took it back one level of sensitivity and found that worked for me.
Video quality is really good during the day. I did some test videos and they looked really clear; you could make out number plates without any effort and the streaming was really smooth. At night, as we live rurally, it was a little harder to see, but around town where there is street lighting the quality picked up.
The parking feature is also really cool, and again you can adjust the sensitivity of this so shutting the door doesn’t set it off, but someone backing into your car at the supermarket and driving off will. This is a massive help for those working in the city or those who do a lot of driving around for work.
I found the Navman MiVue 580 to be really useful and quite fun when it came to having a laugh with my daughter. We did a couple videos with sound and she really loved watching them on the laptop afterwards. But for its main purpose, I found it gives real peace of mind when out driving and it is amazing capturing some of the “creative” ways in which people drive. The Navman MiVue 580 will set you back around $270 depending where you go, but the way I see it is for that peace of mind, and limiting the headache if you do have a crash, that’s well worth the price; and there’s also the hours of fun you can have making YouTube videos with your kids.