System comes with rear and front-facing cameras, writes Noel Campion
Dashcams continue to increase in popularity here and I’ve been testing a new mirror-style camera system from a company called VanTop. The H610 features a 10-inch display in the shape of a standard rearview mirror, which offers up to 2.5k video recording from the front f/1.4 aperture camera. It also uses the Sony Starvis sensor which is designed for excellent low light performance. My review unit also came with a rear camera that can double as a reverse parking aid.
This dual recording dashcam is super simple to install in its basic format. The main unit comes with two rubber bands that attach to hooks on the H610 and allow you to place it on top of your existing mirror. The touch-enabled display is large and easy to see thanks to large icons and text. The camera on the front of the H610 faces forward and can be adjusted to ensure you have a clear and wide view of the road.
The main display and rear camera are powered via the supplied 12v adapter. The extra rear camera comes with a long cable, which I had more than enough length to reach my rear windscreen.
The rear camera is fully waterproof and is best installed near the rear number plate if you intend on using it for parking assistance. It comes with all the hardware necessary to do this, but you may need professional help if you’re not comfortable in DIY car maintenance. Alternatively, you can easily install it on your rear windscreen in a location that will provide a good view for rear view recording.
Some cars don’t supply continuous power to the 12v sockets, so some features like timelapse mode during parking won’t work because the internal battery in the H610 is only 500mAh. You can route the wiring into a continuous 12v source, again you may need help with this. To be fair, this is fairly typical for most dashcams.
In part, thanks to the large display, the H610 is the easiest dashcam I’ve ever used. When the display is on, you can view the front-facing camera, the rear-facing camera or both together side-by-side in split-screen mode. Swipe to the left switches between viewing modes. Swipe to the right and it will display your recordings on the left side of the screen while showing you the playback on the right side.
When the screen is off, the display acts as a normal mirror. In fact, I preferred using the H610 as a mirror over my actual mirror because it is tinted and showed less glare from headlights at nighttime.
The 10-inch IPS display is better than I was expecting, considering the price. It’s got good viewing angles, the colours are vibrant and it’s easy to see during the day. Unlike really small screens on typical dashcams, the H610 makes it easy to review video footage and photos. It will auto-protect video files in the case of an impact thanks to onboard sensors, but you can also do this manually. It can record video up to 2.5K on the front and 1080p from the rear camera simultaneously.
The VanTop H610 cameras provide good viewing angles with the front camera offer 160 degrees, while the rear camera has 140 degrees. This means you get a near-full view coverage around the car.
The Sony Starvis sensor combined with the f/1.4 aperture and 6 glass lens is able of capturing excellent video quality, especially during the day. What’s even more impressive is the quality of the video quality at night. Things like the glare of oncoming headlights are well controlled, certainly much better than I’ve seen on other dashcams. Details in dark parts of nighttime videos are better than average. This means you can see details like street signs or road markings and other objects that could be important in the event of an incident.
An added bonus of the rear camera is that it can be used as a parking aid. For this to work properly, I had to connect a red wire from the rear camera to my reversing lights.
With the wire connected, when you shift into reverse gear the rear camera will turn on automatically and display a stretched view from the rear camera with parking-assisting guidelines. When you go out of reverse, the display will go back to its normal view.
Additional features include a park monitor, which requires a continuous 12v supply and enables the H610 to turn on when it senses movement or vibration. If activated, it will record a short 20-seconds video.
The VanTop H610 supports loop recording on a microSD card up to 128GB. One feature the H610 doesn’t have is GPS, so you won’t be able to display or embed location or speed data on your videos.
Overall, for $99 (€89 & postage), the VanTop H610 is an excellent option for those who want a fantastic dashcam with a large display.
Available now here.