I just got a brand new vehicle and I needed to install a dash cam. There are lots of brands that offer this product (I have even used some in the past), but I decided to opt for something new. So this time is, I decided to go for a Kenwood dash cam. Yes, I know some people do not even know Kenwood manufactures car accessories (they think its only home appliances), but no! they do, and they make some of the best you can find. I sampled some of their products and its functions. That’s what this post is about.
Kenwood dash cams are excellent when I tested on the account of power, video recording, video storage and other functions necessary for a dash cam to possess. There are just about a few dash cam brands that can go toe-to-toe with Kenwood. Without further ado, find below the brand review of Kenwood dash cams, and why they stand out from the rest.
KENWOON DASH CAM BRAND REVIEW
Kenwood dash cams come with lots of options with which it can powered. All these options are connected by cables. The less noticeable its cable connections are, the more professional looking your installation appears to be. Let us now consider the power options available for most Kenwood dash cams.
Hardwired 12-volt power: some Kenwood dash cams can be connected permanently to a 12-volt power source in the vehicle, just behind the dashboard. This makes sure that the cam is always powered on, but this connection can only be handled by a professional as it is not easy to fix.
Auxiliary 12-volt power: some dash cams from Kenwood can be connected directly to the auxiliary 12-volt power socket, often referred to as the cigarette lighter compartment, via a USB cable. This wiring arrangement is much easier and on-the-go, but the downside is the cable run can be messy to look upon and once the car is powered off, the dash cams goes off too.
Rear-view 12-volt power: not all cars have this function. But if your car has, then it means your auto-dimming rear view is powered. You can tap this power and then use it for your Kenwood dash cam. It allows for a better short cabling that does not need to look messy.
OBD II port: Kenwood dash cams can be connected for constant power supply using the OBD II port. In fact, accessories like OBD II to USB power cables are now available so you can ensure your dash cam is always powered on.
This can be preferable as against hard wiring kits that need to be connected to the wiring harness. Just remember to buy a Type-A USB cable, which is compatible with this dashboard cameras.
The only con to this arrangement is that the cable connection is longer as the OBD II port is usually found under the dash board close to the driver’s knee.
Capacitor or battery power: even after collision, Kenwood dash cams have the ability to stay powered on because of its internal battery and large capacitor. So even when the vehicle is powered off, video recording can still go on.
The essence of having a dash cam is principally for imagery. Kenwood does not disappoint on this level. Below are some of the video capturing details you will find on a Kenwood dash cam. Check here for excellent Dash Camera reviews
Two channel support: if you need a front and rear view display for your dash cam, then you need a Kenwood dual-channel dash cam.
The camera that covers the interior of the vehicle is usually found in the interior dash cam. But once you need an exterior camera, this is done separately and you will need additional cables to connect it to the dash board display.
Range of view: there are brands that offer viewing angles as minimal as 90 degrees. However, with Kenwood products, you will get viewing angles as much as 120 to 140 degrees; the high end products will even offer you 160 to 180 degrees.
On the flip side, I noticed that the more the angle or field of view you can get, the more fish-eye distortion is likely to happen; and to nullify this, more video processing is required to process it.
This does not take away the fact that the wider the angle of view is, the more you will see what’s going in and around your vehicle.
Time of day: Kenwood have dash cams that can record both in the day and at night. This is an added advantage as not all brands can offer this – especially the night video recording (with good quality).
Infrared light: Kenwood dash cams have infrared lightning. This is important especially for night video capturing, when visibility is dim and normal lighting is poor.
High Dynamic Range (HDR): this is very key as it provides better and detailed picture quality. The images have richer color which helps the driver know exactly what he is looking at. Some users do not consider it important but Kenwood added it to their dash camera all the same to make sure you get the top most quality.
Wide dynamic range (WDR) Well, it performs much of what HDR does, but the difference is that while HDR focuses on contrast, WDR focuses on color.
It is not just enough for a dash cam to capture images and video. Kenwood dash cams have the following features that makes recording quite easy and stress free.
Continuous recording: normally, to minimize the amount of data saved in the dash cam storage, video that is recorded is atomically over written if it is not saved after a particular interval.
Kenwood dash cams have the ability to save videos that are recorded automatically when an incident occurs. This video will not be over written, even if storage space is running out.
Cloud storage: this is an extra feature that only high end Kenwood products have. Video that is being recorded is uploaded to the cloud in real time so that it will not be lost.
This data can be spooled out anytime it is needed and saves a lot of storage space on the dash cam itself. This feature comes in handy for companies that handle fleet of vehicles or ensure defensive driving and journey management.
Self-powered: it is true that most dash cams come with their own internal batteries and do not rely solely on the car battery or ignition system for power.
Kenwood dash cams can record video on its own, even if the car ignition system has been powered off. There is a setting on it that even allows you to know how long the recording can last on battery power.
Recording incident: Kenwood dash cams are powered with a lot of sensors that make it detect motion, impact, and collision, and immediately start recording.
Storage card: some, and not all Kenwood dash cams have slots for storage card. In fact, it has to be high-end to have both a memory card slot and actually come with a memory card. This helps for better storage space and handling of video and images that have been captured.
Most Kenwood dash cams come with a variety of accessories that adds value to their brand. This also make them stand out from the crowd and stake their claim in the world of vehicle dash cams. Some of these features and accessories are as follows:
GPS: this could be the leverage you need if the video recorded with your Kenwood dash cam is needed to resolve a dispute. The location, time and date of the incident is noted automatically and cannot be doctored.
Using a water mark is now very common, but you can take it a step forward and add GPS coordinates to it. Furthermore, the GPS functions can help map your journey even as you travel.
Phone connection: most modern dash cams can be connected to your mobile devices. Well, Kenwood products are modern so there’s no slacking in this regard. Connecting to your mobile device allows you to transfer media footage to your phone so you can clear up space in the cams storage device.
You can also monitor happenings in and around your vehicle when you are not close to it. Just make sure your phone’s operating system is of the basic requirement, and you are good to go.
Park monitoring: there are two ways these can be achieved. It’s either the dash cam is on and recording video at very low frame rate so the battery and memory card space can be conserved, or just running on idle and suddenly comes alive when motion or collision is detected.
Either way, the batteries that come with Kenwood dash cams can last for several days, if they are not connected to a constant 12 Volt power source from the vehicle.
Pros of Kenwood dash cams
- Have good accessories like WiFi and GPS for tracking location in real time.
- Memory ranges from 16GB to a whopping 256GB 2 for continuous loop video recording.
- Products are affordable; they range from $100 to about $250.
- Products come with high quality mount and sitting.
Cons of Kenwood dash cams
- Most users have complained that their products (except the high-end ones) have mediocre image quality.
Kenwood dash cams are of high quality and quite easy to install if you follow the instructions in the manual. If you are thinking of getting a new one, then you might just consider Kenwood! Check here for more Dash Camera reviews