Articles, Blog

Top Budget Taxi & Ridesharing Dash Cameras – Dual Lens Cams for Uber, Lyft

October 21, 2019


Hey it’s Andrew with Car Cam Central We’re back with our budget dash cam recommendations for ridesharing and taxi drivers As always we researched many cameras tested a few and these two are our top budget choices for 2017 These cameras record not only your drive but also passengers so you have video evidence of what actually
happened Our value pick is the $85 Dome GS65H It’s the cheapest taxi camera we recommend which provides the functionality and quality
you need Our upgrade pick is the $200 Transcend DrivePro 520 which has better protection added reliability and a two year warranty from a mainstream
brand I’m happy to say we bought all our budget
test cameras at full retail price We want thank you our audience for your support There’s a lot to cover so let’s get into
it Starting with the basics both our recommendations are dash cams They’ll turn on and start recording as soon as it receives power They will also record on a loop which means they will overwrite the oldest
files on your card when it runs out of space They also have two built-in cameras The front records your drive so you have video evidence after an accident or if you get a ticket The inside lens records passengers so you
have proof if you are falsely accused of crimes like
theft sexual assault or if you witness other unwanted behaviour Both passenger facing cameras have
infrared lights. IR lights for short These illuminate passengers at night without being distracting to their comfort To human eyes this near-infrared light is
very dim as it’s just inside the visible spectrum You should also find out about your local
laws Keeping things simple there’s four categories If you are allowed to videotape passengers If you can record their conversations Where your camera can be placed For example if you’re restricted
to the corners of your windshield If you are considered a taxi driver and if
special laws apply For example Chicago Taxis can only use cameras approved
by City We wrote a little more on this topic and the basics of taxi cameras in our article Moving on let’s get in-depth with our cheap
pick the 85 American Dollar Dome GS65H released
in April 2017 We looked at many cameras under $100 and this is the only camera worth purchasing Picking up the camera it feels solid The front camera is fixed in place and the passenger facing camera rotates and is surrounded by four infrared lights From the outside the matte black body is fairly
discreet and it has a non-camera like shape It comes with everything you need for installation including a 12V car adapter and suction mount You’ll have to buy your own microSD card The mount is great it stays in place on bumpy
roads and holds securely to your windshield unlike other mounts we’ve tested
It can be placed behind the rear view mirror for added inside discreteness and it won’t
block the passenger camera on the bottom The camera can also rotate 360 degrees to film the side windows which is handy for road rage incidents or police encounters Looking at the video quality it’s OK Video quality is important to show details that will help prove your case For example a license plate in a hit and run
incident or a face with a passenger dispute The front camera records at 1440 by 1080p
and has decent day quality It’s somewhat sharp with a 150 degree FOV which has great coverage but slightly reduces details At night the footage is grainy And the dynamic range isn’t the best So you lose details I am reasonably happy As it’s an $85 dual channel camera And normally the quality is much lower The passenger facing camera has a lower 720p resolution The quality during the day has good clarity And a wide enough FOV to capture all occupants Under reduced light we were not impressed Even in a brightly lit underground parking lot details are lost At night it’s even worse The image is pixelated dim and there’s not
enough light to illuminate my small Honda Fit When compared to our upgrade pick the Transcend
520 there’s a noticeable difference The Transcend 520 is far clearer and you can
see more of what happens inside your vehicle We originally thought the problem was the dim infrared lights chosen by Dome On our other taxi cameras they are brighter and can illuminate larger vehicles We tested this theory by purchasing two infrared
lights to see if it would improve video quality One light was added at a time and installed above the rearview mirror Even though both lights are very bright it didn’t make a big difference we think the image sensor used by Dome isn’t very good In comparison you can see the difference the added IR lights made on the Transcend
520 and a major reason it’s worth the added
money Moving on the GS65H has a GPS which in dash
cameras is used to log your speed and position not give you directions on where to go By default it’s displayed at the bottom
of your video but it can be disabled in the menu Unlike most GPS cameras
we couldn’t see your location using a program like Dash Cam Viewer or the Blackview player which worked with Shenzhen Dome’s other products We know audio quality is important to many Taxi and ridesharing drivers so you have evidence of what was actually
said This is the audio quality from the Dome GS65H As you can tell it’s not amazing but we found it didn’t make a difference
for oral comprehension We found the quality of your vehicle’s soundproofing and if your windshields are rolled down made a bigger difference If you see something interesting or get into
an accident you can press the M button which locks the current file from being overwritten But I didn’t like how easily you can press
the button below which turns the microphone on and off While there is a LCD icon there’s no audible
warning so it’s highly unlikely you’ll notice
it while driving Looking at the storage capacity the GS65H
officially supports up to 64GB microSD cards which is 6 hours
of recording time We formatted our 128GB Lexar 633X card in
camera and it worked just fine but not all 128GB cards may
be supported You might have noticed this video and the one before was blurry We thought the hot weather affected the focus We tested this theory by throwing both cameras in our DIY thermal oven at 59°C/138°F and found the outside camera became noticeably
blurrier which confirmed what we saw Once it cooled down the focus returned to
normal The inside camera was not noticeably affected We’ll talk about the Transcend 520 later It was much less affected by the heat Going back to the camera’s operation there’s a 2.4” LCD screen which allows you to playback saved videos and change settings You will need to turn on the IR lights when you first setup your camera as they are off by default While the interface wasn’t intuitive like
the Transcend 520 I didn’t have significant problems Not all functions are labelled so you will have to memorize what each button
does For example pressing M when it’s not recording goes into the menu If you hold it down it switches into different
camera modes one being video playback which I found it
a little clumsy as you can only see one file at a time but was otherwise easy to use The manual does list what each button does but it’s not written by a native English
speaker and is somewhat hard to understand Another drawback is the GS65H uses lithium
ion batteries not capacitors Both store energy to safely shutdown your
videos when you turn off your vehicle But lithium ion-batteries are less reliable
and heat resistant so your camera is more likely to fail and
need replacing That doesn’t mean the Dome GS65H will be
unreliable but we don’t have any data as the camera was recently released It could be good or there could be serious
issues Unfortunately there’s no capacitor cameras we can recommend under $400 We suggest you get your camera out of your vehicle on hot days or at least out of the sun The Dome camera is also not a good choice for parked recording You car becomes hot due to the greenhouse
effect and motion detection mode isn’t automatic which means if you forget to turn it off and
drive away you can lose footage As well we found the manufacturer Shenzhen
Dome to have poor support There is a 1-year warranty but good luck contacting the company or getting firmware updates They didn’t respond to email or Skype Other users were similarly frustrated Get it from a reputable retailer As they will be the only ones Who can help you The GS65H also has poor notifications when your SD card fails A faulty SD card can playback saved videos but you can’t record new ones Dome was able to detect all four of our failed
cards but you only get a short warning which was
hard to notice Ideally there will be an audio warning and a persistent message so you can take action before something happens So even with those two issues Dome’s GS65H is the best taxi camera under
$100 nothing else we found came close We know it may be a lot of money for some but you’ll get way better protection than the cheaper cameras we saw which can barely capture anything at night and come from unknown companies With questionable reliability Before we get in-depth with our upgrade pick the Transcend 520 let’s talk about two popular and more expensive
cameras I see being recommended for taxi and ridesharing
drivers We thoroughly tested both and we suggest you
avoid them Starting with the Vantrue N2 it’s an attractive camera with a matte grey TPU-like material on the
camera body Our major issue is that it lacks infrared lights on the passenger
facing camera and as expected you can’t see anything at
night We think this is unacceptable in a taxi camera but maybe you think differently Next up is the $150 Falcon F360 which is a
mirror taxi camera that clamps on top of your existing rear view
mirror There are similar cameras being sold by different
companies like Blackbox and Jumbl for a $100 Below there are two cameras which can swivel with infrared lights surrounding
both lenses My main issue is the poor video quality and
coverage It looks blurry and the edges are cut off because of the poor quality hardware Unless you really want a mirror camera because it’s more discreet or want nothing sticking to your windshield you should go with our Dome or Transcend picks Now that you know what not to get let’s talk about the Transcend Drive Pro 520 which is our top budget recommendation It was released in September 2015 and priced
in March 2017 at $200 American and can be found on
sale for $170 The 520 has a front facing camera with the rear camera mounted on a turret that rotates 180 degrees It turns smoothly without vibrating on bumpy
roads From the outside it’s a little more noticeable than the Dome
camera because of the shiny black plastic and chrome
elements Like Dome Transcend includes everything you
need in the box with the option of getting either a suction
or an adhesive mount but not both We recommend the adhesive mount as the suction version isn’t very good There’s better and cheaper mounts on eBay that will fit this camera like the one that’s
attached The 520 can be placed behind the rear-view
mirror for added discreteness although It’s wider body is slightly more
noticeable than the Dome camera Transcend made an interesting design decision the passenger camera can only move side to
side but the lens is tilted downwards so that after
adjusting the front view the inside camera still has a good angle to record passengers The Dome camera can only rotate 360° using the suction mount as the adhesive version doesn’t have enough freedom of movement If you drive on the right you can turn the passenger camera instead for police encounters which is more discreet and lights up their face at night Looking at the front video quality it’s
close to Dome and records at the same resolution 1440x1080P with a narrower 130 degree field of view which in our opinion is a better balance between details and coverage The inside lens is good during the day and wide enough to cover both passengers It’s sharper than Dome but it’s not a
big difference At night the 520 is noticeably better You can see much more of the passenger cabin and it improves your protection as you can better capture details you may
need like hand movements and faces However the infrared lights aren’t always
on which sometimes results in a dim image The camera needs to detect it’s dark enough
first I wish it was always on like Dome You can install extra infrared lights which worked way better with the 520 You can eliminate the remaining shadows and increase the quality to what you would
get in a 400 dollar premium camera It’s $12 for the light $5 for the cable
adapter a few dollars for the 3MB VHB tape and car
socket adapter You can read about it in our article
and if there’s enough interest we can do a video We also heat tested the Transcend camera at
59°C/138°F and found the focus on both lenses changed
a little bit but not nearly as much as the Dome camera This is significantly better than Dome as it had focus issues even with the air conditioning
turned on Moving forward the DP520 has a GPS which can overlay your speed and position in the recorded video You can disable this feature in the settings
menu Unlike the Dome you can see where you’ve
been on Google Maps This GPS information is always written to
your video file and can’t be disabled We found the Transcend 520 has the second clearest audio of all the
taxi cameras tested but again it’s not a big deal Your car and whether your windshield is rolled
down will make a bigger difference Transcend includes their 32GB High Endurance
card which helps offsets the higher price If you’ve seen our reviews
the Endurance is our top choice for its exceptional durability It’s also expensive in June 2017 with the memory card shortage the price is $32 USD and is worth every dollar
in our opinion If you purchase older stock you’ll get the 32GB Ultimate card instead which is just as good and has the same 2-year
warranty This 32GB card gives you 3 hours of recording
time 64GB is the largest size officially supported but we tested our 128GB Lexar 633X card and it worked just fine But again not all cards may work Similar to Dome all recorded videos can be played back on
the 2.4” LCD screen using buttons to navigate through the well
designed menu Compared to Dome the interface was much more intuitive and
easier to use You can see exactly what each button does Looking through the settings there are no parking features like motion
detection or time lapse not that it would be a good idea with the
Drive Pro 520 What I like about Transcend Is they made their emergency lock button distinct and easy to find Unlike Dome You won’t accidentally turn off the microphone Transcend also added WiFi which allows your smartphone to connect with
the camera using their iOS or Android app You can stream videos and download saved videos which can be useful after an accident Compared to other WiFi cameras we’ve tested it was slow and couldn’t stream videos without frequently
pausing While we’re happy with Transcend’s cameras we wanted to talk about two issues it has First it uses lithium ion batteries which means it’s not great for hot environments but it’s been far from unreliable The Transcend DrivePro 520 has nearly two years of trouble free reviews If there was a problem it would have surfaced after the first summer If you do have issues there’s a full two
year warranty which is one more year over Dome’s Transcend also has a more extensive support
network with offices in places like the United States United Kingdom Germany and more You won’t need to send your products back
to China for warranty purposes The second issue is the error notifications
with failed SD cards as the 520 only detected three of the four
failed cards These cards had great on-screen warnings which were noticeable and did not disappear The other one was more concerning It went undetected and the camera appeared
to be recording while nothing was actually written to the
memory card I’m hoping Transcend fixes this problem with a firmware update Aside from these issues we’re happy recommending the Transcend 520 as a worthwhile upgrade from the Dome camera for its added functionality protection and
it’s history of reliability If you’re looking for improved protection
performance and/or reliability in hot weather be sure
to checkout our review on the two premium cameras we recommend So that’s our video guide on budget Taxi
cameras Hoped you liked it Feel free to ask detailed questions and I or a member of the team will get back
to you We’ll put updates and link to our in-depth
article where you can download raw video and audio in the description below We also use affiliate links so it’s much appreciated if you use those to help us produce more videos like this one And with that that’s the end of this guide Share this video with anyone who may benefit from this knowledge and subscribe if you want more Thanks

47 Comments

  • Reply CARLOS RIBEIRO March 24, 2018 at 6:29 pm

    why did u choose to review a vantrue n2 and not vantrue n2 pro ??

  • Reply niikon March 30, 2018 at 7:47 am

    Very impressed by your review, super in-depth and great effort with the additional testing (IR lights, heat)!

  • Reply Recycle Please April 22, 2018 at 1:28 am

    really appreciate this detailed review. so helpful! You guys rock!! you should get a commission from these 2 companies.

  • Reply Recycle Please April 22, 2018 at 1:47 am

    Do both cameras need to be plugged into a power source at all times?

  • Reply N Nip April 28, 2018 at 2:27 am

    Man! I'm in my 60's. Let me just say you have some awesome speaking skills. Great presentation. Very informative. Thanks.

  • Reply Michael Adesan May 4, 2018 at 3:06 pm

    hello cam central, great job you guys are doing. really making things easy. please we are in the market for such cameras for our taxis, and we need something very affordable say less than a $100 and can do night images clearly and run for 10-12hrs and also very easy installation. please can you recommend any. it will be greatly appreciated

  • Reply Jason Smith May 8, 2018 at 12:12 am

    I've had the GS65H for around 7 months now. It's perfect for my needs. I wasn't completely happy with a suction cup mount though it was one of the better ones of its type. I purchased a generic G1W adhesive mount for around $3Aud and modified it slightly to fit on to the GS65H (less than 5 minutes work and very solid). Very, very happy with the results. I'm running a Samsung Evo+ 32gb card which is working fine. I had wanted a Vantrue N2 Pro but at well over double the price this little unit is great.

  • Reply Rodrigo J. Da Silva May 27, 2018 at 4:28 pm

    how can lithium batteries be worse the capacitors?? it literally says 5-15 of portable recording time..isnt that what you want from a dash cam?

  • Reply Brian The Explorer May 30, 2018 at 2:43 pm

    Great informative video, I may stick to getting the Transcend dash cam. But the only problem I have on here you said the Vantrue N2 interior dash camera don’t have inferred, which isn’t true I seen several video show it does. So what up with that?

  • Reply Markus Koste June 1, 2018 at 7:20 pm

    Hi, and thank you for your great reviews, you encouraged me to buy the mini 0906 for my personal car and it’s been great! However, I also happen to be a bus driver and would need a dash cam for work as well. The models you reviewed in this video are very good, but because of local regulations I am not allowed to use personal cameras facing the customers. I’m looking for something with suction-cup mounting, as I switch vehicles daily, and preferably with built-in gps and wifi, but on a budget though. I was thinking of the yi dashcam, but unfortunately it lacks the gps. Other models only have gps with separate antenna, which is a hassle to set up each morning. Do you have any recommendations for me?

  • Reply red head June 6, 2018 at 9:46 pm

    Can any of those Taxi Cameras you recommended  be hooked up on an external hard drive to record footage for a month straight 12 hours a day? or if you know any that can be please let me know, SD cards are ok but a 2TB external hard drive will be more of good use I think to the taxi drivers.

  • Reply Hani Al farasani June 22, 2018 at 4:01 pm

    can i plug the IR in usb port?

  • Reply jp iligan July 10, 2018 at 1:34 am

    Hey man can I use vico vation power plus so that I record even when park. I'm using dp520

  • Reply Kevin York July 16, 2018 at 4:44 am

    The Transcend is almost impossible to find, I think they have a new model coming out.

  • Reply Jisan ahmed July 18, 2018 at 2:26 am

    Vantrue N2 pro or Transcend 520? which one would be best for taxi?

  • Reply antfr1993 August 7, 2018 at 4:36 am

    Can you compare the dome and coofo dual lens dashcam? Apparently the coofo says that has great night vision and parking feature but I dont see reviews to back this.

  • Reply Orion Stimpel August 22, 2018 at 11:04 pm

    What do I use to afix the Invisible 940nm it light to my windshield? I'm going crazy trying to figure this out. Anyone have any advice? Thanks ?

  • Reply Amjed Hussain August 25, 2018 at 3:50 am

    Very good video. I like your presentations.

  • Reply shihanjian August 26, 2018 at 1:41 pm

    This guy rocks, he is willing to test this cam in all conditions and explained it in details. Good job

  • Reply TiggerMiroku September 8, 2018 at 5:19 pm

    Are there any plans on making an update video comparing the Vantrue N2 Pro to the Tansend and Dome dash cams?

  • Reply red runner September 12, 2018 at 6:11 am

    Could u make a review between YI and QCY dash cam?

  • Reply NYA Fitness September 18, 2018 at 4:15 pm

    Can you write to an external harddrive with any of the cameras?

  • Reply collapsar27 September 23, 2018 at 5:03 am

    are the upgrade model
    1. vantrue n2 pro; and
    2. transcend drivepro 550
    Capacitor types?

  • Reply Bahrain Prince Dot Net September 24, 2018 at 12:00 pm

    "C3"…car cam central , its sept. 2018 , the following is what I need , TELL ME THE CAMERA TO BUY , i'll get !! :
    park mode
    cheapest cost
    captions of front and back…btw ( looks , to me like a "carshare type title cam" , shows images of anyone doing mischief around the car , thats my most interest , IS THIS SO?
    an attached vid. screen
    great night vision
    good picture

    NOW , WHATS MY CAM??

  • Reply Bahrain Prince Dot Net September 24, 2018 at 12:04 pm

    btw… C3 you sound /appear absolutely amazing… I hope u haven't , like died or nothing , since allowing this review!!!.. give me some help!!!

  • Reply Bahrain Prince Dot Net September 26, 2018 at 8:53 am

    Roland , REGARDING The TRANSCEND 520… does it have PARK MODE ???, thanks in adv. for your response

  • Reply Anton November 6, 2018 at 3:42 pm

    My friend has COOFO Dual Lens Car Dash Cam. It does good job with parking mode. Do you have review of that one or updated dual cam review for 2018 or shortly 2019?

  • Reply Car Cam Central December 6, 2018 at 5:11 pm

    Update Dec 6, 2018:
    We researched the latest taxi cameras on the market and we posted our thoughts here: https://www.facebook.com/CarCamCentral/posts/1497936793642284 The Dome GS65H is still our budget choices but there many different options at the $200 level.

  • Reply MBC Online December 16, 2018 at 4:29 am

    How do you integrate the camera to an infrared light?

  • Reply Lafavini Cali December 19, 2018 at 6:24 pm

    What is a Taxi?

  • Reply neobx2 December 22, 2018 at 9:31 pm

    Awesome

  • Reply Adam Filer December 24, 2018 at 12:35 am

    Can you review the Awesafe Q2 on Amazon please! Looks like a great cam

  • Reply david poissonneau January 17, 2019 at 1:21 pm

    awsome! thanks

  • Reply Angelus420 February 13, 2019 at 8:26 pm

    Have a question for the Admin, I currently own a KDlink x1 which is working fine but one issue I have noticed when the weather is cold, the camera does not turn on automatically as soon as power is turned on. As a result I am planning to switch to one where I do not have to deal with this type of situation. Mind you I do leave the camera in the car and I reside in PA. Will any of these camera hold up to the cold weather? Thank you in advance.

  • Reply Patrick Mothersill February 19, 2019 at 5:28 am

    Awesome review. Exactly what I was looking for.

  • Reply Tom Elliot February 24, 2019 at 5:47 pm

    Maybe the cameras you show here work for many people but they all fail in several major respects for real commercial situations. My company uses cameras not just to record accidents and the behavior of passengers but also to record the actions of the driver. Did he overcharge and report a lower amount? Did he short change, attack / molest the passenger? By adding a display screen he is always able to delete anything that shows him in a negative light. The cameras I use do not have a display at all and the recording is encoded so that it can't be viewed without the proper software and password. Also in the past we have had customers rip out and steal the camera that has evidence against them. To counter this we use 18" SD card extender cables that run above the headliner. That way if the camera is ripped out the card remains behind. Driving a taxi is not for the faint of heart and straight out dangerous for non professionals.

  • Reply ziggy zagged April 9, 2019 at 11:06 am

    Love your dash cam reviews! Do you have recommendations for dash cams that have 3 cameras (front, inside, rear)? Would also help if they have parking mode and LCD for a back up camera feature.

  • Reply Gurjeet Singh April 17, 2019 at 1:36 pm

    hi sir..I am going to buy this camera. I am here in Toronto …what is the best way to but this…plz suggest any link or store thanks

  • Reply WASTED VILLA April 22, 2019 at 4:20 am

    Love the extensive detail on absolutely everything!!!

  • Reply A.B. Hatif April 26, 2019 at 11:14 pm

    Hi
    Can you help me how to get good quality audio in my dom dash cam?
    Thanks

  • Reply Driver OnLine April 28, 2019 at 1:37 pm

    Can you show me how to connect 520 with android but the phone is other city… My wife lived in other city and i want to connect my 550 with her phone…

  • Reply firuz miah April 29, 2019 at 2:29 am

    Please explain how to connect the extra infrared light

  • Reply NYREPS May 11, 2019 at 7:37 pm

    Lmao 1:40 had me cracking up

  • Reply Cihan Ugur May 12, 2019 at 3:20 am

    Transcend driver pro 520 all the way!

  • Reply Tio JDM 1043 May 13, 2019 at 9:50 pm

    How about a 2019 best rideshare/taxi cab dash cam comparo
    Since many new models came out

  • Reply Chris Fernandez August 6, 2019 at 3:36 am

    Awesome dude thanks for taking your time!

  • Reply Pro Player October 8, 2019 at 5:06 am

    WHAT IS THE BEST LED REFLECTOR ?? WITH 4 LEDS OR 48 LEDS ????

  • Leave a Reply