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Drive View Digital Video Recorder

Product Details
Manufacturer: Parksafe
Website: http://www.parksafeautomotive.com/
Typical Suggested Selling price: £129.99

In A Nutshell
A slightly less well-featured system than the latest ones, which have GPS and a screen built in but nevertheless a seriously easy to use and effective gatherer of the world while you drive. I was well surprised at the sound and vision quality, although also, I gather the new systems have higher resolution. Nevertheless a really clever little incarnation of modern tech that used to be stuff the size of a suitcase a few years back and was installed in huge lumps in the boots of police cars and broke down a lot. These days, THEY have four channel simultaneous recording to DVD! An easily recommended product although its score was not awesome. A bloody good tool.

Overall 8.0
Sound & Video Quality 8
Appearance/Display 8
Ease Of Use/HMI 7
Features 8
Value For Money 9

What It Is
A small camera on a 12V cigar lighter power cable, complete with a yellow composite video output. Arrives with an 8GB Micro SDHC card but can take up to a 32GB. It records video and sound and takes still photographs if you press the shutter button. There are G sensors inside, as well as three D motion sensors, so will record if you have an accident. Furthermore, it records continually and saves some footage in a buffer memory. If there IS an impact (or you tap the camera) it will keep the video from BEFORE the trigger event.

Editor Review : Parksafe Drive View G-Shock and Motion Sensor Equipped Dash cam

I fitted this to my car some months ago and after the first flurry of in-and-out and “is it pointing the right way”, I found it was in fact a doddle to keep plugged in. It bleeped and blooped and I only remembered to press the stills button on the days after I installed it and have forgotten… I think you just press the arrow button – DOH!

Anyway, I found the video clips a little upsetting at first as I have extensive experience of watching this sort of thing in the back of cars with stripes on. As soon as I got past that Pavlovian reaction (almost as bad as flinching in static traffic in London when someone uses a damn flash to take a picture!) I found it fascinating.

But over and over I thought “OH if only I could have videoed that!” Only to realise like the owner of a Swiss Army Knife who has forgotten he has a ‘piece of useful string’ tucked away in the SOS pouch, you do have to remember it is there and how to use it.

The instructions were brief and OK-ish but could have been ten times better if actually ‘Written’ here instead of taking the translated and printed at makers in far east option! But that adds cost.

Anyway, I had a drama happen of worthy note in the end and was as close as I was to the action, due to my fear and need to keep the uniform cars in sight if possible. Since following at ballistic rates is also illegal!

Anyway, it took some time to find the clips but watch and read…

At first, I am seen actually undertaking as I didn’t want to brake hard and the road was turning inside out. I slow down, I turn down the music, I have seen the uniform Volvo estate coming up like it means it.

My POV sees the police car come by and the lanes outside me, slow, although I have immediately slowed to be not-undertaking…

Then I am at the scene and well, I knew it was recording and yet didn’t know if it was being stored. The loud BIFF sound was me hitting the camera and thus making it a G-shock triggered ‘incident’ and keeping the moments in the buffer memory from BEFORE I hit it! Odd concept is it not? Very digital tech and has been around since Sony invented MiniDisc – although maybe also in use in CD decks even before that.. answers from clever students of digital history below.

I really like it and want to try the one with a screen on it, now.

How Well Does It Work?
If you point it at the right place, it has a remarkably well thought out lens and field of view, with a lot showing.
Here is the video I made:

It’s a Ronseal job and works well. My only issue was that I had failed to set the correct date and time in the unit. The instructions were awful, deep Chinese-English and brief to the point of nearly incomprehensible. Plus just two flashy LEDs with like six different combinations of lit up and flashing, were a bit confusing to tell what was going on. But basically, if the blue light was lit, it was recording.

Why Buy It?
Easy to fit, pretty much idiot proof to use and you really do not need to have a screen hooked up to it in order to get the full benefit. Just a way to see and read files off an SD card, with micro adapter. Simply put, this really is like having a full-on security recording system that you do not have to maintain, in the car.

Full Features & Specifications

Resolution 640x480 Pixels
Frame Rate: 25fps
G-Sensor: 3-Axis, X, Y, Z
Lens: Infra red filter
Recording Format: MPEG4
Storage: Supports MicroSDHC to 32GB (supplied with 8GB card fitted)
Motion Detection triggering
Snapshot function.


nice writeup, i have investigated cheap chinese ones like this but they just arent any good. Recently i have been shocked at other peoples driving on my daily 35 mile commute to university. im becoming increasingly alarmed at how many near misses that happen right in front of me at the same roundabout every morning. for some reason people think its ok to sit in the inside lane which is reserved for taking the first exit on the roundabout and proceeding, with no indication i may add, across all 5 lanes in the roundabout to take the 6th exit...... it is a large roundabout. just this morning a brand new VW Beetle decided to pull into my lane parallel with me and tried to take me from lane 2 to lane 5 with him, he never even looked at me as i blared my horn and gestured at him (im actually a timid 60mph driver) but its driving like that that annoys me and one of these times im going to be hit or someone in front of me will be hit as this happens every single morning with all rush hour cars and their "im in the wrong lane but im arrogant and drive a new car and yours is shit so out of my way as im sure i really do own the road" attitude. at nearly £130 ill need to start saving for santa but you video just shows how useful they are. well done Adam, you have sold me on one of these parksafe units!