Review: Roadhawk 720

My First Impressions on Roadhawk 720

Following from my Roadhawk DC-1 review a while back, there has been further developments from the Roadhawk department. They have released two new Roadhawk products – “entry level” and also full HD versions. They are Roadhawk 720 and Roadhawk HD respectively. And I have the Roadhawk 720 with me which will be used for the purpose of writing this review for my viewers.

As mentioned earlier, this is an entry level Roadhawk 720p camera where it’s designed for use in any vehicle. It is a simple but effective dash camera system with the ability to capture evidential grade video in the event of a road traffic accident. Because it’s a very basic camera, it can be set up in your car and be up & running in less than 10 minutes according to my friend who has this product.

But before I go into depth of this system, let’s begin with what’s inside the box…

The box contains pretty everything you need to get this system up and running in minutes. Along with the Roadhawk 720 camera itself, it comes with a camera window mount, 2 x spare sticky pads for the mount, a cable for the camera, car power supply, 8GB MicroSD memoryb card, USB memory card adapter and finally the manual. As an optional extra, you can buy a extension cable and also 12v to 24v hard wiring kit, so you don’t have to use up a cigarette socket.

Once you have set it up in your car, be it on the front or rear windscreen, all you need to do is to start your engine and it will be powered on & start recording itself. However in my case, where my cigarette socket is “always on”, it starts as soon as I plugs it in my cigarette socket, so something to be aware and don’t leave it plugged in too long as it will use up your car’s battery. To resolve this issue, consider geting a hardwired kit for this where it will ‘activate’ the recorder as soon as you start the engine.

If you wish to set a date & time and have it displayed on the bottom, right corner of all recorded footage, you can enable this in two different ways. One is to add a text file called TIMESET.txt with the text in this format of YYYY-MM-DD HH:MM:SS – save it in the root of the memory card and it will be accepted. The other way is to plug the camera to an TFT screen (either stand alone or in-built within your car radio system) and access it via the Menu button.

Now with the set up out of the way, you have a nice kit hidden behind the rear view mirror as this is where you should set up yours to ensure it’s not in your way. The only problem I cams ee with this is you cannot see where the camera is pointing at which means it will be trial and error to ensure it’s pointing where you want it to be. The good news is that Roadhawk has thought of it! The cable that came with the setup includes video out cable (yellow socket) where it can be plugged into a TFT screen or similar where it accepts video signal. In theory, you can also use this to plug into your inbuilt TFT screen on your dash console (i.e. radio system with pop out TFT screen).

With the engine running and the camera recording, you don’t need to worry about it, just let it do the work as long as you have a few reminder about its limitation. The 8GB memory card that came with the box will allow you to record up to 2 hours worth of video befoe it ges overwritten as it’s loop recording by default. So if you were become involved in an accident or wish to keep a footage, you will need to manually disconnect the power to preserve the footage since there is no ‘Off/On’ power button.

To prevent the footage from getting overwritten, I would recommend that you get a 32GB memory card (the max the camera can accept) which will give you 8 hours worth of footage, which is just about the “average” day worth of footage.

Want to know how simple this can be? There are 5 buttons on it. Out of these 5 buttons, you will only need to use one button. And it’s the “Record” button where it will allow you to pause/resume the recording. The other three buttons are when you connect the camera to an TFT screen. And the last button allows you to reset it in case the camera freezes/not working. Most of the time, you will only need to use that single record button. Perfect for someone who want to set it up and ‘forget’ about it! Well, until you actually need the footage. :)

For the “power user”, these buttons are handy for playing back the footages when you have the camera plugged into the TFT screen. This will also allow you to change the camera settings via the Menu button.

Menu functions includes

* Changing the resolution between 720p or 480p
* Loop Recording: Off, 1 minute, 2 minutes or 5 minutes
* Date Stamp – Off/On
* Setting the Date & Time
* Languages
* Frequency – 50Hz or 60Hz
* Format memory card
* Firmware version installed
* Reset to Default

And finally… what’s included in the box

* Roadhawk 720 camera
* Camera window mount
* 2 x spare sticky pads for the mount
* Cable for the camera
* car power supply
* 8GB MicroSD memory card
* USB memory card adapter
* Manual

Features

* 720p High definition video and audio
* Wide angled 135 degree lens
* Windscreen mountable
* Loop Recording
* Time/Date stamp
* Auto-record
* Internal RTC (Real Time Cock)
* External power input
* Accessory socket supplied
* 8GB MicroSD card supplied

Optional extras

* 12v to 24v Hard wiring kit
* Extension cable

Specifications

* Image sensor: WDR CMOS
* LENS: 135 Degree HD Lens
* Effective Pixels: 1280 x 720
* Frame rate: 30fps
* Video format: H.264 (MP4 file format)
* Power duration: 1.5 to 2 hours
* Memory: Up to 32GB MicroSD
* Working Temp: -5 to 40 degrees C
* Storage Temp: -20 to 80 degrees C
* Power consumption: <1W
* Power input: 12v DC

My overall thoughts

Good

    Small
    Easy to set up
    Easy to use buttons
    Only need to use one button to pause/resume recording.
    Can be hidden behind the rear view mirror
    Can record up to 8 hours worth (with 32GB card)
    Video out cable – allowing you to plug it to an TFT screen

Bad

    Very basic (but it works well if you want a straightforward setup)
    Requires TFT screen if you wish to access the other menus
    No GPS

Rating – 3 out of 5

Link to purchase – http://www.dogcamsport.co.uk/dash-camera-roadhawk-720.html

And if you use the Promotional Code of HTDC05, you will get 10% off from the price.