Today we will review the ELEPHAS Novatek 96655 dual car dash cam. Not to be confused with the model 96650, this model 96655 came out recently.
This cam is a budget and it still has a rear view camera, which is something rarely seen.
At first glance, things look pretty decent as there are numerous stand out features.
Stand out features:
- Two cameras
- Motion detection
- Wide 170° view angle
- Large 3.0’’ display screen
Novatek is probably well known to anyone who knows a little bit about cameras. It is a pioneer in manufacturing, researching, and developing parts for cameras, new features, and new designs.
Its headquarters is in Taiwan, but it has numerous offices all across the World, and it is well known and distributed anywhere.
This model got its name from the Asian elephant genera Elephas. The idea probably came from the common correlation between elephants and good memory.
The package contains the two cameras, brackets and an adhesive mount system, power cable for your car cigarette socket (long cable), a coaxial cable for your rear cam, and the instructions manual. All if the components are in black colour.
The main, front camera feels really durable. It’s made out of carbon fibre material but it has a sleek leather addition on top of it, and it’s designed to look like a regular camera, only maybe a bit smaller.
Its display screen covers the entire back side of the camera. The bottom side has all the main buttons, like: up/down, power button, OK button, mode, menu, and reset.
The buttons are kind of questionable as far as their durability goes. They are plastic and kind of hard to press. This could be a problem.
The top side has the mounting port section, the AV-in port, USB, and HDMI.
The lens in the front side is pretty big and takes up almost half the camera.
The rear camera almost has no body, or rather a really small one. It resembles an insect of some sort. Mounting it should be very simple. It gets its power through the main front camera, and is connected to it via the coaxial USB cable, which can be easily hidden in a number of ways. You can put it behind your Sun visor, than through the hand knobs above the doors, and stick one or two clips the rest of the way to your back wind shield, or you can just run it straight across your car’s interior roof top and just stick with a few adhesive pins. Make sure to leave some room so the cable can extend when you open your boot.
It is also good to know that the rear camera doesn’t necessarily have to be placed to record what’s behind your car. You can also use it for the inside, or wherever you see fit.
The Main power cable goes from the main camera to the cigarette socket. It is also long enough so you can hide it in a number of ways, and also use some leftover adhesive clips for it. All of this is important so that your car interior doesn’t look like a computer gaming centre with those cables all over the place.
The main cam is best mounted at the top centre of your front wind shield.
The display screen is really big and takes up the whole back side of the camera. It is a 3.0’’ LTPS LCD screen. It is large enough to let you view both front and back recordings at the same time, and browsing options is also pretty easy and simple.
The resolution for the front cam is 1920x1080p at 30fps, while the back cam has 1080x720p at 30fps.
The Video format is MOV, and the picture format is JPEG with 5 mega pixels quality.
The night vision is also very good, allowing you to make out small details very easily, such as license plates and street signs.
The Aptina AR0330 lens provides a large 170° viewing angle, which is pretty impressive. It gives the recording a panoramic feel and captures both sides of the road easily. IT has a 4x digital zoom option.
The Novatek NT96655 chip-set is a really high quality high tech processor. It provides a high definition video compression and a smooth imaging.
The micro SD memory card is not included, but the camera supports up to 32GB SD memory.
Loop recording feature, which is standard with all of these products, divides all your footage in loops, the length of which you can predetermine. Once the memory card is full, the system automatically overwrites the oldest footage, provided it is not locked from being overwritten.
The camera has a built in G-sensor (gravity sensor), that detects impacts, sudden shifts in cars position, or speed, and marks the current loop being recorded as an event loot, which locks it from being overwritten.
There are also options for the time/date stamp, your own license plates, auto turn on/off, video brightness, saturation, contrast. The language menu lets you choose between English, French and more.
This camera actually performs really well. Well above its price range. If we only look at the video recordings and the night vision performance, this cam feels much more expensive.
At night time, the camera deals with the lights from other cars and street lamps impressively, not allowing it to reduce visibility of the recording.
There is no motion sensor though, meaning there is no parking protection, and the button durability and accessibility is also not ideal. You can easily run into trouble every time you wish to set something up on your cam, because the buttons on the bottom side are not directly visible, and when you operate it you will definitely find it hard to manage.
While the camera feels durable, the buttons do not, and are hard to press.
The suction cup mount is somewhat long, and the joint is kind of low, so when you mount up the cam it feels like it comes down really low as well, almost half way down your wind shield. This in turn could potentially distract the driver and reduce field of view.
The long and thin mount also seems like it’s in danger of being broken or at least moved pretty easily, so you might find your self constantly positioning your recording angle.
The video quality and the two cams are a big deal, but on the other hand the low button quality and the field of view reduction is a big flaw.
That concludes the review and it leaves us with mixed feelings, this camera is OK but it’s not the best we’ve seen.