In modern Hollywood, there is a very simple rule: if the film turned out to be profitable, it means that without options, you need to make a sequel. Or a prequel. In short, the second part is to make the audience happy with new adventures of their beloved characters and win from a commercial point of view. In the field of video recorders, a similar approach is rarely used. For example, we take the “iron” of the hit model, add chips to add freshness (say, speed skins or GLONASS) and launch it for sale. Or as in the case of the hero of this review - AdvoCam-FD4
. We change the plump square case to a more modern thin rectangular one, finally we add an adjusting washer to the hinge and we get a worthy successor to AdvoCam-FD One. Which, recall, was the most thoughtful state employee in Russia in 2016.
Greetings, dear readers Geektimes! With you again Belarusian Alexander Shub - the leading
Russian expert in the field of automotive electronics, including DVRs. For a change, I will not bore you with regular self-promotion, but I will immediately get down to business. About AdvoCam-FD One already told
you in detail @ 5atriot
. Let me remind you that the manufacturer has positioned the device as the most thoughtful state employee of the past year. They say that there is nothing superfluous in terms of functions, all attention is focused on high quality of shooting - it is at the model level twice as expensive.
I can say that AdvoCam's statement is not far from the truth - in March of this year I
almost died, but I still
did a large comparative test
for Zaulom, in which One became the leader in recording quality. At the same time, taking into account additional features and a number of trifles, the overall winner was the Mio MiVue C330. To understand: at that time, AdvoCam-FD One was worth about 4,500 rubles, and the Mio model was 6,800 rubles, one and a half times more expensive.
The newly-born AdvoCam-FD4 seems to claim to be the successor to the legendary AdvoCam-FD4 Profi. The device, which was released in 2012 and looked at the market of registrars at that time, approximately like the Porsche 911 against the backdrop of the Zhiguli army. However, the current AdvoCam-FD4 device is related only to the logo and particle “FD4” in the title. Up to 2016, AdvoCam assured me that never in their line-up would under any circumstances appear DVRs cheaper than 5 thousand rubles. This was explained by the fact that for such a price it is impossible to create a device with decent build quality and video recording. Only consumer goods of dubious quality - and the release of such a device could cause irreparable damage to the brand's reputation in the market.
But, apparently, AdvoCam engineers still accepted the challenge. And how not to accept - as of 2017, the registrar industry has come to the conclusion that for 8-12 thousand rubles you will receive not just an excellent auto camera, but also a good radar detector in one case. Dear "solo" recorders have become more like a lot of aesthetes - those who are ready to overpay not for excellent shooting, but for many secondary functional and structural features. So, literally within a year and a half, AdvoCam has turned from a brand “Russian registrars with a price tag higher than the market average” to “the best offers for its price” in the category up to 7,000 rubles.
We meet AdvoCam-FD4 - a state employee, whose price today is an average of 3,500 rubles, and you can buy the device from individual sellers for 3,000 rubles. I think any sensible reader understands that it is cheaper - only for nothing (of course, if we are talking about at least some quality and reliable device).
It is logical that the cheaper the thing - the higher the probability of getting low-quality crafts. Therefore, if you look for a product with a limited budget, it is only from proven and valued companies. Let me remind you that, unlike the overwhelming majority of Russian brands, AdvoCam independently develops its own autoregistrations (you probably already read how this is happening) in the city of Alexandrov, Vladimir Region. In the same place there is a test assembly of devices before start in mass production.
Finally, it would be foolish to produce models for the Russian market without appropriate adaptation. Therefore, all the new AdvoCam products in the process of development freeze for days on end in the temperature chambers, and in addition they shake on vibrating tables. So that at the exit, any AdvoCam recorder would ride on domestic roads for years and not fall apart, and in the winter it would not “die” at the slightest hint of a minus temperature. The results correspond - the people “vote with a ruble”: in 2016, AdvoCam devices became the best-selling registrars in Russia.
As I said, AdvoCam-FD4 differs from AdvoCam-FD One in a more attractive appearance. Unfortunately, the battery was also trimmed. The past model has become a state employee with record autonomy among all registrars - up to 45 minutes. The current device shows a more modest, let's say, the average 15 minutes. What, however, is more than enough to capture the place of the accident from all angles, for example, to design according to the rules of euro-protocol. But still, this “improvement" did not please me personally.
Contents of delivery
Do not forget that AdvoCam-FD4 - a representative of the economy class. So the complete set, as they say, without excesses:
• the DVR itself;
• user's manual;
• mount on a vacuum suction cup;
• power adapter;
• cable hooks in the cabin.
It's nice that at least hooks were laid for cable laying - they are not so often found even in recorders of the middle and high price range.
Mounting and installation
The design of AdvoCam-FD4 is quite standard for a budget recorder. Installation of the camera on the windshield of the car is made with the help of a bracket with a vacuum sucker. The first frosts have already gone, and during this time my registrar has never dropped from the glass. So the sucker keeps firmly, including on serious bumps and off-road.
As the state employee believes, in AdvoCam-FD4 the power is not supplied in the most convenient way - directly to the device, and not through the bracket. The minus of the solution is that you have to remove / insert the cable each time if you prefer not to leave the recorder in the car. On the other hand, in the light of my observations during regular races to Moscow, it seems that the situation “the thief broke the glass and stole the receptionist” worries the car owners less and less. And in other Russian cities, I see about the same picture. Taking this opportunity, I would like to know the opinion of the readers - what do you think, should the registrar always be taken with him, or should he follow the “set and forget" principle?
The bracket is equipped with a swivel hinge, which allows you to turn the camera in the right direction at any time. The developers took into account that the hinge could easily become loose after some time, so they supplied the AdvoCam-FD4 mount with a washer to securely fix the gadget in the selected position. None of the past AdvoCam models, by the way, was such a puck I noticed.
Frankly speaking: outwardly new model seems to me much more attractive than AdvoCam FD-One. Instead of an unpresentable puffy square, we got quite a modern and thin rectangular block.
At the same time, the sophisticated design of the body is organically combined with a rather large lens. The body is made of practical black plastic soft-touch. And this material, as we know, does not collect fingerprints and dust. It is worth noting the build quality - no backlash, burrs, glue drips, everything fits perfectly. It is made whole, monolithic and conscientiously - at first glance you cannot say that the registrar is budget.
On the front side there is only a massive lens and a plastic glossy insert. On the peephole in a circle there are characteristics: diagonal viewing angle, recording resolution and other optics parameters.
On the right side (relative to the front side of the device) is a slot for microSD. The device supports memory cards up to 32 GB. On the upper side there is an on / off button, a recess for mounting the recorder and a miniUSB port for connecting the power cable. Ventilation holes in the bottom panel provide passive cooling of the internal parts - they allow air to circulate freely and cool the internal parts of the device.
Almost the entire reverse side of the device is occupied by a large TFT-display with a diagonal of 3 inches (usually for state employees 2.4 inches). I must say, this is a rather unusual solution for a budget model - a high ratio of screen area and front panel. For even more useful use of the rear space four control buttons are placed on the right side.
The designations of their basic functions are located to the right of the screen - “Menu”, “OK” and arrows to navigate through the “Up” and “Down” menu. In the management of the developers did not bring anything new. Simple, intuitive, standard for the entire line of AdvoCam.
Management and Settings
The set of settings can not be called extensive. In AdvoCam-FD4, a brief list of the necessary options, such as changing the video resolution and the length of the video, exposure correction and white balance, is sufficient. But let's be honest, why do we need extra menu items that are just “underfoot”? Color effects, sharpness adjustment - how often do you use all of this?
Conveniently, all the items did not fall out in one list. If the recorder is in video mode, the settings will be limited to options related to video recording. When you switch to photo mode, the menu list will change, and the user will have access to the functions necessary only for setting up a photo shoot. Only the second “general” tab with the date, time, car number stamp and so on will remain unchanged.
With the management of AdvoCam-FD4, the user should not have any difficulties. The uppermost of the four side buttons is responsible for switching between photo / video modes and exit to the settings menu. Also with its help you can protect the "emergency" file from being overwritten by assigning the appropriate label to it. The “OK” key in photography mode works as a shutter-release button; in video mode, it is responsible for manually starting / stopping recording. "Up" - navigation through the settings and increase the frame in the shooting mode. "Down" - also moving through the menu, as well as controlling the microphone and the distance of the image during photography.
Quickly pressing the button located on the upper end will unlock or turn off the screen. A longer hold on this button will turn the machine on or off. I will not tell you about the proprietary interface “One Touch” with access to functions like microphone control with one click. We are no longer in 2012 and this approach (perhaps with the help of AdvoCam) has become standard for any button recorder.
Like the “younger brother” AdvoCam FD-One, the hero of the review can be used as a 2 megapixel webcam for a computer. The function of the category "trifle, but nice" - a separate "webcam" costs from 2 thousand rubles, and then two in one for the same money. In addition, no drivers are needed, connect and use. It is enough to connect the recorder to a computer using a cable and select the “Webcam” mode from the list.
Another additional feature of the AdvoCam-FD4 is the G-sensor. Although "additional" it can be called a stretch. Perhaps now every registrar is equipped with this function. In an emergency on the road, the accelerometer blocks the entire current video file and protects it from being overwritten by subsequent rollers.
Shooting video and "iron"
As I said above, the “insides” of a beginner are completely identical to the stuffing of the first AdvoCam budget recorder - FD One. The recording is carried out in the resolution of Full HD 1920 x 1080 pixels, the bitrate is approximately 13.6 MB / s. The bit rate is quite high. But we know that the direct relationship “higher bitrate - better quality of shooting” is a myth. In the settings you can set the duration of the clips: 2, 3 or 5 minutes. There are no gaps between the video files with which the super-budget Chinese models often “sin”. There is a complete set of stamps: date and time, custom number and manufacturer's logo.
AdvoCam-FD4 is equipped with a 2-megapixel CMOS-matrix SOI JX-F02 with a large physical size - 1 / 2.7 "- and the size of each pixel is 3 x 3 microns. I will not retell the review of AdvoCam FD-One
- those who wish can familiarize themselves with the detailed discussions about the hardware, which are completely relevant to AdvoCam-FD4.
A generous manufacturer supplied the device with a lens with six glass lenses. The solution is quite logical: no matter how advanced the recorder matrix is, all its “works” will go to waste with low-quality plastic optics. Glass transmits significantly more light than plastic. And unlike plastic, it does not grow cloudy with time and does not crack due to constant temperature drops.
We smoothly approached the basic question: “How does AdvoCam-FD4 shoot?”. My answer is: it’s foolish to expect a top-end budget model from a budget model, but nevertheless it really shoots better than the bulk of state employees, and even a significant part of middle-class models.
Shooting by day:
Shooting at night:
Shooting against the sun:
Shooting in the rain:
Compared to AdvoCam FD One, I didn’t notice any differences, state numbers are still distinguishable from day 12-13 from day 12, and at night from 8-10 meters. At the same time, the picture still periodically goes into green tones. What does not interfere with the need to accurately determine the color of the traffic signal on the video - and this may be the most important point in parsing the accident.
Honestly, AdvoCam-FD4 is not the case when you want to spread extensive conclusions about the device. This is a simple and reliable DVR for those who, in principle, are not ready to pay more than 3-4 thousand rubles for an autoreg. Well, nothing more - in fact, very often motorists are not willing to spend more substantial sums on "just a camera in the car ... which just hangs and somehow removes ...".
On the other hand, especially among Geektimes readers, there are quite a few committed supporters of buying registrars at just the price range of about 3,000 rubles exclusively on AliExpress. And here the question arises - to give money to a noname-manufacturer with absolutely random reliability and complete lack of local service. Or purchase the product of the Russian team, which has been developing and producing professional video surveillance systems for more than 20 years. Adapts models for specific Russian conditions and is engaged in the constant improvement of its devices.
be called, by analogy with AdvoCam-FD One, the most thoughtful budget registrar of the outgoing 2017? And why, yes. After all, we are talking about a model for 3,500 rubles, which does not try to attract unnecessary chips, does not beat competitors with top-end hardware. But in which there is the main thing - it removes at the level of models for 6,000 rubles. Yes, and with a bonus in the form of 2 megapixel webcam mode. Has the updated version of AdvoCam-FD One been successful? Definitely. The quality of the shooting, which is excellent for the state employee, remains unchanged, which is now "wrapped" in a pretty slim body.
Of course, readers already mentally rush to voice their vision of a better budget recorder. Well, I invite in comments - it is interesting to find out which inexpensive camera you are using or are going to buy.PS
You can still email me personally at email@example.com for individual consultations in choosing a DVR, hybrid or radar detector. I am pleased to hear your wishes and give a reasoned advice on which models you should pay attention to.