Updated on January 20, 2023
A dash cam which is capable of recording at full HD resolution, has a wide angle of view and performs flawlessly is a necessity these days. The higher the resolution of the saved footage, the better the chances of capturing the license plate of a vehicle, a face in the dark or even a place where an accident has happened. A lot of vehicle owners insist on buying full HD dash cams but only use them in lower resolution. This is not recommended at all. In the latest lineup of our dash camera reviews we take a closer look at the Black Box GS8000L.
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The lens of the Black Box GS8000L gives a 120-degree viewing angle. 120 degrees should be enough for all conceivable reasons and is expected of possibly the cheapest dash cam around. However, if you want a bit more coverage, then this one may not be suitable for you. Floating around the same budget range, it’s peer, the G1W Dash Cam has 140 degrees viewing angle and is of similar size and form too.
Recording starts instantaneously as you turn the ignition key and the engine thrums to life. Similarly, when the ignition is switched off recording stops after 5 seconds. The sensor has a full HD 1080p resolution, though you can downgrade to shoot at 1280 x 720p, which personally is not recommended.
The built-in battery lasts for 15 minutes on a full charge. A full charge requires about 20 minutes. When working, the battery needs to be fed continuous power.
The GS8000L has a built-in microphone that can capture audio along with video. You can opt to switch this feature off in case you don’t want to document what’s being spoken inside the vehicle. The built-in speaker can play back any sound captured during video recording.
A set of four Infra-red night vision LED lights helps shoot better images even in deplorable lighting conditions, which works pretty well given the competition it rivals within higher budget categories.
Dimensions and Weight
The Black Box GS8000L measures a relatively average sized 7.1 x 4.4 x 2.1″ and weighs not much at 13.1 ounces. In terms of size, this is the closest comparison of the products so far to perhaps the Rexing V1, which is 6.6 x 5 x 3.4″ (but wedge-shaped, as opposed to flat suction mounted). Also, this is not exactly what you would call a small dash cam, but the design and features are sleek and respectable. The design mimics that of a point & shoot camera with the protruding lens at the front and the generous 2.7” TFT LCD screen that dominates the back. There is an abundance of plastic material but the dampened out black ensures that it’s not a shiny attention hogging device.
Motion detection is a feature that allows for the dash cam to take a quick video of anything or anybody moving in front of it when parked up with the ignition off. This smart feature draws power from internal batteries. A quick video is made and saved in the memory card. This feature comes in handy in case someone tries to pry open your vehicle when you are not around. It works as a parking monitor as well. However, given the maximum battery life of 15 minutes, there is not much that can be saved to the memory card.
Memory Lock Gravity Sensing
Another perk is the GS8000L has the all-important Gravity Sensor feature, which ensures the camera can detect sharp changes in gravity, which in the event of an accident usually happens. Why is this feature desirable? Because in the event of a crash which is something that is normally associated with a sudden change in gravity, good video evidence is pertinent for insurance and law enforcement purposes. If you have suffered damages due to no fault of yours, you have incriminating evidence in your hands to prove your innocence. Locking a video prevents the camera from overwriting it during loop recording and losing that evidence forever.
Setting It Up
The Black Box GS8000L attaches to a suction cup mount. The suction cup mount attaches to the front windshield of your vehicle flush. Over some time dirt and dust make the suction cup vulnerable. In such an event rinsing the contact surface of the cup with water helps clean it from dust and dirt which restores it to factory condition. This is recommended to be done periodically for top results.
The menu system allows you to tweak settings for most features including recording quality and loop recording time frame, which basically deals with a continuous recording by the camera regardless of the capacity of the memory card. In normal circumstances, once the camera runs out of memory card space, it stops saving to the memory card. In loop recording, the camera will continue to keep by overwriting older files. Normal loop recording intervals can be set to 3, 5 or 10 mins.
White balance adjustment is not too critical. I wouldn’t have said the same if this was a low-down of a proper digital camera in which case this requirement is of paramount importance. White balance, for the most part, can be left at Auto. You can, however, tweak it and choose options such as Daylight, Fluorescent, Tungsten or cloudy.
An 8 GB compact TF card is provided in the package along with all the cords and connectors. You don’t need to order a memory card separately. The package is self-contained and ready to use straight out of the box, however, if you do opt to expand the memory, it supports up to 32 GB.
Overall the Black Box GS8000L is a good entry level investment especially if it’s your first dash cam. It is a decent size, not too big yet not the smallest. It comes loaded with features such as Motion Detection with G-Sensor, and has excellent video recording qualities, which includes clear night vision too. A small viewing angle lets it down compared to others on the market, however its still usable. The build quality is yet to be tested, and lack of GPS loses it some points, but, as a vehicle owner you cannot go wrong with an investment of this type at this price.
Ash loves cars and gadgets. He is a Business IT graduate who loves spending time with his family and friends.