Updated on July 29, 2023
When it comes to buying a dash cam, you must keep a few things in mind. It is probably the most critical security feature on your car. Even more important than a burglar alarm or a steering lock. This is because it is a tool for documenting incidents that could pose a serious threat to your life and limbs. Although being a silent vigilante that sits on your vehicle’s dashboard and records the events that are happening in front of or behind the car, they have much more applicability than just that. In this article, we look at the TaoTronics TT-CD05, 1 of 5 from our pick of best dash cams (budget-range models).
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The TaoTronics dash cam is equipped with a wide-angle lens giving a near edge-to-edge view (from the left A-pillar to the right A-pillar) without getting into a distorted fish-eye perspective. Make no mistake, with a 150-degree field of view; this is a super wide-angle lens even when you consider some of the other wide-angle lenses that we have reviewed on the website – It is slightly more than the G1W Dash Cam, which is 140 degrees and in the same budget-range category. With this little gadget mounted on your car, you don’t have to worry about ever missing out on anything happening in front on the road ahead.
The 6-glass lens comes with WDR technology, which stands for Wide Dynamic Range. This is a technology that is similar to HDR or High Dynamic Range. WDR is basically all about a higher range of illumination between the brightest and darkest points in the image. The human eye can see somewhere between 10 – 14 stops of the light range. No digital camera can see anywhere near that many stops of light range, but even then, the TaoTronics dash cam has a reasonable dynamic range which is better than that of other cameras.
The TT-CD05 takes videos in full HD 1080p resolution. Even at such a high angle of view, the amount of distortion is minimal, which is admirable. The recording is programmed to start as soon as you turn on the ignition. Like most in this range, it has standard loop recording features, which enable a dashcam to save clips continuously regardless of available storage. When the storage is overrun, it starts overwriting on the older files.
Dimensions And Weight
The TaoTronics measures 5.1 x 1.8 x 1.4 inches and weighs 8.5 ounces. This is a relatively average size for such a device, though if you are looking for something slightly smaller you could try the ITrue X3 which is 3.5 x 2 x 1 inch.
The LCD Monitor
The medium-sized 2.7” LCD screen gives a good preview of the live footage being saved. 2.7” is a smallish window but by dashboard camera standards fairly common. Some bigger screens are the Falcon Zero F360 (3.5″ screen on a rearview mirror dash cam) or the slightly more expensive WheelWitness HD Pro (3″ screen). However, by no means are you going to feel that 2.7″ is a let-down. The view on the LCD monitor is bright and clear and does justice to the 1080p video resolution capability.
The menu systems are easily accessible, and you can make simple adjustments, turn on / off features easily. Overall this is an easy-to-work interface which is perfect for all people.
Memory Lock Gravity Sensing
Gravity sensing is a crucial feature of the TaoTronics TT-CD05. Gravity sensing ensures instantaneous detection in the event of an accident. Sudden changes in gravity are primarily credited to crashes. In any such fact, the unit will automatically lock the video that was being recorded which prevents it from getting overwritten later on. In the event of a car crash, you will need the evidence to prove that the fault was not yours but the other vehicle. There are a number of other events which can be detected as such too. If the settings are set too high, even road bumps and sharp turns will also be considered as triggers, because in all such events, there are sudden changes in gravity.
Setting It Up
Setting it up is easy. USB cables are provided to attach to the power source in the car. The cable is long enough to be run all along the top of the windshield, down the A-pillar and on to the power source. There’s also a windshield mount and free 32 GB SanDisk class 10 TF card.
There are a bunch of details that you can tweak. You can change the resolution from the default full-HD 1080p. However, that can hog a lot of storage. Ideally, a higher resolution should be set because that ensures that the footage clearly picks up license plates, etc. details that can be used as incriminating evidence if required.
You can also change the white balance settings. White balance is all about getting the color casts out of an image, especially when shooting in mixed lighting conditions. When driving at night, you will no doubt notice the images are mostly tinted orange. This happens because the images are shot under tungsten street lights. In another situation when shooting under blue neon lights the images captured would no doubt be, well, very blue. Setting the white balance ahead of beginning to drive ensures that your dashcam gets good images rather than the odd color casts.
Did I mention that the TaoTronics dash cam is also a very capable still shooter? Still images are not always a requirement, but the idea of a capable still image taker cannot be denied because it comes handy in certain situations.
Overall, the TaoTronics TT-CD05 is a good product, especially for the price at which it is offered. This is because it has all the essential features that one looks for in a dashboard camera. It has excellent image quality, extremely wide angle of view, good quality accessories, and a free 32 GB TF card. All you need to get a working in-car camera straight out of the box are right there.
With more than 20 years of experience in the automotive industry, Ash possesses a deep understanding of the diverse needs and challenges faced by drivers on the road. His relentless commitment to road safety and ongoing research is fueled by a genuine desire to create safer environments for all drivers.