Updated on July 29, 2023
These days with the kind of traffic that’s out on the roads it is necessary to have a windshield-mounted in-car dash cam to capture your view out of the vehicle when driving. In the event of an accident, any clips shot by your prized car camera system become a primary piece of evidence in the courts. But the utility of such devices goes beyond just saving videos in traffic and on road trips.
Many readers have pointed out how their dashboard cameras have recorded suspicious movements in the vicinity of their vehicles when they are parked outside. They have reported how their gadgets have helped them to verify a hit-and-run situation and identify the car. Thus, a car camera recorder has more than just one utility. They are incredibly versatile pieces of equipment and should be a standard for all vehicle owners. Therefore our latest offering is the Z-Edge Z1 dash cam review; we look at its main features and discuss whether it’s worth parting with your hard-earned cash for.
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The lens of the Z-Edge Z1 has a viewing angle of 135 degrees. For some, that might be OK. For others looking for an A-pillar to A-pillar coverage, it might not be the first choice. A wider angle of view can pick up most of what is seen through the windshield, and in reality, that is highly recommended. Those of you after a wide-angle dash cam may want to consider looking at the Falcon Zero F170 or the Vantrue R2, both of which are a 170-degree view angles, but also come at a higher price.
The Z-Edge dash cam takes full high definition videos at 30 fps for smooth, crisp quality. You can scale it down to conserve memory space and make it 720p or even 480p. However, this is not recommended as it beats the very purpose of buying a full HD dash cam. Audio is also possible to embed along with the videos. You have three options to choose from – AVI, H.264, and AAC for audio and video compression. You can manually adjust the audio sensitivity of the videos too.
Like most dashcams, this, too, turns on when the ignition is switched on. It senses when the vehicle starts to move and resumes recording immediately. If the vehicle stops moving, it waits for 30 seconds before pausing. This saves a lot of storage and unnecessary clogging up of videos when nothing is happening, such as when you are stuck in a traffic jam. Once the vehicle starts to move video starts being recorded again.
Emergency video recording can be initiated with the press a single button. Standard videos can be set to lengths of 1, 3, 5 and 10-minute loops. Loop recording ensures that when memory is exhausted, the device will start overwriting older files, beginning with the oldest. Locking ensures data that are important will not be overwritten.
There is a feature called low light compensation. Much like exposure compensation in regular cameras, this system bumps the exposure to produce a brighter image in low-light conditions.
Dimensions and Weight
The Z-Edge Z1 has a dimension of 2.8 x 2.5 x 1.3” which is a relatively compact size for an in-car camera system. This is a stark contrast to the Z-Edge Z2 Plus Dual Lens model which is a rear view mirror camera design and so is much bigger. The display of the 2.4” screen is HD and is very bright. The smallness of the device makes it possible to fit inconspicuously on the front windshield of your vehicle. One of the primary safety features of a car dash cam is that it should not interfere with the driver’s view through the windshield. This is where the Z1 scores heavily. It is quite small and therefore does not interfere with the drivability of the vehicle.
The Z-Edge Z1 has an internal memory of 32 M. You need to use an external memory card to extend its capacity; it accepts up to 32 GB of external TF memory card.
Memory Lock Gravity Sensing
Gravity sensing is a feature that allows a dashboard camera to take an archived video of an incident. The video is recorded and then locked so that the car camera system does not accidentally overwrite it during loop recording. You can change the gravity sensitivity to either low, mid or high levels. This will prevent needlessly blocking videos when your vehicle goes over a bump.
Another great feature is that the Z-Edge dash cam DVR has a vibration detection monitor. This works as a parking monitor by monitoring for any vibrations when the vehicle is parked at a parking lot or on the roadside. When it senses vibration, it turns on and takes a quick video of what’s happening. You could also set the option to record time-lapse stills. This conserves both memory space and battery. This feature can also be set manually when you are driving.
Setting It Up
The Z-Edge Z1 attaches to the dashboard or the windshield of your vehicle with the help of the lockable suction cup. One MicroUSB cable and one USB vehicle charger is provided in the box which sources power from the car. The suction mount comes with a rotating arm that kind of compensates for the lack of a wide-viewing angle of the lens. In the event you wish to capture anything other than the view straight ahead, just turn the camera mounted on the suction mount head in that direction.
The video setup menu has a bunch of options. I already mentioned that you could change the resolution of the video recordings. Further, you can adjust the white balance. Now, white balance in some sense isn’t mandatory to be altered with. You can leave it to auto, and it will do a great job of adjusting on its own. But changing brightness and contrasts is recommended. Brightness simply blows out the highlights in the daytime, but at night time it will create a slightly brighter albeit noisy image. The noise here refers to digital noise. These appear like tiny black and white dots in your videos.
This mid-range dashboard camera is a capable still shooter as well. It can fill in as a still camera when you need a quick snap and forgot your camera at home or simply don’t have your smartphone with you at that moment. Still resolution is 5 megapixels, which is more than enough for web-related purposes and a small 5 x 7” print.
Overall, anyone who purchases this model will not be disappointed. Although there are better, albeit more expensive dashcams out there, this is indeed one which will be loyal enough and satisfying for almost any vehicle owners.
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.