love watching dashcam videos on YouTube. Compilations of strange traffic occurrences and mishaps are very entertaining, as long as nobody gets hurt.
I’ve reviewed a few dashcams for short periods, but I’ve never had one installed on my car full time. I know I should, though.
When I was asked to review the Miofive Dash Cam ($159.99 at miofive.com), and I read about some of the features, I was happy to give it a try.
I’ve changed vehicles since my last dashcam test. I went from a small hatchback to an SUV, so this is the first time I’ve mounted a dashcam on a large windshield.
I like to keep my field of vision clean, so I prefer items like toll tags and dashcams to be hidden from view as much as possible, preferably behind my rearview mirror.
The Miofive Dash Cam is on the small side, but it is wide, so I could see some of it peeking out from behind my mirror.
The Miofive comes with two 3M double stick pads and two electrostatic clear stickers.
The idea is you stick the clear sticker on your windshield and then stick the dashcam to the sticker.
The clear stickers are easy to remove and don’t leave any hard-to-remove residue.
The piece of the mount that sticks to the windshield has tabs that allow the camera to be easily removed from the glass while the mount stays in place.
You can push up on the camera and it will pop right off, but when the camera is mounted, it is very stable. I saw no camera shake at all, which is a lot more than I can say for the last dashcam I tested.
The Miofive 4K Dash Cam
Before you peel off the cover of the adhesive pad, you should turn the dashcam on and get a feel for what the camera sees. The Miofive has a 140-degree field of view, and it has some artificial intelligence features that require the camera lens to be parallel with the horizon. There is a calibration screen you can call up to make sure you have the horizon in the middle of the image.
Once the camera is mounted, you’ll need to figure out the best way to route the power cable from the camera to a 12-volt power outlet in your dash or console. The Miofive ships with a 12-volt charger, and there is an optional cable you can buy to hard-wire it to your vehicle’s fuse box. The hard-wiring cable is necessary to enable the camera’s time-lapse and parking guard features (more about those features below).
When the camera is mounted and powered up, it will just start recording when you start the car.
It records in one-minute clips to 64 gigabytes of internal storage. When the storage is full, the oldest clips will be overwritten with newer footage.
The size of the videos and the number of one-minute clips that can be stored depend on the resolution you set — 1080p, 2K or 4K.
The 4K clips are 234 megabytes, 2K clips take up 120 MB and the 1080p clips take up around 60 MB. Recording at the 4K resolution, you can store a little over two hours of video before the overwriting begins.
This means if you record something you want to save, you’d better pull over and save the clip to your phone in the next two hours.
To save the clips, connect your phone to the camera via Wi-Fi and download the clips to your camera roll using the free Miofive app. You can select the individual clips you’d like to save.
The app is used to interact with the dashcam. You can see the live view, view the clips or still images in the internal memory and download to your phone. You can also view trip reports that show the speed, location, route and video of each of your drives.
AI and GPS
Two features I hadn’t experienced before on a dashcam are artificial intelligence and GPS.
The camera has its own GPS, and the clips are tagged with GPS information on where you were when the clip was recorded.
When you download the clips to your phone and play them back, you can turn on a map view that will show you the route you drove during that clip.
The playback window for your clips can also show the speed you were driving and the exact time and date of the trip.
The AI is a mixed bag of annoying and useful features.
The red box on the screen indicates that Miofive has identified a car ahead of you. The dash cam will give you a verbal nudge if you’re not paying attention when the car ahead of you drives off.
The camera has a small speaker, and it can communicate with you via voice to tell you of any sudden turns, sudden acceleration or sudden stops, reminding you to “drive safely” each time.
Those were quite annoying at first, but then I discovered that I could adjust the sensitivity in the settings to minimize those warnings. You can also turn them off entirely.
One AI feature I found very handy is the Stop and Go reminder.
If you are sitting at an intersection behind another car and that car pulls away and you don’t, you’ll get a voice prompt to “Keep Up, with Front.”
It’s odd wording, but it gets your attention.
The Miofive 4K Dash Cam uses a Sony IMX415 image sensor to capture video at resolutions up to 3,840 by 2,160 pixels at 30 frames per second.
Around back there is a 2.2-inch display with three touch buttons to interact with the camera’s interface.
There is a built-in 500 milliamp-hour battery to keep things running for a bit after you turn off your car.
The camera has an operating temperature range of 14 degrees to 113 degrees.
The camera uses 5 gigahertz Wi-Fi to quickly transfer files to your phone. You can also connect the camera to your computer and transfer files directly to your hard drive.
Time lapse and parking monitoring
If you choose to hard-wire the camera to your car’s fuse box, you can take advantage of the time lapse and parking monitoring. Both of these features take place while your car is parked and not running.
Playing back the Miofive clips with map view.
Time lapse will take photos at specified intervals and put them together in a video for you.
Parking monitoring will record short clips if your car is disturbed while you are away from it.
Your car will need to provide some power to the camera while the motor is off, which Miofive says will not kill the battery.
The Miofive 4K is a good choice if you want a dashcam. It has all the features I’d need, and the Stop and Go feature is an unexpected bonus.
I like to say I don’t ever get distracted looking at my phone during red lights, but it does happen occasionally.
The videos are small enough to copy quickly, and they are very clear with no jittering.
A good dashcam does its job in the background until you need it. The Miofive does its job and more.
Pros: Small. Stop and Go reminders. Easy to transfer videos.
Cons: Can’t expand storage; I wish they included the hard-wire kit.
Bottom line: This is a premium dashcam experience.