Nextbase 512G In-Car Cam Dash Cam Review

Wednesday 4 February 2015

By James Mosley @jamesmosley182

Nextbase 512G In-Car Cam Dash Cam Review

Clearly not content with resting on their laurels after the release of the successful 402G, the dash cam aficionados at Nextbase have a new champion at the top of their range – the Nextbase 512G.

The model sits just above the 402G with a price increase of £30 over the old model, with the RRP now coming in at £179.99. At a first glance it wouldn’t be wrong to say that the two models look pretty similar so what’s changed?

Well, Nextbase are adamant that it’s all about image quality with the new 512G. They argue, perhaps not wrongly, that image quality is the single most important factor when it comes to dash cams. After all, what good is footage of an accident if you struggle to make out what’s going on thanks to blurry footage with awful lighting?

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Looking at the new model, the most notable difference on the front of the unit is the lens. Not only does the Nextbase 512G offer up the latest Sony Exmor sensor (Nextbase tell us they are the first to get this), but it also houses a polarising lens filter which is the part that looks a little like a lens cap on the front. This is another first for the UK dash cam market and works in a similar way to high end polarised sunglasses that have been around for a few years in helping to take out glare in the image. According to Nextbase, this solves the problem of screen reflections that has plagued other models of dash cam in the past.

Resolution is still at 1080p 30fps the same as the old model, but as Nextbase will tell you – it’s not all about the resolution. Sure, resolution is nice but it’s still easy to find plenty of examples of cheap dash cams that still offer poor quality footage even with a 1080p resolution. It’s all about the lens quality and that’s what is apparent here.

Other improvements include upgraded GPS, which is always welcome in providing the fastest and most accurate location/speed data, and Nextbase have also made the buttons on the rear of the device a little clearer. Whilst not essential, it’s a nice little touch that makes the file protection button much easier to find in the event of an accident for example.

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So how does the footage compare? Well, as you can see from the video below the camera provides a really nice crisp image. If I’m being completely honest and I’m sure many would agree with me here it’s not a night and day difference against the 402G, but there is a clear improvement to be seen and the addition of the polarising lens filter is a great idea. It reacts to changes in lighting well too, putting it a step ahead several other dash cams in this department. If image quality is important to you and you’re spending out on a dash cam anyway, it would be hard not recommend spending the extra £30 to move up to the 512G.

The software is easy to install and you have the option of either using the included software disk, or as in my case if you do not have a disc drive on your computer any more you can download the software directly from the Nextbase website. The software itself is a fairly simply affair, but offers up all the information you could possibly need such as speed and location. The integrated Google maps functionality that allows you to pinpoint your location and route is rather nice too. This 512G’s version of “Nextbase Replay” is again different to the software used on other Nextbase models, and I must note that I did find the interface a little slow/buggy when loading videos. I put this down to a recent Windows 10 upgrade though and I’m sure this will be solved with an update soon.

512G Software

The box includes everything you need to get started except an SD card. Which, although most people have one kicking around these days it still would have been nice to see at least an 8GB card included at this price point. The power cable is nice and long as you would expect and allows you to route the cable to wherever it is needed. Being standard Mini USB is a good thing too as you’re sure to have a cable lying around somewhere should you wish to hook it up to your computer. Nextbase also do an optional Hardwire kit (I’ll be writing a hard wire guide using this soon) which is something I’d always recommend doing if you’re planning on keeping the camera in one car. If you’re not confident at installing it yourself, Halfords also offer a fitting service at a very reasonable £30 no matter what car you have and this is using the proper Nextbase hardwire kit too.

With the 512G building upon the success of the 402G, as you’d expect it retains many of the features from its older sibling. This includes the G sensor to automatically protect files if it detects an incident, plus the useful HDMI out function with the cable for this handily included in the package. As with the old model, you can also use the device to take a couple of photographs at the scene on an incident too – great if you want to keep all of the evidence in one place.

Conclusion

While you still can’t go wrong with the older (and cheaper) 402G, the Nextbase 512G builds upon the success of the previous model and really delivers for those consumers wanting to get the best possible picture out of their dash cam. If image quality is your thing then the £30 extra for the polarising filter and higher quality Sony Exmor sensor is a worthwhile investment. Combine this with the simple set up and interface and the Nextbase is definitely a dash cam we can easily recommend.

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Nextbase DUO Review

 

 

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