David's Take: Hands-On Review of the RSC Ichigo Dashcam

David Susilo

Published: 06/26/2019 07:50:01 AM EST in Vision

David's Take: Hands-On Review of the RSC Ichigo Dashcam

There's a bucketful of dashcam brands out there. Unfortunately, most of them are of questionable quality. That includes major brand dashcams that are no more than mediocre (or worse) quality units being slapped with big brand logos.

With most of the brands I've tested, I usually find the dynamic range of the image capture to be abysmal. The contrast ratio makes reading plate numbers of the cars in front of me very difficult. Low light performance is usually barely adequate, or even if it is adequate, the lens is barely acceptable with lots of chromatic aberrations and distortion. There are exceptions, of course, but all the full-featured dashcams I'm happy with are in the $350 and up price category.

On the plane on my way to CES 2019, I happened to be seated next to someone from RSC Canada, a Canadian company that does its own engineering in Canada as well. They aren't just a brand slapper. She introduced me to the head honcho, and by the end of the show, I had an Ichigo unit to take home to install and test. And I've been using it since March 2019.

Upon set-up, a reminder popped up for me to insert a memory card, after which I needed to format my SanDisk 128 GB microSD card. Since the unit also uses GPS, the date and time were set automatically. Of course I set the file size to get the clearest video possible. What's the point of having fuzzy, highly compressed video? I could have gone with 1,080p/60, but I decided to lower the frame rate to 30 fps.

I was given the option to activate ADAS which automatically re-calibrates every time you turn on the car. The ADAS feature includes lane departure warning and collision warning. It's a neat safety feature, but as my car has built-in ADAS, I went back to 60 fps video capture for my daily usage (which automatically switches off Ichigo's ADAS feature due the high processing demand for 60 fps video capture).

The 140-degree lens captures enough information without creating much distortion. Chromatic aberration is also very minimal, while the universally compatible .mov video image quality is very good, with very good dynamic range, even when viewed on my Panasonic 65FZ1000 OLED TV. Reading license plates is a breeze to boot. Night vision is beyond my expectations thanks to the use of a Sony STARVIS CMOS sensor.

Unfortunately, at one time while driving CLA250, which was less than six months old with fewer than 3,000 kilometres on it, my car got hit from the side. While this was an unfortunate incident, the accident allowed me to experience the RSC Ichigo in action. The date, time, GPS coordinates, and driving speed (I was stopped at the time), were all recorded as metadata along with footage of the incident. This is not the way I wanted to test the unit, especially not at the expense of a car that was Ceramic Coated just 10 days prior to the accident. Regardless, the RSC Ichigo impressed me.

What makes me love the unit more is that RSC's technical support is actually based in Canada and done by people who are actually familiar with the unit. They even have a repair centre locally (in Markham, to be exact) where they gave me a replacement on the spot when my initial unit had a faulty suction mount.

The only thing I wish this unit could add is a Wi-Fi connection for viewing the video on my smartphone. But that's more of a "want" than a "need."

For a basic featured dash-cam, I still highly recommend the Pioneer ND-DVR100 Dash Cam, which I reviewed earlier this year. But for under MSRP $250 for a full-featured dashcam with ADAS (Advances Driver Assistance System) that can be useful for vehicles that don't have this already, and still camera functionality bundled into one, the RSC Ichigo is a great option as well. You get an amazing low light video, ADAS, and a still camera that makes it easy to hand relevant files over to a collision centre and your insurance company when needed.

Article Tags:  david's take, hands-on review, roc inching, dash cam, vehicle, camera, security, record, footage, accident, insurance


David's Take: Hands-On Review of the RSC Ichigo Dashcam

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