Transcend DrivePro 520: Safety from all angles


Knowing that you have a car dashboard camera with you on your daily drive to work can add a certain level of confidence to your driving, especially when you want to safeguard yourself and your car from road accidents that are waiting to happen. With Transcend’s newest addition to the dash cam market, the DrivePro 520 car video recorder, you get to capture stills and videos of what’s in front of you, as well as what’s behind the wheel.   SONY DSC   Out of the box, the Transcend DrivePro 520 comes with accessories such as a power adapter and suction mount. Transcend already provides you a 32GB microSD memory card for many hours of driving and recording.   SONY DSC   I particularly like the addition of the 180-degrees rotatable rear camera to the DrivePro 520, which allows you to record what happens inside the vehicle and even catch images from outside the car. Aside from the fact that you can enjoy looking at your mannerisms and driving habits that you might be unaware of, the rear camera also puts things into perspective in case of a road mishap. You get a simultaneous play by play of what happens in front of the car and your reaction inside in case of an accident, making it easier to determine which party is at fault and if you are also responsible for what happened.   SONY DSC   The rear camera can record images even in low light or night time with the help of the Night Mode feature. The Infrared LEDs on the rear camera automatically turn on when low light conditions are detected. The footage on the rear camera when in Night Mode, however, is in black and white. It’s a little bit noisy and lower in quality than the ones taken in well-lit settings. Remote control of the dash cam is possible using a smartphone. You can download the DrivePro new app or other free apps from both the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store to use the DrivePro 520’s remote control feature. Meanwhile, the G-sensor and built-in GPS system of the dash cam lets you know exactly where things happen. This helps when you’re caught in sticky situations or unjust accusations, or even when you need emergency services. When it comes to quality, the DrivePro 520’s front camera is clear and standard for dash cams within its tier. The frame rate is just fine as well. The images taken when Night Mode feature is okay, but shows more noise than its daytime recordings.   SONY DSC   Transcend can hopefully work on the black spaces on the far corners of the recording (seen on the raw footage), which is quite visible on the daytime videos. One of the nifty features of the DrivePro 520 is its screenshot function that lets you take stills while recording a video. Even though I didn’t come across any accidents during my drives while testing the dash camera, I find this feature useful since stills are the preferred piece evidence more than the long footage. There’s also the Emergency recording mode, which protects the current recording from being overwritten in the instance of an impact. Check out the daytime and nighttime video samples taken during my testing of the Transcend DrivePro 520:   [youtube][/youtube]   [youtube][/youtube]

Review and photos by John Sosmeña


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