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So I got one of these GS1000 dash cams in the other day. I wanted to try it out for recording a bugout route or cache location. I mentioned it in the article but figured I’d write a review of it separately in case someone was looking for one.
The first thing I noticed was that the unit doesn’t come with a required SD/MMC memory card to store the video. That delayed things a bit. I didn’t have a spare one laying around so I couldn’t do anything with it until I did. Keep that in mind if you order one and expect to use it right away. You’ll have to get one of these too. If you get the unit from Spy Tec, you can order the memory card along with it but it’s a little cheaper if you get it through a place like Amazon or Newegg.
The second thing that happened was that when I was trying it out for the first time, I noticed the mount was VERY stiff when securing it to the windshield. The second time I moved it, the mount broke.
I contacted Spy Tec and they immediately apologized and sent out a replacement mount. They also said that they were working with the supplier to get a better mount produced. Looking at other reviews I’ve seen on this model from other people, it’s a common problem. If you get one, make sure you get it from someone with excellent customer service or you’ll be ordering another one. The one they sent me as a replacement was not stiff like the first one and I haven’t had a problem with it since.
Oh, and another thing, there are different versions of the GS1000, with even different firmware so everything I tell you here could be different depending on where you get yours and which version you get. Dashcam Talk has a LOT of information on this product and its many versions. Some of them only display in Km/Hr for one thing but mine could be set for Mph. You may be able to update the firmware if you get one of those that won’t do that.
As I mentioned, the biggest reason I wanted to look into the dash cam was to look at the feasibility of using it to record a bugout route. Because I’ve worked a lot in surveillance and counter-surveillance, I wanted to see if it would work with that too.
Here is a 7-minute or so video that shows it in action, including the playback software. I was planning on making my own video out in the woods but things delayed that too much so here’s something else. Feel free to send me a video of yours in the woods if you want or I’ll update this post at some point with my own.
The biggest problem with recording devices like this is the resolution, especially in low light conditions. This dash cam is a full 1080p and works decently as it gets darker. It won’t work at night though, and like almost all cameras, you lose everything if you happen to be looking into the sun at dusk or dawn. It does work at night better than most I’ve seen. Here’s a video showing it at work at night. Still not too bad as long as you’re in town but won’t be all that useful in the woods unless you have your headlights on something.
One great thing is that the unit tracks where you are during the recording. I’ve used Red Hen systems in Africa and Thailand before but they’re hella expensive. You can even use the software to show you a map of where the camera was during the recording.
It also has a built-in battery but you won’t get too far with it.
Another great thing is that you can tell it to kick on if someone, or something, moves in front of the camera. I put it in the front of my jeep and did some tests, approaching from different directions. It started recording about five feet in front of the truck, no matter what direction I came in from. A great passive security feature if you wanted to know if someone were lurking around your vehicle or in your home while you were gone.
The resolution isn’t good enough (even at 1080p) to read license plates so it won’t work for anything you might want that for. You may be able to expand a screen capture but I didn’t try that. You can change it to 720p also, which may be preferable, depending on your use because the 1080p goes a bit wide for the type of lens they’re using.
The audio is somewhat lacking. It’s great audio if you’re just trying to pick up conversations in the car, which would most likely be all you would need it for. The problem is that it clips with loud noises such as wind (or my Harley) so it would have to be inside a vehicle or a building most likely.
So, would I recommend it? Probably yes. All depends on what you want to use it for. If you’re just looking for a dashcam then it works fairly well. If you have a specific use in mind, it may or may not work. Due to the many variations and the problems with certain mounts, make sure you get one from a reputable business like Spy Tec. There are better cameras on the market but most of them do cost more.
Don’t just take my word for it. Here’s what the reviewers at Amazon have to say (updated every time you visit my page):