Automotive capture cameras come in all shapes and sizes these days. Some consist of a low-profile which is easy to hide away, and others come with a larger frame suitable for a larger backup battery and expansion. Size aside, their specs indicate that most do the same thing. The G1W high-definition camera has its own niche' with its high-quality 2.7” LCD display. Size wise, the G1W rests firmly in the middle of the smaller and bulker PVR devices. It’s not large enough to be an eye-sore on the windshield, but the included and quite functional display makes it larger than a device you wouldn’t notice at all.
The G1W is capable of recording in stunning 1080p high-definition at 60fps. Recording is up to the standard that the previously reviewed BlackVue DR400G
set. No matter if you’re driving during the bright sun or at night, the G1W is capable of capturing a high-quality image. Details like license plates and road signs can be easily discerned both during external playback or using the built-in screen. The image also spans the width of the windshield thanks to a 120-degree viewing angle. Audio capture is also excellent. The G1W does a good job of capturing voice or background music all while eliminating most of the road noise you would expect to have when a camera is mounted to a car.
Initially I wasn't too keen on the idea of having a display sitting on the windshield anywhere near the drivers view in the car. This idea seemed like a distraction waiting to happen in fact. After using this device for some time though, I gained an appreciation of having a screen available if I wanted to replay a driving scenario on the fly. While using PVRs without a screen, there’s always a level of fear that the content is not actually being captured. With the G1W, you get a live preview when you want it, but the display can easily be turned off in the settings menu. The fact that I can modify settings on the device is another reason I like the G1W. With all of the other PVRs I’ve tested, settings modification requires the camera to the connected to a PC. There are a host of options available on the G1W and being able to change them when I want is a definite plus.
The G1W’s body has all of the buttons connectivity options you would expect from a car PVR with a screen. The PVR has a built-in capacitor which the manufacturer suggests provides a safer installation when comparing to a standard battery. The capacitor keeps the device alive just long enough to shutdown gracefully and ensures video data is saved properly. On the face on the camera are zoom buttons, a record button, a mode button for playback, and a small LED . The top of the G1W has power and menu buttons. Display options include HDMI via the mini connector on the left side of the camera and an A/V out 3.5mm jack on the top. The A/V connector is strangely absent from the box, as is a micro-SD card for capturing right out of the box. When purchasing the G1W, make sure to pick up as large a card as your budget can afford (up to 32GB). On the lens side of the camera is a LED flash, though it's only use in the car would be to upset any driver in front of your vehicle.
Sadly, there is one other notable omission from the G1W’s package. The camera does not include a GPS sensor, meaning location meta-data is not captured with the video. This of course doesnt have to be a deal breaker, but having GPS information while reviewing footage is something I’ve grown quite accustomed to with other car PVR models. The G1W does have an accelerometer and uses it to automatically suspend recording while stopped. This of course allows the installed memory to capture more footage while you’re driving instead of parked. I do wonder though how video would be captured while sitting at a stop light and a sudden collision occurs. As with most features, this too can be turned off in settings.
• High quality 1080p video capture
• included LCD gives options competitors don’t offer
• Latency-free live preview from the display
• A host of display output options
• Built in accelerometer is very functional
• Suction cup mount is strong and secures the camera in place
• 12-foot power cord aids in installation
• Lack of GPS data capture
• Micro-SD card is not included
The G1W automotive PVR is an excellent 1080p capture device which distinguishes itself from the pack with its functional and beautiful 2.7" LCD display.