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Dogcamsport Roadhawk Bullet Camera Review


By: Andrew Harbron | Published 10 September 2013, 17:25 | Views: 4,022 | tags: bulletcams, bullet cameras, dogcam, sport, dcs, road hawk, motorbikes, bicycles, safety, protection, insurance, continuous recording, loop, hd, video cameras, reviews, articles, roadtests
Our friends at Dogcam have been passing bullet cameras or variations on them our way for a couple of years now and they’ve always hit the mark.

Therefore when it came to sorting a camera for member JC’s maiden RBLR1000 / Ironbutt Challenge it was a no-brainer to put in a call to Devon.

Dogcam shortly dispatched their newest type – the Road Hawk – and it arrived as Justin was making his final preparations for his 1000 mile-in-24hours challenge meaning he didn’t have time to familiarise himself with the camera. Fortunately it only has one button.

 

Close Up

The Road Hawk looks very similar to the previously reviewed HD and WIDE Dogcam units, and that’s generally no bad thing. They are about the size of a normal sausage although without the aroma or curve! One end has a clear plastic housing in which the lens sits, and the other end unscrews to reveal the micro SD card (8gb supplied) and PC/mains connection.

On the side there is only one control, a shrouded silver button which turns the unit on or off. Simples.

This button appears to have had a reworking over the HD/Wide variants because it’s far more positive and therefore more reassuring especially through bike gloves. The indicator light is also much improved for this version with a much more distinct light visible from far more angles than the tiny LED on the older cameras.

In addition to the usual switch on/off the unit has an automatic record function when connected to a power source which works in conjunction with the continuous recording system. The Road Hawk comes with wiring to connect to your vehicle’s ignition system so it turns on when the engine fires and shuts off when you leave it.

The supplied 8 gig card gives about 2 hours recording time but naturally a 32 gjg card would make more sense for permanent recording endeavours since this continuous recording automatically records over the oldest files on the card.

 

Using It

In use, and despite Justin’s lack of familiarity, good footage was captured from the ride and a clip is shown here. The camera records at 720 pixel resolution which offers reasonable resolution by today’s standards – YouTube flags it as ‘HD’ and frankly is about as high a resolution as you want online.

Colours and exposure are enough to belie the cameras small dimensions and the wide view offers plenty of focus to keep the scene sharp and distinct.


I took the Road Hawk to Germany to help me cover an 8hr World Championship endurance race and it performed well in very testing conditions.  I strapped it to my arm with the supplied elastic and Velcro band then walked around the team garage for some time recording what I was seeing. Despite the yellow lights inside the garage and darkness outside it, the Road Hawk came back with some unique footage to give a real fly-on-the-wall feel.

Issues

The main drawback to this simple design remains however. You can’t see what you are filming. There’s no playback screen or viewfinder. You just point and shoot. It is possible to crop etc afterwards although this will reduce the 720 pixel resolution.

 

At a shade under £150 this is at first a fairly simple bit of kit but sometimes, and especially on a motorbike, simple is good. Reliability and strength are also great characteristics in biking accessories, and the Road Hawk has these attributes in spades.

It also has loads of stuff in the box! There are mains cables, ignition cables, Velcro mounts, plastic mounts and a replacement end cap for increased audio at the expense of water sealing.

 

Conclusion

This camera won’t work as your sole video camera – it simple has too few controls and options but to strap onto your bike or to mount in your car for a track day, or to have on permanently while you ride about, this is a very competent unit.

 

Overall 7/10.

This doesn’t sound like a massive score but this is not a score comparing it to other bullet cameras, it’s comparing it to video cameras in general.

The type has generic failings, but accepting those (resolution, lens size related quality, lack of viewfinder) this is a very good unit which should last no matter what you throw at it. 


 

Check out the spec and info here, along with the rest of the Dogcam line up.  


 

 

 

Photos
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1 Comment

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RobC | 30 January 2014, 11:48
On the RBLR1000 footage, 1:23 - 1:32 is me on the Orange K1300S (in the background) getting my paperwork ready for validation :).
Looks like a good little camera, would be interested in trying one out if possilbe.
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