dash camera Detailed Features
Most Dashcams simply record video. PAPAGO! wants the P3 Dashcam to do more, and they’ve stuffed it full of features which you can configure through an easy-to-use menu system.
There’s a lot of information on this shot. At the top of the screen are annunciators: a red recording light, a recording timer, an “emergency indicator” (unexplained in the documentation), a “3” indicating that the still camera is set for three shots, a crossed-out microphone to show that sound is not being recorded, and a traffic light indicator to show that the “Stop and go alarm” is enabled, and the time, taken from GPS satellites. The large question mark occupies an area that shows status information when the camera is running and has a GPS lock.
The four buttons at the bottom of the screen default to Backup, Camera, Menu, and Mode. The Backup button would presumably switch the view to a separate backup camera, but it’s not mentioned in the documentation; pressing it doesn’t seem to do anything. The Camera button stops video recording and turns the P3 Dashcam into a still camera than will take one or several photos with a press of the button. The Menu button brings up some menu options, and the Mode button cycles the display between live video, a small GPS map, the time, or your real-time speed.
Pressing the Menu button invokes the Setting screen shown above. The Driving Safety section is the most interesting:
The first thing you’ll want to do is calibrate the system. The P3 Dashcam takes you through a simple process where you adjust the horizontal pitch of the camera to center a yellow horizontal line on the road horizon, and then center a red box in the display so that it’s in the middle of your lane (of course, this should only be done when your car is parked, and on a traffic-free street!) Proper calibration is essential to the operation of the driver safety features.
Next, you can enable the Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS) and the Forward Collision Warning System (FCWS), and the Speed Camera Alert. But there’s more on the next screen…
The Speeding Alert will sound a tone if you exceed a pre-set speed; the Driver Fatigue Alarm is simply a timed alarm that sounds every N minutes. Remind Lights and Stop and Go are somewhat mysterious (along with many other things, they’re not mentioned at all in the manual), but based on my testing, Remind Lights seems to sound a tone when you’re at a green light, but not moving. I’m not sure what Stop and Go does.
You can designate which information is overlaid on top of your video; in most cases, you’ll probably want to leave all these items turned on.
Since it’s plugged into your accessory power outlet, the camera normally comes on when you start the car. There is no internal battery, but a capacitor keeps power going for a few seconds after you turn your car off, allowing the P3 to close the current video file and shut down cleanly.
Let’s see how this camera operates in the real world in the next section.