Genius DVR-FHD590 Features
The Genius DVR-FHD590 is a full-HD video recorder kit that contains the following items: full HD vehicle recorder, window suction mount, visor clip mount, 12V DC “cigarette lighter” adapter to mini-USB cable, DVR Player software CD-ROM, and multi-language quick start guide. Genius DVR-FHD590 (part number 32300018100) is available online for $104 (Amazon | Newegg).
The core concept behind the Genius DVR-FHD590 is that it acts intuitively on your behalf, without requiring user interaction. To execute this, the device automatically turns as soon as power is provided from the vehicle (at startup). If the Automatic Record function is enabled, the camera will automatically begin recording (in selectable 3- or 5-minute intervals). An integrated 3-Axis G-Force sensor in DVR-FHD590 automatically triggers the device to record the event whenever it crosses the selected sensitivity threshold, creating an audio/video file that cannot be overwritten unless you specifically delete it. Once the vehicle engine shuts down, the device automatically saves the recording and turns off the device within 10 seconds.
Powered by an internal WANSGLORY CO., LTD. model SP5 Li-Polymer 3.7V 470mAh 1.7Wh battery, the Genius DVR-FHD590 maintains a full charge with the supplied 12V DC “cigarette lighter” adapter to mini-USB cable that plugs into the side of the camera. This same mini-USB port allows a computer to connect to the DVR, enabling file transfers. Alternatively, a mini-C HDMI output is available to play back audio/video footage or still photos directly on an HDMI display.
The DVR-FHD590 camera unit measures 2.6″ square. At the heart of the kit is a 5.0 Megapixel camera with 128° wide-angle fixed focus lens (f/2.4, f=3.0mm), which uses a large 1/3.2″ CMOS sensor identical to Apple’s iPhone 5. The video recorder is capable of 1080p full high-definition 1920×1080 resolution at 30 fps or 720p HD 1280×720 resolution at 30 fps, both using the H.264 CODEC.
A distortion-free wide angle lens captures a large horizontal field of view, and not just the front of your hood. DVR-FHD590 works well in both bright daylight, and dark nights. Featuring High Dynamic Range (HDR) capture, video remains crisp and clear even in situations with high contrast.
An integrated microphone picks-up sounds nearby to the camera, such as driver/passenger voices or those coming to aid victims of an accident. Audio is recorded alongside video, giving a complete account of details – including conversations or distractions.
Beside the lens is a high-power LED auxiliary lamp, which is disabled by default in the settings. When enabled from the menu, this LED lamp illuminates the field of view whenever the lighting is insufficient and the automatically-controlled ISO setting of the camera requests it. This high power LED assists in providing auxiliary lighting that permits a clear and detailed video recording.
Along the right side of the camera you’ll find a Micro SDHC memory card slot and power button. DVR-FHD590 requires a Micro SDHC card to save video or photo files, which is not included with the kit. For best results, it is recommended that a Class-10/UHS1 speed Micro SDHC memory card be used for capturing high definition video files.
Genius includes two options for mounting the DVR-FHD590 Full HD Vehicle Recorder in your vehicle: a suction-activated glass mount (above) or a visor clip mount (below). The suction mount is extremely strong, even before activating the lever, so there’s no fear of the unit fall off your windshield. The visor clip is an alternative mount, which positions the unit high above the field of view. Some experimentation will be necessary to determine which method best fits the vehicle and suits your needs.
Since the Genius DVR-FHD590 camera has mounting points on the top or bottom, the unit can be positioned at a lower level using the bottom mounting point (underside of camera) or hang from above the windshield using the top mounting point (on top of camera). On most cars, the suction unit fits neatly behind the rear-view mirror, positioning the camera below and beside the mirror.
When you start your vehicle with the USB cable plugged into DVR-FHD590, the camera immediately begins to record audio/video. The DVR-FHD590 will also begin recording as soon as motion is detected by the Infrared receiver behind the camera unit: driver, passengers, etc. The Motion Detection features is configured from the settings menu.
If you want to prematurely stop the recording, simply press the down arrow key. With four button options, the menu interface is quite simple and straight forward.
The LCD screen features a 270° viewing angle, so the driver can easily observe playback from any position. Recordings can be viewed in real-time, or in playback mode on the 2.4″ color LCD screen. By default the LCD screen is set to always-on, which can become a serious drain on battery life. The device offers other LCD options that could extend battery life: off after 30 seconds after start, 3 minutes, or always off.
In the next section, I discuss my test results with the Genius DVR-FHD590 Full HD Vehicle Recorder.