The Navman MiVue 580 is a high definition dashboard camera with good support for night time recording. It is no surprise that it also supports location timestamp, thanks to its built-in GPS powered by Navman technology.
The device is surprisingly small for such capabilities. A microSD slot provides the means for you to configure storage as needed: larger microSD cards (Class 6 and and bove, up to 32GB) will obviously store more of your dashboard recordings. You can manage space usage through the system menu where you can setup storage for normal recording, emergency recording and parking recording.
Each will have different allocations and features. For example during driving the camera will store data in the normal recording area but if something happen - either an event that triggers the crash sensors or someone pressing the on-screen Emergency button - then video is automatically locked and preserved.
The camera is constantly recording, in small video bytes of three or five minutes lenght. When the card is full the system will continue recording over the oldest pieces so any emergency event needs to marked as such to be preserved. The sensors can automatically change the mode to emergency recording but as mentioned you can also do it by tapping the Emergency icon on screen.
The screen is small (2.5 inch) but very bright. It can be configured to be permanently on (a distraction) or turn itself off after a few minutes. Just touch it lightly to bring it back to life.
Icons will let you know current time, GPS status, speed and if voice is being recorded or not.
The camera has an internal battery but in my tests it didn't last more than an hour or so. It is best to have it powered, and this brings me to the one thing I didn't really like about it: it uses a micro USB adapter, instead of the more universally used mini USB. Even the other Navman MiVue 580 device (a GPS car navigation device) I have in the car use a mini USB adapter. This is a minor annoyance mainly because the camera is more likely to be permanently plugged in, but being able to reuse a cable already available would be ideal.
The desktop software is neat and allows you to view the recordings including a map and a chart showing which forces - and direction of these forces - where applied to the car at any moment during the drive.
I would like to see the software to be a bit more evolved though and allow the user to select a start and end frames to export just these. As it is now you can only export those three or five minutes videos, individualy, and then use a third party software to stitch them together.
In terms of resolution the camera is brilliant. Day time recordings are clear and vivid, while nigh time recordings have perfectly good picture. In the examples below you can see driving under sunny, rain and evening conditions. This is thanks to its 1920x1080p recording resolution, Sony Night Vision sensors and glass lenses.
The camera has a wide angle (130 degrees) so placing it against your windshield, on top, works really well. If you want the camera to be available on a more permanent basis it is worth investing sometime to fit the power cord around the glass to a suitable power point. Thanks Navman MiVue 580 for supplying a very long power cable. And if you are really into making it neat, perhaps add a power source behind the dashboard and sneak the cable around the windshield frame, hiding everything out of sight.
You can playback videos directly on its 2.5 touchscreen, or use a mini HDMI cable to connect it to a TV and watch recordings on a bigger screen. I personally prefer the software option though.