For a number of years now, Europe has led the world in the use of dash cams in cars, trucks, and SUVs. Now, these dashboard-mounted cameras are becoming increasingly popular in the United States due to the many benefits that they provide to drivers. Thinkware, an industry leader in the manufacture of dash cameras, produces two very popular units, the X700 and the F200 Pro (>>> Check on Amazon). In this comparison, we will look into the similarities and differences between these two cameras so that you can make a more informed decision as to which would better fit your needs.
Thinkware X700 vs F200 Pro side by side:
|Thinkware X700||Thinkware F200 Pro|
|Resolution (front)||1080p 30FPS||1080p 30FPS|
|View angle||142 degree||140 degree|
|Price||Find on Amazon||Find on Amazon|
Loop Recording/Auto Start
Video storage is usually done on a microSD card and is limited to the size of the card. Loop recording allows the camera to overwrite the oldest data automatically, without having to manually erase older files, once the memory card is full. You may forget to turn on the camera some day, so a dash cam should also come with an auto start feature.
Impact Detection/Event Tagging
Every dash cam should have a G-sensor to detect sudden bumps and impacts. A G-sensor will also detect sudden decelerations. With a G-sensor, when something along these lines does happen, the dash cam will create an event tag so that the video clip can easily be found later. Most dash cams with loop recording will not overwrite a tagged event.
Better Dash Cam for Impact Detection/Event Tagging: F200 Pro
One of the most important features of a quality dash cam is a parking, or buffered parking, mode. This mode allows the dash cam to monitor your vehicle while it is sitting unattended. On average a car sits unattended 95% of the time. What could possibly happen during that extended period of time?
Better Dash Cam for Parking Mode: F200 Pro
Field of View
A dash cam does you no good if it is unable to capture video at a wide enough angle. A wide angle, or field of view, is necessary to record incidents that may occur from any direction. There is a problem if the camera has too wide of a field of view, the recorded image starts to become distorted. The ideal angle recommended is somewhere between 125° and 165°. A 140° field of view seems to be the sweet spot that most dash cam manufacturers aim for.
Better Dash Cam for Field of View: F200 Pro
Night vision refers to the camera’s ability to record clear footage under low light conditions. When considering night vision, your first thought is usually recording events after dark, but your dash cam’s night vision also will help it capture clear video under adverse weather conditions and at dusk and dawn when light is failing and the sun is low in the sky.
The X700 has a slim design, about 4 x 2 x 1 inches, slightly smaller than a standard smart phone. That means it will mount in your windshield without blocking your view of the road. The rear camera measures about 2 ½ x 1 ¼ x 1 inches. It has a LCD touch screen so that you can navigate menus and configure the camera’s settings. The touch screen also has several language options besides just English.
Both cameras record in full HD @ 30 FPS, with enhanced color and brightness. The front camera has a 140° field of view, while the rear camera has a 125° field of view. The front camera is equipped with a Sony STARVIS image sensor with Super Night Vision that will provide good quality images under low light conditions.
The X700 does have a parking mode, however, to utilize it you will have to hardwire the camera into your car’s electrical system. Another option is to use an external battery pack. Either way will supply power to the camera when the ignition is off.
The GPS antenna will enable you to track and record vehicle location and speed. The driver assistance system will warn you of red light and speed cameras, lane departures, and potential forward collisions. Click here for our more in-depth Thinkware X700 review.
- LCD touch screen display
- Super night vision
- Advanced driver assistance system (ADAS)
- 140° wide-angle lens (front camera)
- 125° wide-angle lens (rear camera)
- 1080p HD recording @ 30FPS (both cameras)
- GPS antenna included (with dual camera system only)
- No WiFi
- Parking mode requires hardwiring
- Has trouble recording licenses plates in low light
Thinkware F200 Pro
The F200 Pro is a dual camera system that captures video in 1080p full HD with both front and rear cameras. The front camera boasts a 140° field of view, the rear camera a whopping 160°. Both cameras record @30 FPS. Although the resolution is not 4K, it does record crisp and clear footage. Click here for our more in-depth Thinkware F200 Pro review.
Once the unit is hardwired into your electrical system (or attached to an external battery pack), there are two different parking modes available. In Energy Saving mode, the camera will “sleep” until an impact is detected and then record for 20 seconds. In Time Lapse mode, the camera continually records 2 frames per second (recording times vary by the size of the microSD card you use).
There is a built-in heat sensor that protects the system from heat damage. If you add the optional GPS antenna you can receive red light and speed camera alerts as well as the ADAS system alerts (lane departures, potential front collisions, etc.).
WiFi connectivity is built-in. You will be able to view, save, and share videos with your mobile devices. You will need to download the Thinkware Dash Cam Link app.
- Full HD front (140°) and rear (160°)
- Built-in WiFi
- Super night vision
- Advanced driver assistance system (ADAS)
- 32GB microSD card included
- Not 4K UHD
- No built-in GPS antenna
The Purpose and Benefits of Owning a Dash Cam
A dash cam is designed to carefully record details that take place on the road and also inside a vehicle. They are widely used by police officers, taxi and bus drivers, and driving instructors. Now, everyday drivers are recognizing their many benefits and these cameras are being installed in personal-use vehicles. Some of these benefits include:
- Video Evidence of a Car Accident
A dash cam will start recording as soon as you start the engine and provide up-to-the-minute video if you happen to be involved in an accident. As you know, the other party in an accident will often try to place the blame on you, especially if they are on the somewhat dishonest side. Courts will accept you videotape as evidence if you need to prove that the accident wasn’t your fault.
- Fraud Prevention
Insurance fraud is a common problem these days, especially when it comes to automobiles. Fraudulent claims cost insurance companies an estimated $40 billion each year and increases the average cost of auto insurance coverage for U.S. families between $400 and $700 per year. And while your insurance company may not offer a discount for owning and installing a dash cam in your vehicle, that day may be coming in the foreseeable future.
- Undisciplined Drivers
Irresponsible drivers (who hasn’t encountered at least one) are annoying and potentially dangerous. It could involve road rage, someone driving under the influence, a person texting and driving, or any number of reckless actions. How can you prove that you have been accosted by or encountered one of these drivers? Your dash cam will capture all of the details in vivid, living color.
- Tracking Driving Habits
Are your children really being responsible drivers when they are out on the road? A dash cam will keep a record of their actions as well as anyone who else who may be along for the ride. For that matter, it will allow you to see how anyone that borrows your car drives it. If you have employees, you will be able to know if they are operating the vehicle for their own benefit, and not just yours.
- Road Trip Memories
Has a scene or an event ever awed you when you came over that hill or around that bend? Now you can have that memory on video to be relived or shared with friends any time you want. A dash cam will be automatically recording that memory.
Both are great dash cam systems. But because it is only a few dollars more, we recommend opting for the F200 Pro. We feel that the WiFi connectivity on the F200 Pro gives it the edge (>>> Check the current price on Amazon).