REKING V360 CASH CAM REVIEW: FINALLY 360 DEGREE COVERAGE!
The two-channel Reking V360 ($ 170 on Amazon) has a fantastic touch screen and interface. The unique 360-degree front camera also captures more interior and exterior action than any other camera I tested – at least during the day. For some reason, Reking omitted infrared energy, rendering the interior at night unnecessary. Dang.
This review is part of our ongoing review of the best dashes. Go there for information on competing products and how we test them.
DESIGN AND FEATURES
The V360’s main body is large in size for the command camera. However, this is at least partly due to the practical 3-inch high-resolution display. Said display makes the V360 extremely easy and fun to use, and provides plenty of space for both front and back video. Kudos to Reking on that front.
The main body houses a 1440 x 1440 front field of view (FOV) camera. The 120-degree rear camera covers things behind the rear window that a 360-degree camera could miss due to obstacles. Both use OmniVision SC3033 sensors. Keep in mind that the front camera should be pointed straight down, not forward as normal – a fact that we do not find anywhere in the documentation.
The image at the top of this article seems to be infrared lighting on the rear camera, but it wasn’t on my unit. The product page also applies to the indoor camera, but the interior is actually filmed by a 360-degree main camera.
This is what the 360-degree camera output looks like if you don’t use the included (mounted on the SDHC card when you format it) VeSeeGo player. Note that this was recorded in a top-down convertible. You will not get this type of top or roof covering.
On a touch screen and with a special VeSeeGo video player required to view 360-degree footage on the desktop, the V360 displays video in several ways: wide (panoramic); ball (with full-power fish eye); divided upper and lower part showing front and back; and the fourth, covering all four quadrants. In the picture above you can see why a special desktop player is needed.
Reking is pretty smart in delivering the said VeSeeGo player. It is placed in the check folder when you first format the SDHC card (not included). The installation file for the VeeSee player can also be downloaded from the Reking website, but that version failed on two computers on which I tried it. Download the portable application .zip file if you have the same problem.
My test unit got a large semi-permanent mount that the camera slides on. Horizontal adjustment is not possible after installation, so use a level or be careful when installing it. The racking informed me that there was a suction carrier.
The rear camera has a solid mount that you can rotate or use duct tape if you want a less intrusive solution. It is not intended for gluing the rear glass, but for the roof batten or the inner roof. I’d rather have one stick to the window, maybe I wouldn’t.
At the top of the main unit is a mini-USB port; 3.5mm, mini-AV input for the rear three-ring camera; and an SD card slot. The power button is on the bottom left, and since there is a touch screen on the screen, nothing else is needed.
The screen display is excellent and despite its relatively small text, it is easy to read due to its high resolution. I was especially pleased that almost all the features are available from one screen. There is no endless diving in the menu, as is the case with most interfaces.
I had one minor complaint on the GUI. Since the V360 doesn’t have GPS (it doesn’t even have it added), I had to set the date and time manually. The plus / minus icons are so close to the actual fields that I accidentally changed the value several times. It’s a one-time job, not as embarrassing as it would be on a daily basis.
Although I doubted Thomas, the quality and coverage of the 360 degree camera turned out to be much better than I anticipated. The main problem for me was that the windshield in my Mazda Miata was not high, so I couldn’t mount the camera as high as I wanted. Nonetheless, it recorded more than enough surroundings and interiors to be legally useful – during the day, anyway.
I left the top down during most of the testing to give you a better idea of what the v360 can cover. There are also screenshots with the top facing up to show you how the roof pillars will interfere with some areas. These, and the distortion of the rear windows, are the reasons for turning on the second camera.
In a convertible with a 360-degree camera, you can see almost everything around you.
The quality of the daily video is pretty decent, considering the amount of processing that must be done.
You’ll see far fewer rear windows with a 360-degree camera because of the headrests and roof pillars. Still, most cars have significantly larger rear windows.
The quality of the rear captures of 720p is certainly adequate for legal purposes and can be played in a normal video player without reversing the distortion of the fisheye. Note that I had a rear camera in my hand as there is nowhere to mount it with a convertible top
The lack of a good place to fit in my convertible meant holding the rear camera by the hand. Good details can still be seen even when the glass is distorted.
360-degree night vision images are adequate for the front. The lack of infrared makes its interior (and rear) shots basically useless – which is a major misstep on the subject of Reking in my book. If you’re a fan of driving at night, skip the V360 or find your own infrared lighting.
In any direction where there is little light, a 360-degree camera will record decent night videos.
The night-time recording of the rear camera below is adequate and compensates for the poor image of the rear camera from the 360-degree camera. For some reason, the date and time are watermarked on the last video, but not on the front.
The 120-degree rear camera captures good video at night, which compensates for the poor performance of the 360-degree rear camera. However, it does nothing for the interior.
BEST DAILY SURROUND COVERAGE
The V360 is a very efficient cleaning camera, simple and fun to use. How efficiently a 360-degree camera will work will depend on the size and layout of your cabin. Combined with the rear camera, though, it offers the best coverage of the space around your vehicle I’ve seen.
Still, Reking missed the beat not including the internal infrared, so I can’t recommend it for night use. GPS should also be on board. Compare with the Solio G1 380 as another surround imaging solution or with the Akaso Trace 1 Pro and Nektbase GV422 / GV322 for traditional front / back coverage.
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