VANTRUE KS4 DASH FOR ROCK: SHARP 4K UHD SHOTS COME AT A PRICE
The VanTrue Ks4 is one of the first 4K UHD dash cameras, but we should definitely expect more to follow – it’s the one with vendors right now. This bloody model shows some of the challenges of the aforementioned high-resolution trend: It’s a bit pricey, and while there is a noticeable increase in detail in its 2160p shots, it may not be worth a fourfold increase in storage needs. Plus, Vantrue still does a lot of things right.
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 Vantrue X4 ($ 200 on Amazon) has the shape and form of a classic command camera, looking like a super compact camera for fun shooting about ten years ago. The X4 offers a 160 degree field of view lens (FOV) and a new 4K UHD Soni IMKS317 sensor. Its feature set is not really complete without optional GPS mounting ( $ 22 on Amazon ), so we recommend you add it to your shopping cart.
At the top of the camera itself is a mini USB port, opposite (on the same plane) the power button, however, on the suction carrier is another mini USB connector that is closer to the windshield and does not need to be turned off each time. remove the camera. The same arrangement is with GPS mounting, but in that case you must use a USB mounting port if you want to power both the camera and GPS.
There are four navigation keys to the right of the three-inch display (up / down / menu / OK) for surfing the menus, turning the camera on and off, etc. The menu system is logically divided, divided by system settings, record settings and file preview functions. You must press OK to stop recording before accessing the mentioned menu system. There is probably a technical reason for that, because I saw the same request on some other lines that I reviewed. It would be nice if you could change the settings while you’re still recording.
The SDHC slot is on the left, and the mini HDMI port is on the right, allowing you to play your videos directly on the TV. The bottom is left to vent, which comes out on the front of the camera. A little unusual thermal solution, but it allowed Ks4 to stay cool during use.
Vantrue X4 shoots a very good video during the day, however, the night video is just what I would rate as good. Regardless of the quality, 4K UHD (2160p) video takes up about four times the memory of 1080p – or about 1GB every three minutes.
You can judge for yourself the quality of recording the day in the picture below. The color is nicely saturated despite the gray day, but the compression is reduced in detail to a point where it is immeasurably better than with 1080p. (Note that the nine zeros you see next to the date are reserved for your license plate number.)
The X4 captures a lot of details in 4K UHD, but we would break it down to 1080p for everyday use. The details are almost equally good, and you will save a ton of space.
The additional resolution of X4 4K UHD seems to offer less advantages in low light situations
This was not a fair test, because it was raining during the night when I tested X4, but you will need a switch, regardless of whether it is raining or not. Check out the following screenshot of the drier image.
The meteor conditions in the next capture were less humid, and you can see a little more detail. I didn’t have a GPS carrier at the time I recorded this video, but I tested it later, and the GPS coordinates will appear directly under the date and time.
It is at night on I280, with less precipitation.
Let me repeat, 2160p shots are better than 1080p shots, but just a nice endeavor. Practically speaking, you probably won’t get anything of great legal significance for four times storage with X4.
The X4 works almost cool to the touch, and is rated to work from -4 to +158 degrees Fahrenheit. I found that the default G-sensor setting was too sensitive for my tightly relaxed Mazda Miata and I dropped the comma, but that’s the only thing I would call operative hiccups.
My biggest complaint is the supercapacitor, which lasts long enough to save the current files, but will not notice if the 12-volt voltage is interrupted during the accident. The screen actually stayed on for about four seconds when I turned off the power, but the recording stopped immediately. So call Vantrue Ks4 great for capturing pedestrian scams, not so much if you are shut down by a truck.
SHOULD YOU BUY A VANTRUE X4?
Vantrue Ks4 will probably attract a lot of attention only because it is one of the first 4K dots with dashes. It is undeniably refined and easy to use, and takes great video from it – the best I’ve seen throughout the day. But that quality may not justify the premium you pay for 4K UHD videos – let alone the extra you will pay for storage space. And for the price we would like to see a capacitor that lasts longer. With a slightly longer 12-volt working time, I would rate it half a star higher.
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