Not surprisingly, with car video recorders being relatively new technology to the UK, and still developing in realistic terms in the available functionality, clarity and market uptake, there are a lot of terms being banded around which many people may not be entirely familiar with - especially where car cameras are concerned. Here is a glossary of car camera terms with their meanings explained which we use throughout the website which we hope you will find useful if you get stuck on a particular reference to the terminology.
Angle of Lens - this is the number - in degrees - which is the angle the lens will pick up. For example - imagine a triangle or cone being emmitted from a lens and showing infront of the car - stretching out like a fan in the case of a triangle (however it is in 3 dimensions so a cone is more realistic!). This angle is the angle which is measured at the lens where the two lines of a triangle meet - with the other imaginary line running from left to right infront of the lens. The larger this number, the more footage will be recorded to the left and right of the camera.A memory card which is inserted into the camera onto which video and photos are stored.
Dual Lens - Some cameras come with two lenses in one unit - one which faces out of the car windscreen, the other which faces inwards and records the cars driver and passenger. Some come with two actual units - one for the front windscreen facing out, the other for the rear windscreen, again facing out. Dual Lens can mean either type.
External Memory -
HDMI - A connecting port on some camera models allowing you to connect your camera directly to a TV set which also has a HDMI port as an input. Cameras supplied with a HDMI (output) port in-built, also come with a HDMI cable to plug into the TV.
FPS - Frames Per Second - how many video frames are stored each second - typically around 30 - the higher this value is - the better (smoother) the video will be.
G-Sensor - a sensor inside the cam which detects whether the car has had a bump, braked sharply or cornered "hard". This sensor often triggers a lock on the current video block preventing loop recording from overwriting it - as it may be required later for viewing.
GPS - Global Positioning System - where a camera is concerned, this is used to record the position - rather than use the position to aid in navigation.
Hardwire - You can connect the car camera to your car via its lighter socket - or you can purchase a kit which enables you to connect it to the fusebox, this kit is known as a hardwire.
HD - True HD (High Definition) comes in either 1080p or 720p in 99.99% of cases. This is the vertical number of pixels on a video and is often represented as the SECOND number in a pair of numbers - such as 1920x1080. Some unscrupulous dealers will attempt to sell a camera as being HD - but beware. In our case - if we say HD - we mean "HD" = High Definition.
Internal Memory - Memory which cannot be removed from the camera, and which is normally only used for the cameras operating system.
Internal Power - A battery or super capacitor built into the camera allowing it to close down correctly and/or take video and photographs of the scene by the owner without having it connected to a car power supply.
- Lane Departure Warning System - implemented on some cameras, this will warn the driver if the vehicle changes lanes. Used on long motorway journeys typically.
Loop Recording - The method used to re-use memory once a memory card is full.
Motion Detect - This is NOT nessesarily when the car moves - it is when the image being detected by the camera lens/sensor changes - this causes the camera to record if it is "waiting" in motion detect mode.
Upscaled - In conjunction with HD above, some cameras do not record in true HD, they use "upscaling" to boost the number of pixels output to the video file in order to reach the total number of pixels required to make it sound like real HD. This results in lower quality viewing than a true HD camera.
USB - Universal Serial Bus - this is the method whereby the camera is connected to the computer - almost all PCs and other computer types have a USB port. It is a wired connection from the camera to the computer.
WDR - With a Wide Dynamic Range facility on a camera, the dark night time video recordings are made brighter, allowing more detail to be visible on the video than would be seen on a video from a camera which does not have WDR..
Wifi - Some cameras come with Wifi. This enables them to pass video to a mobile device such as a SmartPhone which then allows the user to play back the video at the side of the road. This is most often present on a car camera with no built in screen.