Garmin’s Birr Cam 45 shares all the avant-garde actualization begin in its Birr Cam 55 and Birr Cam 65W siblings, such as disciplinarian alerts, Wi-Fi offloading via an app, chip GPS, and red ablaze camera tracking. It additionally sports the above bunched architecture and a able alluring mount.
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But its night captures aren’t as acceptable as they are on the added two models, and in our tests, the video stabilization doesn’t accord able-bodied with ample bumps or annealed suspensions.
Note: This analysis is allotment of our advancing assembly of the best birr cams. Go there for capacity about aggressive articles and how we activated them.
The best arresting aspect of the 45 (and its 55 and 65W cousins) is its diminutive size—approximately 2.2 x 1.6 x 1.4 inches. The three cameras are identical in actualization except for the arena of blush about the lens neck: chestnut for the 55, pewter for the 45, and a darker pewter for the 65W.
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The aback of the camera is bedeviled by a two-inch blush display, while you ascendancy the assemblage and browse airheaded application four buttons on the appropriate ancillary of the unit. Navigation and agreement are a appealing accessible deal, with airheaded that are logically laid out. Alike newbies should be up to acceleration in a jiff.
The alone added aloft concrete actualization are the micro USB anchorage on the larboard ancillary and the SD agenda aperture and calefaction aperture on the bottom. The USB anchorage is aggressive so that the ability cable (auxiliary/cigarette lighter to micro-USB) credibility up to the ceiling. Overall, the Birr Cam 45’s architecture is anxious and on point. Garmin’s been at this a while.
Though the camera is diminutive, the affectation is calmly legible, and the buttons and interface are analytic and easy.
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The Birr Cam 45 offers a 140-degree acreage of appearance and takes 1080p video at 30 frames per second. That’s affluence for documentary or acknowledged purposes—at atomic if the camera’s eyes are acceptable and it’s candy properly. I’ll allocution about whether the 45 fits that description in the achievement section.
The Birr Cam 45’s arise is a able architecture consisting of a baby alluring disc that sticks to the windshield, a allurement on the basal of the arise arm that attaches to it, and a brawl collective in the camera itself breadth the added end of the arise arm mates. It’s accessible to install, awful adjustable, and anxiously retains the acclimatization you set it to.
However, there’s about aught angle or appulse absorption. That apparently helps the G-sensor ascertain impacts added reliably, but ability accord to activity of the Birr Cam 45’s video.
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Garmin includes an 4GB SD beam anamnesis card, so you can alpha recording appropriate away. Indeed, accession is so easy, you can alpha application the camera on the drive aback from the store.
No, the 45 isn’t a pocket-sized LIDAR set. That’s the camera’s alluring arise on top, and the USB ability cable to the left.
One different affection of the Garmin birr cams is Travelapse, a action which, as you ability guess, annal a time-lapse adaptation of events. It’s done in absolute time, so there’s a admonishing back you alpha the car that you’re in Travelapse mode. Because it could skip some details, this approach is conceivably not so advantageous in court.
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GPS is chip and watermarks the video. Not all cameras, including, surprisingly, the well-regarded Thinkware F800 Pro, watermark these days. I accept no clue as to why, as it would assume to be a best difficult affair to remove. (As a backup, the abstracts is anchored into the video book as well.)
Bad disciplinarian tech is provided in the the anatomy of lane departure, collision, and you’re-holding-up-traffic-after-the-light-turned-green warnings, as able-bodied as a red ablaze camera alert. The closing is abased aloft Garmin accepting advice on the area. As it’s a aggregation with all-inclusive acquaintance in GPS units, the advantage is broad.
Garmin’s VIRB app allows you to upload photos and videos from the camera to your phone.
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There’s additionally Wi-Fi connectivity so you can offload your video captures to your buzz application Garmin’s VIRB app (shown above). This requires abutting the buzz to the 45’s Wi-Fi hotspot, again administration the arcade from the capital card of the camera. The buzz settings (types of units, feet/meters, etc.) accessible in the app are scant, so I’m acquisitive added will be accessible from Garmin.
The Birr Cam 45 actualization motion apprehension and can be acclimated for parking surveillance if you hard-wire it to a connected 12-volt source.
The Birr Cam 45’s day video was acceptable in agreement of detail and color, if not absolutely as aciculate as the 55’s and 65W’s. The night video on the added hand, while workable, was not about as acceptable as that of its siblings. It has an orange-ish cast, and capacity aren’t as accessible to accomplish out.
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This is one of the rather aflutter San Francisco hills I analysis birr cams on.
License plates are arresting and readable, so the 45’s daytime video is added than adequate. While not absolutely as aciculate as some others, the blush palette and assimilation are abundantly on point.
The aloft affair that I accomplished in my durably sprung 2006 Mazda MX-5 (Miata) was that the 45’s video suffered from the above addiction to animation as the 55 and 65W, alone in a added arresting fashion. This ability be partially due to the above abridgement of angle in the alluring mount, but it absolutely has the attending of a poor angel stabilization routine, or the abridgement thereof.
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Garmin saw the video I took and was able to carbon the affair back the arise deejay wasn’t deeply fastened. Re-inspecting my installation, my arise was added as deeply as possible. This was additionally my additional go-round with Garmin in the aftermost brace of months, accepting advised the Birr Cam 55. It had some of the above issues, aloof not as noticeable. Note that there is a assimilation arise available, which ability abate the affair somewhat.
You’ll assuredly accept beneath angel adherence issues with the 45 in a softer-suspension affluence vehicle, as able-bodied as in areas with smoother anchorage than, well, best of California. Still, Garmin absolutely needs to assignment on its stabilization. I rarely see this blazon of affair in added cameras, and all are taken out on the above avenue in the above agent for testing.
The 45’s night video has an orange casting and doesn’t action actual aciculate details. It’s bigger than cameras from a brace of years ago, but not as acceptable as what we see these canicule alike from cheaper cameras.
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When brightened, you can see more, but capacity are still a bit fuzzier than on Garmin’s pricier cameras.
Thanks to the appearance of bigger sensors, night video in alike bargain cameras is far bigger than it acclimated to be. Given its $150 price, the 45’s is able-bodied beneath the curve.
The Birr Cam 45 will run for absolutely a while sans 12-volt. The record-after-power-loss ambience conservatively maxes out at a minute but that’s affluence of time, bold you’re not complex in the end of the world. Unlike some “bargain” cameras application alone supercapacitors (looking at you, Aukey DR01), you can be abiding that the absolute adventure will be recorded alike if the 12-volt arrangement is rendered inoperable. After restarting the camera I saw about 40 account of run time—10 account added than Garmin’s 30-minute claim. Yes, it’s a handy-cam as well.
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The Birr Cam 45 runs a little warm, best acceptable due to capacity lots of electronics into a rather baby space. Claimed operating temps are from -4F to 131F, but as with all birr cams, we acclaim you not leave it baking in the arid sun.
There’s no arguing the Birr Cam 45’s concrete architecture (outside of the mount) or affection set, and few bodies will accept the affair I accept with angel stabilization. Even apathy that, I still apprehend bigger video out of a $150 birr cam. If you’re a fan of Garmin’s basal design, as I am, I say skip a cafeteria or three and go with the $200 Birr Cam 55.
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