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RAC 05 GPS Dash Cam review

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RAC 05 GPS
  • RAC 05 GPS
  • RAC 05 GPS Review
  • RAC 05 GPS Review
  • RAC 05 GPS Review
  • RAC 05 GPS Review

Summary

Our Score:

8

Pros

  • Excellent “Super HD” video recording
  • Safety camera alerts
  • Plenty of additional safety features

Cons

  • Requires dual-power car adapter for use alongside sat-nav
  • Some safety features of questionable utility
  • Bundled software very unstable

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Key Features

  • “Super HD” 1,296p dashboard camera
  • 2.7-inch widescreen
  • PocketGPSWorld.com safety camera locations and warnings
  • Collision and proximity detection
  • Automatic event recording
  • Manufacturer: RAC
  • Review Price: £149.99

What is the RAC 05 GPS?

The 05 GPS is a dashboard camera from the RAC. Although there are a number of companies releasing such products, having the RAC brand attached to one is sure to inspire driver confidence. Alongside the association with a well-known automotive brand, the 05 GPS has a few other tricks up its sleeves. The video recording resolution is higher than some other dashcams, for starters, and there are additional features to keep your driving safe.

RAC 05 GPS – Recording Formats and Quality

One of the most unique features of the RAC 05 GPS is that it shoots video at "Super HD" resolution, which means 1,296p in this case. The resolution is actually 2,304 x 1,296, which is still a 16:9 aspect ratio. Perhaps more useful, however, is the 2,520 x 1,080 option, which is a 21:9 aspect ratio. This will capture a wider angle of vision, which could be useful for grabbing incidents to one side.

There are other dashcams that support this resolution, so the 05 GPS isn't unique here, although we've yet to review them.

The 05 GPS also offers support for Full HD modes at 30 and 45fps, with an HDR option for the former, plus 720p at 60 and 30fps. The 1,296p format is recorded at a reasonably healthy 20Mbits/sec.

An 8GB microSD card is thrown in, which provides enough storage for 53 minutes at the headline Super HD resolution. As with most dashcams, once the storage is full, it will begin to record over the oldest files, unless the've been tagged as "incidents". You can do this manually, or configure the 05 GPS's accelerometer so that it does this automatically when it detects a rapid change in speed.

RAC 05 GPS – Windscreen Mounting

Like the majority of dashcams the 05 GPS is designed to hang down from the top of your windscreen, rather than stick up from the bottom – presumably because most people put their sat-navs in the latter location. The suction cup provides a firm mount, with a micro-USB power connection on the top. The power cable is long, and designed to be routed around the windscreen so as not to obscure your view of the road.

Related: 5 Best Dash Cams right now

RAC 05 GPS Review

Mountings haven't been included to fix this cable, however. Also, my usual irritation with dashcams remains: only some cars provide more than one cigarette lighter-style power connection, so you'll need to invest in a multi-way adapter or dual-USB power adapter to use your sat-nav at the same time as the 05 GPS.

RAC 05 GPS – Safety Features

The 05 GPS offers more than just the ability to record your journeys on video in various formats. Like some of the other dashcams I've reviewed, such as the Snooper DVR-4HD, the 05 GPS offers extra safety features. These include a Forward Collision Warning System (FCWS) and Lane Diversion Warning System (LDWS), which use the camera as a sensor.

It's difficult to test features such as FCWS in a safe fashion within a product review. It's supposed to detect and flash up a warning if you're arriving too fast at the car in front of you, which isn't something you'll want to try out on unsuspecting road users.

LDWS is supposed to kick in if it spots you wandering from your lane, and has settings for motorway, rural and urban roads. This is potentially a life-saver, and I found it worked quite well on motorways. But I'd rather have this built into my car than rely on a device that may need recalibration every time I remove it for safekeeping and put it back for a drive.

Further safety features include Forward Motion Detection Warning (FMDW), which is supposed to alert you when the car in front starts moving in stationary traffic, although I found this didn't work as reliably as the version in the Snooper DVR-4HD. There's also a Low Light Warning System (LLWS) that lets you know when you don't have your lights on in the dark. This seemed to work reasonably well, although not in brightly lit city streets.

Of more everyday use will be the speed camera warnings, a function for which some people use their sat-navs even when they know exactly where they're going. The 05 GPS relies on the PocketGPSWorld CamerAlert system, which is a user-generated database of some repute. You can also set warnings for when your speed goes above a fixed level from 20 to 70mph, as well as for when you've been driving for between and one and four hours, presumably to prompt you to take a rest.

RAC 05 GPS Review

Most of these features need to be turned on manually to enable them. A feature I'm less enamoured with is the motion sensor. This triggers a recording when the accelerometer detects motion, presumably so it captures footage should your car be broken into or stolen. However, you wouldn't be advised to leave the camera unattended in your car, as it's likely to encourage the forced entry it's trying to capture.

On a related note, the Parking Monitor detects a collision when your car is stationary, and is intended to record if someone hits your vehicle when it's parked. However, with this feature on, the 05 GPS will continually trigger a recording as you carry it around, so you'll end up with lots of shots of the inside of your pocket. It's therefore best left off in transit, and again I'm not convinced about leaving the device unattended in a car anyway.

RAC 05 GPS – Desktop Software

The dashcam itself is only part of the equation. You'll still want the ability to analyse your footage to find the right file containing the visual evidence of an incident. RAC provides this via the ProofCam Google GPS Player software, which is integrated with Google Maps. Note, however, that while there are 32-bit and 64-bit versions of this software, there's no MacOS option. I also found the software massively unstable, and effectively unusable.

Watch some sample video here.

In theory, when you view your footage via this software, you can see where it took place and your current speed. It's possible to set the device to embed date, time and a driver ID (such as vehicle registration) into the video, too, which will add to the value of the footage for legal use. The video quality is also a considerable plus, with the 1,296p footage offering a better level of detail than we've seen from other dashcams, making text – including number plates – quite legible.

RAC 05 GPS Review

Should I buy the RAC 05 GPS?

Overall, the RAC 05 GPS is an effective dashboard camera. Manufacturers are packing extra features into their dashcams in order to stand out from the crowd, but the video remains the main feature. Fortunately, although it has its fair share of safety features, when it comes to visual quality the RAC 05 GPS is particularly impressive. If only the bundled Google GPS Player viewing software worked, this would be an even more tempting product.

Verdict

RAC's 05 GPS offers a range of safety features, but it's the video quality that sets it apart from the competition.

Overall Score

8

Scores In Detail

  • Battery Life 7
  • Design 8
  • Features 7
  • Performance 9
  • Usability 7
  • Value 8

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sparkylabs

December 4, 2015, 5:53 pm

The reviewer of this product is an idiot! to say that a "con" is that you need a double cigarette adapter is as stupid as it gets, of course you do if you only have one socket and want to run two items, you can say the same for a satnav.....! what an thicko! also no mention of the actual quality of the image, sure its supa dupa HD but did you actually LOOK at the images ? no I think not, fact is this "thing" (I have just bought one) may have more pixels but as a poorer quality than my "lowly" HD markus 5, I'd trust my current camera more than this peice of junk.

Dr James Morris

December 18, 2015, 12:30 pm

There's a video link embedded in the review. Quality looks pretty good to me. Did you actually read the review, or just the pros and cons? At least this model uses a USB cable, so could be plugged into a dual-USB car power adapter. Or, indeed, some cars have USB now too. However, the dashcams with captured cables are a real problem. One of my two cars has its car power socket really close to the gear stick. If you put a single-to-dual power adapter in there, it would interfere with the gear changing, so it's not even possible.

Simon Turner

December 19, 2015, 2:30 pm

Well "Doctor" I actually did one better, I bought one of the peices of crap and looked at the video quality myself, I went further than the superficial idiot that wrote the review (and sold it far and wide - other reviews carry the exact same text) and ran this camera AND my markus 5 together and compared the two. The markus 5 was bought over a year ago and has better image quality less motion bluring and a more sharp image. For a mere £145 I bought my dad a markus 4 that blows this thing away and outperforms my own markus 5. The idea of the camera is to collect evidence, putting a shoddy webcam and card writer together does not cut it I am afraid.

As for the con of needing the dual socket I don't see why ? I use this in my car all the time, it is the only thing I use so no problem. it is infact the satnav that has the "con" that I now need a dual USB socket.

As it happens my markus 5 works fine off the cars USB socket that also cuts power for me when I lock the car and i plug my satnav into the power socket. I also have a dual adapter that has the plug on a lead so that the two sockets can be moved around out of the way of things......

Dr James Morris

December 21, 2015, 2:36 pm

Presumably you mean the "Marcus 5" by Vicovation? I couldn't find any dashcam called Markus in existence. The Marcus 5 costs nearly twice the price of the RAC one - hardly a fair comparison. Also, my comments say I'm a Doctor because I have a PhD. Putting this in inverted commas like you did just makes you look like an Internet troll, and for this reason I'm afraid I won't be replying to any more of your comments after this.

Simon Turner

December 21, 2015, 6:39 pm

I said the Markus 4 costs £145 (or it may have been 149), calling some one a troll because you don't like what they say does not make you right or them a troll, neither does having a PhD, is your PhD relevant to the discussion or are you just trying to show your superiority?

I have gone further than the reviewer did who just looked at the unit and wrote a quick few paragraphs to sell to as many review websites as he could. The reveiw was not helpful because i had to buy the machine myself to find out about it's most basic function: producing a good picture. You can't examine the quality of the picture from a youtube video as it has already been re-encoded but I'm sure having a PhD you know all about this. I don't think youtube or other video sharing sites have 2560x1080 resolution. A proper review would have taken screen shots as images (with high quality compression of course not low resolution jpg) to show the quality of video, perhaps of things like number plates on cars under a few different conditions.

The name trusted reviews can not have been more misplaced.

John

December 31, 2015, 12:25 am

Have to agree that the "trustworthiness" of TR's reviews have seriously gone downhill. Seems to have coincided with them being taken over by Time Inc. Some reviews are almost like infomercials than critical reviews.

Simon Turner

December 31, 2015, 9:59 am

I have an addblocker on but I'm guessing this website is plastered with adds. There are many websites now that just throw up the minimal excuse for content to drape adverts all over. Trying to find information on the web got a lot harder when google adds launched.

the RAC have nothing to do with the machine other than having their name put on it, they have nothing to do with the making of it and don't even sell it a 3rd party does who uses UKmail who after 2 weeks have still not come back to pick up this peice of junk even though they are collecting it from where i work on a trading estate they probablt come down every day.

Naturally i will never use the RAC for anything again.

Daren

March 17, 2016, 2:28 pm

FYI - YouTube can display this resolution, and up to 3840x2160

Simon Turner

March 18, 2016, 12:58 pm

I take it you need a screen of at least that resolution to veiw on a pixel by pixel basis ? real reviewers would use still images and discuss aspects of each image. Again there can be transcoding problems with youtibe so it could be unfair on the product.

I am still waiting for the company that operate in the name of the RAC to pick this thing up. Their customer service is as bad if not worse than their products.

Daren

March 18, 2016, 1:17 pm

Yes, you need to have a screen with a least that resolution. I'm glad of your review of the image quality - like you said, the number of pixels is not as important as the quality of the image. I was considering this, but will look elsewhere now

Dave

June 2, 2016, 6:56 pm

I have just purchased the RAC 05 dash cam The one problem I have with it will not pick up any satellites any body got any advice

R. de Bode

June 4, 2016, 12:02 pm

Purchased the camera a few days ago. First impression: Good movie quality with good vibration reduction and easy to operate. It does have a fault somewhere in the design though: something inside is making noise which is picked up by the microphone. As a result all video recordings have an annoying rattling noise. I also don't understand why they don't supply a lenscap (the lens is exposed and coatings are easily scratched). Nice device, but with opportunities for improvement.

Remark on the review:
"Perhaps more useful, however, is the 2,520 x 1,080 option, which is a
21:9 aspect ratio. This will capture a wider angle of vision, which
could be useful for grabbing incidents to one side."
The camera does not capture a wider angle of vision. It's just a little bit more pixels within the same angle.

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