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  #1  
Old 08-05-2018, 10:20 PM
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HaloCam M1 Motorcycle Dash Camera

I have been using a Sena 10C Bluetooth camera for years now. I've loved it, but it is on its last legs. The battery has no life left and I think there's an internal memory error. I've been waiting for Sena to release the updated version, the Sena 10C Evo. Sena is about two years late on the Evo release, so I quit holding my breath on getting a replacement from Sena. When I bought the 10C, I only wanted a 20S and opted for the camera headset entirely on a whim. After buying it, I've been very happy with the camera. While I use it on trips, ninety percent of the time, I am using this helmet camera as a "dash" camera. My thinking is that if I am run off the road in a hit-and-run, my wife can tell the cops to check the camera for who the other party is. So I was looking for a trouble-free solution where I could get video from the front of my motorcycle as well as the rear. I also wanted something that would be powered by the motorcycle and not have a limitation of two hours as so many "action" cameras have before the battery runs out. Lastly, I wanted something discreet so I wouldn't have to worry about it being stolen. After doing a lot of research, I decided on the HaloCam M1. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07D371DRF Cost was only $179.89. I highly recommend it.

What attracted me to the HaloCam M1 was a couple things. First, it has 1080p cameras on the front and rear. Many of the older or less expensive cameras are only 720p. I don't know much about the cameras, but I do know that Sony is a good name brand, and they are using Sony cameras in the M1. That's a plus. The other big plus in my mind, was the wi-fi capability. Trying to aim your cameras without being able to see what you're doing in real time is a pain. The HaloCam M1 comes with a nice app for a smartphone that allows you to see what the cameras see in real time. You can also download your videos without touching the DVR unit, and even make changes to the settings from the app. It's slick. I was impressed with the HaloCam M1 from even the time I opened the box. The outside isn't glitzy. It actually has a touch of class to it, IMHO.



When you open the box, you'll see the DVR unit along with the two cameras and the manual switch neatly arranged. To me, everything looked professional, not cheap. This was promising.



Lift that packaging up and you'll see the cords neatly tucked away underneath. They use a short cord attached to each item like the cameras with a longer section to run from that camera to the DVR unit. Everything is color coded. You can't mess this up in the installation. Even the color coded plugs have only one way to plug them in. You can't mess it up. And they include heat shrink tubing that you can use to guarantee the connections are waterproof. They have thought of everything.



Installation is straight-forward. Mount the front and rear cameras. Mount the GPS device they include. And mount the manual switch. Then find places on your motorcycle to hide the wires and plug them into the DVR. The last thing is to find a good power supply.

The front camera is mounted on the black "lip" under the headlight. I doubt you can see it.



The rear camera is a little more visible...but I doubt you'd notice it without it being pointed out.



You'll want a power connection that turns off when the ignition is turned off. Otherwise, the camera will continue to record and you'll run your battery down eventually. I connected mine to the tail light circuit. I have a BMW, and there's a lot of concern about the CANBUS system having errors when you do this. I had no problems with mine. They also include a USB power connector that you can use to power the camera. Again, very well thought out.

One note. The DVR does not have any built in memory storage. You'll need to supply your own SD memory card. Use the highest speed memory card you can buy for this, since you're recording from two cameras simultaneiously with sound. I used a Class 10, U1 card and the images were pixelated. With a Class 10, U3 card, all seems fine.

What is it like in use? I've attached three screen captures. The rear camera shows a white vehicle merging behind me on the freeway. If you look closely, you can see another car to the side of it.



The next picture shows the blue car rapidly gaining speed. Although there is a large open space to merge into, it is clear he is not merging there.



The last picture shows the blue car cutting in front of me. BTW, the only reason he had that much space to merge into, was that I wasn't going to "fight" for my space and I backed off. Right after he moved in front of me, he cut over two more lanes in heavy traffic. If there had been an accident, the video shows a seamless capture of his actions from the rear camera to the front camera.



I haven't tested this yet , but if there had been an accident, the camera has a vibration sensor that locks the video so it isn't overwritten.

This is not an "action" camera, yet one of the sales people at Cycle Gear mentioned that the video I showed her was as good or better than her GoPro. I don't know if I'd go that far. But it is good.
As a "dash" camera though, I'd rate it as exceptional. The quality of everything is excellent, and the price is great.

I have only one nit-pick... When you mount the cameras in their mounts, they are still a little lose when the screw is tightened all the way. The "fix"...just use another washer on the inside of the two arms of the mount that holds the camera and it'll tighten just fine. That is really minor. You'll see what I mean when you mount yours.

Lastly, I have to make a comment about the HaloCam customer service. It is exceptional. I notice that of the previous reviews, one person had issues with his camera. I did too initially. I contacted them and they were outstanding in resolving my issue. I don't know when I've had better customer service. They definitely stand by their product.

Chris
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Old 08-06-2018, 04:08 PM
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Re: HaloCam M1 Motorcycle Dash Camera

Chris:

Thanks for taking the time to post this - really good info. From a guy that has about $2K invested in GoPro equipment this product looks really interesting.

The GoPro's are pretty good - but for my needs something like the HaloCam may be good enough.

I'm not going to get rid of my GoPro stuff but when the time comes I may take a chance on this and see how it does.
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Old 08-06-2018, 06:53 PM
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Re: HaloCam M1 Motorcycle Dash Camera

looks like a nice piece of kit. wish the DVR part was smaller....it is waterproof? space on a K1300S to hide it is little to none.
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Old 08-06-2018, 09:03 PM
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Re: HaloCam M1 Motorcycle Dash Camera

Hmm...I thought it was pretty small. The hardest part to deal with, is the excess cabling. If the cables were shorter, someone would be complaining of how they didn't have enough to reach where they wanted to put the cameras. And with the extra I found on my F800GT, you have to find a suitable place to put it. But the DVR itself is pretty small.

The DVR is the part that is not waterproof. I put a piece of duct tape over the SD memory card slot, the speaker opening and the reset hole. Where I have it under the seat would get really scratched up because of dust and dirt and generally moving around. So I put mine in a plastic bag...which will also help for the waterproof part.

I don't think any of the dash cameras out there are waterproof. The Innovv K2 is water-resistant and it also costs almost twice the price.
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Old 08-07-2018, 07:06 AM
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Re: HaloCam M1 Motorcycle Dash Camera

LOL...it does look small, but when combined with the extra cables...and there is about zero under seat storage on a K13S unfortunately.

great write up by the way! thanks for doing that. really helps folks evaluate gear!!
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Old 08-07-2018, 12:49 PM
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Question Re: HaloCam M1 Motorcycle Dash Camera

How does it do at night?

We've been looking for something to cover the front and back of our van when on the road.

Much of our driving is done at night.
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Old 08-07-2018, 12:49 PM
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Question Re: HaloCam M1 Motorcycle Dash Camera

How does it do at night?

We've been looking for something to cover the front and back of our van when on the road.

Much of our driving is done at night.
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Old 08-07-2018, 01:26 PM
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Re: HaloCam M1 Motorcycle Dash Camera

It seems to work well at night. I've only had it out once. Light sources bloomed in the image, but came back fairly quickly to a balanced image. There's noise in the picture, but not unexpected in this price range.

It probably won't give you license plate numbers, unless the lighting is good and you're close. But it will give you enough to tell the circumstances and vehicle type and color.
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