I’ve been experimenting with different car dash cams since I discovered that the GoPro cameras don’t feature an auto-record-upon-power-up function. The last dash cam I reviewed was the Pittasoft BlackVue DR5000GW-HD, and before that, the DashCam Dually in 2010 (see related links for reviews of these products). I thought the BlackVue DR5000GW-HD did a pretty good job. How does the LK-7500 FHD CUTY from Lukas stack up?
Unboxing the Lukas LK-7500 FHD CUTY.
Inside: 8GB SD card, 12V power cord, adhesive clips and mounts, and the camera itself.
Let’s take a look at some of the physical controls (click images to enlarge):
And the published specs (click to enlarge):
Note the sliding on-off switch.
Made in KoreaUnlike other dash cams I’ve tested in the past, the LK-7500 accepts a 37mm diameter threaded filter. It comes with a “UV” filter. If glare or reflections are an issue, a circular polarizer might do the trick.
The mount also doubles as a GPS receiver. Pretty clever.
The SD card protrudes just slightly.
The setup app (Windows only) comes pre-installed on the included SD card.
You can adjust camera settings from the Setup page (the gear icon)
Notice that the program allows you to control the video quality (Mbps). Higher quality records larger video files.
Despite these on-screen controls, I could never get it to work the way I wanted, nor set the correct time. I must be doing something wrong.
Same things applies to GPS. I can’t get it to work.
Under “Audio” you can opt to have the cam record simultaneous audio, as well as control the built-in speech prompts (English or Korean).
I never used the final two tabs, Flash Command and Information.
I used my own temporary double-sided tape (white) and mounted the Lukas LK-7500 FHD CUTY alongside the Pittasoft Blackvue DR5000GW-HD, and went for a drive.
See for yourself. Actual quality may have degraded a bit during YouTubeing.
Here are some still screen captures. Click on any photo to enlarge to full size.
Toll Plaza Screenshot
Intersection Screenshot of Red Mini who cut me off
Screenshot: Can you read the “ROAD WORK AHEAD” sign?
For those of you who are familiar with the Pittasoft Blackvue DR5000GW-HD camera, both were recorded at about the same Mbps settings; the DR5000GW-HD was running custom firmware v1.005 with the Mbps set slightly higher than 11. (For more information on Blackvue firmware, check various online forums such as DashCamTalk.)
- It appears that both cameras exhibit a degree of motion artifact “blocking” with video compression, but the Lukas LK-7500′s still shots are a little sharper, and the colors a bit more vivid.
- The Lukas LK7500 lists a field of vision at 135 degrees. Whatever it is, it’s narrower than the Blackvue DR5000GW-HD.
- I was happy that the Lukas LK7500 uses SD cards. I find microSD cards a little harder to source and a bit more fiddly to handle.
- Speaking of SD cards, the Lukas advertises 128GB SD card compatibility. I don’t have an SD card that large, so I didn’t test that.
- The Blackvue DR5000GW-HD features WiFi-to-smartphone connectivity. The Lukas does not.
- Both cameras record to video filetypes that do not require the manufacturer’s app to view (.mp4 for the Blackvue, .avi for the Lukas).
- There are no shiny, reflective chrome bits on the Lukas LK7500, unlike the Blackvue.
- Only one blue LED on the front of the Lukas LK7500, unlike the many LEDs on the Blackvue. However, the Lukas makes up for this with a line of 7-segment green LED characters. (Spells installed firmware when it powers up, and ‘See You” when it powers down, for example.)
In the end, the only thing that matters is image quality, and the Lukas LK7500 HD CUTY edges out the Pittasoft Blackvue DR5000GW-HD by a hair. Future firmware updates to the Blackvue could change this, but as it stands, I’m going to stick with the LK7500 HD CUTY as my choice for dash cam.