REVIEW – In June of 2019, I reviewed Lanmodo’s Night Vision Safe Driving Assistant. I was impressed with its performance and capabilities. Lanmodo has released an updated version with some great features. Let’s have a look to see what surprises Lanmodo has packed into their new powerhouse Vast Pro camera that makes seeing in the dark possible.
What is it?
The Lanmodo Night Vast Pro system a self-contained high-sensitivity night vision camera and display that provides enhanced visibility of the oncoming road.
- Camera: SONY CMOS sensor, 1920 x 1080 resolution, 5mega-pixel, 45° field of vision
- Display: IPS 7.84-inch screen, rated at 850cd/M²
- 7-layer full glass lens
- Minimum illumination 0.0001 Lux
- Night Vision Distance: up to 300-meters
- Storage capacity: up to 128GB using a micro-SD card. Single SD card slot
- Continuous recording time: 28 hours without the rear camera, 14 hours with rear camera
- 25 frames-per-second capture rate
- 12-volt operating voltage at 1000mA (12 watts)
- Working temperature: -20° to 70°C (-4° to 158°F)
What’s in the Box?
- Camera and display unit
- Dash-mount base
- Windshield Suction cup base
- Lighter plug power cord
- OBD2 port power cord
- Instruction manual
- Micro-SD card
- Micro-SD card reader
Design and Features:
Like its predecessor, Lanmodo uses top-notch packaging to protect the Night Vision system.
Fluffy-fluffy foam cradles the contents in comfort.
The latest version is considerably smaller than the 2019 model. For the review of the previous version, click here.
Power option 1: The 12-volt automotive power plug
Power option 2: An adapter that plugs into the vehicle’s OBD2 socket. All cars since made since 1996 have them.
The cable splits into two connections for power and the optional rearview camera.
Included with the hardware are two bases, one includes a sticky suction cup that attaches to a vehicle’s windshield. The other is an equally sticky base that is included to mount the camera to the vehicle dash. I found this base to be a significant improvement over the previous version in reducing the amount of jittering and camera shake.
A screwdriver is included to attach the base.
The buttons on the body allow easy operation but do take a little practice. The display is not touch-screen capable. For safety, don’t attempt to operate the controls with the car in motion.
Setup of the camera permits inversion of the display for right-side-up or upside-down operation.
A worthy inclusion from the previous model is dashcam capabilities. The camera supports up to 128GB Micro-SD cards with loop-recording to preserve your driving adventures.
A single Micro-SD card slot is recessed into the body. My fingernails are short so I needed a pointy object to insert and retract the card.
The software includes settings for turning video and audio recording on or off, clip size, orientation, on-board playback, language, and memory card formatting. The “G-Sensor” setting sets the sensitivity of on-board sensors that lock the current file to prevent deletion should the vehicle detect a sudden jolt such as what might occur in a fender-bender.
The camera has a “parking mode” feature that when connected to a source of constant battery power, continues to record video without the engine running. The system will turn the system off if the battery voltage drops below 11.6-volts to prevent the battery from draining below the level that would prevent the vehicle from starting.
The lens is mounted on a ball swivel to allow the camera to be aimed.
The night-vision performance of the Lanmodo system is top-notch. Here is a photo showing the system in operation using my vehicle’s low beam headlights. The photos are representative of what’s visible in front of the car with the headlights, as well as through the night vision camera.
…And another with my high-beam headlights. It’s truly shocking how well this system works.
This photo shows the amazing light-gathering capabilities with my vehicle lights off. The image is grainy, but it’s detecting an image in near-total darkness.
It would not be wise to drive your vehicle exclusively using the Lanmodo Vast Pro system, but it sure adds a sense of security, extending the driver’s field of vision FAR beyond the reach of conventional headlights. By my estimate, Lanmodo’s claim of being able to see 300 meters in front of my car (with high-beams turned on) is accurate.
Transfer from the camera to a computer is an easy drag-and-drop. If the rear camera is attached, files are stored in “Front View” and “Rear View” (the rearview camera is optional) folders and tagged with a date and time stamp.
Video files are crisp and clear and representative of what the camera “sees.” Like the previous model, the display playback image is compressed from top to bottom a bit, but not annoyingly so. Accessing the files on the device can be a bit cumbersome. With 28 hours of video in 1, 3 or 5-minute chunks, no thumbnails, and no touchscreen, there are a lot of files to weed through. In fairness, I have dashcams in both my cars and rarely need to access the files in the event of a mishap, so this is generally not a big deal. For easier access, I would recommend transferring the files to a computer.
Interestingly, video files are displayed correctly when using the Lanmodo’s display, but when I transferred the files to a computer, the files were upside-down and reversed. I used video editing software to orient the video correctly for the following clip:
The display is large and bright. In a dark environment, the brightness of the updated model’s screen may be distracting for some. I would have liked to see a larger range to dim the display much further to help preserve night vision for my old eyes. The following photo shows the difference between the dimmest settings between last year’s model (left) and the 2020 version (right). I prefer the wider brightness range of the older model.
Also, in some vehicles, the size of the Lanmodo camera system may block the driver’s safe view of the road, so it would be wise to select the mounting location carefully.
In future iterations, I would love to see the camera offset to the extreme left or right on the front of the housing so it could be used in place of the rear-view mirror.
What I Like:
- Excellent night-vision capabilities
What I Would Change:
- A lower profile base to mount the camera on the windshield in a location that blocks less the driver’s view of the road.
- Offsetting the camera to the far left or right of the display housing would allow it to be used as a rear-view camera.
- Add a touch screen for easier operation
- Correct orientation of video files extracted from the memory card
- Increase the range of dimming
As my eyes age, I have less ability to see in the dark. I welcome Lanmodo’s Vast Pro Night Vision camera to help negotiate dark roads and make driving safer.
Lanmodo has released an update to the Vast Pro Night Vision system’s software. They provided a set of files and instructions, as well as an informative instructional video. After performing the update, the video files are correctly oriented after being loaded to a computer. I imagine Lanmodo will be implementing this update in subsequent releases. It’s a welcomed fix, but I would still like to see an update that allows the screen brightness to be dimmed significantly more.
Price: Currently $199 for “Golden Member” participants with a $10 purchase
Where to buy: Lanmodo
Source: The sample for this review was provided by Lanmodo.