I am always fascinated with everything that has a camera and lens on it, may it be a DSLR, point and shoot camera, mirrorless camera, smartphones, and even dashcams that are becoming more and more better in terms of image quality they produce. A while ago, I reviewed the Transcend DrivePro 550 Dashcam and it is a very good dashcam. However, it also comes with a very hefty price tag of around Php. 9000 which is a very steep price to pay.
So when Ekleva reached out to me, I immediately checked their product page specifically their DC36 dashcam, and it got my attention because of the good reviews about it on Lazada. At the time of this writing, it has 96 ratings with 91 of them being a five star. It is only around Php 3000 so today, we are going to take a look at it and see if it’s worth the Hype.
MY EARLY BREAKDOWN
Pros: Very good design and build quality, Decent image quality, Functional features
Video format: MOV
WHAT’S IN THE PACKAGE
1 x Driving recorder
1 x Car charger with Power Cable
1 x User manual
1 x Bracket
Design and Construction
At the back, we have the 4.0 inches IPS display which is very nice for its price, it really does look like a smartphone isn’t it? with thick bezels on each side and a very shiny glass display.
Features and Settings
Now, let’s dig in and discuss the settings and features of this dashcam. The first thing I did is I reset the dashcam to default settings and formatted the microSD card to make sure everything is in good condition.
This dashcam has a built-in battery so that it can record footages even if the car engine is turned off, this will be used alongside the gsensor and parking guard modes which we’ll discuss later.
Press the mode button to switch between recording, photography and file viewer modes.
Before you can access the features and settings menu, you have to stop the recording by pressing the “OK’ button once.
Here are the features of the Ekleva DC36
Resolution: You can choose between 1080, 720p and VGA. Make sure to set it to 1080p for maximum image quality.
So that’s pretty much it when it comes to the features and settings of the Ekleva DC36 Dashcam.
The primary camera like I said earlier, shoots up to 1080 resolution and has a field of view of 170 degrees. It says on the specifications that it has a framerate of 30FPS but as per my testing, it is only 25FPS. It has 25mm aperture and the lens itself is made of 6 pieces of glass. Unfortunately, I have no way of testing that unless I dismantle the lens itself.
Fill Light/Night Vision Mode
The fill light settings is very important because this will enable the night vision mode and the dual-LED fill light in front. I would recommend this to be turned on during night time or at least set to auto mode.
Fill light disabled vs Fill light enabled
Note: You can also watch the video version of this review at the end of this article for a much better view of the camera quality.
Primary Camera Daylight
In terms of image quality, as you can see it is pretty good considering the price, mind you it’s only around 3000 pesos so you have to set your expectations right.
The overall image quality is ok, the sharpness and colors are decent enough and you can clearly read plate numbers at close distance.
Unfortunately, the highlights are obviously blown out and I cannot see the effect of the wide dynamic range feature here, it should be able to balance the highlights and show some clouds here but It doesn’t.
The good thing is the most important details are very clear like the moving traffic, and plate numbers.
Now here’s some comparison when the wide dynamic range is on and off. To be honest, I don’t see any difference in terms of the exposure, the highlights are still blown off as you can see here.
Primary Camera Night Time
When it comes to night time performance, I was expecting so much with this camera, since it looks to have a better low-light capability than most budget dashcams out there with that massive lens and night vision LEDs.
But as per my testing, It didn’t stand out as much as I was hoping for, don’t get me wrong, the image quality is decent and there’s not much image noise compared to the one we were previously using, which is an NIA dashcam, I’ll show you guys some comparisons later.
Looking at these footages, it’s very hard to read plate numbers anymore especially with the blown highlights due to the bright headlights of the vehicles. But overall, it is still usable for other cases such as collisions, traffic issues, and whatnot.
The image below is with the fill light disabled.
And now the fill light is turned on, as you can see it doesn’t seem to have any significant difference because obviously, those LEDs in front is not enough to help. I think the fill light and night vision mode is made for when the vehicle is parked in a dark environment and will be used alongside the parking guard and the gsensor, so that the camera can capture images clearly even if there’s no light available.
Secondary Camera Daylight
The rear camera is functional but the footage is not that usable in terms of being able to read plate numbers, not to mention that the camera view is mirrored.
Secondary Camera Night Time
During night time it gets worse, but it can still help capture other details behind the car which is still always a nice option to have.
Memory Card Requirements
Lastly, before we wrap this up, you need a decent performing microSD card especially the ones capable of fast write speeds and at least class 10. For my testing, I used a 32gb class 10 Samsung Evo microSD card. In the manual, it was specifically mentioned to avoid the SanDisk ultra due to known unreliability.
To conclude, the Ekleva DC36 dashcam is quite a darkhorse in this price range. It has great build quality, functional features, and decent image quality. However, at this price range of around 3000 pesos, it certainly has a lot of competition. But if you value the extreme night vision capability of this dashcam, then this would be a decent option.
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Marvin Gabriel is an enthusiastic, quality oriented content creator, specializing in technology taking full advantage of everything he learned throughout the years. He is fully committed to creating the best quality content for our viewers and partners with the ultimate vision to be one of the best technology influencers in the country.