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Caidrox CD-3000 review: Caidrox CD-3000

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The MP4 output files can be viewed with most standard video player programs, but they won't include the telemetry and GPS information, just the video drive footage. The viewer software is not able to create a video in a standard format overlaying the telemetry and GPS data, which would be useful for extra file portability.

The viewer software combines footage of the road, a Google map, and car speed.

To communicate its operating state, the device uses LEDs. A blue light indicates the device is on, while a red light shows when it is recording. There is no power switch; the CD-3000 turns on when plugged in. The CD-3000 also has an internal microphone recording cabin audio, which might come in handy when providing evidence after an accident.

A beep sounds when the device begins saving an incident, which mercifully can be turned off using the settings from the viewer software. This beeping occurs frequently enough when driving to become annoying. The viewer software defaults to kilometers per hour, but can be switched to miles per hour in its settings.

With the CD-3000 mounted on a windshield, its wide-angle lens catches all of the action out front. It does cause a fish-eye effect, but that does not interfere with the ability to tell what is happening in the shot. Although not HD, the resolution is sufficient for the device's purpose.

When driving, the CD-3000 showed quite a bit of sensitivity, interpreting hard acceleration, braking, or bumps in the road as incidents worth saving. With default settings, each resulting MP4 file was about 23MB, so the 4GB SD card can hold quite a few. It is obviously better for the CD-3000 to be oversensitive, recording every jolt, rather than miss an actual crash. But it will make finding a particular incident tedious, given the viewer's poor file management.

The viewing software itself can be a little sluggish when responding to button inputs. When starting a drive file, it takes a moment for the Google map component to catch up with the video. The viewer interface is a fixed size, so it cannot be put into full-screen mode.

Average drivers, who get in only a few accidents over a lifetime, probably won't need a drive recorder. Nor is the CD-3000 appropriate for sport drivers. Action cameras such as the GoPro Hero and Contour offer much better resolution. The best use for the CD-3000 is for fleet vehicles, such as taxi cabs or delivery trucks.

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