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Review: Nextbase 512G dash camera

Published 28 September 2015

What is it?

If you’re interested in a dash camera you’ve probably already heard of Nextbase. The 402G Professional regularly comes out on top in product tests, thanks to its high quality footage and low-light capability. But it has now been superseded by the 512G, which promises even better footage and night capability.

What's it like?

We’ve spent a few weeks using one now and it’s safe to say it delivers precisely what it promises – although on first inspection you might wonder how it captures any footage at all. The lens on the 512G is covered by what looks like black glass – but this is a polarising filter designed to reduce the amount of reflective glare from the windscreen. It can be removed, if needs be, but there isn’t all that much point.

It’s one of several measures implemented to get the very best performance from the camera. The lens itself, for example, has six layers of glass designed to give sharp, clear images, plus the image sensor has a wide dynamic range. This allows it to capture both very bright and very dark areas simultaneously.

This is perhaps the most important feature of a dash camera – if the sky is particularly bright it’s quite possible for footage of the road ahead to come out very dark, while at night the glare from headlights will often obscure the number plates of cars in front. There are no such issues with the 512G, which works well regardless of whether it’s day or night.

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Clear display for playing back clips away from a PC

In other areas the 512G is very much like the cheaper 402G. It has a GPS sensor to record speed and location, with software that can decipher the information and plot it on Google Maps. Like with the 402G, footage can be recorded in various different resolutions up to 1080P – or true HD.

For most users the 720P setting will be fine. Image quality is still very sharp indeed, but it takes up less space on the memory card, meaning you can record more of your journey. As you would hope, there is a shock sensor that will automatically save clips if it detects what it thinks is a collision, or the driver can press the hazard triangle button to save the current three minute clip.

That’s useful if you see something interesting, like a collision involving another vehicle or a hazard in the road, since it will prevent the dash camera overwriting that clip later in your journey. The 512G takes up to 32GB memory cards, which are good for several hours of footage before they start being overwritten by new footage.

Should I buy one?

If you’re a die-hard dash cam user then the 512G is about as good as it gets – but its excellence comes at a fairly high price. The RRP for the Nextbase 512G is £179.99 - £30 more than the very impressive and almost-as-capable 402G. The 512G is still appealing of course – its superior image quality will be great for those who cover lots of miles year-round, day and night. 

If you need a dash cam that records front and rear, read our review of the Duo here.

Details

Price: £179.99 RRP (Available for £119.95 in Amazon)

Maximum resolution: 1080p @ 30fps

Card type: MicroSD

Alternatives 

Mio MiVue 792: £198.99 RRP

Z-Edge Z3 Plus: £199.99 RRP

Comments

David Knowles    on 27 December 2016

Recordings are okay rather than exceptional samples in websites are a lot clearer than I can reproduce. Glare from headlights often masks number plates. The quality of the unit is just about okay. The screen itself is very low quality text and icons very blocky. However the biggest issue with this unit is the laughable mounting design. The marketing pictures and videos show the unit simply plugging onto the windscreen holder. Not a chance. The very basic cheap plastic clip that attaches the unit is really difficult to use and needs 2 hands and a lot of swearing. Almost impossible to do when holding in your hands impossible when attached to the windscreen without pulling out of the windscreen with holder attached. On top of this the mounting has no power connector built in unlike others. You have connect the USB mini connector to the top of the unit again just about impossible to do in situ. What this means is that you have to remove the unit worth the sucksion holder which is a joke as the whole thing then needs doing up and poisoning again, something you just won't do. It has automatic start that must assume you leave the unit on your car all the time. All this will do is Mark your car as a target for breaking into to steal the device. Ridiculous! Has none even thought how this is supposed to be used. Waste of money as it is impracticable. Look at other models that are better thought through and designed with real life use in mind.

Pete Boy    on 4 January 2017

I purchased it after the review I found at: cardashcamreviews.com/nextbase-512g-ultra-review/ The image quality is awesome compared to a few cheapo cameras I bought before it. The price is abit steep though and there's probably a more suitable quality camera at a lower price. But overall very pleased with the build quality and footage it produces!

Sarah Miles    on 5 February 2017

I have been looking for a good in car dash cam for some time and this camera caught my eye, Its easy to use and at first connecting the camera to the plastic holder is fiddly but there is a knack to it and now do it with one hand, It has fantastic picture quality much better than the cheaper versions I have seen, I have used cable clips to neatly position the lead around my passenger side windscreen to my 12v power outlet, Overall I'm very pleased and would recommend this camera very highly

   on 15 May 2017

Just purchased one from Halfords for under £140 so I'm hoping it's as good as you peeps say it is. I previously had a Chinese one from eBay which gave great pictures but it had a fault and no matter what size ad card I used, it only ever recorded three minutes at a time and continuously wrote over that file so was useless. This looks straightforward.

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