BlackVue DR650GW-2CH IR / RC100-IR Review

With the increasing popularity of services like Uber and Lyft, more and more customers are looking for a solution to record not only the exterior of the vehicle in the case of an accident, but the interior as well for their own security. Taxi cabs and some police cruisers have been equipped with IR interior security cameras for years due to the unpredictability of the type of person getting into the back seat of these vehicles. Blackvue has responded to this market demand by developing a replacement secondary camera, the RC100-IR for their best-selling DR650GW-2CH model that features an IR sensor and infrared lights. The overall size of this new unit is the same as the standard camera it replaces and will fit in the existing mounting bracket if you choose to upgrade to the IR version. 

DR650GW-2CH IR vs non IR

Aside from the driver-for-hire clientele, we also find that customers are reaching out to us for a camera to record police traffic stops as well. While a budget dashcam like the Skyview G1 can accomplish this, the DR650GW-2CH IR is a more elegant solution and because it's intended to be hardwired, it can record even if you turn off your engine and remove the keys. The standard rear camera also does a fairly decent job of recording the interior of the cabin but it can struggle to pick up details if your dome light isn't on at night (sample picture here). While we recommend mounting the IR camera on the front window facing rearwards, for those that want a simple solution that can accomplish both interior and exterior recording, you could mount the rear camera on the rear window and rotate it for interior view when on a shift and rotate it back to the exterior for regular day-to-day driving. The downside to this is you can't see the face of your passengers and the defroster lines will cause a reflection from the infrared (see example below)

DR650GW-2CH IR Mounted on Rear Window

For wiring up the secondary IR camera in the front we used the standard 6m (20') coaxial cable, we don't recommend cramming all the excess cable in the headliner as there is a lot and the headliner will be bursting at the seams. We ending up going down the A-pillar and hid the majority of the wires under the passenger side door sill and then back up the A-pillar for our Ford Fiesta. This method would work well for most Domestic and Japanese vehicles, but tucking the excess behind the glovebox would be another option as well. One problem was mounting the actual IR camera, for our samples below we actually stuck it to the lower edge of the rearview mirror. This wouldn't be an issue for most cars with more upright windows but the way the Fiesta's windshield is angled and mirror is positioned there weren't any ideal positions for it. Our customer's 3-channel setup shows an ideal position for an interior facing camera and is possible in most vehicles. 

The results from the IR camera were nothing short of impressive, with IR activated there is an excellent amount of detail even in pitch black situations like our comparison picture below. Because we mounted the camera so low in the Fiesta and the large headrests, the angle wasn't ideal for picking up back seat passengers but we were pretty happy with the results overall. The picture below is in our garage with the lights on vs. the lights fully off. 
Blackvue RC100-IR Interior
Given the narrow width of our Ford FIesta however, the IR did a pretty good job of picking up the face of back seat passengers! This car wouldn't be ideal for wide sharing due to the small back seat but the ability of the RC100-IR is demonstrated clearly here. 

Compared to the standard rear camera and most 1-ch dashcams, a true IR lens will be able to pick up much more detail at night. If you primarily drive during the day and don't need this feature at night, the standard DR650GW-2CH rear camera will do a good enough job of recording the interior. We highly recommend this for any ride-sharing or taxi customers though, especially if they plan on picking up customers at entertainment districts late at night. 
To purchase the DR650GW-2CH IR click here
To purchase the RC100-IR replacement rear camera click here