Introduction and Design
The CR2000 Omega is the latest premium dual channel dash cam from FineVu that offers Parking Mode by Motion Detection and a 3.5" touchscreen LCD. This camera now offers 1080P Full HD recording and even Sony EXMOR sensors on both front and rear channels. This is an advantage the larger CR2000 Omega has over sleeker systems like the best-selling Blackvue DR650GW-2CH which can only record in 1080P front and 720P rear. Having a touchscreen LCD also means that the FineVu can be used as a backup camera of sorts, while it won't automatically switch to display the rear camera when you shift into reverse, you can simply click the screen to stream rear video.
The Omega's predecessors were the CR2000S and CR2000G, while the front unit shares a virtually identical shape and design, the Omega has a revised rear camera that has a much lower profile and elegant look to it compared to the cube shaped camera of before. The front unit has a gloss black body and brushed aluminum back which makes this unit feel at home in a high end luxury car. Compared to a unit like the DR750LW-2CH or the Lukas cameras, I feel like FineVu has done the best job of integrating a large touchscreen in a dashcam as there are no cheap plastics or unnecessary tacky protrusions on the device. With the new rear camera design there is no doubt in my opinion, that this is the best looking 2-channel device with a screen.
While many think the front unit is too big, seeing this device in person often makes customers reconsider that initial notion. The width of the device is only 92mm and the height is 66mm, for reference this is roughly the size of a standard deck of playing cards (89 x 64mm). This front unit is smaller than the vast majority of GPS devices and when mounted high up on the windscreen, it's not very distracting from the inside or very noticeable from the outside (as long as the orange security LED ring is turned off!).
Features and Specs
Video quality is definitely one of the strong suits of the CR2000 series and the latest Omega model is no different. The most popular dashcams in Korea record in 720P HD (front) and VGA 480P (rear) and the market for Full HD + Full HD dashcams isn't very strong; even so, companies like FineVu still develop these products as video quality is the primary concern for many customers in North America. There's always a trade-off between maximum video quality and storage space, and because all Korean dashcams are intended to be hardwired and record 24/7 storage space is a much bigger concern with these products compared to simpler Chinese cameras. Rear video quality on the CR2000 Omega is one of the best in the 2-CH marketplace and is noticeably better than both the Blackvue DR650GW-2CH and even the 1080P rear equipped DR750LW-2CH. The cameras record with a variable bit rate and maxes out at 12Mbps for both front and rear channels. This is considerably higher than many other parking mode devices and FineVu achieves this by allowing lower resolution and frame rate options specifically for parking mode use.
FineVu uses a few different techniques to refine their video quality, these include a blue filter and wide dynamic range which combine to balance video exposure very well picking up details even in harsh lighting conditions. Dewarping is also built into the firmware of the CR2000 Omega which when combined with the 136 degree wide angle lens provides what we feel is the perfect balance between sharp recording and a good field of view.
One of our favourite features with touchscreen device is the way you can use the screen to display rear video in realtime which can act as a backup camera of sorts. Because this doesn't really work on a wireless (WiFi) connection, the streaming is basically instant and makes it work quite well for those applications. It's also very easy to change settings on the CR2000 Omega using the touchscreen and we appreciate that FineVu lets you recalibrate the touch points on this screen as it can fluctuate from time to time. It's a capacitor based system so it can perform well in fairly extreme temperatures and the dual memory card slots can support cards of up to 128GB, these are indicative of the camera's higher end market position.
Parking Mode is obviously another selling point for all FineVu devices, but the CR2000 Omega goes even further and adds a few helpful features to enhance that user experience. First, FineVu lets the user partition the Micro SD card to allot space specifically for normal recording, event recording, and parking recording. The benefit to this is that normal recording and event recording will not overwrite parking recording which is an added degree of protection to your video files. The camera will also alert the driver of how many times motion detection and the G-sensor were triggered when the user starts the car back up, while information about the amount of motion detection footage may not be all that useful, event files definitely are as under normal conditions the G-Sensor should not be triggered when parked. With the dual memory cards the CR2000 Omega can also hold considerably more footage than other systems, this was pioneered first on the CR2000S two years ago. CCR is a new feature that activates when the G-sensor is triggered for event recording, what it does is save the clip in the event folder without interrupting the normal recording. The end result is that you get two clips of the same footage.
We think the FineVu CR2000 Omega is an excellent addition to the 2-channel marketplace. Not only does this device look good but it has the video quality and parking mode to back it up. The touchscreen is easy to use and the 3.5" size keeps the overall camera size down which contributes to the very elegant design of this dash cam. The lane departure warning system and forward collision aren't all that useful but it's there if you want it, we find that these systems often give false alarms as they aren't really integrated in the controls (e.g., turn signals, pedals, steering wheel) of the vehicle. If there's one feature that would be icing on the cake it has to be WiFi connectivity. WiFi makes sharing videos very easy but one option for Android users is to either pop the micro SD into their phone or use an OTG cable and transfer files through the CR2000 Omega's micro USB port.
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