VicoVation Marcus 5 Dual Review

VicoVation's Marcus 5 is a screen equipped dual-channel dashcam and as a result is not as discreet as something like the Blackvue DR650GW-2CH but what it does boast is incredible video quality. It utilizes a clip on bracket which has a filter thread included on the front unit for universal 52mm filters and the dimensions (posted below) are not as big as the product pictures might suggest.

Product Dimensions:

  Length Width Depth
Front Camera 72mm (2.83") 63mm (2.48") 33mm (1.29")
Rear Camera 39mm (1.54") 31mm (1.22") 29mm (1.14")

 

As previously mentioned it's not the most attractive dash cam on the market, but it performs well and is a solid choice in the 2-channel segment. It uses an Ambarella chipset like many high end Chinese/Taiwanese dash cams and offers 1080P recording on both front and rear channels. The Marcus 5 can take Micro SD cards up to 128GB, perfect for storing 2 channels worth of high resolution video. There is no GPS which is not particularly useful in the consumer market but it's interesting VicoVation didn't carry over the WiFi from their WF1 to this system. It's no surprise that the Marcus 5 doesn't offer parking mode by motion detection but it is an important feature we love having in the Korean products as it helps greatly in the event of a hit and run. What it does offer is a higher range of temperature, perhaps ideal for hotter climates where cars are parked outside baking in the sun (up to 75C) although the cold rating is not quite as impressive (only 0C)

One common question we get a lot is how this camera compares to the best-selling 2-channel dashcam, Blackvue DR650GW-2CH. Compared to the DR650GW, the Marcus has better night time video quality in our experience, however in terms of reliability we've had much greater success with the Blackvue/FineVu products. In terms of form factor, there's really no argument for the Marcus 5, the Blackvue looks/feels much better and is significantly less bulky. The Marcus 5 also lacks parking mode with motion detection and doesn't have GPS or WiFi which explains the price difference, however for those seeking solely video quality, the Marcus 5 may be a good dual channel choice. 

The video quality, especially at night time is nothing short of impressive. The VicoVation Marcus 5 uses an Ambarella A7 processor to put out detail rich 1080P video on both front and rear channels. It has an F/2.0 145 degree lens which causes slight distortion along the edges but does capture a lot within the frame. Customers who are planning to use this for cars with shorter hoods might appreciate the wider angle lens as it is more likely to capture the fenders than narrower lenses. Another neat video camera feature is the 52mm filter adapter which is a common size for DSLR lenses so you can experiment with a variety of different UV, CPL, and ND filters to fine tune your video experience.

 

Overall the Marcus 5 is fairly priced as a mid-range dual channel system, but there are definitely shortcomings that make us nervous about recommending it, such as the mixed reliability we've experienced firsthand. Then there is the fact that it doesn't support parking mode by motion detection although VicoVation will be bringing this technology into their lineup in the future. For that reason, an alternative unit to recommend is the FineVu CR2000G which has a 3.5" touchscreen and is slightly shorter and a little wider than the Marcus 5. It also has excellent video quality with 1080P front and rear, but it offers GPS and parking mode for a very comparable price. Those who are willing to spend a little more should look at the Blackvue DR750LW which is a reliable 2-channel system that offers WiFi for smartphone/tablet integration.