Jomise K7 Dashcam$169.99
– Sony IMX415
– HiSilicone Chipset
– Touch screen only no buttons
– 1600p video (not 4K despite this sensor being true 8MP)
Probably one of the nicest build quality I have ever felt. Very solid plastic, slightly rubberized, heavy. Permanently mounted to a ball joint. The camera is meant to be visible when driving so it should not be hidden behind the rear view mirror. This camera is not coming out of the car easily. There’s no buttons, only the touch screen.
Problem #1: Set-Up
Required for set up is downloading an app from the vendor Hikvision. At time of writing there is <100 downloads and 0 ratings. Nobody has independently verified this app is safe and does not send data back to the vendor. There is no way to bypass this with alternative apps. This app is 100% required to use the camera on set up, and without it the camera will not operate. If the app goes off play store, there are no 3rd party options that I tried to work. Also there is a security concern with Hikvision products as they make surveillance products.
Problem #2: File structure
This is the biggest reliability problem for me. This camera pre-fills the memory card with blank video files then adds to them as it goes. This in itself is not a problem however I noticed often thumbnails would become an incomprehensible mess because the camera was not properly writing the duration of the files, resulting in them reporting 2h+ duration. Then it would not let me skip through the files to find the part of the video I need, nor could I edit them. Handbrake refused to convert these ones so I was left with a situation where, if I wanted a specific part of any video file I would have to use screen capture software to find it.
Jomise suggested using their player but the files they sent me would not open on my PC because Microsoft Antivirus reported it as containing a virus, and an upload to virus total had enough AV programs flagging it that I was not going to try and bypass and let it install even if it is a false positive. Jomise does not have a website, only a FB page, with no download link on it so I cannot find their software elsewhere.
– Windows built in video player (does not work at all, required codec to buy)
– MPC-HC (plays back, no audio)
– Dashcam Player (plays back, no audio)
– VLC (plays back, no audio)
Playback in the app does work although there were still issues with skipping to different parts of the video sometimes.
For an average user this is a big problem seeing that they will not necessarily have the technical knowledge to download and use these other players on the PC, let alone editing the file to send it to an insurance company or the police. Even those companies may not go through the work arounds required to play it and will ask for the file in specific formats. One necessity in my opinion of operating a dashcam is ease of use when grabbing files, how simple it is to get the file off the dashcam and playing back, and we are not yet there with H265. Unfortunately the duration problem persisted even if the camera was set to H264 mode, and even across multiple memory cards (some worked better than others, although even on the best cards I own it would have this issue for maybe 20% of files).
Furthermore when the camera turns off and back on, it does not start a new file. It keeps going on the last file it was writing to. It makes it a pain in the ass to find any specific point when I started/stopped driving with the issue skipping through files present in any video player I tried. Also, I think as an aspect of the H265, I often noticed that the first 1/2 second of any video file would be blocky/blurry before becoming perfect. This is likely a result of the player and how it starts to decode H265, however it meant that I would have transitions between files with these noisy artifacts and I could not seem to get rid of them, so that meant every 3 min, 1/2 second would be unusable. I do not recall this being present in the cameras H264 mode, but it is by default set to H265 and I expect many users will have this same experience.
And finally I had one file with studio ghibli movie as the audio, I had used the card to transfer earlier the movie to my tablet and even through the format it seemed to persist in some readable state. This is the only file that had playable audio. Weird!
Overall video quality is very good with high dynamic range and decent sharpness. I don’t think there is quite as much detail as some Viofo and Blueskysea 1440p cams I have tested but I notice comparing side by side there is better dynamic range so that makes up for it in some cases where the Viofo would have too bright on white cars the Jomise managed to keep in some detail.
Video is also quite yellow/orange in some cases, the camera will white balance too much based off of the blue sky before figuring out what it is doing and correcting it. In practice this does not hurt legibility of plates or use of the camera but it is noticeable.
Overall plate readability at speed is average. When stopped it is high.
Audio quality I did not get to test as no player would give me audio samples.
Night video is very bright with some noise in the sky at times. It’s overall pleasing however.
Where to Buy
This camera has some smart settings that tell you when a light is green or to “keep up with the car”. They have false positives and in my opinion should be turned off. It was kind of funny at first when it would tell me to keep up with the car in front of me but then I realized it was dangerous when the car in front of me actually had not moved at all…
This camera’s build quality is fantastic. It is a solid piece of kit. However the reliability issues make it highly problematic for me. Am I missing something here? I tried all my basic troubleshooting but still could not get it to work as intended. Mostly everything else about this camera was rock solid. But what is a dashcam if it is not reliable? Not something I would recommend buying that’s for sure.