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Tesla dashcam vs aftermarket one

I've got the built in Tesla dashcam feature in my Model S as well as an aftermarket dashcam (that was installed by the previous owner). I'm assuming they installed the aftermarket dashcam because the Tesla dashcam wasn't available to them at the time. However, the aftermarket dashcam has become faulty so I'm wondering if anyone is intentionally running an aftermarket system as well as the Tesla dashcam and their reason for it. If I'm buying an aftermarket one then I'm thinking of going with Blackvue as that seems to be quite popular and a solid solution for the Tesla.

Thoughts?
 
im running a blackvue along w/the teslacam. just for redundancy reasons (hear/see horror stories of it not recording or can't get into glovebox).
plus the 4k is much clearer vs the 720p or whatever teslacam has... and its easy to connect to my blackvue with wifi to download clips vs taking out the usb to load onto a computer!
 
I had an IRO dashcam in my 85D - installation was easy, it integrated very well into the mirror post and almost looked 'factory'. They do make one for AP2 and later cars, I've not yet decided whether to get one for redundancy purposes but possibly.
The IRO and TopFit dashcams are very similar, I figured they might be clones. I had the AP1 version in my first Model S, and have the AP2+ version in my current S. Note that the newer TopFit model doesn’t support as much memory as the old one, I think the limit is now 32GB. I don’t know if the IRO has the same limit, but I would check before buying one. I also found that the newer one is less reliable, sometimes it doesn’t record for reasons unknown.
 
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Tam

Well-Known Member
Nov 25, 2012
11,607
10,673
Visalia, CA
...I'm assuming they installed the aftermarket dashcam because the Tesla dashcam wasn't available to them at the time...

Remember, TeslaCam is not your expected regular dashcam. It's still in beta. There have been multiple threads complaining that when it's needed, the TeslaCam is not there for them. For example Another day, another brand new post:

 
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T3SLAS

Member
Mar 24, 2022
9
15
CT
What's the best dashcam for the Model S or 3? Someone hit my car in the parking lot (turning into the spot) and when I honked the clip barely save the car hitting me. It started recording at the honk and not previously. Then a week later I was turning in a parking garage and a car is flying down the ramps around a bend and I honked. Thankfully the other car came to a screeching stop (maybe 2 inches from hitting me). The dashcam saved from the honk going forward but nothing before then. The clip before says it's 10:50 seconds but at 9:50 it jumps to when I honk so it misses the entire minute where it would have shown the car almost hitting me. I am looking to install a 3rd party dashcam where it will continuously record even when parked. Is there one out there where I can plug it into the USB or something where I don't need an external battery pack? Thanks for your help!
 

vcor

Tech Specialist
Nov 29, 2012
425
238
California
What's the best dashcam for the Model S or 3? Someone hit my car in the parking lot (turning into the spot) and when I honked the clip barely save the car hitting me. It started recording at the honk and not previously. Then a week later I was turning in a parking garage and a car is flying down the ramps around a bend and I honked. Thankfully the other car came to a screeching stop (maybe 2 inches from hitting me). The dashcam saved from the honk going forward but nothing before then. The clip before says it's 10:50 seconds but at 9:50 it jumps to when I honk so it misses the entire minute where it would have shown the car almost hitting me. I am looking to install a 3rd party dashcam where it will continuously record even when parked. Is there one out there where I can plug it into the USB or something where I don't need an external battery pack? Thanks for your help!
When you use the horn or manually save a copy, the saved copy can lose up to a minute behind when you attempted to save the video. Remember the video is being recorded in 1-minute segments. The currently recording segment is NOT copied. So when you want the Tesla dashcam to save a video segment wait at least one minute so it saved what you really want.

I also have both the Tesla dashcam and a Blackvue. Many advantages as others pointed out. Several more include saving the GPS data with the video and inserting a time-stamp in the video. Some dashcams like Blackvue DR900 automatically upload the video to the cloud every day when I get home via WiFi, so I have an additional backup. I also use a large 256 GB SDcard, which handles about 9 hours of 4K front and 2K rear video. It is a minor hassle to install an alternative dashcam. All come with connectors for USB or the 12v power port, but ideally, you'd like to hard-wire it in.

If you attach the dashcam to an always-on power, it will record while parked, even if Sentry mode is off. If you use Sentry mode, the front USB and Power-ports will remain on. Here's my extensive guide for places where you can tap for power and how each one reacts as the vehicle powers off: Accessory Power Guide 12v/5v – TeslaTap
 
I plan on getting the mcu2 upgrade. I assuming my car year doesn't support telsacam at all?

Not currently, but it will, when you get the Infotainment Upgrade (MCU2).

Actually, the Dashcam feature and Sentry that records to a USB drive are dependent on the Autopilot computer version, not the MCU version.

When you get the Infotainment Upgrade, Tesla also updates the Autopilot computer to the FSD computer [on vehicles with the 8 cameras], which in turn, enables Dashcam and Sentry that actually records the events to a USB drive and not just flashes the headlights.
 
Not currently, but it will, when you get the Infotainment Upgrade (MCU2).

Actually, the Dashcam feature and Sentry that records to a USB drive are dependent on the Autopilot computer version, not the MCU version.

When you get the Infotainment Upgrade, Tesla also updates the Autopilot computer to the FSD computer [on vehicles with the 8 cameras], which in turn, enables Dashcam and Sentry that actually records the events to a USB drive and not just flashes the headlights.

Thanks, forgot to say that mine is only hw2.0, so I might be missing some cameras? My friend 2019 have an extra camera on the front windshield where mine doesn't. I think this is the camera for dasham?
 
forgot to say that mine is only hw2.0

You did mention you have AP2 currently.

My friend 2019 have an extra camera on the front windshield

All AP2 onwards vehicles have the exact same number of cameras (8). 3 in the windshield, 2 side repeaters, 2 cameras in the b-pillars and the backup camera.

The only difference among cameras is their color filters. AP2 cameras lack a blue light filter that further AP2.5 onwards do have. If you purchased the FSD software for your vehicle, Tesla will upgrade your cameras (except the backup camera) to a newer revision part number.

When you get the Infotainment Upgrade, you are going to see that your Sentry/Dashcam videos are going to be black and white with a slight red hue. If you get the cameras upgraded, your recordings will have a better color spectrum but won't be full color, as the new cameras still lack a green filter in order to be full color like the backup camera.
 
When you use the horn or manually save a copy, the saved copy can lose up to a minute behind when you attempted to save the video. Remember the video is being recorded in 1-minute segments. The currently recording segment is NOT copied. So when you want the Tesla dashcam to save a video segment wait at least one minute so it saved what you really want.

I also have both the Tesla dashcam and a Blackvue. Many advantages as others pointed out. Several more include saving the GPS data with the video and inserting a time-stamp in the video. Some dashcams like Blackvue DR900 automatically upload the video to the cloud every day when I get home via WiFi, so I have an additional backup. I also use a large 256 GB SDcard, which handles about 9 hours of 4K front and 2K rear video. It is a minor hassle to install an alternative dashcam. All come with connectors for USB or the 12v power port, but ideally, you'd like to hard-wire it in.

If you attach the dashcam to an always-on power, it will record while parked, even if Sentry mode is off. If you use Sentry mode, the front USB and Power-ports will remain on. Here's my extensive guide for places where you can tap for power and how each one reacts as the vehicle powers off: Accessory Power Guide 12v/5v – TeslaTap
Hi vcor, I've always had Blackvue cameras on my vehicles and just got a M3LR that I'm thinking about putting a Blackvue in. So I was wondering, do I really need a 2-ch Blackvue or should I just get a front view.

Here's my logic ... you don't need 4k for a rear collision and for parking mode the Tesla sentry mode has more coverage. Plus, if I tint the rear window, even putting the Blackvue on the bottom of the rear glass, would I have to cut a hole/notch for the Blackvue to record a decent video?

Anyway, would value your opinion. THANKS.
 

vcor

Tech Specialist
Nov 29, 2012
425
238
California
@ta[au - That's a very reasonable approach. Installing the rear camera is a hassle, and I just did it with my 2022 S. I only did it because I had the 2ch Blackvue I removed from my prior Tesla. I agree that the Tesla dashcam should handle most of what you may want from the rear. Still, it's nice to have higher resolution and other features, but if I was to do it from scratch and was buying a new dashcam, I'd ditch the rear camera!
 
I've had a couple of Blackvue 900S in my cars for a few years and they have performed flawlessly. I recently installed one of them in my refreshed MS (removed from my prior car before selling it). I echo the comments above that it is a bit of a pain to run the rear camera cable into the trunk lid -- much easier to install it in a non-hatchback sedan.
 

SO16

Active Member
Feb 25, 2016
3,636
12,600
MI
I have both. I bought the 4 dashcams prior to getting the dashcam feature but I like having both still.

Higher res and wider angle if needed. Also a good backup in case one or the other failed.

For the two side cameras, I have them in the back seat tiny window but facing forward. Gets angles of cars pulling in that Tesla dashcam wouldn’t get.
 
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I've had a couple of Blackvue 900S in my cars for a few years and they have performed flawlessly. I recently installed one of them in my refreshed MS (removed from my prior car before selling it). I echo the comments above that it is a bit of a pain to run the rear camera cable into the trunk lid -- much easier to install it in a non-hatchback sedan.
This blackvue is came out of my husband's Model P100D, it's a 900S. He bought a Thinkware DashCam. My kids have 650S in their cars (they've been in there for about 6-7 years) and I can't remember what I had on my Jaguar since I sold it with the blackvue in it. I've seen enough videos that I can install it myself in the Model 3, I just don't know if it's worth the time to do the rear with that half tinted back glass. I've only had the M3LR for 7 days and still trying to make up my mind about whether to tint the glass and the rear blackvue. I'll definitely put in the front camera. Thanks for the input.
 

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