Review of the DR Pro 360 Panoramic Dash Cam
The DR. PRO, sometimes called the DR J. is a budget level 360 degree dash camera. While most lower priced dash cams only offer about 150 degrees of front video recording, the DR PRO captures a full video of both the front and back of your car, along with the sides as well. This is not only good for full coverage in the case of an accident, it is also useful for Uber, Lyft and Taxi drivers who want to record their front and backseat passengers for liability purposes.
Dash cams have become affordable enough for the average consumer to make a justified purchase. However cameras that provide what they promise are far and few between. The market has become increasingly saturated with dash cams that look good on the spec sheet, but at the end of the day are unreliable and don’t offer anything unique in the feature set.
DR.J’s latest dash cam on the other hand promises an impressive amount of tech and high end specs at a more than reasonable price point. With a unique 4.5” display set up, numerous features and a panoramic sensor optimized for interior views, the Pro has a lot to offer.
Open up the rather utilitarian box and you’ll find all the accessories necessary to get the dash cam running. This includes the front and rear cameras, a lengthy 3.5m car charging cable, an even longer 5m cable for the rear camera and a USB charging cable which can also be used for data transfer. A suction cup bracket, some glue and the necessary literature is also included.
At this price point, the omission of a microSD card should come at no surprise. Luckily they’re relatively affordable and if you already have one lying around that’s under 64GB, you can always use that. Just be sure that its snappy enough to handle recordings – class 10 or above is the recommended for any dash camera.
With uncommon value for money comes an uncommon design. Unlike most dash cams, the DR Pro looks a lot more like a traditional GPS, with its sizeable 4.5” display taking up most of the front of the camera. Underneath lies the sensor itself, which can be adjusted to point towards the interior of your vehicle or out of your windshield.
The rear camera is basically a cube with a sensor in the middle and cable ports at the back. There’s also a bracket attached to the top for easy mounting. All of the hardware is encased in a typical matte black polycarbonate shell, which helps the camera remain discreet. The rear camera is a backup/reverse camera that displays a video on the front cams LCD when you are backing up. This rear camera is not meant to be a dash camera, it is a backup cam, and does not record the footage. You will need to hardwire (wiring included) this rear camera into your back reverse taillight (this tells it to turn on when you’re backing up). If you don’t want to install or use this backup cam, you don’t need to use it for the main dash cam to work. Consider it more of an addon bonus to the main dash cam.
The display of the main unit is sharp and clear enough to view recorded footage and you can customize the camera’s settings on the device itself as opposed to using any additional software. If you want to view your recordings on a larger display, you can either transfer data via the USB cable or simply with your SD card.
Moving on to the camera itself, the DR.J Pro features a custom camera capable of recording video in a rather impressive 1440p at 25fps. Bumping the resolution down a notch to Full HD will help you save on storage space if you don’t need such high quality recordings. Recordings are smooth and every detail is discernible, which in the context of dash cams is important as details such as number plates and road signs need to be visible as proof.
The f/2.0 aperture helps the camera perform well in low light, making it viable for commuters who travel at night. The wide angle lens provides a variety of preset views for you to choose from depending on whether you’re recording your interior or what’s ahead. This includes wide angle, sphere, multi-window and the front & back option, which allows you to record with both cameras at simultaneously.
A built-in microphone handles sound and seems to provide a decent stereo effect, aiding in picking up where certain sounds came from and providing more context for each recording. Within the settings of the DR, you can mute the audio recording, turning off the microphone.
The result of having a 360 camera with a wide angle lenses is that you can have a panoramic view of what’s happening around your vehicle. This can prove useful when you end up actually using your dash cam for its intended purpose, which is to provide proof when you’re in a collision, potentially saving you thousands in the future.
Another great safety feature of the DR.J Pro is parking mode, which enables the camera’s automatic recording capability to help against theft and vandalism. This is made possible with loop recording, which allows you to choose set intervals for the camera to start and stop recording footage. This also helps save on storage space. For example if you set recordings to be made five minutes each, a 64GB SD card will only be full once you have 80.
The G-sensor found within the main camera will automatically lock footage when it detects a collision, preventing data loss.
Overall, the DR.J Pro dash cam provides great value for money and the secondary camera makes it a lot more versatile. This is especially helpful for taxi, Uber and Lyft drivers as being able to record the interior is essential. In the case of most other dash cams, you’d have to buy second one simply to record both the outside and inside of your vehicle. This, along with the great camera and safety features make the Pro a considerable option in it’s price range.
Dimensions: 4 x 3 x 3 inches
Video: 1440p, 1080p @ 25fps
Display: 4.5″ LCD
Storage: microSD (class 10) up to 64GB
Lens Angle: 360°
Battery or Capacitor: Battery
Audio Recording: Yes (on/off option)
Dual Dashcam: No
Model Number: DR.J / DR PRO
What’s in the box?
- DR.PRO 360 Degree Dash Cam
- Rear Camera
- Car Charger Cable (11.5 FT)
- Rear Camera Cable (16.5 FT)
- USB Charger Cable
- Suction Cup Mounting Bracket
- User Manual