What is it?
The 512GW is the latest and supposedly best dash camera from Nextbase. It replaces the 512G, but has the benefit of a lower RRP of £149.99, plus higher resolution video quality and a built-in WiFi system for easily accessing video clips on a smartphone.
It has a new Sony image sensor that promises more clarity, stronger colours and better night time image quality plus it has the benefit of a polarizing filter and six-layer glass lens, for reduced glare and sharper video. Maximum resolution is 1440p at 30fps, but it will also shoot in 1080p at a faster 60fps. It also comes with the convenient Click & Go magnetic mount.
What’s it like?
Inside the box is the unit itself, an in-car power connector with a 12/24V accessory plug, the Click & Go mount, a software CD, a window sticker and some paperwork. Nextbase doesn’t include memory cards, so you’ll need to buy one. The 512GW supports MicroSD cards up to 64GB capacity.
The dash camera itself is really well constructed, with a hefty and durable feel. The buttons for the interface are clearly labelled, but they are touch sensitive rather than the physical, clicky type. That might put some off, but they do glow when being pressed and are responsive. On the left side of the camera is a memory card slot, with a HDMI video port on the right.
Navigating through the various settings menus is simple, since everything on-screen is clearly labelled. There are plenty of things to adjust, including settings for the frame rate and resolution, as well as switching audio recording on and off or setting a number plate for the camera car.
The smartphone app is now simple and fast
Things like parking mode, which records for a predetermined period of time when the car is parked, can be switched on and off too. Setting up the camera is easy – the Click and Go mount hooks up to the power, so the dash camera can be removed from the car without moving the wiring and mount or messing up that perfect camera angle.
We’d recommend hard wiring since it hides away the wires and leaves the 12V socket free for charging phones. It costs very little from retailers like Halfords and is certainly worth considering, particularly since the Click and Go system means it’s so easy to hide the camera away from prying eyes – just unclip it and put it in the glovebox.
Footage is even clearer than depicted - YouTube compression reduces quality
The image quality of the 512GW is excellent in all kinds of different conditions including bright sunlight, rain and darkness. It’s easy to make out details like signs, the makes and models of cars, along with number plates. The field of view is 140 degrees, which is wide enough to capture a broad area ahead of the car.
Accessing footage when on the move is very easy, thanks to the updated Nextbase app. It’s slick and intuitive, showing all the footage that’s in the camera on your Android or Apple smartphone. Once you’ve found the clip you want it can be downloaded in high definition, then uploaded to the web or sent to an insurer.
A GPS sensor is built-in, so information about location and speed is saved alongside the footage. This then allows the PC software to plot the location of the car on a map, which is a useful extra feature for proving where you were driving and at what speed to an insurer, should an accident happen.
Should I buy one?
In terms of design the 512GW is basically the same as the 412GW. It shoots in the same resolution and frame rates and has the same design and interface, as well as the same Click and Go mount. But the 512GW has the advantage of a better image sensor and more advanced night time shooting, along with a supplied polarising filter.
So if you want the absolute best dash camera Nextbase has to offer it’s great. There’s no arguing with the crispness of the video footage it produces - it's fantastic. But we’d still recommend the cheaper 412GW for most drivers, since its image quality is still very good, it has similar features and it costs less, with some very big savings versus the 512GW if you shop around.