The RAC 05 is one of the latest dash cams manufactured by ProofCam, though it is branded as an RAC unit. ProofCam do also sell their own branded dash cams, though the RAC tie up with this unit (and a few others in the range) is sure to give buyers added confidence that the product has the backing of a trusted automotive brand. The RAC 05 has an RRP of £149.99.
At first glance, the RAC 05 dash cam looks like a nice piece of kit, and comes in well presented RAC branded packaging. The unit is made of plastic with a”gunmetal grey” finish, and feels sturdy enough, except perhaps for one small criticism I would make. The buttons on the right hand side of the unit appear to be slightly loose in their setting – not normally a big deal but in this case it actually appears to create a noticeable rattle in audio recording – I’ll touch on this again when we get to the footage.
With dash cams gaining in popularity recently and the predictable influx of new models to the market, manufacturers are scrambling to pack extra features into their models and the RAC 05 is no exception. The RAC 05 comes loaded with all the features you could reasonably expect of a dash cam at this price point and then some. In terms of features, this model is actually quite similar to its RAC 03 stable mate we recently looked at in our RAC 03 review, albeit packed into a more traditional dash cam form factor. Clearly though, Super HD recording is the headline feature here, allowing footage to be captured at a beyond HD (but not 4k) 1296P. While the extra detail will be welcome for some, we suspect most users will be happy to leave it in “normal” 1080P HD to both save memory card space and also to allow the use of the camera’s HDR mode.
Just like the RAC 03, the ProofCam RAC 05 also features built in GPS to record speed and map positioning, a 150 degree wide angle lens, and intriguingly a forward collision warning system and lane departure warning. One particularly useful feature of the RAC 05 is the built in speed camera warnings. Approaching a fixed speed (sorry, “safety”) camera results in both an audible and visual warning from the unit. If you have set the screen to switch off automatically then the screen briefly turns itself on to warn of the camera before switching itself off again. The system also usefully picked up traffic light cameras and didn’t miss a camera while testing. It’s a thoughtful inclusion from ProofCam and something other manufacturers should definitely consider as it’s a genuinely useful feature that adds real value to the product. The RAC 05 ships with an 8GB micro SD card, though the unit supports up to a 64GB card, which is certainly an upgrade worth considering if you plan to record at full Super HD resolution.
The RAC 05 also features a parking mode. As with some of the other extra features, parking mode needs to be enabled in the settings menu and is supposed to detect motion when your vehicle is stationary and start recording. The idea being that should someone hit your car in a car park you should be able to obtain vital evidence. In reality, the result is fairly mixed though, as I did find this mode to be a little sensitive, often recording unnecessarily from shutting the car door too hard or washing the car, even with the motion sensor set to low. You could obviously say that this is a good thing though as it’s unlikely to miss anything! Also to consider with this mode is the fact that you may not want to leave an expensive bit of kit dangling in your windscreen, but that’s the users choice and hardly the fault of ProofCam for including it. Definitely something to think about though.
Along with recording your journeys and alerting you to the presence of speed cameras, the RAC 05 also features some safety features that wouldn’t seem out of place on a high end new car. Of course, it’s not quite the same as having these features built into a car as for example, the lane departure warning system (LDWS) may need recalibrating from time to time. That being said, it did work well enough during testing and may be a useful feature to enable now and again for a longer motorway journey. There’s also a forward collision warning system (FCWS) that is supposed to alert you should you be heading towards a stationary car too fast (clearly it didn’t seem like a good idea to test this one), and a forward motion detection warning (FMDW) that alerts you when the car in front begins to move in stationary traffic. The latter worked OK but if I’m honest could become a bit of an annoyance with the unit constantly beeping at you during your morning commute, which let’s face it involves a lot of stationary traffic for many of us. Personal preference though I suppose and of course it can be turned off. A low light warning system (LLWS) is also thoughtfully included and is designed to warn you if you haven’t turned your lights on in low light conditions. This worked reasonably well in testing although it did struggle in areas with particularly bright street lighting. It can’t hurt to leave this one on as a back up though.
In terms of video quality, the RAC 05 is up there with the best dash cams in this price bracket, particularly if left in Super HD mode of course. That being said, 1080P footage is still nice and crisp and perfectly suitable for most people. Interestingly, ProofCam also allows you to record in 21:9 aspect ratio, rather than the standard 16:9, should you select the 2520 x 1080 resolution. This gives an even wider field of vision and could be very useful for capturing incidents that may have otherwise been missed. As mentioned earlier in the review, one criticism of the unit is the slightly loose buttons on the right hand side of the screen. This appears to cause a notable problem with audio recording that is very noticeable in the footage every time you drive over a bump/pothole or similar. It’s a little frustrating and counts against an otherwise very good unit that takes some excellent video. It’s difficult for me to say whether or not this was a fault with my individual review unit but it’s worth bearing in mind if the audio side if particularly important to you. Take a look at our video sample below and see what you think:
Just like other RAC/ProofCam models, the RAC 05 uses the Google GPS Player software that is available to download from ProofCam’s website. It’s a fairly simple bit of software but it works well for the most part. The software displays lots of useful data such as speed, co-ordinates and distance covered. Your position on Google Maps is also displayed and the software also allows you to capture a screenshot as evidence. While the software looks (and is) fairly basic, it does what it says on the tin. I did find it a little buggy at times, with it occasionally refusing to load a video, though this was easily fixed with a quick restart, and I’m sure bugs will be ironed out in future updates, as is usually the way these days.
The RAC 05 does a lot of things very well. It’s fair to say that it’s packed with features, and while some may be useful and others not, it’s nice to have them included as an option anyway. Video quality is top notch, especially in Super HD mode, and the addition of speed camera warnings are a welcome bonus. It’s a shame then that the loose buttons on this device seem to have negatively impacted audio quality on our footage, though whether this is a fault with our individual test unit or a more widespread fault remains to be seen. That’s the only real let down on an otherwise very good device.
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