Prestigio RoadRunner 545GPS full review
Most GPS-equipped dash cams cost £100 or more, so what’s the catch with this one at under £80? Well, it seems there isn’t one unless you want your video recorded at 60 frames per second. Here’s our RoadRunner 545GPS review. See also: Best dash cams to buy right now
Prestigio RoadRunner 545GPS review: Price
Prestigio RoadRunner 545GPS review: Features and design
As dash cams go, the RoadRunner 545 is fairly good looking. We’d still prefer it if manufacturers would refrain from using silver or reflective finishes so the camera isn’t noticeable: Prestigio fits a silver ring around the lens which for some reason outlines the focal length and aperture. Not that any dash cam buyer cares about such information.
There are also a few tweaks we’d make to the design. On the rear is a 2.7in screen with 960 x 240 pixels. It’s covered with a mirror-like finish that makes it hard to see in daylight and near impossible when the sun is reflecting off it. As it isn’t a touchscreen, a matt finish would be much more appropriate.
Finally, you have to memorise what the buttons do (or have the manual handy) as there are no labels on the rear, and it’s impossible to see the four buttons on top when the camera is mounted to the windscreen.
The mount itself is good. It houses the GPS receiver and you apply suction by rotating it. It uses a ball joint for adjustment that’s held in place by friction rather than being tightened by a screw ring. This cuts down on size and makes it quicker to adjust.
The USB port is right at the top of the GPS part of the mount, which makes for a neat installation with hardly any visible wiring. Note that, like most dash cams, the supplied car charger does not have a USB passthrough so you can’t use the 12V accessory socket for anything else. But, as with all the dash cams we’ve tested, you can buy a long mini-USB cable and use a multiport USB charger if you need to power multiple devices.
The 545GPS has a mini HDMI and another mini USB port underneath, which is for connecting to a PC and transferring video.
Inside is a 3Mp sensor and a Novatek NT96650 chipset, which allows the 545GPS to record video at up to 1920x1080 at 30 frames per second. If you want to record at 60fps, this works only at 720p, but it’s better to record the extra detail of Full HD at half the frame rate.
The g-sensor’s sensitivity can be adjusted and an impact will automatically trigger the file lock so the video won’t be overwritten. HDR mode can be turned on or off, and the power button doubles as a toggle for the four infrared LEDs on the front (we’ll get to those later).
You can enable motion detection, but this won’t work while parked if your car cuts power to the accessory socket when you remove the key. Other options include 1, 3, 5 or 10 minute loop recording, a power-off delay and also an unusual power-on delay. It’s also possible to set how long the LCD remains on after powering up: 1, 3 or 5 minutes.
In the settings menu you can adjust the exposure and white balance manually, and choose which info is stamped onto the recorded video, including:
- Date and time
- Registration plate
- Speed (only in KM/H)
- GPS location
Prestigio RoadRunner 545GPS review: Video quality
While some dash cams record higher resolution video, or offer 60 frames per second in full HD, the 545GPS’s video quality is perfectly good.
Using the default image quality settings, we found exposure was good, as were colours. Detail levels are decent: it’s possible to read numberplates as long as they’re close enough. It’s an issue with all wide-angle lenses: you have to be fairly close to a car in front to read its registration – otherwise the plate is simply too small. Video is recorded at 12Mbit/s, which is average, but audio, for some reason, is captured at a very high 512Kbit/s in mono and sounds great.
When travelling towards the sun quality naturally drops but it’s still decent. (Click the image below to enlarge)
Here's a 100 percent crop of the above screengrab so you can see the full detail captured.
At night, things aren’t nearly as good. There’s a lot of noise suppression, which also appears to have the effect of blurring out numberplates of other cars. Whether or not you can read the plate of a car you’re following or one travelling in the other direction will depend on many factors: how close you are and whether or not your headlights reflect off the plate. In the clip below you can see that details are smudgy in general, but it is just possible to make out the van’s numberplate at the end.
This grab shows that the image can be quite dark at the edges:
When viewing at 100 percent, as in the crop below, you can see that detail capture is poor:
The 545 is the first dash cam we've seen with infrared LEDs for 'night vision'. Unfortunately, these made exactly no discernible difference to image quality. We even tested them in a pitch black room, but the image remained black, despite a glow from the LEDs which confirmed they were indeed enabled. Had they worked as intended, they would have merely reflected off the windscreen anyway, so it's a mystery why Prestigio used them in the first place...
Prestigio RoadRunner 545GPS: Specs
- Display Size: 2.7in
- 170° wide-angle lens
- GPS Logging: Yes
- HDR Mode: Yes
- Speed Camera Alert: No
- Micro SD Included: No, requires Class 6 or higher
- 32GB SD card recording time - 4.6 hours
- 43.8 x 85.5 x 34.7 mm
- Accessories: 4m car charger, suction mount, mini USB cable