In this video, I check out the Mercylion G52 Hidden Dash Camera for VW Golf 7. You can buy this dash camera, and other models for other specific vehicles, directly from their store for $145 👉🏻 https://bit.ly/mercyliong52cam.
Make sure you use my coupon code – carplay – at checkout to get $20-OFF your order.
This G52 1-Channel dash camera is a fully integrated dash camera for the Volkswagen Golf Mk7 (plus other car makes and models are available). It connects to its existing rain sensor connection to power it, and its looks go against the more conventional separate in-car dash camera, in that once installed, its looks can appear as if it came pre-installed in the car when it left the factory.
Inside there is a NOVATEK NT96675 CPU, a Sony IMX335 image sensor, f1.4 aperture lens, with a 143-degree field of view, that will capture up to 2K video onto an inserted TF card that supports up to 512GB.
In the box, you get the camera module itself. There is a prying tool to help with installation, a paper instruction manual, a 64GB TF card is also included, two adhesive cable clips, and there are two additional install cables – one loop power cable for the rain sensor and an optional longer cable to power the camera from the fuse box.
Features & Design
Looking over the camera; its size and form factor design blends into the existing casing of the car model you choose when ordering. At the front, there is the fixed optical lens, whilst on the right side there is a single TF card slot for the memory card, and on the left side are two function buttons and a couple of status lights.
This specific G52 1-Channel unit features the same Sony IMX335 image sensor that I reviewed in my last dash camera review, so I am hoping to get the best of both worlds here – with an integrated camera and a high-quality image sensor in both day and night recordings.
I found the installation of this model of dash camera to be not as easy as I had hoped. I encountered a fitting issue with this particular model and my Golf 7’s mirror design. In the end, I had to shave off a little bit of plastic to make it fit perfectly.
I have raised this with their team who have been very proactive in resolving this issue and they have told me that they will now be supplying a different casing.
Other car makes and models might be more fortunate with their installation, but I was lucky that I didn’t have to make too much of a significant modification to make it fit perfectly. Install issues aside, I like how the camera can borrow power from the car’s stock rain sensor. This meant there were no messy wires to route around the car windscreen and no USB ports or 12v sockets are being used up.
To install, I first had to remove the current casing around the rain sensor and rearview mirror, then locate the rain sensor power cable that’s nearest to the windscreen. I unhooked this cable and insert the supplied loop cable back into it. Then I plugged the original sensor cable back into a socket on the loop cable and connect the last remaining connector into the cable that’s attached to the camera, to power it. With all the cables tucked away, I clipped the camera back in place, around the existing rain sensor housing, and then I decided to feed the remaining slack of the cable back through the large hole at the back of the casing to complete the installation.
Boot-up & Wi-Fi App Config
With the included 64GB SD card inserted into the side slot of the camera, I turned the ignition on, which enables the camera. The camera powers up in around 8-12 seconds after ignition, and its video capturing begins at around 17-18 seconds. This could be a little faster, for capturing early parking or pulling away incidents, but it’s not too long to be frustrating. It all depends on how fast you are from starting the car and pulling away. For me, most of my first start recordings had around 3-4 seconds before I was seen pulling away.
The camera comes alive with an assuring beep, or an assertive voice telling you to inert the memory card. This beep however is very welcome on this type of camera, because, on a right-hand drive car, the status lights are facing away from me, and that makes it difficult to tell if the camera is on and recording. With no LCD display or any really useful function buttons on the camera’s casing to configure the camera, I had to first connect to its Wi-Fi hotspot and download the Mercylion app to connect to the camera.
Once connected to the app, I could see the live video feed from the G52 dash camera, so I was assured that the camera was operating correctly with the date and timestamps automatically synced and updated from my phone. Selecting Settings in the app took me to its simple config menu, where I was able to set loop length, capture resolution, toggle audio capture and set parking and G-sensor sensitivity. You can also start and stop recording from within the app, take a live photo, view its library of previous recordings and have the ability to save them to your phone’s camera roll. Like the camera it replaced, this camera also records in TS files, which requires an app like VLC media player to view them from a desktop computer.
Video Recording Quality
Once I viewed back my captured videos from this camera, it was clear that the Mercylion G52 was an improvement over my last integrated dash camera. But only slightly. This is mostly due to the improved Sony IMX335 sensor inside that captures better detail in both day and night recordings. Night recordings specifically have improved detail, with slightly less bloom around oncoming car headlights and passing lampposts.
In the day this camera also has slight improvements in general detail, with a little more natural light and colour saturation. There are no Wide Dynamic Range or Exposure adjustments in the app’s settings area, but out of the box, I felt neither needed adjusting anyway. Unfortunately, there’s no GPS positioning or speed data captured and displayed in its recordings – A GPS module purchased separately is needed for that.
Video Playback in the App
Playing back video recordings in the app over Wi-Fi can be a bit clunky, with playback on the app directly having some frequent stuttering issues over its 2.4 GHz connection. A 5 GHz connection might have been preferred here. So overall, I found it much faster to take the TF card out of the camera and browse videos on a desktop computer instead. But it is more convenient to quickly connect to the camera to check if a video has been captured through the app without removing the card.
The Mercylion G52 1-Channel integrated dash camera retails for $145.00 using my $20-OFF coupon code – carplay – at checkout. And I’ll share my direct link to this camera in the description down below to buy this camera and also browse their integrated cameras for other vehicles.
It is worth pointing out that the model I reviewed is the 1-Channel camera, and that the 2-channel model that comes bundled with an additional rearview camera does not carry the same Sony IMX335 sensor and it also has a reduced 1080p recording resolution from both cameras.
Aside from complications I faced with the installation, which were specific to my Golf, the G52 dashcam from Mercylion performed well. I would have liked to see 4K support, a 6-glass lens for improved visibility and a slightly wider field of view. I would also like to see if they can build the GPS model into the camera body without the need for a separate module, all of these would make this a next-generation product.
Quality-wise, I found this camera isn’t as good as the last dash cam I reviewed, but it’s an improvement over my last integrated camera. Thanks to its improved sensor, WiFi connection and better-supporting app. If you’re looking for a discrete dash camera that records well enough and looks like it’s come from the factory, head over to their website and see if you can get yourself a camera that fits in your car.
0:00 – Brief overview
0:56 – Unboxing
1:18 – Features & design
2:03 – Installation
3:55 – Config & Wi-Fi app
4:51 – Day & night recording
5:42 – Video playback
6:11 – Bootup times
6:38 – My Impressions