Citroen’s car-cam new take on big picture

Motoring editor Andy Russell gets a hack's eye view of the Citroen's C3's camera. Picture: Connected

Motoring editor Andy Russell gets a hack's eye view of the Citroen's C3's camera. Picture: ConnectedCAM Citroen - Credit: Andy Russell

Ever wished you could capture a magic moment on a memorable drive? Now you can with a clever car camera from Citroen. Motoring editor Andy Russell gets in the picture.

The camera is neatly positioned in front of the rear-view mirror. Picture: Citroen

The camera is neatly positioned in front of the rear-view mirror. Picture: Citroen - Credit: Andy Russell

We've all encountered that magical motoring moment when you come over the brow of a hill and the view just takes your breath away.

The panorama of pleasure might be a vast vista of valley suddenly stretching away in front of you, that first glimpse of the sea with the sun glimmering off it or you may just want to keep a record of a memorable journey.

Snapshot of motoring editor Andy Russell's commute to work taken using the Citroen C3's camera. Pict

Snapshot of motoring editor Andy Russell's commute to work taken using the Citroen C3's camera. Picture: ConnectedCAM Citroen - Credit: Andy Russell

So often the problem is finding somewhere to stop safely to capture that moment but with the new Citroen C3 it's a case of 'sight, camera, action' on the go with a revolutionary world-first.

You've heard of candid camera – now the French car-maker has created ConnectedCAM Citroen which films what the driver sees through the windscreen.

Snapshot of motoring editor Andy Russell's commute to work taken using the Citroen C3's camera. Pict

Snapshot of motoring editor Andy Russell's commute to work taken using the Citroen C3's camera. Picture: ConnectedCAM Citroen - Credit: Andy Russell

The fun factor is obvious but there's also a serious side to the onboard HD camera technology.

Neatly positioned just behind the rear-view mirror, ConnectedCAM Citroen has two main functions:

Snapshot of motoring editor Andy Russell's commute to work taken using the Citroen C3's camera. Pict

Snapshot of motoring editor Andy Russell's commute to work taken using the Citroen C3's camera. Picture: ConnectedCAM Citroen - Credit: Andy Russell

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A short push of the camera's button takes a picture which is automatically downloaded, a long push takes up to a minute of video footage which can be downloaded when the car comes to a stop.

The camera also operates as a conventional dash-cam in the event of an impact while driving – an 'accelerometer' sensor automatically triggers the camera, saving video footage from 30 seconds before and a minute after the incident which could be valuable when dealing with claim and blame through insurance. The geolocation function transmits the GPS co-ordinates each time the car stops which could prove invaluable in the event of an accident.

Snapshot of motoring editor Andy Russell's commute to work taken using the Citroen C3's camera. Pict

Snapshot of motoring editor Andy Russell's commute to work taken using the Citroen C3's camera. Picture: ConnectedCAM Citroen - Credit: Andy Russell

And if you're in the habit of forgetting exactly where you parked your car, the GPS technology can help you find it again.

Pictures and videos can be shared by email or on social media using the free smartphone app that can be downloaded from the App Store and Google Play. Videos can only be shared while stationary but an autoshare function on the app means pictures can automatically be shared on the chosen social media. The app also allows you to manage the video length between 20 and 60 seconds.

Snapshot of motoring editor Andy Russell's commute to work taken using the Citroen C3's camera. Pict

Snapshot of motoring editor Andy Russell's commute to work taken using the Citroen C3's camera. Picture: ConnectedCAM Citroen - Credit: Andy Russell

ConnectedCAM Citroen is currently exclusive to the C3 – standard on range-topping Flair and a £380 option, packaged with automatic lights and wipers and self-dimming rear-view mirror, on mid-spec Feel – but expect it to be rolled out across other models and brands in the future.

Citroen C3 introduces a world-first with its integrated onboard HD camera. Picture: Citroen

Citroen C3 introduces a world-first with its integrated onboard HD camera. Picture: Citroen - Credit: Andy Russell

HOW IT WORKS

You don't need to be a techie geek – as I proved – to use ConnectedCAM Citroen.

Simply download the app on to your smartphone which explains how to link it to the camera via WiFi.

You simply choose the network associated with the camera and put in the password and, heyho, away you go. After that first pairing the smartphone and camera will automatically connect.

Unfortunately, I did not have an spectacular trips while driving the new C3 but I made a snapshot automotive album of my journey into work, taking pictures safely on the dual-carriageway, a major roundabout and on the roads leading to the office.

And I roped a colleague in to take a close-up of me getting a motoring hack's eye view of the little camera lens.

SPEC AND TECH

Wide 120-degree angle

High definition

Two megapixel resolution

128GB internal memory

Single shot and video

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