Owlcam versus Raven Connected: A review

We frequently receive questions regarding the differences between the Owlcam and our product, Raven. For those searching for the best dash camera for you, we’ve created this guide for your reference. 


Similarities between the two cameras

Owl and Raven are both excellent connected dual dash camera systems with cabin- and road-facing views. 

By ‘connected’, we are referring to an ability to connect to the internet via a dedicated LTE connection. This is a significant functionality that sets both products apart from cheap dash cams, since Raven and Owl connectivities allow you to access camera footage and vehicle information remotely.

Easily save clips to your phone

Traditional dash cameras record continuously, requiring the user to filter through hours of footage on an SD card or local WiFi connection to find the short snippets they want to save. Because dash cams generally record on a loop, sometimes the footage of interest may be overwritten before they even have a chance to access it. 

Both Raven and Owl cameras allow users to save short clips immediately to their phones or the cloud while they’re still driving. However, they each have their own method for marking these events.

Owlcam uses voice activation, through the phrase “OK Presto”, to trigger a clip to be marked for easy sharing later. 

Raven flags and saves important video clips using sensors and an event-based system. If a potentially dangerous driving event occurs, like harsh braking or a potential collision, Raven will automatically save the clip to the cloud without any interaction from the driver. That way, you can focus on the road. 

For exciting sights you may see along your drive, Raven also uses a gesture-based system, where the user moves their hand towards the device to trigger a clip to be saved and transferred to the mobile device.

Security alerts

Both devices send notifications to your phone, with camera footage, informing you of potential security issues, such as a car break-in. Both cameras offer live-streaming video capabilities, so if you receive a security alert, you can check-in to see what’s going on in real-time. 

To detect events, Owl uses a motion sensor, while Raven’s sensors include proximity, GPS, accelerometer, gyroscope, air pressure, magnetometer (compass), and temperature sensors.


Differences between the two cameras 

Nighttime recording

If a vehicle is parked and suddenly disturbed by a security event, most early versions of Owl illuminates the cabin with two LED floodlights. Their latest version Owlcam 5 set to come out shortly indicates that it will have night vision IR sensors. 

Raven, on the other hand, uses an invisible, infrared LED to provide true night vision. The cabin-facing camera can capture clear footage of the inside of the vehicle at night while remaining discrete (we humans can’t see IR light). In the case of a break-in, you will be able to see and record what is happening without drawing attention to the device itself.

Using an infrared LED rather than a LED floodlight also avoids wasting the parked car’s battery power.

Parked mode and battery

Both cameras are powered by the OBD-II port of the vehicle. While this allows both cameras to stay connected while parked, their durations and how they determine shut-off points are different. 

Owlcam is on a timed system, and though the times have varied since the device came out, the average is 24 hours. After that period, the device will shut down to protect the car’s battery. 

Raven’s LTE and sensors remain active (in a low power mode) when parked and Raven should stay on for several days while your car is parked. During this time, Raven monitors your car’s battery level and can put itself into lower-powered, “sentry” modes when appropriate. Only when the vehicle’s battery voltage reaches a low of around 11.9V, the device will power down to prevent draining the car battery.  A notification is sent to the user when this state occurs.

Telematics data 

Both devices plug into the OBD-II port, but Owl only uses this port for power. In addition to powering the device through this port, Raven also accesses the vehicle’s telematics data to monitor dozens of data points including engine diagnostic trouble codes, fuel levels, battery voltage, and many more.

Service plan

Both connected dash cams are LTE-connected and require a service plan to be fully operational. Both plans work slightly differently.

Owl offers their service plan bundled into the price of the device ($474.95) for the first year. You can also opt to pay monthly at $19.95. The service plan includes a set number of “credits”. The credits are used when accessing the live viewing feature or requesting downloads from the cloud. If you exceed the number of credits, additional charges will be incurred.

Raven consumer customers receive their first month of service for free. After that, service continues for $14.95 per month for 1 GB of data. This 1 GB of data is used for telematics data (minimal data use since it’s highly compressible), and then the rest can be used any way you like. Use it for live streaming from the device and as a WiFi hotspot.

When you go over your limit, we add another 1GB of data for $10. Overage charges are typically only associated with high Wi-Fi hotspot use. Outside of Wi-Fi hotspot use, you will normally not incur overages.


Additional Features

While both devices provide much of the same core functionality, they do both offer features that the other doesn’t. 

On the side of Owlcam, they offer two-way contact, so if someone checks in over the live streaming feature, you can have a brief conversation. 

Raven has a few bells and whistles of its own…

Raven Web App

Raven has a mobile app that has feature parity between iOS and Android. Raven also has a comprehensive web app for accessing live feeds of your Raven data from your computer, in addition to events, driving logs, and media associated with historical trips.

Access the web app at http://app.raven.is.

SD Card Expansion + Computer connectivity

A high-capacity SD card can be inserted into Raven to expand its storage and to facilitate access to the entire video log if required. Raven can also be plugged into a computer, appearing as a USB storage device, in the rare occasions where you want to access the entire, HD video log.

Internal battery

Raven has an internal battery that will keep the device alive for ~5-7 minutes after it’s unplugged. During this time, you can live stream video from the device as if it were plugged into the vehicle. You can also track its movement via the device’s GPS radio.

We send a “Raven Unplugged” event notification, along with associated media, if the device is unplugged.

Live Stream recording

When you start a live stream to Raven, through the mobile or web app, the live stream is also streamed to the cloud and a Live Stream event is created in the event history. It acts as a kind of video recorder that makes it easy to review the live stream footage at a later time.

Heads-up Display

There are a number of useful, customizable “widgets” that can be displayed on Raven’s screens for an at-a-glance, heads-up display. This includes vehicle speed and associated speed limit information (it knows when you’re speeding!), fuel levels, driving time, compass and more.

Geofencing, location, and navigation

Live vehicle location (updated every 2 seconds) allows you to determine where to park or where your car is being driven. Geofencing sends a notification when your vehicle has entered or exited a designated zone, like home or work. Trip Sharing enables the ability to let a friend access your live location, so they know where you are or when you will arrive. Finally, Raven’s screens can display next-turn-navigation information, guiding you to your next destination. 

Vehicle information

As previously mentioned, Raven pulls information, like vehicle diagnostic, from the OBD-II port. This allows Raven to identify fault codes and to interpret what could be wrong—no more guessing what that check engine light is trying to tell you. It also enables Raven to display real-time vehicle information on the heads-up display. 

The driving history feature gathers all of Raven’s data and wraps it up into trip cards for your review.

Entertainment 

These devices wouldn’t be very exciting without a bit of fun. Utilize Raven’s Wi-Fi hotspot feature to stay entertained on long trips. You can also create shareable road trip videos with Raven’s time-lapse feature.

If you have any additional questions, our support team is always here to help. Contact us at support@raven.is or call 1-833-842-0439.


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