SEMA: Paparazzi Accident Logger


Stopping your car because you’ve witnessed an accident is a good deed, but who’s to say you’ll have a witness when you get hit? A Japan-based company called Paparazzi has created a device that will always be your witness, sort of.

This windshield-mountable, card-deck sized box comes equipped with a video camera to record and save 20 second timeframes around your accident. The 20-second record period is determined by either a physical switch or by sudden braking of your vehicle. Every time the brakes are slammed, the device saves the previous 12 seconds and the next 8 seconds, giving you 20 seconds of crucial evidence for conflicting recollections, all recorded on an inexpensive SD memory card.

While this may sound like a great concept, we feel this isn’t anywhere near what a “black box” for your car should be. On Paparazzi’s own website it outlines a number of warnings that make us very skeptical of the $349.99 device. Check them out below.


  • In case of fire, it may result in loss of data and/or damage to the data in the SD card.
  • If the device is submerged or gets wet by condensation, it may result in loss of data and/or damage to the data in the SD card.
  • If you use the device under the condition where the light is too intense or too dark, image quality will be degraded.
  • Please note that the DVR will record only ahead, not to the side or rear.
  • If the device has serious damage caused by the crash, it may result in loss of data and/or damage to the data in the SD card.
  • There is a case that the DVR may not record automatically if the shock is not enough.

With all of these things possibly going wrong, this device isn’t what we’re looking for yet. Perhaps someday it will be a bit better-developed, but until then we’ll stick with the eye-witness method when it comes to crashing your car.

By Matthew Raskin | November 7, 2008 | Comments (2)
Tags: Car Gadgets



Be careful what you wish for. There's already more blackbox data being recorded with modern vehicles than one would think. Just remember that the same devices that can be used to help exhonerate you can help to convict also.


I bought a $30 camcorder (Jazz), added an 8 GB SD chip, and mounted it where it peeks over my dashboard.

It records 75 minutes of TV-quality video on the SD chip, so I have to erase it and restart it regularly, and change the rechargeable batteries. It works fine when driving toward the sun, and shows cars and traffic lights in front of me, which would have been helpful when an inattentive driver ran a red light last year, and hit the side of my car at speed. Fortunately for me, there was a witness who stopped and later testified. Next time (if any) I'll have my dash-cam video.

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