More and more users rely on Dash Cam as additional ” eyes ” to record events and any claims. From an instrument reserved to the police, it has been transformed into a real must for those who want the best technology in the car.
But what does a Dash Cam really need? Which models can we buy? In this guide, we will take a look at the world of Dash Cam and try to recommend the best models available on the market today.
A dash cam is useful for drivers who want to record what happens on the road in front of their cars. It is particularly suitable if you are anxious to be the victim of an accident and want to film and document the incident and then provide evidence to an insurance company or the police.
Dash cams are becoming more and more popular even for people who want to share (for example: example on social media) anything from on the road accidents to evocative landscapes. You’ve probably seen some footage on Youtube, Facebook or Instagram.
Once configured, each camera functions as a simple plug-and-play device: it starts recording automatically as soon as you turn it on, when you turn on the car or (on models with an internal battery) when you press the camera’s power button.
Likewise, recording stops when the device is turned off. All dash cam cameras ” loop ” their recording, so when the memory card fills up, the camera erases the oldest files to make room for what it is recording.
To record incidents, all dash cams use an accelerometer (also known as a G sensor) to detect a sudden change in speed, which may indicate that the car is in a crashed state. When this occurs, the cam automatically saves the current recording footage and protects it from overwriting.
Most dash cams also have a save button that, if pressed, protects the current segment from deletion, so you can retrieve it later. Also, most dash cams can even take pictures.
Features to keep in mind
The Dash Cam range from tiny units without screens that hide behind the rearview mirror to models with relatively large displays and a multitude of features. Here are the key features and specifications to consider when choosing a dash cam.
Resolution and image sensor
The image quality of dash cams continues to improve. There are dash cams that look great in 1080p, but some even reach 1440p. In higher-resolution models, there is a clear difference in detail that allows you to read better plates and road signs, even when you are moving (you can set a lower resolution of the camera to take up less space on the memory card if you prefer it).
The improved dash cams also feature sensors and image processors that provide a wide dynamic range that retains detail in both lighter and darker areas, as well as good color and contrast and low video noise in a variety of lighting and weather conditions.
Field of View (FOV)
The models we tested to have a field of view ranging from a relatively narrow angle of 120 degrees to a width of 180 degrees. The wider the field of view, the larger the scene can capture a video camera, which is useful for scenic landscapes, sunsets and the like. The compromise is that the larger FOVs make the front cars look for a little further away.
Most of the car cameras are mounted on the windshield of the car in two ways: suction pad or adhesive. Some models offer a choice, while others have only one type of support. Adhesive media often attach directly to the camera, reducing the overall size of the unit. This design generally allows for more discrete placement, so the camera does not intrude into the view so much and the camera is not as visible from the outside.
But adhesive mounts can be difficult to remove, sometimes they require a razor blade or a sharp paint scraper along with a little patience, so you cannot easily move the camera from one machine to another. Adhesive mounts also require precise positioning when you install them, as it is not possible to adjust positioning without problems or by purchasing new adhesive material.
Personally, I recommend a sucker, also because you can easily adjust the dash cam, and you can remove it quickly (for example: if you have to park overnight in a street, and you are worried about theft or you have to move the camera between several cars).
Most dash cams have a 1.5 to 2.7-inch display, measured diagonally, there are also models without a display. Better to choose the dash cam with at least a 2-inch display, which simplifies the adjustment of settings on the fly and offers you a preview of the movie. The lack of a display means that you have to use another device (like smartphone or PC) before getting into the car to adjust the settings. The absence of a display also makes it difficult to know if the camera angle is right, and it is impossible to know if the camera is actually recording.
Second dash cam
Some dash cam, called dual channel models, are able to record from two cameras at the same time, which is useful for recording both what is in front of the car and what’s behind or inside the vehicle. The models that register behind the car have two separate cases, one for mounting on the windshield and one for the rear window. The rear camera can also act as a backup camera; you can view the movie from both cameras on the screen or use the picture-in-picture function.
Usually, some dash cams provide a basic 8GB microSD, although some include 32GB models. But there are also dash cam without microSD included. Most car cameras accept a card larger than 64 GB or 128 GB, which is an important consideration.
You prefer models powered when you connect their 12V adapter to the 12 volt car accessories socket ( ” cigarette lighter ” ), even if some dash cams can also be connected to USB. Most also have an internal lithium-ion battery that allows you to continue recording for a period of time when the cable is unplugged. But in extreme temperature conditions, these batteries can overheat and must be cooled to work well.
They can also suffer at very low temperatures when they are too cold. To help you with these types of situations, some models use a condenser, which handles extreme temperatures better and provides more reliability in some conditions. The disadvantage is that without a battery, a dash cam cannot continue to run when it is disconnected from power, and the camera will turn off after a few seconds.
Automatic incident detection
All dash cams must be equipped with an accelerometer (G sensor) to detect an impact and automatically save the incident movie. In most cases, the dash cam also protects this movie from being overwritten, so you will have the necessary proof.
Models with a GPS receiver typically print geographic coordinates, in addition to the vehicle speed and direction of travel. Some also show the vehicle’s position on a map in the computer software compatible with the model. However, the GPS function does not provide any step-by-step directions.
This information can be useful for checking the location of an accident or for marking a site where you have captured a specific view or event. But if you’re only interested in recording what’s in front of your car, GPS is just an extra.
Most sold Dash Cam of the moment
Before leaving you to our selection, here is the top 10 of the most sold dash cam on Amazon at the moment. The ranking is updated automatically every day.
Dash Cam chosen by us
Below you will find some Dash Cam selected by us. They are a bit ex pensive, but we can consider them as the best existing dash cams.
- Extremely small GPS-enabled dash cam, inconspicuous when magnetically mounted on...
- High-quality 3.7 megapixel camera with 1440P video capture; works even in...
- Forward collision and lane departure warnings plus alerts for nearby red light...
- Voice control allows you to start/stop recording, take a still picture or...
- 【Dual Cameras Front and Inside Recording】Dual cam recording simultaneously...
- 【Near-360° Solution & Heat Resistant】Stunning ultra wide angles record road...
- 【Dual Parking Modes & Audio Recording】Once hardwired, it can auto switch the...
- 【Seamless Loop and G-sensor】Support up to 64GB card (not included) , please...
- 【Satisfied Service w/ Optional GPS】Free for 18 months Warranty to cover any...
- 5" Touch Screen Display, Full HD 1080p Integrated Dash Cam, Preloaded Maps of...
- Free Lifetime Map Updates, Excellent Day & Night Recording, 3-Axis G-Sensor...
- Turn-by-Turn Routing, Lifetime Traffic Alerts, Highway Lane Assist,...
- Landmark Guidance, Junction view , Traffic Camera Alerts by PhantomALERT,...
- Spoken Street Names, Branded POIs, POIs Along Route, Smart City Search, Smart...
Product prices and availability are subject to change. Any price and availablility information displayed on Amazon at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of any products.