Choosing which type and brand of dash cam to buy can be very difficult for a first-time buyer with limited knowledge of the tech device.
In a 2018 Google Auto Trends report, they claim that “we see a steady trend in consumers trying to bring in-vehicle cameras into their vehicles.”
Many of us often associate Dash Cam cameras with insane insurance scam videos from other countries, but the car camera trend is spreading across the US as more and more people want to protect themselves from costly accident-related legal battles and be filmed by people. who make videos on the street and then post them on social media sites like Youtube, Twitter and Instagram.
There are thousands of different dash cams on sale today, choosing which one best suits your needs can be a bit confusing at first. We have put together a list of all the key features that most dash cams come with to give you a better understanding of what to look for when buying your car camera and how to choose the best one.
The first thing to take into consideration is the size and shape of the dash dash you want to install in your car.
DIFFERENT DIMENSIONS AND SHAPES OF DASH CAMS
While size plays an important role in a dash cam, that’s not all. If a camera is too small, it will have to cut some features. If you really want a small camera, you may have to sacrifice some additional features to achieve this, such as GPS or an LCD screen.
There are four popular forms of dash cams:
- Wedge-shaped, which usually has a sticky adhesive backing and attaches to the top of the windshield behind the rearview mirror. The wedge-shaped style will typically have a built-in LCD screen.
- Shaped like a tube, this is commonly the smallest sized dash cam and does not have an LCD screen. Access to camera settings is via a smartphone app. A tube shaped dash cam is considered to be the most “stealthy” design and helps prevent car theft from thieves who want to steal the dash cam.
- Hanging, typically a square-shaped dash cam that hangs from the mount, often a suction cup mount. This style is the oldest type of dash cam, although it is becoming less common on mid to high end dash cams because it takes up more space and is more visible to car thieves. Suspended dash cams with suction cup attachment can be useful for a temporary installation, such as a rental car because they are easy to install and take off.
- Behind the rearview mirror, the largest dash cam of all. The mirror mounted dash cam has rubber straps that go around your existing rearview mirror. The camera unit has a built-in mirror with an LCD screen hidden behind the mirror. Some find it hard to get used to the mirror on the dash cam and often complain of video flickering. These are the less popular types of dash cams, so there are only a handful of quality rearview mirror dash cams on sale.
DUAL CHANNEL DASH CAM
La quantità di canali che hai è una delle differenze fondamentali che puoi ottenere in una dash camera. Una dash cam a canale singolo significa che hai solo una telecamera collegata alla parte anteriore della tua auto solo per riprese frontali, una dash cam doppia ha due telecamere. Ne installi uno nella parte anteriore e uno nella parte posteriore del veicolo, di solito sul finestrino posteriore. Ciò fornisce viste anteriori e posteriori della strada. Una dash camera a doppio canale con un obiettivo 2 in 1 può anche fornire filmati dell’interno dell’auto, il che potrebbe essere utile per i conducenti che usano app di rideshare come Uber o Lyft e vogliono usare la telecamera interna per registrare i passeggeri per sicurezza e responsabilità motivi.
Entrambi i tipi di telecamere presentano differenze, vantaggi e svantaggi distinti. Con una telecamera a canale singolo di solito ottieni una qualità video più elevata e una fotocamera più economica ma ti manca la sicurezza di avere il tuo veicolo coperto da tutte le angolazioni. Una fotocamera con doppio trattino offre protezione in più aree ma spesso sono più costose e la qualità del video posteriore non è generalmente buona come quella del video anteriore, sebbene le dash cam anteriori e posteriori di fascia più alta offrano una qualità video posteriore eccezionale. Se sei interessato alla sicurezza aggiuntiva, potrebbe essere una buona idea guardare in una telecamera a doppio canale, ma se stai cercando una videocamera più economica, potrebbe essere meglio iniziare con un singolo canale e aggiornare in seguito se vuoi più copertura.
Una guardia di parcheggio o una modalità di parcheggio, utilizza un sensore di movimento o un rilevamento dell’impatto e una registrazione pre-buffer per proteggere la tua auto quando è parcheggiata e spenta. Se rileva un movimento o un impatto intorno alla tua auto o si verifica una collisione, si attiva in modalità operativa completa e inizia a registrare e salvare video. Molte delle telecamere dash di fascia più alta che hanno la modalità parcheggio utilizzano la registrazione video pre-buffer, il che significa che registra continuamente loop video di 5-15 secondi e li elimina, ma quando viene rilevato un movimento o un impatto sulla tua auto, inizia a salvare quel file video e continua a registrare. In questo modo, registrerà i primi 5-15 secondi di un evento prima che accada. Le dash cam più economiche non forniscono questo, quindi acquisirai video solo dopo che l’evento è stato rilevato.
La modalità parcheggio è utile per coloro che frequentano spazi pubblici e spesso parcheggiano in città o aree meno sicure per avere documentazione in caso di incidente. Questa funzionalità è ottima per la tua persona media perché gli incidenti possono accadere anche quando non sono in movimento. Le persone hanno maggiori probabilità di fuggire dalla scena se si verifica un incidente mentre il guidatore non è nel veicolo e non sa chi sono, quindi una dash cam con una funzione di parcheggio può essere un ottimo modo per catturare l’incidente e che consente di ottenere le targhe dei conducenti.
G SENSOR OR IMPACT SENSOR
The G-sensor is a tiny feature of most dash cameras, but it’s still a good feature to keep in mind. A G-Sensor has a built-in accelerometer, similar to what a smartphone needs to hold the image displayed on the phone vertically. This G-sensor detects sudden changes in G Force, which usually occur if a car is in a traffic accident on the go or someone hits your car in a parking lot. When the camera detects an impact, it freezes the current video file, preventing it from being recorded when the memory card is full and the camera starts overwriting old video files. This feature keeps these older video files where impact is detected.
The G-Sensor is also used in parking mode, when your car is off, but the camera is still discreetly monitoring edges. If your camera is in parking mode while parked and a car hits the side of your car causing it to shake, the G-Sensor will detect this and capture video while you are away from your car.
RECORDING IN LOOP
Loop recording is the process of automatically overwriting old video files to make room for new video files. The typical GoPro digital camcorder or action camera memory card fills up with video files, requiring you to manually delete them to make room for more videos.
Dash cameras record many small video files, typically 1 to 3 minutes of video clips. In this way, it helps to preserve older video footage, not having to overwrite video clips larger than 20 minutes. Instead, it can overwrite old 1 minute video files as it goes. This also helps in case a video file is damaged and not saved properly, you will not lose 30 minutes of video footage, you will only lose one minute of video footage.
Almost all dash cams sold today use loop recording, this is what sets dash cams apart from the typical camera or GoPro.
The main reason someone buys a dash cam is for movie recording. Regardless of the type of dash dash, the quality of the video should be a deciding factor. The video quality of the Dash Cam has improved exponentially in recent years, so nowadays it’s relatively easy to get a dash cam with Full HD video at 1080p or better for a reasonable price.
A camera’s frame rate is measured in the amount of frames or still images a camera takes per second (known as frames per second or fps). A larger amount of frames allows for smoother video. Low-end cameras might record at 30fps, and mid-to-high-end cameras typically record at 60fps. It is rare to see a camera recording higher or lower than this, but it is still possible. One of the main reasons people want high frame rates on a dash cam is to capture the license plate number of a car traveling at higher speeds.
Normal video resolution nowadays is around 1080p for most mid-range dash cams. 1080 is the number of pixels the camera is recording. The higher the number of pixels, the sharper the image will generally be. Some of the cheaper dash cameras will only go 720p, but most modern cameras have a full HD option, which is 1920 x 1080p. More expensive dash cams will record 2K or 4K video. Care must be taken when buying a 4K dash cam, as there are many fake 4K dash cams currently on sale. They are advertised as 4K, but they don’t actually record 4K, but elevate it to 4K after the video is captured. For a dash cam to truly be 4K video, it must have at least an 8MP image sensor, so if you see a dash cam that says 4K, but only has a 4MP image sensor, it’s not a true 4K dash cam.
While this provides better video quality, it’s not necessarily a requirement for most of those who want to capture a decent video of a car accident for insurance purposes.
Another thing to watch out for is video quality at night. Almost all cameras offer stunning daytime images, but it is much more difficult for cameras to deliver the same images at night due to lack of light. Usually your headlights provide some light for your camera, but if you’re worried about looking at your car while it’s parked overnight, make sure it has good night quality or night vision. Virtually every camera won’t be able to offer the same visual quality at night as during the day, but you want something decent.
Good video quality is very important for dash cameras because if an accident occurs a sharp camera will easily capture an offender’s license plate. The only drawback of high quality videos is the large amount of space they take up. While it’s nice to have great quality videos, they will eventually take up more space on an SD card, so you’ll want to make sure that with any dash camera you buy you have an SD card that has plenty of storage if you want to save lots of driving footage . Each camera will have a limit on the largest microSD card you can use with their camera.
A standard feature on most dash cams is to allow the user to record audio from the camera unit. In most cases the audio is not that important to the video you are recording, but having a built-in microphone to record audio is an important feature to have. Many people will disable audio recording on their dash cam, as they don’t like the idea of recording their personal conversions in their car.
When can audio recording be useful?
Many find it helpful to record audio of their encounters with the police when they have been postponed, which could later be used in court as evidence. You may also want to have the audio recording if someone in a road rage type indecently approaches your car and is confrontational. Make sure you are familiar with state and local audio recording laws, which may pose a problem under older laws regarding cable connection and recording people without their permission.
A nice feature on many dash cams is a physical microphone on / off button that lets you easily start recording audio with the push of a button, rather than having to go into menu settings and turn audio recording on.
Dash Cam cameras are mainly used for cars and therefore are obviously driven on the road. Most roads have multiple lanes, so it’s important to have a camera with a wide enough lens angle to capture multiple lanes of traffic. Most dash cameras have camera angles from around 120 ° to 170 °. The higher the camera angle, the greater the capture capacity, but if the angle is too large it could also have a fisheye effect (which you might find on an action camera like a GoPro). This is where the image is distorted and instead of getting an image with straight perspective lines, you get an image with curved perspective lines, giving it a panoramic or globular look. If you don’t mind the distortion of the image, a wide angle lens offers a wider view and could help you in the event of an accident. A wider lens angle can help capture parts of an accident occurring on the far right or left of your car that might be lost on a smaller lens angle dash cam. We recommend you get a dash cam with a lens angle of at least 150 ° to provide adequate coverage around your car.
LIQUID CRYSTAL SCREEN
Some cameras have an LCD screen that shows the driver what they are recording as they drive. Some of the more advanced cameras even have a touchscreen that allows them to control settings directly on the camera itself. While this feature is interesting, it is not necessary as you will rarely interact with your dash cam once set up and will often magnify the drive. While some people might like this feature, others might just like a smaller, less complex camera. Screen size doesn’t usually affect price, so this feature simply boils down to preferences.
DATE AND TIME
Almost all dash cams will allow you to put a date stamp (date text on the footage), also allowing you to disable it in settings. Along with a date and timestamp, many GPS-enabled dash cams will allow you to insert text into the video that shows your current GPS coordinates along with your speed. Unfortunately, a dash cam with a speed superimposed on the footage is usually not enough to get out of a simple speeding ticket, as the dash cam is not a certified device that needs to be calibrated to ensure the speed is accurate.
WiFi integration on dash cam is becoming a sought after feature for those who want to be able to access their webcam with their smartphone. Before WiFi, the user should remove the SD card from the camera and insert it into a computer to view the files. WiFi provides a way to transfer videos to a smartphone or tablet for later viewing or sharing. Besides being able to view videos and photos directly on your phone, you can also change the dash cam settings. WiFi capabilities vary according to the APP for Android or iOS provided by the dash cam manufacturer. Another advantage of having WiFi on a dash cam is that the LCD screen can be removed, making the dash cam even smaller. The 2.4 GHz channel connects at farther distances, and the 5 GHz channel offers faster transfer rates, albeit without a 2.4 GHz channel range.
The two main advantages of having GPS on the dash cam is to provide the coordinates of the GPS position and the speed at which you are traveling. These can usually be superimposed directly on the video footage, to show it in the video after it has been recorded. GPS can also be used in some camera APPs to track the location of your car.
The dash cams that offer GPS will be either an integrated feature or an add-on module that you can purchase for a higher cost.
DASH CAM APPS
Almost all dash cams with a built-in WiFi connection will also provide an associated smartphone app. This app typically allows you to view videos shot on the dash camera and share files from your smartphone to other devices or on social media. This is an alternative method of transferring your files from your SD card to your computer. You can change the camera settings on the app which can help if the camera interface is poor or it is easier to use the smartphone. Smaller dash cams that don’t have an LCD screen require an APP to interact with the dash cam. Some apps will even allow you to watch in real time what your dash cam is recording, allowing you to double as a security camera. If your dash cam has parking mode, this feature can come in handy even when the car is off.
Along with the APPs that integrate with a separate dash cam, there are also APPs that can turn your smartphone into a dash cam itself.
CUSTOMER SERVICE AND DASH CAM QUALITY
There are thousands of cheap dash cams that cost under $ 100, you can even find brand new dash cams for $ 15 on eBay. The problem with many of these low-priced dash cams is that they often use cheap components and lower-tier image sensors that capture poor video quality.
With each new technology you get, it’s important to know how to use it or to know someone who does. If you’re less tech-savvy, having responsive customer support helps you get the best experience out of your dash camera. Even if you know the technology, if the camera stops working for some reason or if something goes wrong, good customer support is a plus. You can usually tell if a company has good customer support if a lot of people mention it in product reviews. Most of the time companies are pretty responsive when it comes to expensive products like dash cameras, but you might want to avoid a company that has a lot of negative reviews. While this isn’t technically a feature, it’s still something important to keep an eye on.
Click here if you want to read more reviews on many products.
Thanks for reading the whole article. If you found it useful, share it on your social networks and let me know your opinion in the comments because your opinion is really important to me.
manuelcaserotti.com is supported by its audience. When you shop via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Does this site help you save time or money? Thanks with a small donation and if you want to have reasons why you should donate, I invite you to read here.