We have all seen “dash camera” movies on Youtube and on TV. Formerly only police cars had them set up, but as dashboard camera costs have dropped, average individuals have begun installing them in their vehicles.
In a few countries, such as Russia and Korea, countless motorists have equipped their vehicles with dashboard cams. High definition dash cams (1080p) can be obtained for as low as $50, which makes them a really affordable “insurance coverage” for motorists.
In case you have ever wondered why you must buy a dashboard camera, what you need to look for in a dash cam and where to purchase, this page can allow you to answer these questions.
Our Dash Cam Buyer’s Guide is a “living” document and will be updated on a regular basis as new information and innovations are published. We expect that this Dash Cam Buyer’s Guide will help you when making a dash cam purchase.
What’s a dash camera?
A dash cam is a movie camera mounted in a vehicle. Most dash cams record both audio and video continuously. The huge majority of dash cams are now mounted on the windshield not on the dashboard. The majority of the cameras are forward facing but some dual lens cameras (front and back) are gaining popularity too.
There are 2 features that differentiate a dashboard cam from a traditional video camera:
- A dash camera must have the ability to begin recording when it receives electricity and stop recording when power is eliminated. This is typically done through the cars cigarette lighter power adapter but it could be hard wired.
- Continuous looping / bicycle function.
- If the camera you’re considering does not have these two functions, it isn’t a dash camera. Also check Nextbase 512G Review
Why you want a dashboard camera?
There are a lot of reasons why a dashboard cam is a good idea. Here Are Only a few:
Evidence in case of an accident
When an accident happens, a dashboard cam will offer real evidence of exactly what took place. You don’t have to worry about the other party shifting their story when authorities arrive. The next movie from Russia reveals a very simple accident where the man who caused the incident tried to blame the sufferer. Without the dash cam, the victim would not have any way to shield himself.
Dash Cam manufacturers are primarily found in 3 nations: Typically the Korean cameras are higher ending and have more features while the Chinese cameras are more economical but with fewer features. The Taiwanese cameras typically fall in the high end as well but their cameras are not that discreet.
What Should I Search for in a Dashboard Camera?
There are so many dash cams on the market right now, it is often tough to pick the ideal camera.
This typically is your number 1 criteria for choosing a dash cam. When purchasing a dash cam, it’s important to get one that conveys in high definition (720p or 1080p). You can get a decent HD camera for $60. Should you spend less and receive a non-HD camera, then you will probably be disappointed with the quality
- When reviewing video quality here are a few hints.
- View movies in full screen in the highest resolution
- View night videos instead of day videos. Most HD cameras, even the cheaper ones, perform well at the day. To determine how well a dash cam really performs, you want to see how it works in bad lighting conditions.
- View videos from actual users, not from the manufacturer. The maker videos usually appear better than real user videos. They may be using a much better lens on the camera. They could mount the camera to the outside of the windshield to minimize glare. They might be recording at a higher bit rate. They could record in perfect lighting conditions (nighttime videos in well lit streets). Videos from Russian camera owners are more representative of the video quality than movies taken in Asia.
Be wary of videos from inspection websites, especially if they’re selling the camera. Some review sites receive their cameras from the manufacturer. The maker may have supplied a “ringer”, a better camera than what is available to purchase.
Also look at just how broad the recording angle of the movie recording. Be aware that many manufacturers significantly exaggerate the viewing angle. When the real recording angle is understood, we’ve included this information on our dashboard cam FAQ pages.