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How to Buy the Best Dashcam in 2019



This story is part of Holiday Gift Guide 2019 your source for the best seasonal gifts and offerings handpicked by CNET experts.

If you've ever crashed into a YouTube rabbit hole with amazing Dashcam videos, you may have considered taking advantage of one. Dash cameras are still a rarity in the US, but major car electronics brands such as Pioneer and Kenwood have entered the market.

The Dashcam Flood may change as well: In my inbox, more and more emails are falling from drivers asking what dashcams are doing, what the best dashcams are and why automakers are not putting them into new cars. Here's an overview of the best dashcam tips for each of the price levels and features that will help you identify the risks associated with using a dashcam.

I've tested most of the following five and many more models to reduce the noise and alert you to the basics of the function level and price of each dashcam. All of these products are available from Amazon or Best Buy at prices ranging from $ 45 to $ 500. And while I have not used every model on the market (an impossibility given the torrent of often nameless Dashcams), these are great examples of each stage in the market.

Read more: How do you choose the right dashcam? By the way, if you're an old hand in Dashcams or would like to stay up to date, check out our review of the Best Dashcam Smart Features .


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Apeman

This weirdly named car dashcam covers all the basics and is our choice for the best Dashcam option under $ 50. The camera lens records 1080p video and audio in an infinite loop on a 32 GB microSD card that you have supplied. The camera's super wide-angle lens automatically detects and stores collision images. The same motion detection sensor technology is used when the vehicle is parked to detect if someone is entering or driving around in your vehicle and also recording that event.

The 3-inch LCD on the back aligns the camera Browse the Dashcam footage and navigate through the relatively simple menus with buttons on the edge. This wide-angle camera can be easily mounted on your windshield with its suction mount. Do not expect an HD video-quality interface at this price, but you will not be able to use the menus after the initial setup.

Read more: The Best of New Smart Dashcams

Pioneer

You have not seen the following until recently: a famous brand Dashcam. The design is also more appealing: it is like an original part in the top of the windshield and does not hang on an unsightly mount.

The camera lens offers all the basics and a few tricks: It has an unusual frame rate of 27.5 frames per second to ensure that the status of an LED traffic light that has a pronounced on / off flicker is not missed. Other cameras may not record any signal at all. The built-in GPS tagging ensures that time and GPS location are embedded in the clips you record.

If you're a Kenwood person, check out a Kenwood DRV-N520 (currently about $ 150 from Amazon) Dashcam, which only works if connected to a Kenwood dual-DIN retrofit head unit.

Read more: The Best Surveillance Cameras for Households of 2019

Pioneer

Like the Pioneer, this Kenwood dashcam comes from a big brand name in car electronics. The 1080p Full HD DRV-A301W does not fit as neatly in a car windshield as the Pioneer. However, it has a larger 2.7-inch LCD screen on the back, a Wi-Fi network connection for image transfer, internal supercapacitors instead of batteries. and a clever magnetic trigger that makes it easy to hide or transport.

Read more: Best Video Cameras and Accessories for YouTube

Vantrue

4K is becoming the new standard for the video cameras in our area, and this dashcam reflects this. The Vantrue X4 features night vision and a true 4K sensor for complete capture of 4K images at up to 30 frames per second. Video quality can make a real difference if you later review the video and try to spot a face or license plate. On the other hand, this leads to larger file sizes. You will probably need a 256 GB memory card. And this camera seems to be picky about the brand of microSD card: Avoid popular SanDisk cards, advises Vantrue.

The X4 uses the technology of exotic batteries in the form of an internal supercapacitor instead of a built-in lithium-ion battery. According to Vantrue, an internal power source lasts longer, especially in the heat that your car is exposed to.

Thinkware

This camera has no screen. Instead, use Wi-Fi and its app on your smartphone as an interface. You can add a wired reversing camera that does not cover the interior of your vehicle but covers the rear window.

The real innovation of the F800PRO, however, is that it allows for a lane change with its forward camera and accelerometers, as well as forwarding collision alerts and warnings about upcoming traffic cameras thanks to the cloud-connected database.

The model linked below contains a 32 GB SD card in the package.

Read more: The Best Video Doorbells of 2019

Thinkware

The Thinkware M1 Motorsport Dashcam combines 1080p full HD front and rear view cameras that simultaneously record with a unique remote control pad. It's different from Dashcams designed for a car because the design of the cameras is supposed to be a good dashcam for motorcycles and off-road vehicles.

Electronic image stabilization of the M1 is essential for capturing viable video quality in such harsh applications with an internal supercapacitor instead of a temperature-sensitive lithium-ion battery.

Dashcam Tips

These tips apply to most Dashcams. Note the following:

  • Get a large SD card. Some cameras have generous memory. Otherwise, you will get the largest memory card the camera supports. The more space available for the camera, the less likely it is that a video clip that you really need a week ago has been overwritten.
  • Disconnect the cable. Nothing looks worse than a nasty power cable hanging from your dashcam, and all Dashcams use one. The Vantrue X4 features a hardwire kit, and the Owl has a slick mount and a tool for hiding its cable. But every dashcam power cable can be "put on". Just take the time to do this.
  • Think of audio. Some states have a bipartisan agreement that can get you into trouble by recording the voices of occasional riders, Uber or Lyft customers, or even strangers and family members who did not know you were listening in on them ,
  • Know that Dashcams cut in both directions. If you get into an accident with another driver, a visible dashcam is a sign that you have a record of it. The other person can tell their insurance company, and their lawyers might want a copy of the data you have recorded. That could go bad if you are wrong, but do not destroy the evidence.

Originally published at the beginning of this year. Updated with current prices.


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