Have you ever fallen down the rabbit hole watching mesmerizing dashcam videos on YouTube? If so, you may have thought about the benefits of buying one for your own car. One dashboardis still a rarity in the US, but major auto electronics brands like Kenwood and Pioneer have launched their toes.
And why shouldn’t they? Drivers are starting to take advantage of the presence of dash cam footage – who doesn’t want video evidence that they weren’t the guilty person during that Fender bender? Some of these devices have both a front camera and a rear camera so you can capture every angle of your video recording. Some have night vision, parking mode, loop recording and a wide viewing angle. Many also offer HD videos, which are useful when you need to show a license plate after an accident or other vehicle crash. Additionally, the increasing ubiquity of the rearview camera and technology that gives drivers a lane departure warning has made advanced technology in cars a breeze. Why not attach a front camera to your rearview mirror?
I’ve tested most of the following five dashboard camera models, and many more, to help you find the best dashboard camera for your personal situation. Almost all of these options are available from Best Buy or Amazon at prices ranging from $ 45 to $ 350. And while I haven’t recorded with every model on the market (an impossibility given the deluge of often nameless dashcams out there), these are great examples of every tier out there. Many of these cameras have their own dash cam app that makes monitoring and storing videos a breeze (you don’t have to invest in a microSD card).
By the way, if you are an old handIf you want to get into the very latest in video recording of your driving (e.g. if you want a loop function, motion sensor, parking monitor, wide dynamic range, and more), check out our review of the .
This strangely named auto dash cam covers all the basics and is our pick for the best dash cam option under $ 50. The camera lens records 1080p video footage (which makes for good quality video if you need to grasp a person’s license plate) and audio in an endless loop on a 32GB micro SD card you provided. The dash camera’s ultra-wide angle lens provides a great viewing angle and automatically detects and saves footage of car crashes. It uses the same technology to record motion detection sensors when the car is parked to see if someone is driving back into your vehicle or tampering with it, and also starts recording footage of that event.
The 3-inch LCD on the back is used for aiming at the camera’s field of view, for checking the camera material and for navigating the fairly simple menus with buttons on the edge. This wide angle lens camera can be easily mounted on the windshield of your car with its suction cup. At this price point, don’t expect HD video quality UI for the camera, but you will hardly use the menus after initial setup and you will have video evidence of everything that happens on the go.
Here’s what you haven’t seen until recently: a branded dash cam. The design is also more appealing and can be tucked into the top of the car’s windshield like an OEM part instead of hanging from an unsightly bracket.
The camera lens offers all the basics as well as a few tricks: It has an odd frame rate of 27.5 frames per second when recording, which is set so that the state of an LED traffic light that has a pronounced on / off is never overlooked Flickering other cameras may be recording as no signal at all. The integrated GPS tag ensures that the time and GPS location are embedded in the footage you record.
If you’re a Kenwood person, consider shooting with a Kenwood DRV-N520 camera (currently about $ 200 from Amazon). This dashcam only works when connected to a Kenwood double din aftermarket head unit.
Like the Pioneer, this high-resolution Kenwood video dashcam comes from a major automotive electronics brand. The 1080p Full HD DRV-A301W camera doesn’t fit as neatly in a windshield as the Pioneer does, but it does have a larger 2.7-inch LCD screen on the back, a Wi-Fi network connection for transferring pictures and Footage as well as internal supercapacitors instead of batteries and a clever magnetic trigger that makes it easier to hide or transport.
4K is becoming the new recording standard for the video cameras around us, and this dashcam reflects that. The Vantrue X4 has night vision and a true 4K sensor for full 4K recording of footage at up to 30 frames per second. This is great video quality of the footage, and the video quality can make a real difference when you later review the video and try to recognize a face or license plate. On the other hand, the file sizes are bulkier. So you’ll likely want a 256GB memory card while you’re shooting, and this camera seems picky about the brand of microSD card: avoid popular SanDisk cards with this camera, advises Vantrue.
The X4 camera uses the exotic battery technology in the form of an internal supercapacitor instead of a built-in lithium-ion battery. According to Vantrue, this means that an internal power source lasts longer, especially with the baking heat that your dashboard is exposed to.
This car camera has no screen; Instead, you use Wi-Fi and its app on your smartphone as an interface. You can add a wired rear cam, but instead of covering the inside of your vehicle, it looks out of the car’s rear window.
However, the real innovation of the F800PRO is that it gives out lane departure and forward collision warnings using its forward camera and accelerometer, as well as warnings about upcoming traffic cameras for your car thanks to its cloud-connected database. It also has a GPS display and a good GPS is always handy.
The model linked below includes a 32GB SD card with the camera.
The Thinkware M1 Motorsport dashcam combines 1080p Full HD front and rear cameras that record footage simultaneously with a unique remote control push-button control panel. It is different from dashcams that are designed for a car, as the design of the cameras is supposed to make it a good dashcam for motorcycles and ATVs.
The electronic stabilization of the image quality of the M1 is crucial for capturing the usable video quality in such harsh applications, as is an internal supercapacitor instead of a more temperature-sensitive lithium-ion battery.
These tips apply to most dashcams. So please note them:
- Get a big SD card. Some cameras have generous storage space. If not, you will get the largest memory card the camera can support. More camera memory means you’re less likely to find out that footage you really needed a week ago has been overwritten.
- Tighten the cord. Nothing looks worse than a nasty power cord hanging on your dash cam, and every car camera uses one. The Vantrue X4 offers a hardwire kit and the and tools to hide its cord. But any dashcam power cord can be “tightened”. Just take the time to do it.
- Think about audio. Some states have two-party consent laws that can get you in trouble if your camera captures the voices of casual drivers, Uber or Lyft customers (for the Uber and Lyft drivers out there), or even troubled friends and Record Family Members In Your Car Who Didn’t Know You Overheard them?
- Know that dashcams cut both ways. If you have an accident with another driver, a visible dash cam is a sign that you have footage of it. The other person may share this with their insurance company and their lawyers may want a copy of what you recorded on your camera. This could go badly if you were wrong but don’t start by destroying evidence.
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