Top 8 Best Dash Cams And What To Look For In A Dashboard Camera
Dash cam videos are nothing new, especially when it comes to law enforcement. Over the years, we have seen a growing trend of funny and even touching dash cam videos being uploaded online.
Perhaps you want to join the growing dash cam community or you intend to get one for the simple reason of having a handy gadget in case you find yourself in some car trouble that you need to document.
Before listing the best dash cams in the market, note that it's best to consult with legal authorities regarding owning a dash cam as laws differ depending on the country and community you live in.
Here are the top eight dash cams:
1. Garmin Dash Cam 20
With a resolution of 1920 x 1080p, 30fps shooting and a viewing angle of 120 degrees, this simple model can be mounted on your windshield. You can simply plug it in and you're on your way to recording as long as the car is running. Since this 2.3-inch LCD cam uses a rechargable battery, it can come in handy in case you find yourself in an accident and need to take video evidence for documentation. Though the Garmin comes with easy-to-navigate menus that allow users to adjust camera settings, sensitivity of the accelerometer, and review recorded footage, the $250 price tag seems a little steep compared to similar models in the market.
2. Cobra Drive HD CDR 900 Dash Cam
This Wi-Fi enabled, 2304 x 1296 Super HD powerhouse with 30fps and 160-degree viewing angle can transfer your videos to your smartphone with the free Drive HD app for both iOS and Android devices. The Cobra HD CDR 900 can be used efficiently as a dash cam with auto power on, off and loop recording, but you can also use it as an action camera by mounting it on the suction cup vehicle mount or attaching it to the special lanyard attachment that comes with the $250 package.
3. Papago P2 Pro
At $145, this 1920 x 1080 camera at 30fps frame rate also has a 130-degree viewing angle that gives your car a fancy upgrade without breaking your budget. The P2 Pro comes with an accelerator that automatically saves footage when it detects a collision, alerts drivers when you need to turn on your lights, alerts you when you are entering a stop-and-go condition, warns you when you unexpectedly leave a lane, and keeps you awake you during long drives with its Driver Fatigue Alarm. The downside of this amazing gadget is its huge 2.4-inch LCD size and the fact that its speed camera warning must be manually updated.
4. Mobius ActionCam
This high-quality dash cam is amazingly small enough to fit on your keychain but still manages to pack 1920 by 1080 at 30fps resolution and have a 116-degree viewing angle. The $80 camera comes with software that lets you configure it into a reliable dash cam with the use of your Windows PC. It does sound great but, because of its small size, it sacrificed features such as GPS, accelerometer, and a built-in screen. You can securely attach the Mobius on remote control planes, helmet mounts, and even handlebars, making it quite an efficient choice for those on living life on the fast lane.
5. Novatek NT96650 G1W
Coming in at $48 with a resolution of 1920 by 1080 at 30fps and 120-degree viewing angle, the NT96650 G1 W is said to be the world's best-selling dash cam. This bad boy comes ready to use right off the box and includes a car adapter, windshield mount, mini-USB and HDMI cable. As a bonus, it also has an HDMI output for those who are interested in connecting it directly to a TV set. The G1W's 2.7-inch LCD screen makes it efficient for changing settings, such as adjusting camera resolution, changing loop clip recording length, and setting up the screen duration. Even though it costs under $50, this dash cam still comes with the accelerometer, which we can all agree is the most important feature in any dash cam.
6. BlackVue DR650GW-2CH
The high-end dual dash cam comes to you for $360 with features such as GPS tracking and Wi-Fi capabilities. Memory cards up to 64GB can be used, which means you can have over 10 hours of video recording time. The DR650GW doesn't have a screen but it comes with a voice menu for easy operation.
7. DOD LS460W
At $270, this 2.7-inch screen camera has a 15Mbps bit rate and WDR technology that comes in handy for nighttime driving. A 64GB memory card allows up to eight hours of video recording. The password protection feature also ensures that someone else won't accidentally delete the recorded videos.
8. Mini 0805
This tiny gem has a resolution of 2304 by 1296p and is available for only $70. Though small in size, it can house SD cards up to 128GB, allowing users to record up to 19 hours of footage. It is an excellent choice for those looking for a bargain that delivers quality.
To help you decide if buying a dash cam is the right move for you, here are qualities to look for in a dash cam:
Thankfully, manufacturers have been creating smaller cameras that can be mounted in different areas of your car. Consider what size you prefer and where you intend to mount it. Also remember to choose a black-colored dash cam since colored cameras can be easily spotted and will defeat its purpose.
There are cameras on the market that don't cost as much but only come in 640 x 480. It may serve its purpose but, when faced with a collision, it's still best to have a camera with a 1920 x 1080 resolution, so that the full details of the incident can be recorded.
Night Video Quality
For those who are on the road late at night, it would be best to consider a camera's ability to record during the night.
This means your dash cam must have the ability to automatically overwrite the oldest files on the memory card once your storage is full. This will ensure that the camera is recording indefinitely.
This feature is triggered when you encounter a G-Force situation, such as an impact or a sudden braking movement. When this occurs, the camera will automatically mark the footage for safekeeping so that it does not get deleted by loop recording.
This comes in handy for parking mode.
Lock File Button
This button allows drivers to mark current video footage for safekeeping with just a single touch of a button instead of having to go through a menu.
This is optional, but for those who prefer to review footage right away, there are models that come in various screen sizes.
Optional but handy, this feature allows you to record your exact position and speed while driving.
Consider which setup is most convenient. Some dash cams do come with rechargable batteries rather than power cords.