If you spend hours in your car, or travel long distances, you never know what unfortunate event you might experience due to no fault of your own.
Thankfully, cars are designed to be safer with automatic braking systems, alarms for objects in blind spots, and even more features. However, we still recommend car owners purchase an in-car video camera to capture a collision. While nobody wants to think of this possibility, it is most certainly always better to be prepared. Having the best dash cam can protect you legally and financially should there be any dispute over an incident. Moreover, it offers a sense of security knowing that your vehicle always has an eagle-eye on watch for vandals or thieves. Let’s take a look at the best dash cam for your vehicle and purpose.
Questions to Ask Yourself Before Beginning Your Search for The Best Dash Cam
Before you begin your search, there are a few answers you'll need to know. We've dedicated the below questions to help with your search.
1. What Are the Best Dash Cams Good For?
Drivers are increasingly turning to dash cams to monitor theirs and another driver’s behaviour on the road. In the heat of the moment, we’re not always alert enough to recall specific information about a collision. However, the best dash cam constantly records your surroundings to act as evidence in a small or large collision. Consequently, they’re an effective device to see who was at fault in a car accident. Otherwise, with no witnesses present, it’s your word against theirs.
Aside from their video and photo footage capabilities, the best dash cam also acts as a GPS tracker. This means that in a worst-case scenario, emergency services can find you and get you out of harm’s way. This is an additional safety feature which could save your life one day.
In addition, dash cams are also good at making yourself more road conscious. With a camera installed into your car, you’re more likely to reduce your speed and watch what you’re doing behind the wheel. Some dash cams alert you if you’re not keeping a safe enough distance from the car in front of you. They can also pick up any bad driving habits and improve your standard on the road.
Even if you consider yourself a safe driver, someone can accuse you of being at fault when you weren’t. However, dash cam recordings can help you settle a claim stress free and enable you to get on with your life.
2. Why Do I Need One?
There are many reasons why someone would own the best dash cam. Firstly, and most obviously, they report important evidence on the road, so if someone else is at fault, you have video footage to use against them. This is a lot more viable than your word against someone else’s. As a result, a dash cam can protect you immensely from false accusations, as well as speed up a case.
In addition to using the evidence against drivers in a collision with you or another vehicle, you can also use the best dash cam to improve the behavior of drivers on the road. For example, you can report against drunken drivers or people on their phone whilst behind the wheel. Consequently, you’re doing your part to make the roads a safer place for everyone to prevent collisions happening in the first place.
Furthermore, perhaps you’re a worried parent whose child has just passed their test. With a built-in GPS tracker, you can ensure your child is in a safe environment and keep track of their journey without distracting them with phone calls. You'll be provided a huge peace of mind knowing where your precious cargo is at all times.
Finally, vehicles are often stolen. However, if you own an advanced dash cam, you can catch the criminal in action whilst the footage transfers to your other device. A dash cam can also capture evidence unrelated to cars, such as a violent incident on the roadside or accident outside of a car. Owning one of these devices can improve and even save yours and other people’s lives.
Things to Consider Before Buying the Best Dash Cam
Before scouring the Internet for the best dash cam at a reasonable price, there are a few things to consider first to ensure you find the right product for your lifestyle.
The best dash cam will come with an automatic initiation which automatically records your journey when the ignition starts. This also means it will turn off when the ignition is turned off. Due to the power cable connected to the vehicle’s cigarette lighter outlet, it’s possible to link to the electronic system on your car. This function makes it efficient to manage recording. However, not all dash cams come with this feature, so you are responsible for powering it on and off. Depending on your memory and distance of your typical journeys, it’s important to consider if you would benefit from this feature.
The best dash cam will also come with a stamped mark on the video to indicate the time, day, month and year the video was recorded. This activates in the camera settings to appear on each video to reference its date. This is an essential function to support the video’s evidence in the event of an accident. The best dash cam will automatically update with time changes, but not all include this feature. We highly recommend opting in for a dash cam with this function.
Another of the most important functions of dash cams is that their camera models are designed with a front and rear lens. This enables it to record from different directions without needing separate camera. These built-in lenses come with sensors to detect if an object or person raises a red flag. Simple dash cams don’t offer this function, which means that there’s less chance of catching the action on camera.
If you’re aiming for the best dash cam, then we highly recommend one which is compatible with Wi-Fi and boasts GPS. This is because it makes downloading clips to computers and other devices easier. With a built-in G-sensor, it can detect a collision and will instantly lock the footage on the memory card. It’s also worth considering how much memory you need depending on the amount of distance you travel and time spent in your car.
However, if there isn’t an app compatibility to share footage onto your phone or other device, some dash cams enable you to transfer video files via a memory card reader which you insert into your laptop. This does mean that you’re responsible for transferring the files, and if you forget, or the memory overrides, you could potentially lose your video evidence. Should you choose a dash cam without the app compatibility, ensure the memory card will fit into your chosen device.
Models with a GPS receiver also show the vehicle’s location on a map in the model’s compatible computer software. This GPS feature helps to verify the location of an incident and capture a specific view of where it happened. This is definitely a positive feature for additional evidence.
Some insurance companies will offer a reduced rate if you purchase a dash cam and use it inside your vehicle. There are a variety of dash cams to accommodate an array of budgets. Typically, cams which record more than one angle at the same time are more expensive, because they provide footage if someone hits you from behind. Alternatively, basic dash cams strictly focus on moving actions directly in front of your car.
If you have a larger budget, many of the best dash cams come with an integrated parking mode. This allows the dash cam to automatically begin recording if it detects a collision or impact whilst you’re parked. This is helpful for seeing someone who’s left a scrape on your door in a busy car park. If you have a small budget, it’s less likely that this function will come with your cam.
As well as high-quality video recording, some cams take photos too. This is highly useful to capture additional details in a collision, as well as photograph damage to vehicles. You can extract these videos using a memory card to link to your computer. With a larger budget, you can also increase the effectiveness of video capture in low-light conditions, such as night. Cameras which feature LEDs activate to illuminate the surroundings in poor lighting conditions. Consequently, they can pick up more detail of your surroundings to provide ample evidence.
There’s a variety of technology incorporated into the best dash cams. LCD screens enable you to view your files to assist in setting up your device. This makes the camera more user-friendly and an excellent choice for those who don’t consider themselves tech savvy. This optional technology is an excellent feature to allow you to personalize the details you see on screen, as well as giving you more control.
Speed camera alerts are still fairly uncommon in even the best dash cam. However, this functionality tells you the location of speed cameras along your route. This technology helps to promote safer driving and reduce the risk of a collision.
High definition technology is certainly another function to consider before purchasing a dash cam. The better the quality of the image or video, the better the footage is for evidence. Some low-end dash cams capture the scene, but don’t enable you to clearly see a car’s license plate and additional detail which might provide sufficient evidence.
Cameras which offer built-in loop recording functionality record until the memory card is full and then process to record over the oldest files. As a result, you could lose important footage. However, cameras with internal G-sensors won’t overwrite any important data. This ensures that your files are secure until you transfer them onto your computer.
5. Your Tech Know-How
There are a few things you should know about dash cams before making a purchase. These devices mount in or around your car’s dashboard and easily attach to a suction cup. They’re typically powered by batteries, a 12-volt system or cigarette lighter. These cameras come in a single lens or multiple lenses to enable front and rear recordings. Most cameras plug in to power and automatically start recording when your car turns on. When you reach your storage limit, the system overwrites the oldest files in an unlimited loop. More sophisticated models pinpoint the location, date and speed data for evidence purposes.
Some cameras are intelligent enough to only begin recording in the event of a collision or bump. With audio options available this, this is a handy feature to protect you against verbal abuse and road rage. As a result, it provides additional evidence in the event of a collision. There are plenty of positives to owning a dash cam aside from negatives. For example, capture weather conditions, hilarious pedestrian shenanigans, and beautiful sceneries on your commute to use for personal use. The beauty of a dash cam is that operating them is easy, so as long as you plug it into your car, there’s very little else you need to control.
Top 6 of The Best Dam Cameras
No matter your budget, technology knowledge or how often you spend in your car, we’ve scoured the Internet for the best dash camera options to improve your safety experience behind the wheel.
1. Thinkware 1080p Dash Cam
For less than $500, this dash cam records activity in front of and behind your vehicle in full 1080P HD day or night. Its advanced driver safety technologies encourage drivers to become more aware of their surroundings and improve their behavior on the road. It includes features such as: lane departure, forward collision warning and safety camera alert warnings for red light cameras, speed cameras, and average speed and mobile zone, all whilst using a built-in GPS sensor.
This dash cam comes in two viewing modes to provide a more accurate experience and accommodate to different devices. Use the built-in Wi-Fi on your smart phone whilst you’re in the car, or use the Thinkware Viewer software on your PC or Mac to transfer essential files to your devices. With a built-in parking surveillance mode, this allows the camera to continue recording while the vehicle is turned off. With a combination of motion and impact detection, this protects your vehicle from hit and runs, even if you’re not inside at the particular time.
Offering a 140-degree viewing angle, this camera covers a wide span of space. The UHS-1 Class 10 Micro SD memory cards hold up to 64GB to provide hours of recording footage without having to transfer files to your device.
2. Wheel Witness HD Pro Dash Cam with GPS
This is the best dash cam to give you peace of mind whilst on your favourite road trips. It’s the perfect travel companion which enables you to focus on the destination ahead, rather than worrying about what could happen. It comes with plenty of features which helped to make it to this list. With automatic and continuous recording, it immediately switches on when your car’s ignition is turned on. This means you don’t have to worry about manually switching it on and off.
Combining an exceptional Ambarella A7LA50 processor and a 170-degreees super-wide-angle lens, this Wheel Witness model records everything in front of you in ultra-clear high-definition, with crisp 2304x1296P resolution. This means that when it comes to reviewing the footage, you can clearly see all of the action to act as reliable evidence.
The three-inch colour LCD display shows a preview of what the camera sees to aid in framing. This means that you can adjust it accordingly to ensure you get the most accurate view possible. There are plenty of various settings, menu options and media playback controls on each side of the screen to personalize what you see on the screen.
It comes with a G-sensor which automatically detects accidents and saves any relevant footage to act as a witness. When it detects a bump or shock, the sensor is triggered and the camera captures the footage leading up to the bump and moments after to prevent the footage from being overwritten.
3. Winycam Dash Cam in Full HD
This is the best dash cam to purchase if you like technology that is easy to control, manage files and configure settings. With built-in Wi-Fi, you can link the information from your smart device with the Winy cam app. This allows you a convenient viewing of real-time recordings, as well as downloading, accessing, or deleting recording videos from your cell phone.
Presenting itself in night vision, you can capture video footage in extreme low-light conditions such as dimly lit parking lots and streets with poor quality, and in some cases, complete darkness. This makes it a suitable option if you’re often on the road in poor lighting and weather conditions. The easy-to-use 3.5-inch full-touch LCD screen enables you to check the recording status. Within six seconds, the dash cam is loaded and in recording status.
With a radiant-heat design, it has the ability to preserve the video image from -20 to +90 degrees. This means that if facing an abnormal power supply due to a vehicle accident, the power supply still stores the last recorded file. This means that in a worst-case accident, the footage is still there for evidence purposes. Another of our favourite features of this dash cam is the wide dynamic range technology which adapts the recordings to the surroundings. Consequently, the camera adjusts its settings to ensure a correct quality of the videos each and every time.
4. Inavy Black Master 2K Dash Cam 64GB
This Inavy Black Master dash cam with a 2K resolution and 1080 HD screen offers high-quality footage each time it records. It also has a night vision function to improve the recording quality in low-light environments. In addition, it features an advanced ADAS function and lane deviation warning to alert you if yourself or another is in your blind spot and switching lanes.
The rear camera can rotate 360 degrees to shoot from any angle, including the front, rear and sides at the same time when set to continuously record. With ISP technology and real-time image procession functions, the brightness is improved compared to previous products in night-time parking recording mode. The safe helper guides you through the screen, so if you have an accident, you can check whether you operated the brake and turn signal properly to determine who was at fault. The supporting GPS functions records the exact location where the accident occurred along with other valuable information such as the time and speed.
The automatic power management function ensures safe operation at high temperatures. If the voltage drops below the set value, the power is turned off to prevent the vehicle from discharging.
5. Kenwood Recorder Dash Camera
If you’re looking for in-car technology which goes beyond a dash cam, then this Kenwood Receiver comes with a driver recorder dash camera and radio turner with Bluetooth. Firstly, let’s focus on the dash cam features. This multimedia device is a powerful car stereo with plenty of cool features. When you add on this DRC-N520 dash camera and drive assistant, you’ll be amazed at how much memory it has to offer, as well as high-quality footage potential.
Aside from recording video footage when you turn on your ignition, this device also alerts you of delay warning, collision alerts and more. Therefore, it goes beyond the features of even the best dash cam. Although its dash cam features are fairly limited (ie. it doesn’t offer night-vision, touch screen options and GPS sensors), it’s a useful dash cam to record and monitor road footage if you don’t spend a lot of time behind the wheel.
We certainly recommend that you make the most of the radio turner. It’s easy to use and can give you any car stereo crystal-clear reception. It’s so easy to install you’ll be setup and ready to go in minutes. It also comes with a magnetic antenna mount and installation guide to make the process as easy as possible.
6. Lukas Dash Cam Full HD
This is an excellent dash cam to purchase if you’re looking for the basic video footage. Its auto-delete function provides continuous recording before the memory card gets full. If there is a sudden value change on the G-sensor by an impact, the 30-second-long video is recorded and stored in separate folders.
This dash cam records simply by pressing a button when you want to keep an image of emergency moment. It also supports excellent visibility thanks to the 135-degree angle, without any distortion.
It operates in temperatures from 30-90 degrees, which makes it suitable for most car interiors. However, it won’t be in working order if there’s a sudden temperature increase or decrease. With a recording resolution of 1920 x 1080p, it’s offers a high-definition viewing experience, along with a maximum speed of 30fps in recording.
Other Car Products Which Might Be Useful
Check out these other products that also make your car experience easier:
There are many good reasons to own the best dash cam on the market.
After reading the things to consider, benefits and recommend products of dash cams, we hope you appreciate that these devices are an excellent investment. As outlined above, they come in a variety of models to cater your needs and budgets, but all have one purpose – to protect you against dangerous drivers. No-one wants to find themselves in a situation where they fork out hundreds of dollars to repair their car through no fault of their own. Prevent this scenario from happening by protecting yourself before this happens.
Do you know the best dash cam to invest in? If so, share the product link and any viable information in the comments to advise others.
Related Article: How to Find the Right Car Security Camera to Keep Your Vehicle Safe