Now is the moment to rectify the situation if you do not already have a high-quality dash camera. Even if the offers from Black Friday are no longer available, there are still plenty of opportunities to save money after the holidays have passed. You will be able to keep a record of the amount of time you spend driving, as well as any incidents or dangerous circumstances that may arise during that time.
Your insurance company will be grateful to you for installing a dash cam since it will prevent any situation in which your word is pitted against theirs in the event of an accident, regardless of who was to blame. Given the abundance of dashboard cameras currently on the market, your main challenge will be selecting the model that best suits your needs.
Fortunately, we have evaluated some of the most well-known brands in order to assist you with making a decision, and the following are the best dash cameras that money can buy.
Importance of Dash Cameras
Dash cameras have become increasingly popular among drivers due to their numerous benefits. These compact devices, mounted on the dashboard or windshield of your vehicle, record video footage of the road ahead and sometimes the interior of the car. Here are some key reasons why dash cameras are essential:
- Evidence in accidents: Dash cameras can provide crucial evidence in case of accidents or collisions. The recorded footage can help determine who was at fault, making the claims process smoother and more efficient.
- Protection against insurance fraud: Dash cameras can protect you from fraudulent claims by capturing incidents such as staged accidents or hit-and-runs. This evidence can prevent you from being held responsible for something you didn’t do.
- Improved driver behavior: Knowing that their actions are being recorded can make drivers more cautious and accountable. Dash cameras promote safe driving habits and can serve as a reminder to follow traffic rules.
- Monitoring young or inexperienced drivers: If you have young or inexperienced drivers in your family, dash cameras can provide valuable insights into their driving habits. This allows you to coach and guide them toward becoming better drivers.
- Capturing memorable moments: Dash cameras aren’t just for accidents and incidents. They can also capture beautiful scenery, exciting road trips, and unexpected events that you may want to remember or share with others.
With these advantages in mind, it’s clear that investing in a dash camera is a smart decision for any driver.
Best Dash Cameras
1. Nextbase 622GW
The 622GW has the ability to shoot video in 4K at 120 frames per second, has built-in image stabilization to guarantee that your recordings are silky smooth, has a mode for filming in adverse weather, and has a polarising filter that will limit reflections that would otherwise ruin your film.
But in addition to that, it comes with voice controls for Alexa, improved night vision, a parking mode that can detect collisions even when the vehicle is parked, an emergency SOS service that can contact first responders in the event that the driver is unable to do it themselves, and a parking mode that can sense collisions when the vehicle is parked. The integration of What3Words guarantees that they are aware of your precise location, accurate to within a three-meter radius.
The 622GW can also connect to Nextbase’s rear-view camera, which costs $100, so you can keep an eye on what’s happening behind you. However, those of you who are more concerned about your spending may be put off by the high price of this camera and the fact that it does not provide two-way recording by default.
2. Garmin Dash Cam Mini 2
In addition, just like other recent models of Garmin Dash Cams, it has the ability to make your vehicle smarter through the use of features like as forward collision warnings, lane departure warnings, speed cameras and stop light notifications, and more. There is also the Garmin Vault, which is a cloud storage service that will automatically back up all of your recordings to a secure location in the cloud.
However, its design is by far its greatest asset. The Garmin Dash Cam Mini 2 is so little that it is highly unlikely that you will even notice it mounted on your windscreen. This results in a significantly reduced number of distractions while driving.
3. Nextbase 522GW
The camera also has a polarising filter that improves image quality when the sun’s rays are a little too intense for the camera to normally handle, an emergency SOS mode, a 3-inch touchscreen for easy operation, and Alexa speech capabilities. All of these features make the camera very user-friendly. There is a magnetic Click & Go mount, just like other Nextbase models, and you have the option to sync it with several rea-view and interior models that Nextbase offers available for purchase.
4. Garmin Dash Cam 57
The Garmin 57 really comes into its own in situations where you don’t have a newer automobile equipped with driver-aid capabilities. It is equipped with a variety of safety features such as warnings in the event of an impending collision, alerts in the event that you are departing from your lane, and warnings in the event that you are approaching a stop light or a speed camera. It will also alert you if you are too preoccupied with something else to realize that the traffic has begun to move.
In addition, the Garmin 57 comes equipped with a parking guard, a live view, and automatic cloud backup, which saves a copy of your video in an encrypted format and keeps it in the cloud for safekeeping. If you combine this feature with voice controls, an integrated GPS, and a video resolution of 1440p, you should be able to record all the crucial information in the event that the worst-case scenario occurs.
In addition, just like every other dash cam made by Garmin, the Garmin 57 is capable of connecting to an extra four cameras so that you can record in other directions.
5. Nextbase 320XR Dash Cam
Even though the image quality is not ideal, it is more than capable, and its small and understated appearance makes it appropriate to the requirements of most vehicles. If you are looking for a trustworthy and inexpensive twin-camera system that does not include an extravagant box of tricks, then this one is an excellent option for you to consider.
6. Vantrue N2 Pro
Even if the overall film isn’t of the highest quality, with some graininess and lens flare, you’ll still wind up with recordings that are clear and crisp, which you can use to keep track of what’s going on on the roads around you. It goes without saying that it is lacking in a lot of essential features, such as any form of wireless connectivity, which will make accessing your videos a little bit more challenging.
However, given that it comes equipped with all of the essentials as well as a secondary camera at no additional cost, this dash cam is definitely one to take into consideration. Especially considering it costs $170 dollars.
7. Kenwood DRV-A301W
Better still One of our favorite Dash Cam companion apps is the Kenwood Dash Cam manager. Kenwood makes dash cams. Not only can you connect to the camera through a local wireless network in order to view the previously recorded video, but you can also view a live view of what the camera is now seeing on your screen at any given time. The quality of the video that has been recorded is likewise very high, however, the audio may occasionally be a little choppy.
The Kenwood DRV-A31W may not have any features that are exclusive to it and set it apart from its competitors, but it does have everything you require in a dash cam, and it comes at a cheap price point to boot.
8. Vantrue S1 Dash Cam
contrast, the nighttime footage, which is fuzzier, is still pretty commendable.
Although there are a few aspects of the Vantrue S1 that we would modify, such as specific design features and the absence of more advanced functionality, everything that is necessary is included and accounted for. Strong video and audio, a global positioning system (GPS), incident detection, and a parking guard who is on duty around the clock. In a similar vein, navigating the menu system is a breeze, and it includes a number of buttons that are sensitive to their surroundings.
The Vantrue S1 is a dash cam that offers dual views and is reasonably priced, making it a good option to consider if you are searching for a dash cam that isn’t completely awful.
9. Car & Driver Road Patrol Touch Duo
Some of the capabilities do not function as well as they should, and the camera itself has a flimsy feel to it. Additionally, the Patrol Touch Duo is missing important features like GPS and Wi-Fi connectivity. Nevertheless, if you are looking for a dash cam that has a dual-view camera, good video quality, and all of the capabilities that are standard, you should give this some thought.
10. Nexar Beam
The accompanying app isn’t very good, and getting started with your cloud space could be a little bit challenging at first. But despite the fact that it has some flaws, the Nexar Beam is still an excellent pick that provides all of the features that are necessary for a dashboard camera.
Key Features to Consider
When choosing a dash camera, several key features should be taken into consideration. Let’s explore each of these features to help you make an informed decision.
Types of Dash Cameras
Dash cameras come in various types, each with its own unique set of features and advantages. Here are the most common types:
Basic Dash Cameras
Basic dash cameras are the most straightforward and affordable option. They are designed to record video footage of the road ahead and store it on a memory card. These cameras typically offer standard resolution and limited additional features.
Dual Dash Cameras
Dual dash cameras, also known as front and rear dash cameras, consist of two separate units that record both the front and rear views of your vehicle. This type of camera provides comprehensive coverage and can be particularly useful for taxi drivers, rideshare drivers, or anyone concerned about incidents happening behind their vehicle.
Rearview Mirror Dash Cameras
Rearview mirror dash cameras replace your existing rearview mirror and offer a discreet and integrated solution. These cameras have a built-in monitor that displays the recorded footage while functioning as a regular rearview mirror.
GPS-enabled Dash Cameras
GPS-enabled dash cameras provide additional functionality by incorporating GPS technology. These cameras can track your vehicle’s location, speed, and route while recording video footage. This feature can be useful for keeping a detailed record of your journeys or for providing evidence in case of theft.
Resolution and Image Quality
The resolution and image quality of a dash camera plays a crucial role in capturing clear and detailed footage. Higher-resolution cameras produce sharper images, making it easier to identify license plates, road signs, and other important details. The most common resolutions for dash cameras are:
- 720p: Offers standard definition (SD) quality and is suitable for basic recording needs.
- 1080p: Provides high definition (HD) quality and is currently the most popular resolution among dash cameras.
- 4K: Delivers ultra-high definition (UHD) quality, offering the sharpest and most detailed footage. However, 4K cameras tend to be more expensive.
When choosing a dash camera, opt for the highest resolution your budget allows, as it significantly enhances the clarity and overall quality of the recorded footage.
Field of View and Lens Quality
The field of view (FOV) determines how much of the road is captured by the camera. A wider FOV means a broader perspective, which is beneficial for capturing a larger area and reducing blind spots. Most dash cameras have a FOV ranging from 120 to 170 degrees.
Lens quality is also essential for capturing clear footage. Look for dash cameras with high-quality lenses that minimize distortion and provide accurate colors and contrast.
Dash cameras record video footage onto a storage device, typically a microSD card. It’s important to consider the storage capacity and the type of memory card supported by the camera. Dash cameras usually support cards with capacities ranging from 32 GB to 256 GB.
Additionally, some cameras offer loop recording, which automatically overwrites the oldest footage when the memory card is full. This feature ensures that the camera continues recording without interruption.
Loop Recording and G-Sensor
Loop recording is a vital feature that enables continuous recording by overwriting the oldest footage once the memory card reaches its capacity. This ensures that the camera never stops recording, and you won’t have to worry about manually deleting files.
The G-Sensor, or gravity sensor, is another important feature found in many dash cameras. It detects sudden movements or impacts and automatically saves the footage as an event file, protecting it from being overwritten during loop recording. These event files can be invaluable in accident scenarios, providing evidence of the impact.
Now that we’ve covered the key features to consider, let’s delve into additional features that can enhance your dash camera experience.
Additional Features to Consider
Driving at night poses unique challenges, and having a dash camera with night vision can greatly improve video quality in low-light conditions. Look for cameras equipped with infrared (IR) lights or enhanced sensors that provide clear and detailed footage, even in complete darkness.
Parking mode is a useful feature that allows the dash camera to continue recording even when the vehicle is parked and the engine is off. This feature is particularly valuable for capturing hit-and-run incidents or any suspicious activity around your parked vehicle. Some parking mode systems use motion detection or impact sensors to trigger the recording.
Wi-Fi connectivity enables you to connect your dash camera to your smartphone or tablet wirelessly. This feature allows you to view, download, and share footage directly from your device without the need for a computer or memory card reader. Wi-Fi connectivity also simplifies camera configuration and firmware updates.
Dash cameras with smartphone integration provide a seamless user experience. They often come with dedicated mobile apps that allow you to control the camera settings, review footage, and download or share videos directly from your smartphone. This convenience enhances the overall functionality and accessibility of the dash camera.
Installation and Mounting Options
When installing a dash camera, it’s important to consider the mounting options and the ease of installation. Most dash cameras use either a suction cup mount or an adhesive mount. Suction cup mounts offer flexibility and easy removal, while adhesive mounts provide a more permanent and secure attachment.
Proper positioning of the camera is essential for capturing the desired footage. Mount the camera behind the rearview mirror or on the windshield for an optimal view of the road ahead.
Before installing a dash camera, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with the legal regulations and privacy laws in your jurisdiction. While dash cameras are generally legal for private use in most countries, there may be specific restrictions regarding audio recording, placement of the camera, or sharing footage. Research the laws in your area to ensure compliance.
Dash Camera Maintenance and Care
To ensure the longevity and optimal performance of your dash camera, it’s essential to follow some maintenance and care practices:
- Keep the lens clean: Regularly clean the lens using a microfiber cloth to remove dust, fingerprints, or smudges that may affect the image quality.
- Check the memory card: Periodically format the memory card within the dash camera’s settings to prevent data corruption and maintain optimal storage capacity.
- Protect from extreme temperatures: Avoid exposing your dash camera to extreme temperatures, as this can negatively impact its performance and potentially damage the internal components. Park your vehicle in shaded areas whenever possible.
- Secure the cables: Ensure that the cables connecting the dash camera to the power source or rear camera, if applicable, are securely fastened to prevent them from getting loose or interfering with your driving.
By following these simple maintenance tips, you can maximize the lifespan and reliability of your dash camera.
In conclusion, dash cameras are invaluable tools that provide safety, security, and peace of mind for drivers. By recording video footage of the road ahead, these devices can serve as evidence of accidents, protect against insurance fraud, and promote safer driving habits. When purchasing a dash camera, consider the key features such as resolution, field of view, storage options, and additional functionalities like night vision and parking mode. Proper installation and maintenance will ensure that your dash camera performs optimally for years to come. Stay protected and enjoy the benefits of owning a dash camera!
Can I use a dash camera to prove my innocence in an accident?
Absolutely! Dash cameras are excellent tools for capturing evidence in accidents. The recorded footage can help establish your innocence and protect you from false claims.
Do dash cameras record audio as well?
Some dash cameras have built-in microphones that record audio along with video. However, it’s essential to review the laws and regulations in your jurisdiction regarding audio recording.
How much storage do I need for my dash camera?
The required storage capacity depends on the camera’s resolution and your preferences. For standard 1080p recording, a 32GB or 64GB microSD card should suffice. If you prefer higher resolutions like 4K, consider using a larger capacity card, such as 128GB or 256GB.
Can I transfer dash camera footage to my computer?
Yes, most dash cameras allow you to transfer footage to your computer via a USB cable or by removing the memory card and using a card reader. Alternatively, some cameras offer Wi-Fi connectivity, allowing you to transfer footage wirelessly.
Are dash cameras legal?
Dash cameras are generally legal for private use in most countries. However, it’s important to research and comply with the laws and regulations regarding their use, especially regarding privacy and audio recording.
How often should I clean the dash camera lens?
It’s recommended to clean the lens every few weeks or as needed, depending on environmental conditions. Keep a microfiber cloth handy to remove any dirt, dust, or fingerprints that may accumulate on the lens.