What Makes a Good Dash Camera
By Space Coast Daily // February 11, 2023
A dash camera installation has become an essential tool for drivers to provide a record of their travels and extra security in case of an accident.
With so many options available, it can be challenging to determine what makes a good dash camera. In this article, we’ll outline the key features to look for when choosing a dash camera.
- Video Quality: The video quality of a dash camera is crucial, as it provides the evidence you need in case of an accident. Look for a camera with high-resolution recording, such as 1080p or 4K, to ensure that the footage is clear and detailed. A wide-angle lens, typically between 140 and 170 degrees, will allow you to capture as much of the road as possible.
- Night Vision: If you do a lot of driving at night, it’s important to choose a dash camera with good night vision capabilities. This will ensure that the footage captured is still clear and usable, even in low light conditions as shown in this dash cam video.
- Storage: Make sure the dash camera has a built-in memory card or the ability to add an external memory card. This will ensure that you have enough storage space to keep a record of your travels for an extended period of time.
- Loop Recording: Loop recording is a useful feature that allows the dash camera to automatically overwrite the oldest footage when the memory card is full. This ensures that the dash camera is always recording and eliminates the risk of running out of space.
- Motion Detection: Motion detection is a feature that starts recording automatically when the camera detects motion in front of the vehicle. This is useful if you leave your vehicle parked and someone approaches it or if you are involved in an accident while the vehicle is parked.
- Screen: Some dash cameras have a screen that allows you to view the footage in real-time. This can be useful for checking the view, adjusting the camera angle, or playing back footage.
- GPS: GPS tracking is a valuable feature that can record the speed and location of the vehicle. This information can be used to track your vehicle’s location in case of an accident or to provide additional evidence if it is stolen.
- Night vision: Also known as low light vision, is a feature that should not be overlooked. It can be very helpful for people who often drive at night, because a camera can not capture a picture if there is not enough light. Night vision can be the deciding factor in whether one can provide sufficient evidence to prove their innocence in the event of an accident. Even in low light conditions, night vision cameras provide enough detail to make out the objects in the frame. Although the colors will be muted compared to daytime footage, identifying the license plate of the other car involved is the most important factor.
- Battery: Most dash cams usually work on the power of your car. When your car is turned off, they automatically turn on when you start it. Certain models, however, come equipped with a built-in battery, allowing you to use the dash cam without the engine running. In general, this function is not essential for most people. Although, some may desire a dash cam for recording after parking their vehicle in public spaces. Unfortunately, the majority of dash cams have limited battery life. To overcome this, a sports camera like a GoPro may be used as a dash cam instead. GoPros are equipped with batteries that last much longer and allow for manual recording, albeit without features like a G-Sensor.
- Wireless connection: The integration of wireless connectivity on your dash cam offers a multitude of advantages. For instance, it can enable you to upload footage directly to the cloud and stream it to a phone or laptop. Additionally, some dashcams are designed to communicate with mobile devices through Wi-Fi, which can provide similar advantages to those of Bluetooth. With Wi-Fi connection, you can retrieve and playback footage on your phone. For those looking for added features and connectivity options, we recommend Bluetooth connectivity. Those comfortable managing settings and file storage on the dash cam itself may not need additional connectivity.
Thinking of installing a dash camera for your car? Here are several options for a dash cam installation, including self-installation, car audio and electronics stores, car dealerships, online retailers, and mobile installers.
- Car Audio and Electronics Stores: Many car audio and electronics stores offer dash camera installation services. These stores typically have experienced technicians who can install the camera quickly and professionally.
- Car Dealerships: Some car dealerships offer dash camera installation services, usually as part of a package when you purchase a new vehicle. This can be a convenient option, but it can also be more expensive than other options.
- Online Retailers: Some online retailers that specialize in dash cameras offer installation services. These services can be performed at your home or at a designated location.
- Mobile Installers: There are also mobile installers (like Schmicko) who come to your location to install the dash camera. This can be a convenient option, as you don’t have to drive to a store or dealership.
How Much Does a Dash Cam Cost?
The cost of a car dash cam varies depending on the model and its features, ranging from $30 to $500 or more. Generally, models with adequate features are priced between $100 to $400. Ultimately, the cost of a dash cam depends on the desired features and the user’s budget.
When choosing a dash camera, look for one with high video quality, good night vision capabilities, a screen, loop recording, GPS tracking, and ample storage space. By taking these factors into account, you can choose a dash camera that meets your needs and gives you added peace of mind when you are on the road.
Whether you’re a seasoned driver or just starting out, a good dash camera is an investment that you won’t regret.