From audio and video recording quality, to battery life and cloud upload capability, there’s a lot of things you should know before buying a dash cam.
If you’re wondering what’s the best dash cam to buy for your vehicle, here are some things you should know.
What Is A Dash Cam
A dashboard camera, commonly called a dash cam, is an onboard camera that continuously captures the view through a vehicle’s front windshield. However, some of the best dash cams also allow you to record the events beside and behind your vehicle.
When driving, a dash cam records the road. It can be plugged into the fuse box, a USB port, or even powered by the cigarette lighter line. Turning the ignition key starts an automatic recording for many dash cameras. Some cams can also continue recording even after the ignition is off. However, some of the more feature-heavy dash cams may need to be hardwired into the car’s electrical system. Each video segment is recorded and can be stored on a micro SD card, while some also give you the option for automatic cloud upload and storage.
One benefit you may get from having a dash cam is saving on insurance premiums. Many insurers are now providing annual savings of up to 30% for drivers who use a dash cam, which can be significant with rising premiums. Some of the other benefits you get include:
- Parking Mode to safeguard your vehicle while you are parked
- Deterrence against crime and reckless driving
- Quicker dispute resolution after events
- Promotion of safe driving
What To Look For
Buying one of the best dash cams can be an excellent investment because it can help you maintain situational awareness, promote safe driving, and back up your claims in case of an accident. Before you make a purchase, however, these are some basic things you must consider.
- Pricing: Depending on the model and features, a dash cam can cost anywhere between $30 and $500. The average dash cam with adequate features sells for around $100 to $400. How much you’ll need to spend depends on what features you expect to get from your dash cam.
- Image Quality: Dash cams can include a variety of bells and whistles, but the quality of the camera itself may be the most crucial factor to consider. Better pictures are produced by higher-quality cameras, which are handy if you need to examine specific details after an accident or other catastrophe. The specifications for camera image quality include:
- Frame Rates
- Night Vision
- Battery: Most dash cams are powered by your automobile, so they start recording when you turn your car on, and stop recording with your turn your car off. However, some dash cams include a built-in battery, so you are not required to have your car running to use the dash cam. Some people might desire a dash cam to continue recording after leaving their vehicle in a public parking lot. The great majority of dash cameras, regrettably, have poor battery life. Using a sports camera as a dash cam provides an alternative. The batteries in GoPros are made to last a lot longer. You can only manually record, though, as they lack capabilities such as G-Sensors and auto-record functions.
- Protection for the footage storage: Choosing a dash cam with ample storage is essential because video recordings can consume a lot of space. You won’t have to bother managing additional storage if you don’t want to because some dash cams already have a small amount of storage. Dash cam storage typically starts at roughly 4GB, but if you plan to keep more than a few days’ worth of footage, you may need more. Most dash cameras come with a MicroSD card port where you can put a MicroSD card in to store your video. You may need to purchase a MicroSD card separately if your dash camera does not come with one.
- Wireless Connectivity and GPS: If your dash cam has Bluetooth and GPS connectivity, it’s an added advantage because, with Bluetooth, you can manage the settings and footage for your dash cam. And with GPS connectivity, you’ll be able to log the speed and location of your car and sync it along with the footage, and that extra data could help settle a dispute.
A dash cam is crucial in driving because it gives you situational awareness and can help deter crime. It can also have you save money. Find out more by reading our list the best dash cams.