Dashboard cameras, or simply dash cameras, have seen an enormous increase in popularity over the past years mainly thanks to the useful benefits these driving tools provide. Plain and simple, a dashcam is an onboard camera mounted on the dashboard or widescreen of the vehicle to constantly record the front road, traffic, and even the rearview.
That said, in this article, we're going to discuss whether purchasing a dashcam is worth or not, cover what factors to consider when choosing a camera, and finally explore some of the overall best dash cameras from 3 different brands in the dash cam reviews below.
Is it worth buying a dashcam?
Although it might not look like a worthy acquirement at first, getting a simple driving recorder has been proven many times to solve insurance disputes, traffic scandals, criminal cases, save money, unravel frauds, court trials, and many others.
There are many ways in which dashcams can benefit one but the common instances in which they can assist are:
#1 Evidence for any driving accidents/problems
The main reason drivers purchase a dashcam is to come up with solid proof whenever they get into traffic problems. There are countless cases where dashcam footage saved people's lives and years of prison by simply providing video data of the happening. Videotapes are the most powerful and the only accountable evidence when it comes to courts and final decisions.
With dashcam videotapes you can also save your car by proving blamelessness and getting the guilty driver to pay for the damages in case of crashes, they can get points off your license, and most importantly, they can make a huge difference in insurance disputes. Driving Insurance frauds have been increasingly fallen in the past decade as drivers now have solid proof to prevent any unfair treatments.
#2 Record your entire road trip, route, scenery
Dashcams can also be a great investment when it comes to occasional road trips and unforgettable journeys that you can record and rewatch whenever nostalgia kicks in. This is especially helpful when you have a high-quality video camera, where landscapes and road views are clearer than before. You can also use the videotapes to recall routes or even catch unusual traffic moments.
#3 Additional features/functions
Due to the radical increase in popularity in the past years, dash cameras have evolved substantially, bringing multiple useful features and benefits to assist with your driving and not only. For example, most of the driving records nowadays feature audible notifications along with spoken status updates to help you always stay up to date with every activity of the dashcam in real-time.
Just as important, most dashcams come with embedded GPS devices to help you track your location and speed in real-time without having to purchase additional GPD devices. Features also include high-tech LCD screens, night vision for a clear view in the dark, G-sensor for additional data on car movement, and field of view.
How to select a dashcam?
In order to choose the proper dash cam for you, several aspects need to be taken into consideration first. Overall key aspects people tend to look for when picking a dash cam are affordable prices, helpful features, and quality. As prices and quality are a matter of preference and affordability, next, we're only going to cover the main and basic functions to look for in a dashcam.
- Dashcam image quality-When it comes to solid proof and security, video quality is critical, reason for which you should make sure that the model you're looking at provides the highest video/image quality possible for the amount of money you're willing to spend. It is recommended to pick a camera that delivers at least full HD resolution (1920x1080 pixels) at 60 frames per second (fps), a minimum that most dash cams come with. This will help tremendously in traffic problems, especially when it comes to reading a number plate of a fast-moving car far away. Better and higher resolutions that you can get at still affordable prices are (2304x1296p) and even (2560x1440p).
- Night Vision- Night vision is an elementary feature every dash should have. This feature is a software-based processing effect emerged into the video to boost exposure to less visible and unexposed areas. This not only helps with a clearer view during the night but also makes it easier to identify subjects or even number plates in the dark.
- GPS-As mentioned above, an integrated GPS will help you track speed and location in real-time. When checking the GPS functions, make sure it features a lane-keeping assistant and a speed camera warning system to assist you whilst in traffic. A proper GPS will perfectly sync in with the video recording, making it possible to later check exactly what location you were at and with what speed at specific points in the videotape you were driving. Such data can help with violation disputes and can even be used to back up an insurance claim.
- Field of view-Besides high-quality video, what you want from your front camera is the widest field view possible. A wider field will allow the camera to catch any vehicles or actions from further lanes, which means the possibilities of getting into crashing without the camera picking them are low. As a general rule, the field of view is considered wide enough when you can easily see all the lanes of the road, possibly both sides.
- G-sensor-Also referred to as an accelerometer, the G-sensor feature monitors the acceleration of the vehicle in 3 dimensions (G-force). This allows the sensor to detect any sudden change in direction and automatically switch the camera to 'event mode', which basically makes sure to save all the current footage in a separate part of the memory. That way, the camera will store crucial footage rather than previous footage, meaning the impact moment will most likely be stored in the memory card in the first place. When looking for a dash camera, make sure it has a G-sensor feature with 'event mode' functions.
- Single vs Dual camera-The main difference between single and dual dash cams is that the first only records the front view and the latter records both the front and the rearview. While it might not seem so important to get two channels, keep in mind that there is a 50% chance of getting hit in the back of the vehicle, in which case a single dashcam will not be of much help. A dual-channel camera will always allow for a full story of events and besides, it is much cheaper to buy a dual camera than two separate cameras.
- Dashcam holders-There are 2 main dashcam holders manufacturers provide: the adhesive holder and the suction cup holder. The only benefit of the suction cup holder is that you can easily unmount the camera and put it into another car if that's something you usually do.
Where can I get the best dashcams?
When speaking of high-quality, feature-rich dashcams, there are 3 main brands worth talking about: Nextbase, Garmin, and VanTop. Although each has a plethora of great dashcams for you to choose from, we will only list some of their best products and slightly introduce them in a couple of dash cam reviews
Starting with Nextbase in the price range of $59.99-$399.99, we have
- The ultimate 622GW dashcam-The revolutionary award-winning 622GW dash cam comes with all the basic features, plus additional functions such as Image stabilization, what3words life-saving feature, and a stunning 4k image quality, all for an affordable price of $219.00, making it the most demanded dashcam on the market now.
- 522GW dashcam- From the same series of dashcams, for only $149.00 Nexbase's 522GW dashcam is there to offer ground-breaking new features, including Alexa Voice Control, Emergency SOS response, a built-in polarising lens as well as a top-notch 1440p HD recording all in addition to elementary features like GPS, Wifi, etc.
- Garmin Dash Cam™ Tandem-The Garmin Tandem Dashcam has it all: 1440p video quality, two 180-degree lenses for both the front and interior, night vision, voice commands, GPS, G-sensor, auto-sync, and many others, all for a worthy price of $299.99
- Garmin Dash Cam™ 46- This 1080p Dash Cam with 140-degree field of view response to voice commands, provides GPS pinpoints, G-sensor, auto-sync, and many other features available on the Garmin Drive App, all for a modest price of $149.99
- VanTop H610 Mirror Dash Cam 2.5K HD- The H610 VanTop dashcam is known to be one of the most well-rounded dash cams in the market, providing both great features and an affordable price at the same time. For only $89.99, the H610 offers a Dual Camera with 2.5K HD Front Camera, Touch screen, Emergency Sensor, Reversing Assistance, 128SD card, Lapse Mode, Loop Recording, and others.
- VanTop H612T 12" 4K Mirror Dash Cam-For $29.99 more, Vantop H612 offers even greater features and specs, including GPS, Touch screen, Rear View Mirror Camera, Sony Sensor for Super Night Vision, waterproof backup camera, and voice commands. The most impresive aspect must be its 4k Ultra Hd Front recording, it helps you to capture every moment.