Why Buy a Dash Cam?
Dash cams are a great addition to your vehicle for a myriad of reasons. They can potentially protect you in a car accident by providing evidence of the incident, especially against people trying to commit insurance fraud. Additionally, motion and impact sensors mean it can potentially record even when you aren’t in your car. Alternatively, you can also use the cam just to record a beautiful Sunday drive. Three popular dash cams on the market are the Incredisonic F-360, the Thinkware X500 and the Blackbox Guard Platinum S02w.
Dash Cams: What to Look For
There are many important features to consider when purchasing a dash cam. Each is slightly different and may have various capacities others don't. They vary in price, and the quantity and quality of features tend to mirror the price. Lower-priced models may have fewer features or a lower resolution, whereas higher-end models often feature Wi-Fi, a wider capture angle and better image sensors.
A dash cam with high-definition capture essentially means you can capture more details. A high-definition dash camera that has at least 720p resolution can record the detail of a license plate in an accident or the beautiful scenery on a long road trip. Many models offer HD capture, but it’s worth double-checking to make sure it’s at least 720p or 1080p, not just 480p. Some cameras also offer features that will help you capture detail and work better for recording at night or in low-light situations.
Dash cams typically either record directly to a removable SD card or they utilize loop recording. With removable storage, it is up to you to review and delete footage, keeping space open for recording. With loop recording, you don’t have to worry about not capturing an important event because of full storage because the camera will automatically record new footage over old unmarked footage. You’ll never have to reset it manually or remember to reload new storage devices. With either mode, you can save a particular instance by marking its timeframe, and the loop recording feature will never record over it. This is handy if there is ever a time you need to keep footage of an incident.
Some models even include motion- and impact-detection features. These are designed to automatically trigger the camera when it senses movement, and then if there's an impact, record for a few seconds after, as well. The camera also marks it in your recording history for later review. This can help if you need to provide evidence, and marking it will prevent deletion if your camera uses loop recording.
Beyond video capture, there are many other features a dash cam can have. One is GPS capabilities. In addition to helping you navigate to a location, GPS features can tag your route, speed and location and integrate that into your recorded video history. This feature lets you review driven routes and speeds so you can keep track of your car's history even if you weren't the one driving it. It can also remember your favorite routes and allow you to program them. However, it can add size to your camera, which may be an issue if you are concerned with being discreet.
Other features depend on your price point and can range from having NFC tags and built-in Wi-Fi connectivity to various traffic alerts and the capacity to help you find information on nearby parking garages. While a simple, straightforward dash cam will do the job, these additional built-in features serve as convenient add-ons.
The best dash cams are able to provide a variety of functions. High-definition capture will guarantee a better quality video of whatever you’re capturing, while loop recording ensures that you’re always capturing and won’t ever miss anything important. Dash cams can watch over your car even when you’re not in it thanks to motion and impact detectors as well as GPS, which together can record events, track driven routes and record speeds, combining them into one feed for playback. Whether you're looking for a simple camera or one that's loaded with additional conveniences, a range of options on the market ensures you'll find one that fits you and your car.