A dashboard camera (dash cam) or car camera, have become an essential accessory for motorists, commuters and road-trippers. There are a few things to be considered before you make a decision to buy a dash cam. This Dash Cam Buyer’s Guide will explain the main features of dash cam and help you to invest on a decent dash camera.
- Why Should You Have a Dash Cam
- Different Types of Dash Cam
- What Features to Look For
Why Should You Have a Dash Cam
Dash cams are mounted onboard cameras in your car that record the view through a vehicle’s windows. Some dash cams include a camera to record to the interior of the car. There are many advantages to using a dash cam, there are four main reasons why you should invest in a dash cam.
Firstly, a dash cam tracks your driving record and reinforces your car’s security. Secondly, with stored camera footage, you will have valuable first-hand evidence of a car accident, similarly, it can also be useful against insurance fraud. Moreover, dash cams can record your entire road trip, you will be amazed by the footage your dash cam captures over a journey.
Different Types of Dash Cam
- Basic dash cam
Basic dash cams usually have a small sized screen that can be used to display and playback surveillance video. It is usually mounted using a suction cup or 3M glue during installation. There is generally no software integration in the device system, and only very limited firmware modules are available to support it. The price of basic dash cam is the cheapest among the four different types.
- Mirror dash cam
Mirror dash cams are the largest car camera, and they are generally fixed directly on the original rearview mirror of the car. With the mirror dash cam, you can increase the original rear view mirror imaging range and replace the rearview mirror with a camera screen. The main downside is seen where the screen reduces the usability of the original rearview mirror. Most manufacturers will also add practical hardware modules such as GPS, GPRS, and tire pressure monitoring to provided additional utility of the device.
- Cloud/Smart dash cam
For those drivers who are really into cutting edge technology, a smart dash cam is a perfect choice. Cloud/Smart dash cams are similar to mirror dash cams but integrate an Android system into the mirror/basic dash cam form factor. The installed software transforms the device into a driving tablet. Cloud based dash cams offer an added level of redundancy through cloud storage but will come at an added premium.
- Dual-facing Camera, Interior/Exterior Dashcams
Dual-facing dash cams can capture both interior and exterior video for a comprehensive look at both the road ahead and your passenger cabin. TrekPow’s innovative 180°swiveling lens is very useful for professional drivers or parents who want to keep an eye on their new teen drivers. It also serves as utility for security purposes, simply rotate the lens inwards when parking your vehicle. It may catch valuable evidence of hit and run accidents or car theft. With an affordable price, TrekPow T1 dash cam is a superb choice packed with the most essential features at a moderate price point.
What Features to Look For
Importance value: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Key Value: HD 1080P
A clear video source from the driver is essential if the footage is to be used as a piece of evidence. A dash cam with 1080P full HD quality is very important for you to capture every detail, especially when needing to zoom in on a frame for analysis.
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With a looping feature, your dash cam will automatically record over old video that you no longer need, allowing for continual recording even if the SD memory card reaches full capacity.
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Key Value: Wide Lens 170 °
Theoretically, a wide-angle lens means a larger field of view coverage. However, a lens that is wider than 170 degrees can cause distortion problem. A wide-angle lens greater than 140 degrees is an essential feature. 170-degree wide lens is considered perfect for a dash cam.
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A G-sensor is commonly referred to as an accelerometer, the letter “G” refers to gravity. It will monitor the proper acceleration, detect a sudden change in direction, allowing the dash camera to detect when you have been in an accident.
Importance value: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
With a parking mode, the car camera will detect sudden vibrations while the car is parked. Triggered by motion detection, the dash cam can auto record once it detects motion in front of your car.
In order to ensure that a dash cam can be operated, you also need to buy some accessories such as USB adapter and SD memory card.
A dash cam gives you confidence to guard against illegal activity, showing who is at fault during an accident with clear evidence. This saves time and money and is an essential product for anyone who spends a copious amount of time traveling on the road.
If you’re still unsure about which dash cam is right for you, take a look at TrekPow T1 car dashboard camera. TrekPow T1 is a 1080P HD dash cam with a 180°Rotatable Lens which allows you to record video for both exterior and interior of your car. 170°field of view provides wide angle coverage. 2 inches LCD screen allows you to review footage and adjust various setting. 4X zoom lets you to see close-ups of any key collision footage. TrekPow T1 dash cam is designed to overwrite previous footage when the memory is full and makes sure to capture every moment of your journey. Featuring an integrated G-sensor, video files will be automatically write protected and safely stored in the event of a detected accident or collision. Keeping essential footage safe comes in handy when dealing with disputes or insurance claims. TrekPow T1 is available on Amazon and TrekPow website, priced at $59.99.