If you’re in the market for a dashboard cam for your car, chances are you’re feeling pretty overwhelmed. With so many different options and different price points available on the market – how can you be sure you’re choosing the very best one for your car and your needs?
Well, like any other piece of tech, the first thing you want to look at are the specs available and see which is most suitable for your particular needs.
There are a ton of different reasons why one would want to invest in a dashboard cam, and a ton of different great cams out there to suit just what you want.
Why Do I Need A Dashboard Cam?
You can need a dashboard cam, or you can want a dashboard cam, and neither reason is more valid than the other.
With this type of technology, you’re given the opportunity to document everything around you every time you get into your car, and this opens up a lot of possibilities.
First, let’s get into the “want” aspects of wanting a dashboard cam for your car. If you’re planning to take a road trip, a dashboard cam can be a really great way to document your travels.
With SD cards, you can record just about your whole trip and keep the footage safely with you in a form that takes up no more than a couple inches of physical space. When you get home, you can use this footage to cut, edit, and create your own succinct home movies of your favorite road trip experiences.
If you’re taking a trip across country, or just taking a local scenic route, your dashboard cam can be your new best travel buddy. Here’s a good example of how someone has recently done this whent hey took a road trip through Lake Tahoe…
The recordings can be used as evidence in the event of an accident, or to help you to protect yourself from cases of insurance fraud, and you may find yourself really thankful that you’ve invested in one.
“Swoop and squat” car insurance scams, a person stepping out in front of your car on purpose, or a hit and run can all be recorded and used as evidence should you find yourself in trouble. Here’s an example of insurance fraud caught on dash cam…
Some dashboard cams, like the Falcon Zero Touch PRO HD Dash Cam, even have 24/7 recording capabilities, which is a great help in cases of breaking and entering or vehicle vandalism.
If cars are being vandalized in your area, the constant recording capabilities allow wide angles around the car to be caught on film, possibly catching the perpetrators in the act. Also great for hit and run accidents while you’re parked, your car is always protected. The video below captures just such an event.
Finding The Specs And The Size For Your Car And Your Needs
Now that you have your need outlined, it’s time to think about your car. If you drive a larger vehicle, for instance, you’ll want to consider your angles.
A dashboard cam like the KDLINKS DX2 has some of the best angles on the market, boasting a 2 lens system covering the front and rear totaling a 290 degree total angle coverage. A larger dash cam with a wide display screen, this is also a great pick for super simple viewing.
If you wish to protect your sports car, however, such a sizable dashboard cam mounted on your dash or hanging from the windshield can get in the way. You want to make sure your actual view of the road is unobstructed, and something like the KDLINKS DX2 might not quite cut it.
In these instances, you may want to invest in a smaller and stealthier dashboard cam instead, like the Lumina Full HD Dash Cam, which is much more compact in design but still offers 170 degree viewing with a 6 layer Nikon glass lens.
When you consider the best dashboard cam for your car, first think about your vehicle itself, and work around what your vehicle has to offer to determine what type of cam you should be going for.
If you’re driving large and in charge, go with something that has a bit more viewing capability to cover all of your angles. If you’d prefer compact and quick, go with a cam that matches that aesthetic.
Another thing to consider is your own need while driving. A too-big dashboard cam can be safety hazard in smaller vehicles, and dash cams with LCD displays can be an equal hazard for drivers who are easily distracted.
Keeping your eyes on the road should always be your number 1 priority, and if you find yourself glancing too often at the dashboard cam screen, that’s time taken away from the road in real-time.
There are perfectly capable dash cams built without an LCD display, like the Pruveeo F5 Dash Cam with its downloadable footage on IOS and Android systems in real time and 140 degree viewing angles, and these tend to be less expensive than their display ready counterparts as well.
Know Your Memory
The modern dashboard cam will hold information in an enclosed micro SD card that is simple to install and simple to extract data from, but not all memory storage capabilities are the same.
If you plan to record a road trip, for instance, a 32 GB micro SD card will yield you around 8 to 10 hours of footage, but if you don’t need quite that much, a 16 GB or 8 GB storage capability might be perfectly sufficient.
As GB storage goes up, so does the price of the average micro SD card, so that is also something to consider.
Finding the best dashboard cam for your car really begins with finding the right fit for you, and investigating those specifications in a form that will suit the vehicle you have.
Do you want a dashboard sticky mount? A hanging windshield mount? Something large with a big screen and wide angles? Something stealthy and compact? In the wide world of today’s modern dash cams, the possibilities are endless.
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Nextbase 622GW: Forbes’ Overall Best Dash Cam for 2021
Forbes’s list of the best dash cams for 2021 is topped by Nextbase 622GW, which is like the ”Swiss Army Knife” of dash cams.
It offers a range of features such as:
- a super-sharp 4K video
- a large touchscreen display
- a handy powered magnetic mount
The sharp 4K video makes it easier for you to see fine details, while the touchscreen display allows you to easily control the device without any hassle. Finally, the powered magnetic mount saves you a lot of time mounting as it makes it easier to remove and install the camera without having to mess with the cord.
Plus, it also includes an image stabilization that results in smoother video, GPS tracking, wireless connectivity for a smartphone app, Amazon Alexa and What3Words integration, and even an Emergency SOS mode that can automatically summon help to the car’s location after a crash. You can even plug in any of three rear camera modules to expand your view.
Meanwhile, it may be more expensive than most dash cams available in the market. It is also larger compared to other models at almost 4 inches wide. This is though its maximum storage card is only up to 128 GB, which is a lot less than the other models.
If you’re looking for other options, Forbes also recommends Garmin Dash Cam 57 as the 2nd best, while the Rexing V1 4K is suitable for those who are on a tighter budget. If your priority is to record your front and rear views, go for Viofo A129 Pro Duo. If you’ll be recording more of your vehicle’s interior, then consider buying a Vantrue N2S Dual.