From dual lenses, to wide viewing angles, to GPS tagging and g-force sensors, there are a lot of dash cams on the market today.
Most dash cams on the market, including the most popular and best selling dash cams, are not made by brands you are likely to recognize. That makes finding the perfect dashcam a bit more difficult.
Let’s get into the different features to look for in a quality dash cam so you can at least decipher for yourself which dash cam is the best fit for your specific wants and needs.
WDR technology, or Wide Dynamic Range technology, provides today’s modern dashcam with optimal night vision convenience.
With WDR, the camera will be able to adjust itself automatically in different lighting conditions, so you’re getting the same great footage during the middle of the day as you are in the middle of the night.
Another benefit of WDR technology is that it helps to deflect glare and lighting disruptions caused by headlights on the road, so you never need to worry about lighting getting in the way of capturing what you need to capture.
Cameras of all types and price ranges can be found with WDR technology, and whether you want a basic model for under $100, or something on the higher end, it’s something that is relatively easy to find.
One inexpensive dash cam option that uses this technology is the GILAYGROW Dash Cam. This model also includes other features such as a 170-degree wide-angle, G-sensor technology that locks in the footage if a collision is detected, smart recording that begins when the camera detects movement, and easy mounting.
Being able to connect your dashcam to a smartphone app is incredibly convenient, and a really simple way for dashcam beginners to get the footage they need without having to be too tech savvy.
Some of today’s modern cameras are WiFi enabled and have their very own developed smartphone applications for iOS or Android that allow footage to be viewed with the simple tap of a screen.
This means that what your camera captures can be seen in seconds using technology you’re already familiar and comfortable with. Much like WDR technology, these app capabilities can be found in dashcam units of all price ranges.
One of the most affordable dash cameras that use app capabilities is the Garmin 010-02062-00 Dash Cam Mini. This stealthy and basic camera option uses HD recording, a 140-degree viewing angle, and nonstop recording to provide you with excellent quality video you can view from the comfort of your smartphone in real-time.
Front And Rear Lenses
Some dashcam units also offer both front and rear lenses, which provide sweeping views of the vehicle’s surroundings from all sides.
These front and rear dash cam options are perfect for capturing essentially everything around your vehicle.
One such dashcam that offers a sweeping total of 155-degree views is the Z-Edge Dual Dash Cam.
This dashcam uses a front and rear 2 lens system with a 155-degree angle in both front and rear cameras, covering sweeping views of your car, van, or truck from all sides.
In addition to using front and rear cameras, the cam also includes superior night vision technology with WDR, comes equipped with a 16GB micro SD card for storing footage, and G sensor automatic accident detection.
For those who live in particularly hot or cold climates, the KDLINKS DX2 is a rugged piece of equipment and has been tested to withstand temperatures ranging from 170 degrees to -40 degrees Fahrenheit for up to six hours without taking damage.
High Memory Capacity
One reason that many seek out dash cameras is for documenting road trips or vacations, and not necessarily just for protecting against fraud or accident liability.
In these instances, you’ll want to prioritize some different things than those who simply want their dashcam to provide protection.
For documenting long spells on the road, a high memory capacity really comes in handy, and you should seek out a camera that holds at least 32GB of footage in a micro SD card or more.
This 32 GB capacity will get you around 8 to 10 straight hours of driving footage, which is plenty to take home after your trip and edit to turn into something really special.
The Thinkware X500 dash cam comes fully equipped with a 32GB micro SD card ready to use, and is a great option for cementing those memories on the road.
In addition to high memory capacity, the Thinkware X500 also offers GPS tracking which embeds your location into each piece of footage it records, so you can mark your trip geographically while also capturing surrounding footage on the road.
Driver awareness features also help when you’ve been on the road a bit too long and are looking for a place to spend the night, helping you to remain safer while on your travels.
Priced at just under $280, this is a dashcam on the higher end of the budget spectrum, but it comes with plenty of features to make it worth your while.
Other Dashcam Features to Consider
- Loop Recording. This will come in handy if you frequently forget to back up your memory disk space. Loop recording automatically overwrites unlocked videos whenever you are running low on storage. It does this by recording video clips in short intervals.
- G-Sensor. This feature locks your video whenever it detects an impact or collision to protect your important recordings.
- Wifi and Bluetooth Connectivity. This is important for easy access and video management. Some old models do not support WIFI and Bluetooth connectivity, which is a bummer, especially if you want to share your downloaded footage on your social media. With this, you can simply use that app that goes along with the device to download your footage and save them directly on your smartphones.
- Parking Monitor. With a parking monitor, the dash cam front and rear will automatically power on and start recording whenever an impact is detected. This will allow you to monitor your vehicle while parked to prevent hit-and-runs. Some models even have Parking Assistance that uses the backup camera to assist you in parking safely by connecting the red wire from the reverse lights.
- GPS Tracker. This can come in handy for those who often travel to remote areas that they are not familiar with. The GPS tracker embeds crucial data such as time, speed, and location data. Some even allow you to view Google Maps as it records the video to show your current driving location.
- Installation. You should decide whether a suction or adhesive mount works better for you. Usually, adhesive mounts are preferable as it’s more durable and it saves installation space, but those who need to re-install the device in different vehicles might be better off with a suction mount as it’s easier to detach.
Choosing What You Need
While these are just some of the great technologies and specifications offered by today’s dashcam, they are some of the most sought after.
Other specs such as GPS and speed tracking, LCD touchscreens, and simple mounting may be on your dashcam priorities list, and these, too, can be found within dash cams in all price ranges.
Finding the perfect camera means finding the aspects you need and what would make a perfect camera experience for you.