A wild driver runs a red light or switches lanes without turning their signal or speeding or driving while looking at their phone and runs into you. In the very least, it will end in costing you in damages. Typically, if it goes to trial and you don’t have a credible witness to back up your story, there’s no other way you can prove it was the other party’s fault and not yours. In that case, it’s just your word against theirs, in absence of any tangible evidence. It is just “he said”, “they said” hearsay. The driver responsible might just walk without facing any consequences.
Furthermore, in today’s world where insurance fraud is prevalent, there’s no guarantee that the insurance company won’t deny your claim if on the ground of lack of evidence.
Imagine how different this story would be if you have a camera installed on your dashboard constantly recording every single event as it unfolded. You now have a smoking gun to prove your case, an unbiased and tangible proof of how exactly the events transpired. A dashcam has got you covered by providing you with footage that could prove invaluable to help your case.
Why do I need one?
This little example demonstrates the need for a dashcam even if you are a responsible driver and drive safely. Not every driver on the road will follow those rules to the letter, and it is very likely you might fall victim to their reckless actions. A camera mounted on your dashboard will help hold other drivers on the road accountable, making your drive safer.
It will also keep you from breaking the rules yourself because it will record you too and authorities will ask for that footage in case of a mishap. If you find yourself worrying about dealing with legal ramifications of a car accident when it’s not your fault, a dashcam might just help your mind put at ease.
Is it worth the investment?
The recent years have witnessed a steep rise in the popularity of dashboard cameras or dash cams. With this proliferation, they’ve also become more affordable and feature rich. This popularity isn’t unearned because they offer some solid advantages. They record everything that happens inside your car and out on the road. By recording everything inside the passenger cabin and the road, they safeguard you against insurance fraud and legal headache. Rest assured it will prove to be a smart and worthwhile investment.
The main difference between a dashcam and a regular camera is that a dashcam draws power from your car and automatically turns on and off with the ignition. So, you won’t have to worry about turning it on and off. Dashcams also require little to no upkeep and maintenance.
The market is flooded with dashcam models all with different price ranges and specifications. So, what exactly should you be looking for when buying a dashcam? We’ll explore exactly that in the following article.
Here are our top picks for some tried and tested dashcams.
Garmin is for those who want the finest dashboard camera technology has to offer. It is one of the most compact and elegant designs out there and have a host of useful features you’d expect from a high-end dashcam. Equipped with a 3.7 MP camera that shoots 1440P at 30 FPS, and is reliable even in low-light. The quality at daytime is fairly crisp and detailed and the performance at night time is not half bad either. You can drop it to 1080P too if you are running low on storage but that obviously comes with a trade-off on quality.
It can be conveniently mounted on magnets and isn’t too noticeable, so it offers an unobstructed view of the road. Thanks to the two magnets that adhere to your dashcam or windshield, the dashcam can be snapped on and off easily.
Instead of physical buttons, it relies on voice control to wake up the screen, save footage, snap a photo or record audio. What it means for you is that you don’t have to fumble with buttons and you can focus on driving instead.
Aside from voice control, this featured-packed dashcam alerts you if you unintentionally leave your lane or drive too close to the traffic ahead of you. It also allows connectivity to Wi-Fi that not only syncs the dashcam footage with your phone but also lets you edit and share it. Time-lapse is another neat feature that lets you record a time-lapse video of your trip.
Key features and specs
- Has the dimensions of 2.2 × 1.6 × 0.8 in
- 2” built-in LCD
- Magnetic mounts
- A USB cable and SD card
- G-sensor that saves footage in the event of a collision
- Voice control
The YI smart dashcam packs a ton of features. It records in up to 1080P at a buttery smooth 60 FPS, meaning the footage even at higher speeds won’t be choppy at all. It performs exceptionally well in low-light conditions as well. Not only does it have an ultrawide field of view, 165 degrees to be precise, but its wide aperture and excellent sensors also offer top of the line night vision. Its camera lens filters out infrared and glare making the footage crispier and razor sharp.
It has an intuitive design, with a 2.7” LCD display and an interface the manufacturers claim to be user-friendly. You can sync it with your smartphone via Wi-Fi, and get a live feed of the dashcam and play the saved footage. It also lets you share the footage from within the app.
In the event of a collision, the G-sensor in the cam senses the emergency and autosaves the footage so that you have a complete record of how the impact came to pass.
It also has an assistance technology they call the advanced driver assistance systems or ADAS for short which alerts you stray from your lane.
Key features and specs
- 6.7 x 4.4 x 2.4 in
- 165 degrees Wide-Angle Coverage
- Built-in wide 2.7-inch LCD
- ADAS for safer driving
- G-sensor for automatically saving footage
- HD quality with night vision
In varying weather and light conditions, TaoTronics promises sharp and detailed footage quality. It records stunning 2k at 30FPS, the 400W and image processing algorithms produce crystal clear results in bright as well as low light conditions. It also filters infrared for an enhanced night vision. It has an ultra-wide-angle lens that offers 165 degrees of field of vision, maximizing it up to 5 lanes.
Another neat little feature that helps it stand out from the competition in the similar price range, is its loop recording feature. when you’re low on storage, it starts writing over the previous footage in 3-minute increments ensuring continuous recording.
Like the previous models on this list, the TaoTronics is also equipped with a G-sensor that is triggered in case of a collision and automatically saves the footage leading up to the collision.
Most mid-range dash cams run on power from your car, but TaoTronics comes with a built-in battery. It allows the dashcam to record even when your car is parked. In the instance of an accident, the G-sensor will prompt the dashcam to save the footage when it’s in parking mode.
It is one of the more affordable variants out there and it offers similar reliability to some high-end dashcams.
Key features and specs
- 5.9 x 5.8 x 2.0 in
- UHD quality of 2560 x 1080P @ 30fps
- SD card support of up to 64 GB
- 2-inch LCD screen for monitoring purposes
- Easy installation
- G-sensor that can be set to different modes
- Loop recording and parking mode
This high-end dashcam records 2k at 30 FPS but with a slight twist, it features two lenses. One to record the road and the other one to record the car interior. In addition to 2k, it can also record at a smooth 60FPS in 1080P allowing you to say, capture plates of fast-moving vehicles.
With the help of a powerful Sony image sensor, multiple infrared filters and an ultra-wide lens, the interior lens records in stunning quality in dark conditions. The road facing front lens also provides respectable results in low light conditions, thanks to its HDR feature.
Among a host of useful features, it records 24/7 in parking mode, which automatically records and saves footage when it detects motion in front of the vehicle. Although it supports up to 256 GB of storage, it will inevitably reach its storage capacity. When it does, its seamless looping writes over the old footage ensuring constant and flawless recording at all times. If the G-sensor is triggered, it saves the footage in a specific directory to prevent it from getting overwritten.
It stamps the footage with date and time and lets you time-lapse your trip. It’s excellent microphone records flawless audio and the LCD turns itself off after a few seconds to minimize distraction.
It is one of the sturdier and climate adaptable models in the market, and will no doubt last you quite a few years. A minor downside to this model is that the manufacturers advise against using a SanDisk card.
Key features and specs
- 3.8 x 1.5 x 1.5 in
- 1.5” LCD display
- Dual lens with excellent night vision
- Suction mounting for convenient installation
- 250mAH battery for 25 Hour parking mode
- Augmented GPS support
- 18 months of warranty and customer support
The benefits of investing in a dashcam are hardly up for debate. It can be thought of as a mini-insurance that can come in handy and save you from legal and insurance headache. Besides, you can also record freak occurrences on the road as well as your memorable road trips.
Some specifications actually matter while others can be thought of as additional bells and whistles. Specs like camera quality, night vision, connectivity, looping and G-sensor sensitivity, durability, autosaving on impact should take precedence when you’re shopping for your dashcam. Others like lane deviation alerts and driving assistance can be overlooked. Above everything, an ideal dashcam should offer reliability and endurance.
Before you go shopping for a dashcam though, make sure that the state, country or jurisdiction you live in, doesn’t have a ban on using dashcams.