Garmin are already a well established name in in-car electronics and the Garmin Dash Cam 20 is the upper of their 2 offerings into the Dash Cam field. There are few big brand names in the emerging dashboard camera market and Garmin are one of the biggest. Unfortunately, having a big name behind you is not always a gaurantee of quality so does that apply in this case? Read on to find out.
|Garmin DC 20 at a glance||Price
(at time of review)
Garmin Dash Cam 20 Camera and Lens
The Garmin DC20 is has good credentials when it comes to camera quality. It is capale of recording 1080p footage at a steady 30 frames per second. The image captured by the device is good quality during the day but only average quality when reccording at night. There are unfortunately a number of cheaper cameras on the market that provide a superior image quality at a lower price point.
Garmin Dash Cam 20 Hardware
Another drawback is the sheer size of the device. It is large and square, with a similar form factor to the Transcend DrivePro 200 and when combined with the large suction mount, discreet is not a word that anyone could use to describe it. The one advantage of this large frame is that is sports a large 2.3″ color LCD screen which not only makes setup and configures of the device relatively straight forward, it gives a sizable preview of what the camera is recording at any one time. The integrated G-sensor also automatically locks footage down when a collision is detected and is a common feature on mid-to-high end cameras.
The cable that is provided with the unit is too short to route around the windshield of all but the smallest of vehicles and if you’d like to purchase a longer one, the proprietary connecter to the device means you are limited from purchasing direct from Garmin to the tune of $25. For a camera that costs over $200 already, this is a questionable move on Garmin’s part.
Garmin Dash Cam 20 GPS
The Garmin Dash Cam 20’s main feature is the built in GPS and it’s this that seperates it from the Dash Cam 10 which is available here for $65 less. The attraction of the GPS means you can fully map your journesy on google maps as it geographically tags your footage as you go.
Garmin Dash Cam 20 Gallery
Garmin Dash Cam 20 Features
Integrated GPS Module
The integrated GPS module allows you to geo-tag the footage you capture allowing you to pinpoint the time and location of all the events captured.
Built In G-Sensor
The G-Sensor monitors for any collisions and if detected, will lock and keep the most recent footage safe so you can use it as proof in any situation.
With an inbuild microphone, the device is capable of capturing not just video footage, but audio footage, and when combined with the swivel mount can record events in and around the car as well.
2.3″ LCD Screen
The bright and sharp screen will allow you to configure and use Garmin Dash Cam 20 with a good degree of ease and have it set up in the best location.
The hardware button mounted within easy reach will allow you to take immediate snapshots with the camera, perfect to take pictures of anything you may want to keep for later.
There are a few reported faults with the camera that have been reported by multiple owners. They are as follows:
A number of ownders have reported intermittant freezing with the device where the screen stops responding and must be powered down and back up to re-boot. This has not been responed to by Garmin and currently there is no fix for this other than re-booting the device.
The Garmin DC20 records footage in an AVI file format, a format that is not natively compatibly with an apple mac computer. You can work around this by downloading either a compatible media player or a new codec.
Is the Garmin Dash Cam 20 right for you?
With the list of drawback that go against the Garmin DP20, it’s a hard device to recommend. It’s a large device that is obstructive and ontrusive, the powercable makes it difficult to fit and often will require a furhter purchase. The video quality can be better by cameras that cost less and the freezing issues that face some owners can leave you vulnerable when you most need it when you need it.
On the other hand, Garmin is a big brand name and with that comes supperior support and a name they wish to live up to. They are also more widely available and higher stocked, making them easier to get a hold of. Lastly, there is something to be said about the build quality of this device. Although large and bulky, it feels solid and is well put together.
Ultimately, at this price point, you are likely better served with the Panorama G (GPS) Street Guardian SGZC12SG
Where to Buy
With such a trusted online reputation, it’s hard to recomend any websites other than Amazon. Please see the latest prices at:
If you are looking to get it slightly cheaper or even second hand, you might want to check these prices at:
Garmin Dash Cam 20 Mounted
Garmin Dash Cam 20 Video Sample Day
Garmin Dash Cam 20 Video Sample Night
Garmin Dash Cam 20 Promotional Video
Garmin Dash Pro 20 Specifications
|Garmin Dash Cam 20
|Screen||2.3″ Color LCD|
|File Lock||Manual Button and G-Sensor|
|Max Resolution||1080p @ 30F FPS|
|Memory Card Standard||Micro SD|
|Max Card Supported||32GB|
|Operating Temperature||-20C – 55C|
|Software Compatibility||PC and MAC|