Dash Camera Buyers Guide – Where to Start

Hello and welcome to BestCarCamera.com’s comprehensive buying guide where we arm you with all the facts and information you need to pick up the best camera to suit your needs. All you need to do is read this guide and we will get you the best dash camera tailored to you.

What is a Dash Cam?

A dash camera, by definition, is a camera that is installed on the dashboard of your car to record a “driver’s eye view” of your journey and records what you see. Contrary to the name, most dashboard cameras are in fact affixed to the windshield with either an adhesive or suction mount, giving it a higher view of what’s happening in front of the vehicle. There are 2 main operational changes that differentiate a typical dash camera from a normal digital camera.

  • Auto power on and off – Most dash cams are powered via the 12v cigarette lighter power port and turn on automatically with the cars engine and off again when the engine is switched off.
  • Loop recording – Again, most dash cameras are designed to film continuously, writing over old footage until it’s instructed to keep footage or “lock” it.

These 2 differences allow the dash cam to be a set and forget device. With a dash cam, you simply set it up once and forget about it until you need it.

What are the benefits of owning a dash camera

Dash cams have become very popular in some countries over the last decade, for a variety of different reasons. In Russia and Korea for example, it’s somewhat common for pedestrians to jump in front of a car in order to sue the driver for injuries. There are many, many examples of this caught on line and thanks to the age of the dash cam, these scammers are getting caught out.

Other types of insurance fraud include other drivers reversing into a car behind them and try to claim that the were hit from behind. Again, a dash camera would save you a considerable headache in this situation.

More commonly, dash cameras are used to back up insurance claims. It’s a sad fact in todays world that not everyone is honest enough to admit fault. Unfortunately, this can have financial consequences for the common road user if not properly protected. With a dash camera backing you up, if an accident was to occur, you will have all the evidence you need to backup your side of the argument should you ever need to. In addition to this, some of the better cameras even come with at “parking mode” that has motion sensors and accelerometers to detect anything that may happen to your car when it’s parked, such as a vehicle reversing into you in a carpark etc.

Dash cameras can even be used to help convict bad and drunk drivers on the road. If you capture footage in your car to convict a wreckless driver, you are doing your community a service by handing that footage to the local authorities to look at.

Why do you want a dash Camera?

Although there are many great advantages to owning a dash camera, what your specific purpose is will often dictate the requirements you have. If you are simply looking to protect yourself incase of an incident or attempted fraud, you may want to have a look at a budget to mid range device, cameras such as the G1W or the B40/A118. Other people may be looking to get a discount from their car insurer as more and more insurance companies offer this deal. In that case, it’s best to ask your insurance company exactly what they require from the footage. Does it have to be 1080p? Does it need to be GPS enabled? The answers your insurance company gives you will dictate your choice in this instance. Perhaps you are just looking for a quality camera to record your journeys, share any cool footage with your friends and family as well as keeping you safe both on the move and whilst parked. If that’s the case, you’d be best served by a feature rich mid-high end camera such as the3 Falcon Zero F170.

Should I buy a cheap dash cam?

There is a great number of “cheap” dash cams out there on the market, a sea of cheap chinese knock offs of popular products and fakes that use the same shell as good cameras trying to get your hard earned money. Although you can pick up a dash camera fore $20 or so, this may be a poor investment. If you do have an incident whilst using a cheap camera, there is no guarantee it’ll still be working when you need it most. The best dash cam for car

is one that is actually working when you come to need it so it is often worth it to spend a little extra to pick up a quality model. Spending a little over $50 will pick you up a great budget camera released in 2014, the G1W.

Which are the best dashboard Camera features should I look out for?

For the non techie person, the world of dssh cameras, as well as a great many other worlds can seem alien and full of jargon. There are a few features that we here at BestCarCamera.com consider essential to keep you safe whilst using the camera and they are the following:

  • 1080p Recording
  • GPS Enabled
  • G-Sensor equipped
  • Parking Mode

With these features on your camera, you are afforded the maximum protection possible should anything happen. For a full list of common features and their significance, please head over to our Dash Cam Features Explained article where you can learn everything you need to know about what you are buying.

Anything else to look out for?

There are a few more considerations to take into account:

  • Make sure it’s legal to film in the street where you live. Check in with your local authority as it is not always permitted.
  • Make sure the camera you choose can withstand the environment you live in. If you live in a particularly hot or cold environment, not all cameras can operate in these temperatures, please check the operating temperatures of the cameras you look at to ensure you are covered.
  • Make sure you can route the power cable. If you drive a particularly large vehicle, it’s wise to check out the cable length and mounting point to see if there is enough room to mount the camera.
  • Well hidden. The last thing you want to do is make your car a target for crime after purchasing something to protect it. Make sure the camera isn’t too big and can be mounted discreetly. We rate the discreetness of all the cameras we review for your convenience.

Ok, how do I get the best dash cam for my car?

The best way to start is to set your budget and head over to our comparisons page for that budget, checking out the reviews of the cameras that interest you. Alternatively, we do strongly recommend the Falcon Zero F170 as the best all round and well equipped camera for the price by some margin. If you can stretch your budget to that, you can’t do any better for your money.

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