How to Choose the Best Dash Camera for Your Car

How do you choose the best dash video camera in 2024? What features and functions must have the ideal dash camera to suit your needs? Read our guide and make an informed choice.

The Best Dash Video CameraCar video dash cameras are welcome in any vehicle for a bunch of reasons.

Video recordings can help in the event of an accident providing clear evidence of the incident, especially against those who do not declare the truth or want to sue insurance companies.

In addition, impact and motion sensors can even record when you are not in the car.

Besides all this, you can use the car dash camera and record the trip in a picturesque area.

Why Invest in a Dash Camera?

Before we delve into the features to look for, let’s shed light on why a dash camera is a worthy investment for your vehicle. Here are the main reasons:

  1. Legal Evidence: It can serve as unbiased evidence in case of a car accident.
  2. Insurance Claims: Some insurers in the UK offer discounts for drivers with dash cams, and the footage can also help expedite claims.
  3. Security: Some dash cams offer a parking mode that records footage even when your vehicle is parked, potentially capturing vandalism or theft.

The Best Dash Camera: What to Look for

There are many important things to keep in mind when choosing the best dash camera. Each model is a bit different from another, and some of them have some features that you do not find in competing models.

Dash video cameras vary in price and usually the price reflects the number and quality of the present functions.

Cheap models have few features and offer lower resolution, while more expensive models usually offer advanced features such as Wi-Fi connectivity, GPS antenna, wider shooting angle, and a better image sensor.

Video Quality

Video quality is perhaps the most critical factor when choosing a dash camera.

Dash Camera G Sensor Incident RecordingAfter all, the main purpose of having a dash cam is to record clear and detailed footage of your journey, which can be essential in the event of an accident or dispute.

Resolution: The resolution of a dash camera determines the clarity of its recordings. Standard resolution starts from 720p (HD), while a more advanced option is 1080p (Full HD). However, in recent years, dash cams offering 2K (QHD) and 4K (Ultra HD) resolution have emerged, offering crisper, more detailed footage.

A higher resolution dash cam can capture finer details like number plates or faces, even at a distance. However, these high-quality recordings also consume more storage space, so consider a dash cam with a larger storage capacity or efficient compression technology like H.264 or H.265.

Frame Rate: Besides resolution, the frame rate also impacts video quality. Measured in frames per second (fps), a higher frame rate provides smoother video playback. Most dash cams record at 30 fps, but some high-end models offer 60 fps, capturing more frames per second for smoother footage and better clarity when paused.

Bit Rate: This is the amount of data the dash cam records per second, and it has a direct impact on video quality. Higher bit rate equals better image quality, but also larger file sizes.

Night Vision

Night vision is an essential feature for a dash camera, considering a significant number of accidents occur during nighttime, dawn, or dusk when visibility is limited.

Infrared (IR) Sensors: Some dash cameras are equipped with IR sensors that use infrared light to illuminate dark surroundings, useful for interior cabin recording in particular.

Wide Dynamic Range (WDR) and High Dynamic Range (HDR): Both technologies help improve the camera’s ability to handle dark shadows and bright highlights simultaneously, offering clearer footage under high contrast or low light situations. WDR and HDR work by taking multiple exposures of the same scene and combining them into one optimally exposed image.

Automatic Light Adjustment: Some dash cams come with an automatic light detection feature, adjusting the recording settings based on the ambient light. This is particularly useful when driving through areas with changing light conditions, like tunnels.

Lens Aperture: A camera lens’s aperture determines the amount of light that enters the sensor. A wider aperture (expressed by a lower ‘f’ number, such as f/1.8) allows more light to reach the sensor, thereby improving the camera’s performance in low-light conditions.

Field of View

The field of view in a dash camera indicates how much of the scene in front of the vehicle it can capture. It’s measured in degrees and can significantly influence what your camera will be able to record. Let’s break down why the field of view is essential in a dash cam:

Wide Angle: Dash cams typically have a wide-angle lens to capture as much of the road ahead and the periphery as possible. A broader field of view can record more details, like adjacent lanes and side roads, which can be crucial in certain situations. Models with a field of view around 140° to 160° strike a good balance, offering a wide scene without overly distorting the image.

Wide angle on-dash mounted video cameraDistortion: It’s essential to note that a very wide field of view may come with its challenges. As the field of view gets wider, the footage can start to show a ‘fish-eye’ effect. This effect can distort the video, making objects seem further away than they are, which can potentially make details like number plates harder to read.

Dual Cameras: Some dash cams come with dual cameras, one for the front and one for the rear. This gives you coverage at both ends of your vehicle, providing a comprehensive field of view.

Parking Mode

Parking mode is a valuable feature that ensures your vehicle is still monitored, even when parked and turned off. Here’s what you need to know:

Motion and Impact Detection: In parking mode, the dash cam uses sensors to detect motion or impacts near your vehicle. When it senses movement or an impact, the camera will power up and start recording, capturing potential incidents like a hit-and-run or vandalism.

Buffered Parking Mode: Some high-end dash cams offer a ‘buffered’ parking mode. This means the camera is continuously recording but only saves the footage when motion or impact is detected. Importantly, it saves several seconds before the trigger event, ensuring you don’t miss what led up to the incident.

Energy Source: To operate in parking mode, the camera needs a power source, even when the vehicle is turned off. This can be the car’s battery, but be cautious, as prolonged use can drain the battery. Many dash cams have built-in voltage meters to prevent battery drain. Alternatively, some dash cams have their own separate battery or can be hardwired to the car’s fuse box.

Legal Considerations: Before using parking mode, be sure to check the local laws, as some jurisdictions have rules about recording in public spaces. In the UK, it’s generally legal to use a dash cam’s parking mode.

Loop Recording and G-Sensor in Dash Cameras

Loop Recording

Loop recording is an essential feature found in most dash cameras that enables the device to manage storage efficiently. Without this feature, once the storage space on your dash cam was filled, you would have to manually delete old files to continue recording.

Efficient Storage Management: Loop recording automatically overwrites the oldest non-protected files on the memory card, ensuring the camera never runs out of space to record new footage. This means you can always have the most recent recordings at your disposal, without the need for constant manual maintenance.

Duration of Loops: The duration of each ‘loop’ or ‘segment’ can often be set in the camera’s settings. Common options include intervals of 1, 3, or 5 minutes. This means that your footage is saved in bite-sized chunks, which can be easier to view and manage.

Important Note: It’s worth remembering that loop recording can potentially overwrite essential footage if not appropriately managed. This is where features like the G-Sensor and manual file locking come in.

G-Sensor

The G-Sensor, also known as the accelerometer, is another significant feature in dash cams. It detects sudden changes in motion or force, whether it’s rapid acceleration, sudden braking, or impacts.

Collision Detection: In the context of a dash camera, the primary function of a G-sensor is to detect collisions. In the event of an accident, the G-sensor triggers, and the camera automatically ‘locks’ the current segment of footage, preventing the loop recording feature from overwriting it.

Sensitivity Settings: Most dash cameras allow you to adjust the sensitivity of the G-Sensor. Higher sensitivity means the sensor will react to smaller forces, while lower sensitivity requires a more significant force to trigger. Finding the right balance is crucial, as too high sensitivity may cause the sensor to trigger and lock files even during a bumpy ride or slamming of the car door.

Windscreen installation of on-dash video cameraParking Mode Activation: The G-Sensor also plays a crucial role in parking mode. If your car is hit while parked, the G-Sensor will detect the impact, wake the camera, and start recording, ensuring you capture vital footage of the incident.

In conclusion, loop recording and the G-Sensor are key functionalities in a dash cam that work together to manage your video footage efficiently and protect crucial evidence. When choosing a dash cam, ensure these features are available and customisable to suit your needs. And remember, a high-quality memory card is also important as it works hand in hand with these features for optimal performance.

Popular Dash Camera Brands in the UK

There are many reputable dash camera brands available in the UK market. Here are a few worth considering:

  1. Nextbase: Known for their high-quality products, Nextbase offers a range of dash cams that provide excellent video quality and user-friendly features.
  2. Garmin: Renowned for their GPS technology, Garmin also produces top-tier dash cams that offer superior performance and reliability.
  3. Thinkware: Offering innovative features like cloud connectivity and advanced parking modes, Thinkware dash cams are top contenders in the market.
  4. Transcend: Transcend is a reliable brand that offers a range of high-quality, affordable dash cams.

In conclusion, the best dash camera for your car largely depends on your specific needs and budget. Whether you require an advanced model with superior resolution, cloud connectivity and comprehensive parking mode, or you’re looking for a basic yet reliable dash cam, your chosen device should offer clear footage, easy usability and offer features that align with your requirements.

How to Install a Dash Camera

Installing a dash cam can be a straightforward process, though it may vary slightly based on the model and car design:

  1. Mount the Dash Camera: This is typically done on the windscreen, behind the rearview mirror for an optimal field of view. Most dash cams come with a suction cup or adhesive mount for this purpose.
  2. Route the Power Cable: Run the power cable from the dash cam to your car’s 12V socket. Most people route the cable along the top of the windscreen, down the A-pillar, and under the dashboard, using cable clips for a neat installation.
  3. Connect the Power: Plug the other end of the power cable into your car’s 12V socket.

Remember to follow the manufacturer’s instructions during the installation process to ensure the best results. In some cases, professional installation may be advised, especially for more complex models or hardwiring setups.

Conclusion

Investing in a dash camera can provide a myriad of benefits, from improving your road safety to assisting with insurance claims.

On-dash mounted smart video cameraWith the market offering a vast array of models, knowing the features to look for – such as resolution, field of view, night vision, and loop recording – can make the selection process more manageable.

From the high-end, feature-packed dash cameras by brands like Garmin and Thinkware to the more affordable yet reliable models from Transcend, the UK market provides options for every need and budget. And with proper installation, your dash camera can offer a seamless operation that ensures you’re covered, whether you’re cruising down the motorway or parked at the supermarket.

Stay safe, and happy driving!

Recommended Dash Video Cameras

Taking into account the criteria outlined above, but also the opinions of the users, we present you some models of dash cameras that offer excellent quality / price ratio.

SaleRecommended Product No. 1
3 Channel Dash Cam Front and Rear Inside 1080P FHD Dashcam for Car, 170° Wide Angle Dual Car...
86 Reviews
3 Channel Dash Cam Front and Rear Inside 1080P FHD Dashcam for Car, 170° Wide Angle Dual Car...
  • 🚗【3 Channel Dash Cam for Cars】The dash cam can simultaneously record in the front, rear, and inside the car, providing comprehensive protection for your safety. The dash cam front and rear camera provides FHD 1080P+720P+720P video and 170° +140°+165° wide angle. Enabling to capture clearly front and rear road and full cabin view of the cars. Perfect inside car camera for Uber/Lyft/Taxi driver.
  • 🚗【Dash Camera with G-Sensor & Loop Recording】Car dash camera is equipped with a highly sensitive G-sensor, automatically recording emergency locks in the event of a collision or shock. The dashcam for cars will automatically overwrite the oldest unlocked videos, ensuring enough space to save the latest recordings and emergency footage.(Turn off motion detection and parking monitoring functions during driving, otherwise multiple files will be automatically locked and memory will be full) Note: Operation requires a micro memory card. (Not Included)
  • 🚗【Dashcam for Car with Super Infrared Night Vision】Milerong X25 car camera features 4 IR lights, F2.0 large aperture glass lenses, and upgraded sensors that automatically adjust images in different lighting conditions, ensuring the best footage. 2.0" IPS Display dashcam that can support real-time image and replay, helps you see every detail clearly.
Recommended Product No. 2
Dash Cam Front WiFi 2.5K 1440P Car Camera, Mini Dash Camera for Cars, Dashcams with App, Night...
99 Reviews
Dash Cam Front WiFi 2.5K 1440P Car Camera, Mini Dash Camera for Cars, Dashcams with App, Night...
  • 🚘【2.5K+1440P Dash Cam】V100 dash cam for cars equipped with advanced starvis sensor and 6 glass lens, capturing every detail of your drive in ultra-clear 2560*1440P resolution, providing 70% higher pixels than 1080P. Front 160° wide angle reduces blind spots and covers four lanes easily. Super night vision technology with F1.8 large aperture increase light intake by 30%, ensure clear and sharp footage even in dark conditions.
  • 🚘【Safe& Mini Design】With heat-resistance chipset and aluminum alloy shell, the small car dash cam has longer lifespan and stable performance. Survive extreme weather conditions from -40°F to 185°F. The mini and hidden design won’t block your view while driving. No built-in lithium battery, away from risks of high temperature or vehicle collisions. Maximize safety for you and your car.
  • 🚘【Smooth 2.4G WiFi-APP Control】Car camera comes with APP for iOS & Android smartphones to get real-time live stream, convenient to preview, download videos, change setting, share footage with family or friends through social platforms. Perfect dash camera for cars, truck, SUV, easier to provide evidence when insurance claim.
Recommended Product No. 3
Dash Cam Front and Rear with 32GB SD Card 1080P FHD Dashcam for Car Dual Dashboard Camera with Night...
2,767 Reviews
Dash Cam Front and Rear with 32GB SD Card 1080P FHD Dashcam for Car Dual Dashboard Camera with Night...
  • 👍【Double Protection】The car camera equipped with dual lens, front and rear camera provides double protection for your safety. Wide angle reduce visual blind zone.
  • 💾【32GB SD Card is Included 】zhiroad dash cam for cars come with a free 32GB SD card. When you get the car dashboard camera, you can use it immediately.SD Card had already inserted in the car camera.
  • 🚚【FHD Video & Night Vision】Full HD 1920X1080P at 30 fps video front camera with VGA waterproof rear cam, f1.8 aperture and WDR Technology enhances the clarity of images, Ensuring full high-definition recording during the day and night.
Recommended Product No. 4
ORSKEY Dash Cam Front and Rear 1080P Full HD Dual Dashboard Camera Dashcam for Cars 170 Wide Angle...
18,151 Reviews
ORSKEY Dash Cam Front and Rear 1080P Full HD Dual Dashboard Camera Dashcam for Cars 170 Wide Angle...
  • Front and Rear Dual Recording Dash Cam: Full HD 1920X1080P at 30 fps video front camera with VGA waterproof rear cam. Simultaneously show front and back driving states, provide a safer daily driving environment.
  • Superior Night Vision Dash Cam: 6 unique infrared LED fill lights allows the dash cam to perform optimally in low light situations. WDR technology allows for the best night video.
  • 170° Wide Angle Dash Cam & 6G Lens : Combined with Sony sensor and 6 glass lens and 170 Degree wide angle lens allows COMS get more clear images. High-performance chipset which enables you to take up to 1080P 30fps full HD videos and 12MP pictures.
Recommended Product No. 5
Dash Cam 1080P FHD, 3' IPS Screen Dashcam Front with Free 64G SD Card, 176°Wide Angle Car Camera,...
230 Reviews
Dash Cam 1080P FHD, 3" IPS Screen Dashcam Front with Free 64G SD Card, 176°Wide Angle Car Camera,...
  • [FULL HD 1080P Dash Cam] - The 1080p HD dashcam combined with 176° Wide Angle design allows to capture images with higher definition and wider range, reducing blind spots. It features super night vision and WDR technology to ensure you get images with crisp details and colors no matter if it's overexposed or underexposed.
  • [Dashcam with Loop Recording] - The newest files will overwrite the oldest files when the capacity of SD card is full. There is no need to manually delete recordings frequently. Don't worry you'll miss a second of an important shot. The dash cam has been inserted into the 64GB SD card, and is ready to use when you receive the package.
  • [G-Sensor & Parking Monitoring] - The dash camera has a built-in G-sensor, which will automatically lock the current video when a sudden collision or impact is detected during recording. The car camera also has a built-in micro battery, even when you park, it will automatically turn on and record a short video of about 22 seconds when it detects a sudden collision or impact. Locked videos will not be deleted by loop recording.
SaleRecommended Product No. 7
REDTIGER Dash Cam Front Rear, 4K/2.5K Full HD Dash Camera for Cars, Free 32GB Card, Built-in Wi-Fi...
10,101 Reviews
REDTIGER Dash Cam Front Rear, 4K/2.5K Full HD Dash Camera for Cars, Free 32GB Card, Built-in Wi-Fi...
  • [4K+1080P Dual Recording] The REDTIGER F7N Plus dashcam ​records video up to Ultra HD 4K(3840*2160P)+FHD 1080P resolutions with STARVIS Sensor, helps you read the key details like road signs, vehicle number plates etc. Besides, the front 170° and rear 140° wide-angle dash cameras ensure to reduce blind area, With excellent audio recording, provide more powerful proof if an accident happens and gives you peace of mind after you left your vehicle.
  • [Built-in WiFi/Smart App Control] The dashboard camera can connect to your smartphone APP via built-in WiFi.Use the [REDTIGER] app to view, playback, and manage the dashcams on your IOS or Android devices. Furthermore, You can also download and edit videos in the app, and one-click sharing allows you to share your travel scenery and wonderful moments with your friends and family. Note: The effective distance of Wi-Fi is 3-5m, and remote connection is not supported.
  • [Dash Camera with GPS] This car recording ​has a built-in GPS and records the driving route, real-time speed, location, etc., tracker on google maps via Wi-Fi using the App or with our Windows and Mac GPSPlayer, which will provide further additional evidence if an accident occurs.
Recommended Product No. 8
Dash Cam Front and Rear, Dashcam WiFi/APP Control Car Camera Dash Cam W/ 64GB Card, 2.5K Dash Cam...
1,188 Reviews
Dash Cam Front and Rear, Dashcam WiFi/APP Control Car Camera Dash Cam W/ 64GB Card, 2.5K Dash Cam...
  • 🚗💥【2.5K Dash Cam Front and Rear Dash Camera】- 2.5K Dash Cam Front + 1080P Rear Car Dash cam comes with 64GB Card (Max support 256GB), Dashcam rear and front simultaneously records front at 2.5K(2560*1440P@30fps) and rear at 1080P(1920×1080@30fps), which provides crystal clear video quality to read license plates during day and night. 170°front and 140°rear wide angles reduce blind spots, perfect for daily driving and unexpected incidents. NOTE: turn OFF the “REAR MIRROR” when you reversing.
  • 🌸🚗【Front and Rear Dash Cam Built-in WiFi & App Control】- The car camera dash cam can be connected to your iOS or Android smartphone app via built-in WiFi, using the "Viidure" app to view, play and manage the dashcam. You can also download and edit videos in the app, and one-click sharing allows you to share your travel landscapes and beautiful moments with friends and family. Please note: The effective distance is 3-5 meters, and the dash cameras for cars does not support remote connection.
  • 🚙🌈【WiFi Dash Cam with Night Vision】- The dash cam front is equipped with a high-resolution CMOS sensor and an excellent 6-layer optical lens with F1.8 large aperture, and equipped with HDR/WDR technology, the car dash cam can automatically balance the exposure in low-light conditions to achieve night vision, even at night and in rainy weather car camera front and rear can ensure video clips. NOTE: Please use original car charger to charge the dashcam front and rear.
Recommended Product No. 9
Claoner Dash Cams for Cars Front and Rear 1080P Full HD Dashcam, Dual Dash Cam with F1.8 Night...
7,232 Reviews
Claoner Dash Cams for Cars Front and Rear 1080P Full HD Dashcam, Dual Dash Cam with F1.8 Night...
  • ★【Front and Rear Dual Dash Cam】Equipped with 1920X1080P resolution front camera and HDMI rear camera, vividly captures the license plates and road signs. Wide-angle front (170°) and rear(130°)camera help eliminate the blind spots of your vision. Procure peace of mind to you with the dual dash cams
  • ★【FULL HD 1080P & Super Night Vision】Simultaneous recording with super high-resolution 1920X1080P FHD 30fps lens deliver clearer videos&images, replay the key moment even when high-speed driving. The combination of F1.8 large aperture, WDR, HDR ensures the clarity of images at night. Eliminates the need for an auxiliary light source even in low-light environments, making it easy to obtain sharp, color-accurate images
  • ★【3 inch IPS Screen & Easier Viewing of Videos】Supports real-time display and replay on the screen without complicated installation and removal of SD card. Simplified operation interface and icons ensure your quick recognition and intuitive operation. Find the target immediately in the event of an accident

Last update on 2024-02-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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