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.

After 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.

Distortion: 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.

Parking 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.

With 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.

Recommended Product No. 1
93 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.
SaleRecommended Product No. 2
4,378 Reviews
Dash Cam with Card, 1080P FHD Dashcam Front Dash Cams DVR Dashboard Camera, Dash Camera with Night...
  • 🚗【Super Night Vision Dashcam & WDR Tech Dash Cams】- This dash cam with 32GB card equipped with Advanced Image Sensor, F1.8 wide aperture and WDR technology enhances the clarity of car camera images. The car camera dash cam makes night shots brighter and prevents overexposure under strong light, obtains crystal-clear recording.The safety of driving at night will be improved a lot. You will be satisfied with the dash camera
  • 🚙【Dash Cam Front Full HD 1080P Resolution & 3" IPS Screen Car Dash Cam】- This dash camera with 32GB card comes with the real Full HD 1920X1080P at 30 fps video with enable you to clearly see every road conditions and license plates details. 3" Super large IPS Display dashcam that can supports real-time image and replay on car camera without complicated 32GB card Install and Uninstall
  • 🚕【Dash Cams for Cars Easy to Install and Set Up】- This car security cameras coming with a suction cup,a car charger. Stick the dash-cam onto windshield by suction up mount; Connect car dashboard camera with cigarette lighter by the car charger, generally the car dash camera will power on and record when the engine stars, save and power off when the engine stops automatically. If you want download/share files, you can use the smart card reader [Package Included] to do
Recommended Product No. 3
7,452 Reviews
ORSKEY Dash Cam for Cars Front and Rear and SD Card Included 1080P Full HD In Car Camera Dual Lens...
  • 【Dash Cam Front and Rear】: Both front and rear camera with super crystal full HD resolution and 170° wide angle lens simultaneously captures all details on the whole road in super clear definition, give you complete peace of mind while driving your vehicle.
  • 【Car Camera with Super Night Vision】Both dual dash camera is loaded with super high quality Sony Sensor which has better night vision than any other sensors, combine with F1.8 Aperture 6 Elements Glass Lens,provide super clearer view than most other dash camera in low-light conditions.
  • 【High Performance Chip and Reliable Car dash cam】The car camera S900 features the high performance CPU and high end image sensor, which makes the front camera recording in super HD 1920x1080P / 30FPS. High resolution plus the powerful processor, the dashcam can absolutely capture all details clearly and bring you clearer videos, definitely reliable for restoring powerful evidence of any moment.
Recommended Product No. 4
513 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.
Recommended Product No. 5
18,837 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.
SaleRecommended Product No. 7
12,488 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.
SaleRecommended Product No. 8
982 Reviews
GKU D600 4K Dash Cam Front and Rear WiFi Dashcam with 64GB SD Card, Dual Car Camera Dash Cam with...
  • 🏆【Ultra HD 4K Front and Rear Dash Cam】- This dual dash cam simultaneously captures the road in detail with a front resolution of 2.5K and rear resolution of 1080P, and the front camera alone (Disconnecting the rear camera is necessary) can operate at 4K 2160P/30fps. With a 170° wide-angle lens, large F1.8 aperture, and WDR night vision, clear footage can be captured even in low-light situations to ensure every angle is covered and nothing is missed.
  • 📱【Built-in Wi-Fi & APP Control】- The dash cam front and rear wireless with wifi comes with the "Jarviscam" app for Android or iOS smartphones to get a live stream, download videos, adjust settings, edit, and share your footage effortlessly. With a simple tap, you can share snippets of any journey with all your friends on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, or other social media platforms.Perfect dashcam for cars, truck, SUV, easier to provide evidence when insurance claim.
  • 🔁【Seamless Loop Recording & G-sensor】- When the SD card is full, new recordings will overwrite the oldest ones automatically. Triggered by G-sensor, the dashcam front and rear camera will automatically detects sudden vibration or shock and locks the video without being overwritten.Supports up to 256GB microSD cards (64GB SD Card INCLUDED). For other SD cards, use Class 10 or higher microSD cards from trusted brands like Samsung or SanDisk.
SaleRecommended Product No. 9
3 Reviews
Dash Cam Front and Rear 4K Dashcam 3.16'' Mini On-Dash Cameras for Cars w WiFi GPS 64G SD Card Dual...
  • 【Ultra HD 4K Dash Cam】Vtopek dash cam front with 4K Ultra HD superior picture quality, easy to read road signs, licence plates and other key details.Vtopek dashcam provides you with superior picture quality, effectively reduce blind spots, real record every driving process, especially the rear of the car is easy to be ignored area. 3.16'' display, compact and exquisite, perfectly hidden behind the original car rearview mirror, does not take up the car space, does not block the line of sight.
  • 【Wifi Connection & GPS Tracking】The dash cam front and rear with a free APP for Android or iOS smartphones, which allows you to share your travelling scenery and beautiful moments with your family, friends and social media in one click. With 64G memory card, it allows you to record multiple trips. In addition, the car camera dash cam with GPS module can accurately record your track and real-time speed so that you can view your travel route on the APP. Note: Wi-Fi works within 3-5m range.
  • 【Super Night Vision & WDR Tech & Wide Angle】The dashcam front and rear camera with F1.8 large aperture and 6-glass lens can record moving vehicle images faster and more accurately with HD and no colour aberration. Combined with WDR technology, it has better light gathering and automatically increases exposure in low light conditions, making it safer to reverse at night! Front 170°+Rear 140°wide angle car dash cam, easily capture all the details on both sides of the road to ensure driving safety.

Last update on 2024-05-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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