I will show you how to choose a good dash cam. Simple as that. Because, as you will later see, a dash cam will be your time/money/stress saver.
Why do you need a dashboard camera? What to buy? What to look for? Let’s answer all of this questions and more.
Road Witness Camera is a MUST
When road accidents happen, eyewitnesses tell different versions of what happened , which often means police are usually left frustrated and helpless during their investigations.
In defense of witnesses, humans have fragile memories that tend to fade over time and struggle to recollect things precisely as they happen, so we can’t really blame accident witnesses most times.
But, in this case, you may be the innocent who struggles to prove something beyond possibilities. Or, worse, you are declared guilty of a crash, and it’s consequences because you can’t show what happened.
As we live in a tech era, thank god, investigators can alternatively rely on digital witnesses to tell the story. Yes, dash cameras are your bulletproof witnesses.
The best eyewitness dash cams don’t just tell you what happened – they show you everything exactly as it happened.
A dash cam? What is that?
In case you don’t know, an eyewitness dash cam is a little camera that is mounted on the windshield or dashboard of a vehicle, and records nonstop video of the path ahead automatically.
If a crash happens, the dashcam could provide substantial evidence and help establish who was responsible for the crash. And accidents happen all the time.
Not only do these little cameras help exonerate you from undue blames and false accusations, but they also sometimes help police investigate other road incidents that don’t even involve you.
Also, a good dash cam can record criminal activity overnight and protect your car from being vandalized or by reckless drivers.
Without mincing words, every car needs an eyewitness dash cam.
Why do you need a dash cam – how it protects you and why it is useful
While a dash camera offers a lot of benefits, most people buy it because of the protection it provides.
If you have just heard about dash cameras and you want to know exactly what you stand to gain from using it, we have discussed some of its benefits below.
Can a Dash Cam Be Used as Evidence in a Car Accident Case?
Dash cam’s recording could be convincing proof that the other driver was at fault in the accident, making it far more comfortable for you to get an insurance settlement than it otherwise would be.
Just as insurance companies will accept pictures taken from cell phones that have electronic data to prove their authenticity, recordings from dash cam can show that you were not at fault in a collision.
The recordings can be used in court to bolster witness statements and show that the other party was at fault.
If an accident happens, having a dash cam installed in your vehicle can make sure that every vital information such as your vehicle’s speed, the surrounding conditions, and the crash’s angle will be available.
Insurance companies can use these details to examine the fault and the cause of the occurrence more timely and efficiently, which could subsequently help reduce the premium costs and lessen the waiting time for claim settlement.
Making a video proof of an accident that wasn’t your fault available can help you to avoid excess payment and keep your no-claim history.
Dash cams also help drivers defend themselves against false accusations and blames in road accidents.
Of course, regardless of how careful you are during driving, you can still wind up in a crash if other road users aren’t paying attention.
With a high-quality dash cam installed in your vehicle, safe drivers will be able to provide the record of the whole accident scene.
Stop Vandalism and Monitor Your Car while it’s Parked
The majority of high-quality dash cameras are capable of protecting cars of users from being vandalized while parked.
By using a hardwire kit, the dash camera can be activated by impact or motion and record the happenings around your vehicle while parked.
How many times have you met your car bashed after coming out from a supermarket or a shopping center? Most times, the perpetrator usually gets away in such incidences since you have no proof or evidence to go after anyone.
But with a dash camera installed, the recording can help show your insurance company that the damage wasn’t done by you or can be given to police in the event of intentional damage.
If you’re involved in a road accident, the footage recorded by your dash camera can be utilized to identify the cause.
The dash cam footage will help you ensure that the other party doesn’t change their initial story.
Sometimes, road accidents occur in a twinkle of an eye and it is straightforward and simple for the perpetrator to pin the blame on the victim. In such cases, dash cam footage can prove to be pivotal.
Another reason to use a dashcam is to film beautiful walks on holidays. Are you reaching a spectacular area with a road that winds in a dream landscape or crosses some incredible keys? You have the camera already on.
How to Choose an Eyewitness Dash cam
If you’re tired of reading, check some of the dash cams we recommend. We’ve also made a review for each of those models:
BlackVue DR650S-2CH Dash Cam
Garmin Dash Cam 35
Falcon Zero F360 Dash Cam
As we already mentioned, the market is littered with several different kinds of dash cameras, ranging from simple featured to advanced features and functionality.
What to look for when buying the best dash cam for the money?
The video’s quality is the most vital feature you need to check when buying a dash camera.
A quality dash camera must have a clear video output no matter the weather or the outside light. Poor audio and grainy video will offer you no benefit, and such videos will be utterly useless in accident and insurance claims.
You must make sure you buy a dash cam that has good lens an excellent video resolution.
Most people look first at the sensor’s resolution, but the most critical factor is the size and quality of the sensor. A combination of good sensor and quality lenses assures you that the dash cam will record every little detail even if the conditions are not optimum for video recording – when is foggy, raining or in the evening.
So don’t be fooled by logos which promote 4K,2K or Full HD without paying attention to the basics – sensor and lenses.
And now about resolution. It is the second important aspect when talking about the quality of the recording.
So, the higher the resolution, the greater the level of details and clarity you will see on the dashcam’s recordings.
Find cameras that record at least in HD resolution( Full HD recommended). While a non-high-definition dash cam is usually less expensive, the purpose is defeated with a standard video output.
When you are shopping for a dash cam ensure you carefully review recorded videos before making your purchase.
Angle of recording
A good dashcam must have a wide angle of shooting., somewhere above 130 °. I recommend a broader viewing angle because in general, road events happen near the car, especially in the locality, and then you need the best visibility at the sides.
Manufacturers go on two variants: a more expensive and light-sensing sensor or a lens with a lower F.
Generally, some cheaper, but decent-quality night-time cameras contain a less expensive sensor and compensate for a low F lens.
The only way to figure out if a car camera is filming well at night is to search on Youtube videos posted by regular users, not by manufacturers. And be careful to be shot at night, not when it darkens out.
WDR and HDR
If your budget is generous, choose a model with WDR (Wide Dynamic Range) or High Dynamic Range (HDR) technology to shoot at daybreak or sunset when you’re in the sun. Most trips are in the morning and in the evening (to the office and to the house). These technologies helps recording better quality videos.
Dash cam Size
Your dash cam’s size is another critical consideration you need to make as it can make a massive difference between having lots of features or giving up some.
A discreet and small dash cam doesn’t consume much space on the dashboard and is perfect for small vehicles. Besides, the small and unobtrusive size means the camera doesn’t attract much attention.
While most users prefer using a small and discreet model, those small models are usually limited when it comes to features and storage capacity. They typically don’t have on-screen playback and other high-end features such as motion sensors, GPS, and more.
However, people are buying feature-packed dash cams that are discreet nowadays.
These dash cams are usually black, small in size, and are almost invisible, with somewhat decent storage.
Purchasing a solid dash cam is imperative. Due to the auto start and auto shut-off feature built into dash cams, you are usually unconscious of what the device is recording.
In fact, you may not even remember to check the recordings out until it’s required of you to check something.
If you buy an unreliable dash cam, there are odds of not finding the exact footage you need. Ensure you check products reviews and see if the product you are looking to buy has been certified reliable by previous buyers.
Ease of Installation and Mounting Options
Dash cams usually come in various sizes and with different mounting options. While some are designed to mount on the dashboard, others are designed to fit behind the rear-view mirror.
In a car that has a limited amount of dash space, it’s best to find something that won’t probably obstruct the view of the driver and consume much of space on the dash. Most times, dash cams are mounted utilizing a semi-permanent adhesive mount or with the aid of suction cups.
Before purchasing a dash cam, look for the ideal mounting method for you and buy a model that is easy to set up and looks great in your car.
A model that is mounted with the aid of suction cups can easily be detached and put in a new place whenever you want. While it’s much larger than the adhesive mount, it offers much more flexibility. Although an adhesive mount appears more discreet and better, it can’t be detached or moved away from the mount.
Hidden Dash Cams
Of course, you can always choose a more expensive hidden dash cam so that no one would know that you have it.
Why choose a hidden dashcam? Maybe you worry that someone is going to vandalize your car or break into it because they can see a dash cam installed on the windshield.
A different reason is that you want to privately record what goes on around your vehicle after you’ve parked it and you’re not there.
Single Channel or Dual channel
Choosing whether you require a single or dual channel model is one of the most vital decisions you have to make while purchasing a dash cam for your car.
While a single-channel dash cam only comes with a single camera and records the happens at your car’s front only, a dual-channel dash cam allows you to record the front, rear, and inside of your vehicle as well.
Generally, these cameras include a normal-size camcorder for the windscreen and a small and reasonably discreet camera for the rear window.
The principal benefit of such a system is that you do not have to disassemble the tiny rear camera every time you leave the car.
The problem is video quality. Why? Because two recordings will be written to the microSD card simultaneously.
Due to the write speed limitations, manufacturers are choosing to increase video compression and automatically reduce the quality of the recording.
Dual Channel dash cams for truckers are being used by more professional drivers every year.
A gravity sensor, otherwise known as a G-sensor, is one of the most sophisticated features you could find on a dash camera. It usually triggers when the vehicle is involved in an accident, and the footage recorded is protected immediately and won’t be deleted or overwritten. This is an excellent feature to have in order to protect your car from theft and vandals.
These days, a lot of dash cams are equipped with sophisticated features such as speed alerts and GPS.
The GPS feature usually adds location details and speed to the recording. It also adds the date and time of the incident to the videotape since the recordings can be utilized in any situation as evidence.
In fact, some dash cams even feature turn-by-turn directions to take you to your exact destination. They function exactly like a route-finding device. With a dash cam like that in your vehicle, you can get rid of the route-finding device, and save some space on your car’s dashboard.
A dash cam is usually mounted on the car’s windshield in the sun’s full glare all the time. Non-stop exposure to severe temperatures is capable of causing the casing of the device to weaken and the electronics within to malfunction.
You’ll require a unit that is capable of withstanding harsh temperatures.
Most inexpensive models are produced using low-grade components that aren’t heat resistant. Make sure you carefully read product reviews and other users’ comments about the heat tolerance of the product before purchasing.
A lot of dash cams are equipped with the extra motion detection capability which is extremely helpful when the vehicle is parked. When your car is parked, any impact detected suddenly activates the camera.
If there is Wi-Fi connectivity on the dash cam, it will send you an instant alert on your phone and allow you to watch your car in real time.
Top Eyewitness Dashcams
BlackVue DR650S-2CH Dash Cam
Garmin Dash Cam 35
Falcon Zero F360 Dash Cam
While eyewitness dash cams aren’t really new inventions, they are only starting to gain some popularity recently.
With that in mind, we have reviewed some of the best models currently on the market right now so that you will have an easier time shopping for the right one for your vehicle.
1. BlackVue DR650S-2CH Dash Cam
Featuring a motion sensor that automatically activates the camera on detection of a movement and dual HD cameras that record the front and rear of your car, it’s not difficult to realize how sublime this high-performing eyewitness dash cam is.
The dual camera doesn’t only record all the surrounding events, they record everything in high definition, which means you can always count on this device in case of any eventuality.
Furthermore, both front and back cameras are fully adjustable, which allows you to capture any occurrence that involves your car. Not only that, but the cameras also come with coaxial cables which enable them to lessen signal noise.
For maximum versatility, there are three recording modes to choose from – Normal, Event, and Parking.
And the G-sensor technology incorporated in the dash cam means it automatically senses when a collision happens and marks the time and date on the footage, which can be saved for evidence should there be a need.
Additionally, the BlackVue dash cam comes outfitted with GPS and inbuilt Wi-Fi capabilities.
The GPS records the date, time, location, and speed of your vehicle into your footage.
With WiFi and an useful smartphone app, you will be able to watch recorded and live videos on your phone. The app even enables you to adjust your preferences and settings on your dash cam.
When it comes to the design, the camera might not be discreet enough. While it’s small in size and comes in a discreet black, there are some attention-grabbing lights on both cameras.
- Comes with dual camera
- Equipped with GPS and Wi-Fi capabilities
- Fully adjustable cams
- Reduces signal noise
- Inbuilt G-sensor technology
- Not discreet enough
- Quite expensive
2. Garmin Dash Cam 35
Whenever cameras are talked about, it doesn’t really get any bigger than Garmin. Being one of the most trusted companies when it comes to cameras, you can trust them not to disappoint on this as well.
Apart from featuring the quite familiar GPS and Wi-Fi compatibility like the BlackVue, this one packs extra features such as speed camera and led light warnings.
Like the BlackVue model, the GPS compatibility here also means it provides precise details like direction, speed, time, and location if a collision ever happens.
For optimum convenience, the Garmin Dash Cam 35 comes with an inbuilt 2.3-inch LCD color display, which lets you watch video playback.
If that’s not easy enough for you, you can connect the device to your computer for large-screen viewing. Also, you can decide to either record in WVGA, 720p, 1080p resolution, depending on your personal preference.
However, this model lacks a night-vision mode for night driving. In fact, it doesn’t have any image-enhancing feature for severe lighting situations. Consequently, it may be unable to deliver precise details when driving through a tunnel or at nights.
When it comes to storage capacity, this model isn’t imposing. It comes with a 4GB memory card that can be expanded up to 32GB.
However, it has a snapshot feature that enables you to take photos with the device rather than videos. This is usually helpful in situations when you have to snap, like damage to your vehicle.
The camera is also fully adjustable, which allows you to record any direction around your car, depending on your specific needs.
• Safety camera warnings.
• GPS capabilities.
• Crips and clear display.
• Records videos in HD.
• Capable of taking snapshots.
• Lacks a night-vision mode.
• Small storage capacity.
3. WickedHD G1W
With manufacturers churning out affordable dash cams like the WickedHD G1W Dash Cam from time to time, there is literally no excuse for anyone not to have dash camera installed in their vehicle.
Despite being very affordable, the WickedHDD G1W allows you to record your trips in high-definition.
It even comes with a wide capture angle which will enable you to record scenery and cars ahead and oncoming traffic as well. Not only that, but you can also choose to either record in 720p or 1080p resolution.
However, this model is different when it comes to adjustability, in the sense that it is not fully adjustable.
But the unit features a large 2.7-inch color LCD display which allows you to view your moments instantly.
Furthermore, the device comes with an infrared night-vision capability which enables you to record clear videos in low-light conditions or at night.
In addition to that, the dash cam is equipped with G-sensor impact detection and inbuilt motion detection features, which automatically trigger the device for recording when a movement or an impact is detected. Of course, everything recorded by the camera is backed up so you won’t lose any video even if the unit is damaged.
The WickedHD G1W Dash Cam is understandably a simple camera without additional frills. While it lacks fancy features such as Wi-Fi or GPS options, it makes up with impact and motion detection technology.
Its lower price point also means people on a budget will likely find it attractive.
• Affordable price point.
• Impact and motion detection technology.
• Features an LCD display.
• Records in HD.
• Infrared night-vision capability.
• Lacks fancy features.
• Not totally adjustable.
4. Falcon Zero F360 Dash Cam
Whether it’s a casual drive or an accident, the Falcon Zero F360 is equipped with dual cameras to capture vital driving moments. Apart from recording in high-definition, this device is also capable of recording crystal clear videos in low-light conditions and at night.
This device captures photos and videos in 1080p and 720p in high-definition.
It’s wide 180-degree viewing angle also lets you find the ideal angle and get every important moment recorded.
The F360, besides being a dash camera, also doubles as a rear mirror, which is great considering you can easily watch your back and simultaneously keep a tab on what’s happening around your car.
Furthermore, the camera gives you two recording options – loop recording or direct recording on the memory card. With the loop recording, you’ll never run out of storage as it records new videos over old ones automatically.
Although exporting footage is more comfortable with SD cards, so your final choice will boil down to your personal preference. The device comes with a 16GB Class 10 memory card, which can be expanded should there be a need for expansion.
Keep in mind that regardless of the recording option you choose though, you can lock important videos so that they won’t be overrun.
For the purpose of discreetness, the camera comes with a long 10-foot cord, which makes it easy to set up the dash cam where it can be easily discreet.
The HDMI output it features also means you can view your videos on a larger screen.
• Equipped with dual cameras.
• Two recording options.
• Records great videos in low-light conditions.
• Comes with a long cord.
• Doubles as a rear mirror.
• A large LCD display.
• No con to speak of.
5. Magellan RoadMate 6230-LM – Gps with DVR Camera
Apart from serving as a dash cam, the Magellan RoadMate 6239-LM also doubles as a GPS unit, which means it records the road and scenery ahead of you while driving and also offers driving assistance.
It doesn’t stop there – this unit also provides several extra features such as parking assistance, traffic alerts, and the option to utilize a back-up camera. And for easy viewing access, it’s outfitted with a 5-inch color display which shows the time and date.
By and large, this is an excellent dash camera that it is just tricky to fault regardless of your best effort.
Also, there is an 8GB micro SD card included on which everything recorded will be saved.
A downside, however, to this storage type is that you will have to be manually deleting unneeded videos to maintain space or insert a larger SD card in the events that the one included gets full. Most other dash cameras come with a loop recording capability, which records over old and unmarked videos automatically.
Thankfully, this model also comes with the G-shock sensor, which automatically detects a collision and captures it, and subsequently, mark the video on the SD card, and also some time before and after the crash.
Probably the most prominent feature you will find on this camera is the GPS capability. Just input your address, and the GPS will guide you directly to your destination while adding voice prompts to ensure you’re on the right path.
The incorporated SmartDetour technology is also capable of rerouting you automatically to the next best navigation option provided there is an accident or traffic.
• Large LCD display.
• Traffic alerts and parking assistance.
• Doubles as a GPS unit.
• G-shock sensor.
• Doesn’t have a loop recording option.
Other Things to Consider when buying a Dash Cam
The things to consider when buying an eyewitness dashcam are not limited to the features we discussed earlier in the article.
Some of the other things to consider are below:
Another feature you’ll need to check out is the dash cam’s performance in low-light conditions.
Before going on to buy a dash cam, investigate whether the device is outfitted with low-light sensors or not.
Most traffic collisions and accidents occur at night, and for your dash camera to be any use during the investigation, it needs to have great low-light recording capabilities. This feature is a must-have for you if you frequently drive after dark.
Find a dash camera with a wide dynamic range, also known as high dynamic range. A dash cam outfitted with these features are capable of recording and processing videos in low-light conditions and enhance it digitally to improve it.
Models that have the parking mode feature are capable of going into standby when your car is parked. In case you’re wondering how the device knows when your car is parked, it knows when the engine is turned off.
So, when the vehicle is parked, then dash cam will automatically start recording for a while when a vibration is detected, like someone trying to break into the car.
Some models even provide a feature that lets you view your car live and will send alerts to your smartphone.
For this type of dashcams, you also need a constant power supply like Power Magic Pro.
Some dash cams offer voice support to allow you to issue commands conveniently when starting or stopping audio recording, take a snapshot, and more. In fact, some even support Amazon Alexa so you can command your car to create to-do lists, play music, check calendar and also control your smart devices at home.
Let’s be honest: Roads and expressways can be quite risky sometimes (millions of accidents occur every year).
While some of us are actually responsible and safe drivers, we can’t say the same for some other reckless and careless road users who could use their carelessness to cause an accident, or other unexpected circumstances, such as insurance fraud or pointless traffic stops.
For all these reasons, we think every vehicle should be equipped with a functional eyewitness dash cam. We have reviewed some of the best models in this article, so you can always refer to our reviews when trying to buy one.