There are a ton of options for full sized sedans but you chose Mazda for its sleek design and outstanding performance. And now you want to protect your purchase on the unpredictable road. It makes sense to spend a few extra dollars to save yourself from fighting insurance companies or law enforcement when you have actual footage. Finding the best dash cam for Mazda 3 is important to be more proactive in life rather than reactive.
- Dual Dash Cam at 1080p at 30 fps
- Parking Mode will record any shocks or vibrations
- Built-in Dual Band WiFi
Mazda 3 Dash Cam Installation
Installing the dash cam in your Mazda 3 can be straightforward depending on what setup you would like to pursue and what model you have. For most older models, it’s as simple as plugging the dash cam in an accessory outlet.
When the car is turned on, the accessories would power on, thus powering your dash cam. If you would like to power your dash cam when the car is off you will have to hardwire the dash cam. We’ll go over this soon.
For newer models, 2019 and onwards, a lot of the accessory sockets and fuses run hot or on all the time. If you decide you want to run the dash cam even when the car is off, utilize one of these constantly on outlets. But this brings us a different rabbit hole because you don’t want to drain the car’s battery.
One alternative to this is to simply utilize the car’s USB outlet which will turn off 15 minutes after the car is turned off.
Another alternative is hardwire your dash cam making sure the hardwire kit has a voltage limiter included. This means it will stop providing power to the dash cam once the car battery runs low. You won’t have to worry about your car battery dying.
The Mazda 3’s fuse box is near the driver’s left leg and you can utilize any unused fuse.
Now that you’ve learned how to hardwire your Mazda whether it be a newer or older model, let’s talk about cable management. Hiding the cables is pretty straightforward and will make your car a lot cleaner.
Assuming you want to hardwire your dash cam, begin with the placement of your dash cam in front of your mirror or your desired spot. Then run the power cable through the top headliner. You should be able to pry open the headliner with your fingernails to lay the wire.
Make your way over to the driver’s side A pillar. You may need a trim tool to bridge the pillar with the air bag by hiding the wire between the two panels. You will want to hide the wires in the black, rubber weather stripping.
Often times you can use your fingernails to hide the wire, but you can also temporarily pull and remove the rubber to properly hide the wires.
Continue hiding the wire down towards the fuse box where you can remove the panel and the plastic surrounding it. This is where you hard wire your device.
Rear Camera Placement
For the rear camera you’ll want to do something similar. Instead of going towards the driver’s side, make your way through the passenger’s side. Go through the headliner, then past the A-pillar. Hide the wire behind the weather stripping or in the top panel as you make your way to the back.
An optimal rear placement would be in the top middle of the windshield. When you remove the weather stripping you will have access to the ceiling trim panel where you can shimmy a wire to where you want to place the rear camera.
Once the rear wire is at your preferred position, you can then connect and place your rear dash camera.
VIOFO A129 Duo Dual Lens Dash Cam
The VIOFO A129 is the perfect option for users in the market for their first dash cam. This is a solid choice as it’s an all around great selection.
This is a front and rear, 2-channel dash cam that films in 1080p at 30 fps. The new Sony Starvis Image Sensor provides exceptional video quality both in the day and at night. It features a F1.6 aperture which allows for superb night vision.
You don’t have to worry if you drive your Mazda 3 in any extreme weather, the VIOFO is powered by a supercapacitor which is extremely heat resistant and can operate up to 149 degrees Fahrenheit.
VIOFO has an optional hardwiring kit that protects your car’s battery from dying prematurely.
With this kit installed you can now utilize VIOFO’s buffered parking mode which will not only begin recording an incident like a vibration or shock, but will also record 15 seconds before the incident. This provides the owner the full context of how an event unfolded.
Review the footage with the dual-band built-in WiFi that will connect to your smartphone so you can share, download and review footage.
We like the design of this dash cam and like how easy it is to install and get up and running. This is a great choice for anyone who wants to a plug-n-play solution.
- Buffered Parking Mode
- Dual Band WiFi for strong connectivity
- GPS included
- Can’t adjust camera left or right, only up or down
The Blackvue DR900S-2CH is a dual channel setup with the front filming at 4K and the rear at 1080p. This dash cam comes standard with the Power Magic Pro Hardwire Kit and all the tools and mounts for ease of use.
This has one of the most advanced parking modes out there because you can connect remotely to the dash cam from anywhere in the world. That’s right, this has cloud connectivity. You can track it via GPS and have it send you notifications if there’s any accidents. In order to unlock the Blackvue cloud, you will have to constantly provide it a mobile hotspot.
Included in the parking mode is the ability for motion detection. You can set what areas on the camera you want it to pick up. For example, you may not want to monitor the taller trees swaying at night, but would like to notify you when someone’s walking by.
This dash cam will take a bit of setting up so we only recommend it for those who are already familiar with dash cams and car wiring or for those who don’t mind taking the time to learn.
- Cloud Connectivity
- 4K/1080p at 30 fps
- Hardwire Kit Included
- Setup time is longer
AUKEY Dual Dash Cam HD 1080P
The AUKEY Dual Dash Cam is 2 channel, front and rear dash cam setup. It runs 1080p/720p and is powered by a Sony Exmor Sensor. What stands out about this device is the large 170 degree field of view in the front. The rear has a 152 degree viewing angle. Being able to capture the entire road without distortion is a necessity.
Loop recording is included which will overwrite old footage as the SD card becomes full. The emergency recording feature saves footage if the G-Sensor detects any collisions. It will lock these types of files and will store them in a separate folder.
This dash camera performs well in low light conditions because it comes with a F/1.8 aperture in the front lens. The rear lens doesn’t perform as well because it has a F/2.0 aperture. If you have a tinted rear window, the rear camera will struggle.
The design of the AUKEY is very compact which we like to minimize its footprint. GPS is not included, but can be purchased to add speed and location data to your footage.
- Wide viewing angle at 170 degrees
- Simple design, easy to use
- Great Night Vision
- Rear camera is lacking
- No WiFi
The Thinkware Q800PRO is in direct competition with Blackvue for the most advanced dash cam on the market. Both are premium dash cams, but they have their differences.
The Q800PRO is a single channel front facing dash cam that films in QHD or 1440p.
The flagship feature is Thinkware Cloud, which allows ones to remotely monitor their vehicle. You can check on the vehicle’s location and set up geo-fencing which allows one to set location boundaries. If you need to be remotely alerted that a vehicle is leaving a designated area, then you’ll need this.
Finally, this dash cam comes with an Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) which will alert the driver of potential collisions or lane departures.
- Cloud features such as Geo-Fencing
- Accident prevention warnings
- Complete Kit Included
- Single Channel Solution
Dash Cam Features for your Mazda 3
Whether you are driving at night, or utilizing the Parking Mode, you’ll want to be sure your dash cam can monitor your car at all times. This is why you need to pay attention to the night time capabilities of your dash camera.
There are a couple specifications you can pay attention to that contribute the most to great video quality at night.
One is aperture which describes how much light the camera has the ability to take in. The lower the number, the better. F/1.8 and lower is optimal.
WDR or HDR stands or wide/high dynamic range which improves image quality by adjusting for different lighting situations in an image.
The best thing you can do is view night footage from your desired dash cam.
Loop recording is a feature that almost all new dash cams come with standard. The idea behind it is that eventually the memory card will run out of space and instead of manually deleting old files every time this happens, software is built to to do for you.
It will delete old files under the presumption you don’t need them anymore. Often a common scenario we encounter is someone wanting to review footage from earlier in the day but the footage is gone.
The most common reason for this is because your microSD card filled up too quickly, therefore it erased the oldest footage. Buy a larger SD card to combat this, we recommend 128GB.
Field of View
Viewing angle is important because a narrow angle may not capture the entire road or car side-to-side. Optimal viewing coverage is if your dash cam is able to capture the width of the trunk.
This varies from camera to camera, but anything over 150 degrees is preferred.