So you got in an accident, or you suspect someone vandalized your car and you need to review dash cam footage. There are several methods that will work, but some methods are inefficient. It really depends on what you are hoping to see out of the footage. It might seem rudimentary, but if your goal is to quickly scrub through the footage and show police officers recent footage, you don’t want to be stumbling and figuring it out on the spot.
In this article, we will talk about how to pull up footage in different scenarios and for different purposes. This will be a quick read, but I’m sure you’ll learn a thing or two about your dash cam. Sometimes you may even forget that there are some cool, unused features in your dash cam!
Every dash cam will have a microSD card attachment. This is the place where you can insert removable storage. This card will carry all of your footage. Often, the dash cam will come with a default memory card. These won’t have much storage, we recommend purchasing a larger one as it is cheap and more reliable.
Another benefit of buying a large SD card is to hold more video files for longer periods of time. Dash cams have a looping recording feature where once the SD card is full, it will delete older footage to make room for the new footage. You may think, why do I need a large SD card then?
While loop recording is great in principle, you don’t want to have a small capacity memory card because you may want to review older footage. If your card is erasing video files from 1 or 2 days ago, you can’t review any footage from before that. Often times, I’ll notice a dent in my paint days after and I’m praying that I captured it.
A good microSD card won’t have issues writing data onto the card.
Since these cards are removable, you can use them in any computer that has a microSD card slot. Typically most computers will have a SD slot, which is just the big brother of a microSD. You’ll need to get an adapter if you only have a SD slot. Once inserted, it should show up on your computer where you can watch your footage on your computer monitor. If YouTube is your final destination, you can upload footage from the SD card to YouTube. You can also use photo editing software to edit your footage.
Most dash cams will have their own screens to do basic functions like change settings, position the camera, and review footage. Don’t expect to get crystal clear clarity on a 2 to 3 inch screen. But if you need to replay something for the cops that doesn’t require reading license plates, then using your dash cam screen in a pinch will work.
Probably the easiest way to view dash cam footage is using WiFi. This feature doesn’t come on all dash cams, but we have a list of WiFi dash cams that will work for you. WiFi on a dash cam allows you to use your smart phone to view, and even share footage. Your dash cam manufacture will have an app that you have installed. Once the app is opened, you can connect to your dash cam. The app will have menu options to view recorded footage, view the live camera, share footage on social media, download footage and more.
This is our most preferred way to view dash cam footage. If you need to show cops the footage immediately, this is way better as viewing footage on a smart phone is preferable to a dash cam screen.