Selecting The Dashboard Camera on a Car
Making a choice on a dashboard camera can be sometimes overwhelming if you not sure of what to look for. Luckily, this is where we come in. Once you set priorities on what you want to do with your dashboard camera, making a choice becomes easy.
What should you need to prioritize?
Looking at the basics, all dashcams will perform the same function. That includes recording of video from wherever position it is placed, and will loop over the video (after running out of space) till you choose to stop recording, or a hard bump is detected, and at this point recording stops once again. Any dashcam of your choice has this capability.
Criteria 1: Budget
Different dashcams will come with different prices. If you consider the budget as your main issue, then be ready to be a little limited when it comes to dashcam features. The cheaper the dashcam, the more basic the camera will be. Nevertheless, there are dashcams which are still Full HD available under $200, which includes the Papago GoSafe 200. This dashcam is relatively cheap, but delivers solid video quality and has lots of in built safety features. For those looking for GPS, there is a model available under the $200 price tag, which is the Lukas LK-7200. Looking at a whole lot of budget dashcams, the Lukas LK-7200 is one of our favorite as it provides good features at a relatively cheaper price.
Criteria 2: Recording the front, or the front and back?
Another consideration to look at is whether you need to record just the front, or both the front and the back. Cameras with the capability of recording both front and back are called dual channel dash cams. With a dual channel dash cam, one can mount the main unit on the windshield, with the smaller unit being mounted on the rear window. A wire can be used to connect both. Storage and memory are all in the main unit, with the smaller unit only capturing the image. The kind of dashcams are definitely good investments, as they cover all bases. But they will be a bit more expensive due to the two cameras, with such gadgets starting from around $300. Dual channel dashcams are usually Full HD with built in GPS, hence they serve as basic upgrades from low priced cameras. Among our favourites include the BlackView DR-650GW, which is really cool as it has built in WiFi enabling one to directly view videos from a phone. Another awesome dual channel dashcam is the Lukas LK-9700, which has its main unit with a giant 4 inch screen that can be used to change settings or view videos.
Criteria 3: Concealability
Concealability also serves as a big concern when considering dash cams. If this serves as your biggest concern, the Papago GoSafe 260 camera mounts easily onto your rear view mirror, making it virtually undetectable unless one takes a close look.
Criteria 4: Reliability
Reliability serves as another factor to consider. Dash cam issues include sensor burning, blurry picture and record hangs, and if users of a dashcam complain of this, you should look elsewhere. Dash cams should also be able to withstand high temperatures, especially with use in parking mode. Unfortunately, reliability information is difficult to gather, but real user feedback on dash cam devices provide a good basis.
Criteria 5: Processor
A number of dash cams will advertise the processor in which the camera is based on. The processor serves as the CPU of the camera. As the processor is quite a consideration, the quality of the lens and CMOS sensor are salient as well. This in turn brings about different video quality in different dashcams with the same processor.
Other Things to Look For
- Power adapter length of 3.5M / 11FT or greater.
- Rather than hanging straight down, this will allow installation of the wire around the wind shield.
- No gaps between video files.
- Most of the dash cams today have no gaps between the video files, and if they do, that serves as a problem in the dash cam.
- LED lighting
- A number of dash cams will come with LED lighting, with some being powerful enough to improve night recording performance.