If you’re thinking what dash cam should I buy then we’re going to discuss the features and hardware you need to consider when buying your dash camera. We want to separate what’s important from marketing jazz. Let’s get into it.
There are three types of dash cameras which are combining two of the following qualities – Cheap, Reliable and High performance. It means great video quality, features, and ease of use. Let’s discuss the key features you must be looking in a dash camera.
Dash Cam Notification
These are the messages and sounds that let you know when your dash cams are working. When there are problems. Notifications are more important than video quality. Many manufacturers do a great job letting drivers know when their dash cams have failed. Their audible notification can trick you into thinking your dash cam is working. They have warning messages that quickly disappear and are difficult to see. Better dash cams have persistent and highly visible written messages. They also use audible warnings. Your dash cams will eventually fail as it’s an electronic item that is exposed to rapidly changing temperature and humidity. Your SD card which saves your videos eventually wears out.
It is one of the most features that everyone should look for – the sharpest and clarity of the recorded video evidence. Getting dash cams with higher video quality improves your protection. You have a better chance to capture details like license plates or driver’s face after hit and run or assault with the help of the dash cam footage. Video quality isn’t a simple matter of spending more. To start with day quality most of the dash cams do a good job. Generally, dash cams are fairly similar except where the bitrate has been drastically lowered. However, at night difference in quality is more noticeable. Better hardware is more expensive and harder to implement.
One should look for two factors. First is legibility while moving. Better dash cams can capture license plates or driver’s face where other cameras are blurry. The other is a dynamic range which is how well a dash cam captures a scene with widely contrasting light. One benefit is to capture dimly lit pedestrians which could be missed by poor performing dash cams. It’s important if there’s an accident to view the entirety of what happened.
Lithium-Ion Batteries & Capacitors
They provide energy to save videos or media after your camera loses power from your vehicle. Lithium-ion batteries are used in the majority of budget cameras because they are cheaper. They store a large charge which can typically give you 15 minutes of use. Great for recording police encounters or accident scenes if you don’t have a smartphone. Unfortunately, they’re prone to falling under hot weather and can swell or leak damaging the dash cam.
Now coming to the capacitors. They’re far more heat resistant and generally, last several times longer than lithium-ion batteries. The downside is the added cost and they last only long enough to shut down your dash cam. In general, you may prefer capacitors cameras but that may limit your options for budget units.
Other Additional Feature of Dash Cam
The lens focuses light and is critical for a sharp image. Better lenses are made of glasses, not plastic. The f-number represents the size of the aperture. A lower number means a wider aperture. For start, let’s say more light and improves clarity. Inside the dash cam, there are two components that greatly matter for video quality.
- Image processor – The image processor takes the digital information from the sensor and turns it into a video file.
- Image sensor – It collects light and turns it into a digital signal for the processor. Better sensors are clear under low light situations.
Many users claim that a large and colorful camera could attract thieves. You must look at three attributes – size, shape, and color.
- Size – A smaller dash cam is harder to see. The matchbox-sized Mobius camera is difficult to spot compared to the larger camera.
- Shape – If it looks like a point and shoots camera, it will be more tempting to steal compared to the wedge shape which could be confused for a rain sensor.
- Color – Anything other than black is noticeable even the grey one. Lighter color does reflect more heat which could increase reliability over time. Some manufacturers follow metallic accents that sparkle and attract attention. A more discreet dash cam is better but pay for what you enjoy the most.
There are two general categories. One type attaches to your rearview mirror of the vehicles. More commonly your camera is attached to your windshield using an adhesive or suction mount. Adhesive mouths use a taped pad to keep your camera in place. They are secure and reduce vibration compared to suction mounts. They are also more compact but the downside is that they aren’t reusable. You’ll have to use a new pad if you’re moving to another vehicle.
Suction mounts use the vacuum to hold your camera in place and are easily reusable. The downside is that they may fall off when the weather changes or the rubber hardens and may cause damage or crash. If vibration on your car increase then you could easily notice the shaking of your camera. To deal with this you can go for the taped mouth because it’s a hassle-free solution. You can always buy a second mount.
Who is more into the use of dashcam?
Most of us have seen the dashcam videos and footages on the internet or anywhere around. These footages are may be of capturing some unusual things on roads such as accidents, crash, police chasing the criminals, hit and run cases and much more. Considering the sources you will popularly find these footage coming from sources like police and civilians on the road.
These sources are accountable and safe enough to give evidence in the horrendous situation. Police are using the dashcam for long to assure the safety of their officers as well as the people on the road. Civilians are also into the use of these dash cams for no hassle in claiming insurance or to be at the safe side by showing the evidence captured in the dash cams which claims to be reducing the insurance frauds. A dash cam footage can also be used to curb the corruption from the enforcement of laws. The video data gives a clear image of the accident who is at the default and who is the real victim.
Why a dashcam is used?
From a user’s perspective, the point of a dashcam is to protect you in the event of an accident, and it follows the notion that the driver using one is not at fault. The dashcam can’t cover for you if you did something wrong, but it can help prove that you were in the right. It records what it records. Let’s say an unscrupulous person throws himself in front of your car when you are driving, or stands on the brakes on the freeway, causing an incident. This is where a dashcam shines. That data evidence can be used to help prove that the incident wasn’t your fault. Otherwise, it might be your word versus the other person’s, and perhaps you’ll take a portion of the blame which could increase your insurance premiums, or worse.
If the driver uses one, he/she can drive carefully and legally. Let’s say you were driving through a school zone, looking at your phone, and sideswiped a car parked in the parking lot, with a GPS-equipped dashcam recording your position, speed, and the incident. It’ll be pretty clear from the dashcam footage exactly what happened.
Oh, and don’t assume that you can simply delete footage after you do something that’s your fault. While the specific laws in your locality may vary, let’s just say that the authorities won’t particularly like the fact that your otherwise operational dashcam is conveniently missing a chunk of footage from the parking lot. Of course, if you’re going to drive safely, this won’t be an issue. After all, a dashcam should be a constant reminder of safe driving.
Pros and cons of using a dashcam
The other side of the coin is whether a dashcam is worth the investment and the small amount of upkeep. Since they’re conspicuous and somewhat valuable devices, they could be stolen if left out. And if unmounting it and hiding it to prevent its theft is too onerous, you might not set it up when you end up needing it. If you live in an area with a lot of traffic accidents, and you’re concerned about protecting yourself, it might be worth the hassle.
At this point, there’s no overwhelming argument in favor of having, or not having, a dashcam. Insurance companies don’t require owners to have them, nor do many offer discounts for using them. But, the dashcam itself is a bit of an insurance policy. Just having one could prevent a serious legal or financial headache. It will save one from insurance frauds as well.
Consider the outlay involved, and then step back and think about how concerned you are about protecting yourself in the event of an accident while driving or road rage incident. If this is something you’re already a bit worried about, and the peace of mind that comes with being able to present evidence to a court or the police that is likely to prove that you’re not at fault, then a dash cam claims to be worthy. If it all seems a bit unnecessary or inconvenient, a dash cam’s not for you.
Another concealed fact about the dash cam is that whether its a worthy investment and help you good supervision on road but if left out they could be stolen.