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Choosing a Dashboard Camera

What to Look For in a Dash Cam

In some parts of the world, dash cams are required by law. Here in the states, dash cams are gaining in popularity. Having footage that shows what happens in the case of an accident can be the sort of thing you didn’t know you needed — until you need it.

When choosing a dashboard camera, generally speaking, the best dashboard cameras have similar technology and features. For the most part, they mount somewhere along a car’s front windshield. Preferably tucked up out of the way behind the rear view mirror.

Choosing a Dashboard Camera

Dash cams record smaller snippets of footage, usually in increments of one to two minutes at a time. The cameras continually record over the oldest clip in order to keep an SD memory card from filling up. Older models typically required the user to manually save or tag the appropriate clip in the event of an accident. Newer devices have G-shock sensors that detect an accident and then create an incident recording and lock the recorded footage.

Dash cams can be as simple as fixing the camera to your windshield and plugging the device into your 12V outlet. The advent of rear-facing cameras — and complete kits that contain both front and rear — require a little extra work to install involving cables that run from front to back. You, or a trusted installer like Street Beats, at 7602 Waters Ave, can hide cabling in the headliner or along the floor under the carpet and interior door trim. They can even hardwire some units, avoiding unsightly cables plugged into the 12V outlet.

There are also dash cams that boast additional features that, just like any other technology, translate to a higher asking price. These extra features include multiple cameras for front- and rear-facing coverage — or inside cabin coverage; higher video quality; night vision; GPS; traffic alert and hazard sharing; and built-in Wi-Fi or Bluetooth for easy file transfer may also be included. There are numerous parking modes also widely available. These use a time-lapse feature as a surveillance function to capture details of around your car while you’re off running errands.

If you are in the process of choosing a dash cam, check out our list here.