Dash cams are becoming more and more popular as they offer protection and security for your vehicle. There are many different types of dash cam you can get at all different prices and with different safety features. The cheaper basic models might just provide cctv for your car, whereas the more expensive models can go further and offer advanced features such as driver assistance and emergency response systems. You can choose to have your dashcam professionally installed with all wires hidden or you can fit it yourself and have the option to move it between vehicles. The type of dashcam you want is dependent on your needs; the type of care you own and what kind of driving you do.
Things to think about when buying a dashcam?
Power supply- How is your dashcam powered? Is it battery or does it plug in to an accessory power socket?
Video Quality- What resolution is the camera? How clear do you want the images to be?
Rear Cameras- Do you want a rear facing camera as well as a forward facing one?
Voice control- Would a voice-controlled camera be a useful feature?
Wi-Fi- How do you view or transfer the footage off the camera?
Parked alerts– Only available with hard wired dashcams, these can record any incidents such as a bump or crash, while you are parked.
Emergency calls- Do you want your dashcam to be able to call the emergency services if an accident were to occur?
Night Vision- Would high quality night vision be useful to you? Do you do a lot of night time driving?
Garmin Dash Cam 66W
You cannot get much better than the Garmin Dash Cam, this compact little camera comes in at under 6cm in width but comes with a tonne of features. It has an extra-wide 180-degree field of view and a 1440p HD, so you get a real broad view of the front of your car and the road ahead. The high-quality video you record can be transferred to your smartphone via Wi-Fi, there is a Garmin app that allows you to connect up to 4 cameras, allowing you to have a 360 view. The main power source is your cars power source, but the battery will last 30 minutes. You can have it professionally installed and wired, meaning you will have the parked alerts, so you can record if someone bumps your car.
This is one of the priciest dashcams out there, but it also comes with the most features. It does everything. It shoots in 4K, which means your footage will be clear and sharp and the 150-degree lens give you a great range of sight. It has built in Wi-Fi and GPS, which means you can get speed-camera notifications, location data and speed analysis with all your recordings. There is great night vision, meaning you don’t loose picture quality when it goes dark. The Thinkware does have to be hardwired into your car, which means forking out for a professional instillation after spending over £300 on the dash cam itself. That said you won’t find a better dashcam with this amount of features for less.
The Nextbase dash cam is a great middle ground of a good price and good features. You get some great features including Alexa, GPS and emergency SOS, whilst not paying over the odds. The Nextbase Dash Cam hoots in 2K resolution or at regular 1080p full HD, which is pretty good for a casual dash cam user. It has a 140-degree viewing angle, as well as integrated GPS so you can get speed data and location services. You can also use the Nextbase dash cam as a smart speaker for your car, the Alexa feature means, using your phones internet access, you can play music, hear news and get directions, whilst on the road. It can even sense if you’ve had an accident and call the emergency services, if you don’t respond when prompted.
Dash Cam VIOFO A129
The Viofo A129 comes with 2 cameras facing front and back that feature full HD 1080p recording, which means all get a clear picture in all lighting conditions. It uses the Sony Exmore R Starvis image sensor which records real vibrant colours and will add great detail to your recordings, no matter the time of day. The 2 inch screen allows for easy setup and playback of your recordings, as well as using Wi-Fi to transfer videos on to your phone. There is an external GPS module which will record your speed and route data and all videos will be correctly time stamped thanks to the synchronised clock. There is also a parking mode, which will record when triggered by motion and impact detectors. It can plug in to your cars power supply by traditional car charger and USB port.