If you’ve never done this before, go to YouTube and search “dash cam compilation.” You won’t believe the footage people capture. There’s everything from goats getting scooter rides to cars skidding on ice and doing 720-degree flips.
A dash cam is a small, discreet device you attach to your windshield. Once installed, it becomes your expert witness. The best dash cam captures traffic accidents – you can use it as evidence in court. It records your interaction with the police officer who pulls you over – it acts as an anti-corruption measure. It immortalizes your friend’s cringe-inducing performance of Bohemian Rhapsody – it’s a contribution to your ever-growing blackmail folder, or even your shot at YouTube fame.
Jokes aside, car security camera footage of an accident can be an indispensable asset in court. Nowadays, most dash cams record in HD resolution sufficient to make the licence plate of a hit-and-run perp legible.
An internal dash cam can be a lifesaver for taxi and Uber drivers. The “customer first” policy most businesses employ leaves drivers at a disadvantage when things go wrong. Video and audio evidence of a passenger’s drunken and disorderly behaviour protects honest and well-mannered drivers.
Most dash cameras have impact and motion sensors that wake the camera even when the ignition is off. This can be instrumental in catching bad parkers who dent your car and don’t have the courtesy to leave a note.
We’ve compiled a list of 10 of the best dash cams across different price brackets so you can get a clearer picture of the market and find what best suits your needs.
If your job involves driving, one of the smartest investments you can make is a car camera. Having footage of both the inside and outside of your vehicle can be a real lifesaver in a multitude of situations.
The Vantrue N2 Pro mounts to the windshield via a suction cup and captures video of the passenger cabin across 140 degrees and the carfront over 170 degrees, ensuring it has ample coverage to record whatever happens.
The video quality is excellent – 1920x1080p at 30 FPS for both cameras. You can opt to record with the front camera only, which boosts its resolution or frame-per-second rating and allows it to capture better-quality footage of licence plates.
The interior camera is equipped with a Sony IMX323 infrared sensor for recording in dark conditions. It provides a crystal-clear image that can serve as evidence in court, no matter the light conditions. The exterior camera automatically adjusts its ight settings to balance out the video for a crisp image.
This dashboard camera even protects your car with its built-in motion sensors, which activate the camera when someone tampers with your vehicle while it’s parked. It may not stop the theft, but it can help find your car it afterwards.
Video files are stored in a perfect seamless loop – new footage is always being recorded over old to save storage space. When the camera detects a sudden shake or a collison, the footage is automatically sent to an “event file” folder and saved. This nifty feature prevents the loss of important footage.
The manufacturer offers an 18-month warranty for this camera. The Vantrue N2 Pro, along with a 256 GB SD card (the maximum this model supports) and window stickers to inform passengers and potential thieves that they are being recorded, costs around $246 on Amazon.
Reliability is the name of the game. You won’t have peace of mind on your travels if you can’t rely on your dash cam to be vigilant and store the footage it records safely.
The supercapacitor that powers the Rexing V1 offers that crucial long-term reliability. Thanks to its sleek and unobtrusive design, the Rexing V1 is the perfect travelling companion – hard-working and hardly noticeable. It’s the best dash cam to buy if you’re an adventurous spirit.
It records clear and precise 1080p footage of the car front, with a wide 170-degree angle to capture every detail on the road ahead. The Sony STARVIS 307 image sensor ensures that the footage is usable in almost all light conditions.
Most of the footage your dash cam records is uninteresting. That’s why old footage is constantly being overwritten to ration storage space. With this Rexing dash cam, you can set the loop interval to one minute, three minutes, or turn the looping feature off entirely.
That said, when the G-sensors pick up a disturbance during your drive, the relevant footage is automatically locked and will not be overwritten. The gravity sensor has three sensitivity modes, so it can activate the locking procedure for each pothole you run over, or you can set it to only record bigger incidents, like crashes.
If you ever feel the need to quickly share the footage from your trip – like when you encounter a deer on the road – you can do so easily. The Rexing V1 can connect to your mobile device (both iOS and Android) via Wi-Fi and sync up with the dash cam mobile app.
The user manual will guide you through the 13-step installation procedure, which can be completed by one person in 45 minutes. The unit is listed at around $90 on Amazon.
Sometimes you do a bike stunt so daring, a jump that gets so much air, a crash that’s so near-death that no one will believe you if you don’t supply the footage. Here’s a fix-all solution for the nay-sayers who doubt your two-wheel escapades – the Thinkware M1 Motorsports Cam. When memorable moments happen, lock the files in place with the single push of a button.
The Thinkware M1 Motorsports Cam is a dual dash cam – it records both the front and the back of your vehicle. This is crucial if you, heaven forbid, have an accident on the open road; the whole incident will be captured from both sides.
The image stabilization algorithms this camera uses minimize the blurring and distortion that usually occur when filming on bumpy terrain. The thermal sensors ensure that the Thinkware dash cam keeps rolling even in extreme temperature conditions (from -10ºC to 60ºC). It’s safe to say that the M1 will work pretty much anywhere on planet Earth where you can drive a bike or a quad, especially because of Thinkware’s proprietary anti-file-corruption technology.
One of the most impressive features of this product is the mobile app it integrates with. When you connect the M1 with your device via Wi-Fi, you’ll gain access to some extremely useful features. These include easily browsing through your files, altering your detailed camera settings, and live streaming footage on the cam.
Both cameras record HD 1080p footage at 30 FPS. The Sony STARVIS, combined with Thinkware’s proprietary Super Night Vision recording technology, make the image as clear as it can be in the given light conditions.
Dash cam supplier BlackBoxMyCar lists the M1 at $499.99.
Some may argue that having 4K footage of your driving is overkill. Who needs that kind of detail when shooting footage of a road? Well, if you’re serious about providing convincing evidence in court with clear and legible licence plates, 4K may be your only option in some situations.
With a fast shutter speed and double the amount of pixels as full-HD resolution, the BlackVue DR900S-2CH guarantees that you won’t lose all-important details in your footage.
The system has both front and rear cameras (162-degree and 139-degree wide shots, respectively), but only the front piece shoots in 4K. The rear camera shoots in 1080p HD, which is still on par with competitors. It has boosted low-light sensitivity in case you happen to have tinted windows.
You might be wondering: Doesn’t 4K recording mean the storage space will fill up twice as fast? It doesn’t, thanks to BlackVue’s High Efficiency Video Coding compression algorithms, which preserve image quality while storing files as if they were shot in Full-HD resolution. That’s having your cake and eating it too, and it’s another reason why mean consider the BlackVue DR900S-2CH to be the best front and rear dash cam.
Everything’s about the DR900S-2CH screams high quality, even the Wi-Fi connectivity. It can connect to a 5 GHz network to transfer files twice as quickly as on 2.4GHz networks. Additionally, the Quick Play versions of the clips minimize the buffering time.
BlackVue’s “Over the Cloud” service means that, for an extra monthly fee, you’ll never have lose sight of your car again. The device connects to the cloud via Wi-Fi, allowing you to check in on your car at any time you like via the dash cam mobile app. If you’re a business owner with a fleet of cars, this feature also enables you to effectively keep tabs on your employees.
BlackVue lists this camera at just under $500.
This little model might just be everything you need in a dash cam. It’s a small, easy-to-hide unit that shoots in higher-than-HD resolution, works in low light conditions, and it has a motion sensor and a G-sensor that detect critical situations and lock video files in place. What more could you want?
This Little Cam That Could goes a step further – it can hear your voice and receive commands without forcing you to lift your hands from the wheel. With commands like “save video,” “take a picture,” and “record audio,” you’ll be in complete control of this Garmin dash cam without endangering you or your passengers.
Say you’re driving along a country road and you happen upon a deer crossing in front of you. Using the voice command “take a picture”, you don’t need to fumble to find the snapshot button and risk missing this beautiful moment.
The “Travelapse” feature also helps you keep memories of your trips. In this workmode, the camera takes snapshots every minute to create an interesting and captivating timelapse of your trip. This feature can also be activated via voice control.
The wireless control – combined with the free Virb mobile app – means you can transfer that all-important footage or fun timelapse to your device in no time.
The camera starts and stops automatically when you turn on the ignition, if connected to a power source. There is a battery inside, but it has a short life of around 30 minutes. This is normal for small dash cameras; you’ll either need to buy a power cable or connect the camera to the car’s electrical system.
The Garmin Dash Cam 55 also helps you drive more safely. It has a built-in warning system for when you drift out of your lane or are charging towards a head-on collision.
The unit is small and inconspicuous. It comes with a handy magnetic mount and films in 1440p resolution with a 122-degree angle. There is also a 1080p version that captures a 180° shot. Garmin lists its Dash Cam 55 model at around $200, with the price varying depending on the features.
Remember HAL 9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey? The VAVA 4K Dash Cam – VD004 bears an eerie resemblance to him. But don’t worry; this camera won’t talk back or try to murder you for the greater good.
The hanging design actually serves a useful purpose – it allows the 4K-VD004 to swivel 360 degrees and record the inside of the car. Combine the swivelling camera, the noise-reducing microphone, and a purchasable snapshot remote control, and what you get is a bona-fide memory creator. Record those legendary karaoke sessions and relive the high notes you and your passengers hit (or miss) with this 360º dash cam.
Dash cams are designed to record the road in front of you. Sometimes that’s for your own enjoyment, but it’s not all scenic routes and beautiful wildlife. The quality of the recording of the dash cam can make the difference between compelling evidence in a court of law and a worthless, smudgy video clip of a road accident.
The 4K-VD004 shoots razor-sharp video in 4K QHD (3840x2160p resolution at 30 FPS). The different video quality options make this one of the best rated dash cam options out there. This ensures that all number plates are captured clearly and legibly. The OV4689 CMOS visual sensor also contributes to this goal. VAVA’s camera films footage at a 170-degree angle, which grants ample coverage of the road in front.
The G-sensors detect collisions and major impacts. When they do so, the camera automatically creates a 15-second video, no matter what mode it is in. This even works when your car is parked thanks to the internal battery.
The VAVA Dash app that comes free with the product connects to the device via 2.4GHz Wi-Fi and is very user-friendly, making managing your video files a breeze. The maximum card capacity is 256 GB and the product comes with a 30-month warranty that includes product registration.
VAVA lists the 2K-VD005 dash cam at $199.99.
When you really think about it, you don’t really need your central rear-view mirror. After all, trucks and bikes don’t even have them. You’re probably used to using it, but you can actually see everything you need to switch lanes in your side-view mirrors.
That’s why a dash cam in the shape of your rear-view mirror actually makes a lot of sense. The Aukey Mirror Dash Cam has two cameras, front and rear. They both connect to an LCD screen module that covers your existing mirror. Of course, it still functions as a mirror while the display is off.
The LCD touchscreen display on this Aukey dash cam is responsive enough to be used even when the car is in motion, although for safety reasons we recommend that a passenger operates the buttons while you’re driving. You can access all of the features of the cam from the touchscreen.
You can turn audio recording on and off, choose the quality of the footage you record, and even display clips on the extra-wide 6.8’’ display. The footage is kept on an SD card with a capacity of 256 GB.
The front camera shoots in 1080p at 30 FPS at a 170-degree angle. The rear camera records 720p footage at 30 FPS and covers 160 degrees. It is usually mounted on the bumper or near the back of the licence plate. Because the video can be streamed directly onto the display, the camera also functions as a rear parking camera – obstacles that would be impossible to see just by looking out the back window suddenly become visible.
The camera also packs in all the usual dash cam features. You get loop recording and a shock sensor to activate emergency video recording, an internal battery to keep the device on stand-by even when the ignition is off, and a micro USB port that connects to the power source, be it a battery pack or the cigarette lighter plug.
With all of these features and a price tag of just $80, the Aukey Mirror Dash Cam with LCD Touchscreen is the best mirror dash cam on the market right now.
Even though we’re getting used to cameras being attached to anything and everything (it’s only a matter of time before toothbrush cameras start hitting the market), they are still delicate and complicated pieces of equipment. Temperature can greatly affect the performance of a camera.
The VIOFO A119 has supercapacitors to ensure that the camera functions in even the most extreme summer and winter conditions. Wherever your car can drive, we’re confident that the A119 will do its job.
This camera records 1440p footage at 30 FPS or 1080p at 60 FPS with its six-glass lens camera. You can also opt to have a CPL (circular polarizing lens) installed. This lens filters the circular flares that show up when light is reflected off smooth surfaces. These flares can cover up important details like licence plates and render your recordings useless.
This dash cam comes with a mount and an adhesive sticker to attach it to the windshield. For an extra $10, you can order a mount with a GPS logger installed. This feature will help you log your travels, as well as sync the clock on your camera with satellite time to ensure proper time stamps on your recordings.
The A119 has loop recording, which means new footage is being recorded over old footage in a continuous loop. The footage can be displayed on a 2’’ screen on the device.
Of course, the model comes with G-sensors and motion sensors that pick up impacts and save a recording of that clip. The files are stored on an SD card, the maximum capacity being 128 GB.
This model does not have an internal battery or Wi-Fi connectivity. This explains its low price of $79.99. If you opt for the GPS logger, the A119 will set you back $89.99.
If you happen to search for an owl dash cam, you’ll almost certainly find the Owlcam. This ever-vigilant camera is chock-full of unique features that make it stand out from the competition.
For starters, it draws power from your car’s on-board diagnostics (ODB) port, which is usually used by mechanics to detect faults in the vehicle’s electrical system. This frees up your cigarette lighter for other accessories and also ensures that the device has ample power at all times.
Moving on, the Owlcam’s LTE data plan provides a round-the-clock live feed straight from the camera. It also provides 911 support – when it detects a crash or theft, the device contacts the owner. If there is no answer, this dash camera for car automatically dispatches the police.
The live connectivity means that you get instant notifications when your car is tampered with while parked. The flashing green light will inform criminals that there are security measures in place and decrease the chance of your car getting hit. Purchasing the product gets you a one-year subscription to this service, while subsequent renewals cost $9.99 per month.
The installation process doesn’t require any drilling and should take even the clumsiest individual less than 15 minutes. However, it does involve adhesives that could potentially damage your car. The mount wedges into the ventilation duct and attaches to the windshield via a suction cup. The camera unit is then perched on top of the mount by a magnet. The cables are easy to thread through to the ODB port thanks to the tuck stick and cable ties that come in the box.
The Owlcam has both an exterior and an interior camera. The exterior records in 1440p and the interior at 720p, both at 30 FPS with a 120-degree angle. The manufacturer lists this product at $349.
Oh, we almost forgot – the Owlcam is a voice control dash cam, too!
Truckers spend the vast majority of their time on the road. Driving during the night is a part of the job. Truckers, more than anyone else, need a dash cam to protect themselves, and they need that camera to have good night vision.
The WheelWitness HD PRO’s wide dynamic range, achieved by combining multiple exposures, makes it the best night vision dash cam on the market. The camera also has an impressive 170-degree field of vision.
What’s more impressive is the quality of the footage the HD Pro records. With 2304x1296p resolution at 30 FPS, the camera is guaranteed to provide crystal-clear footage of the road. The six-glass lens also lends a hand in that respect.
Standard features, like loop recording and a motion sensor, are included.
The storage space is, however, lackluster; the WheelWitness only offers a maximum of 64 GB in storage. The bright side is that the product comes bundled with a 16 GB microSD card.
This dash camera also comes with a second mounting bracket so you can use it on multiple vehicles. The installation process is clear and simple and the activation is “plug-n-play.” You don’t have to be technical wizard by any stretch of the imagination to set this unit up.
But that’s not all – this device also comes with a GPS unit. That means you can track your trips and rest assured that the time stamp is correct on all of your video files.
You can watch the video clips you record on a 3’’ TFT LCD display. This display also makes it much easier to set the recording parameters, although they can also be set via the smartphone app.
We believe you’ll hardly find a better-value camera on the market. You get all these features for just $189.99; it’s almost a steal. Well, it’s not, but if someone tries to steal your vehicle while you have it mounted, you’ll know!
Some models have an internal battery that keep the device on standby while the ignition is parked so that it can start recording if your vehicle is tampered with.
The installation process is usually simple and doesn’t involve any drilling. Just thread the cable through the cable ties that come with the product and you’re good to go. The cameras are mounted onto the windshield either by adhesive patches or suction cups, while some models attach to the rear-view mirror.