If you’ve never done this before, go to YouTube and search “dash cam compilation.” You won’t believe the footage people capture. In the history of the internet, the best dash cam has captured 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. It captures traffic accidents, which you can then use as evidence in court. It can also record your interaction with a police officer who pulls you over and acts as an anti-corruption measure.
That being said, 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 license plate of a hit-and-run perp legible.
Internal dash cams are also beneficial for taxi and ride-sharing app drivers. It helps protect honest and well-mannered drivers by providing video and audio evidence of a passenger’s disorderly conduct. The impact and motion sensors in dash cams also help you catch bad parkers who dent your car and don’t have the courtesy to leave a note.
With the importance of dash cams, we’ve compiled a list of 10 of the best ones across different price brackets. This will help you 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 numerous 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 car front over 170 degrees. This is what makes it the best dash cam for Uber and taxi drivers; it ensures that 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 license plates.
The interior camera is equipped with a Sony IMX323 infrared sensor for recording in dark conditions. This car camera recorder provides a crystal-clear image that can serve as evidence in court, no matter the light conditions. The exterior camera automatically adjusts its light settings to balance out the video for a crisp image.
This dashboard camera even protects your car with its built-in motion sensors. These sensors activate the camera when someone tampers with your vehicle while it’s parked. Paired with the best car alarm system, this would really fortify your car’s security system.
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 collision, the footage is automatically sent to an “event file” folder and saved. This nifty feature makes this the best dash camera as it prevents the loss of important footage.
The manufacturer offers an 18-month warranty for this camera. The kit costs around $246 on Amazon. It includes the Vantrue N2 Pro, a 256 GB SD card (the maximum this model supports), and window stickers to inform passengers and potential thieves that they are being recorded.
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 safely store the footage it records.
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 traveling companion. It’s hard-working and hardly noticeable, which also makes it the best dash cam for vlogging.
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. What makes the Rexing V1 the best dash cam in 2021 is that it can connect to your mobile device (both iOS and Android) via Wi-Fi and sync up with the mobile app.
The user manual will guide you through the 13-step installation procedure, which can be completed by one person in a mere 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 on this camera can minimize the blurring and distortion that usually occur when filming on bumpy terrain. The thermal sensors ensure that it keeps recording 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 Thinkware dash cam 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, makes the image as clear as it can be in the given light conditions.
Dash cam supplier, BlackBoxMyCar, lists this dual camera dash cam 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, dash cam reviews always include 4K dash cams for those who are serious about providing convincing evidence in court with clear and legible license plates.
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 any important detail 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 on this car camera system 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 many consider the BlackVue DR900S-2CH to be the best front and rear dash cam on the market.
Everything 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 2.4 GHz networks. Additionally, the Quick Play versions of the clips minimize buffering time.
BlackVue’s “Over the Cloud” service means that, for an extra monthly fee, you’ll never have to lose sight of your car again. BlackVue’s best dash cam connects to the cloud via Wi-Fi, allowing you to check in on your car any time via the 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, much like a car tracking device does.
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 has a motion sensor and a G-sensor that detect critical situations and lock video files in place. Coming from the maker of the best GPS navigation devices, this comes as no surprise.
This Little Cam That Could goes a step further. Garmin’s best dash cam for your car can hear your voice and receive commands without you lifting your hands from the wheel. With commands like “save video,” “take a picture,” and “record audio,” you’ll be in complete control of this dash cam without endangering yourself or your passengers.
Let’s say you’re driving along a country road and a deer crosses in front of your car. You can use the voice command “take a picture” to treasure that moment.
The “Travelapse” feature also makes this the best car camera for traveling. In this work mode, 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 UHD Dash Cam bears an eerie resemblance to him. But don’t worry; this Vava dash cam won’t talk back or try to murder you for the greater good.
The hanging design actually serves a purpose. It allows the camera to swivel 360 degrees and record the inside of the car. Combine the swiveling camera, the noise-reducing microphone, and a purchasable snapshot remote control, and what you get is a bonafide memory creator. Record those legendary karaoke sessions and relive the high notes you and your passengers hit (or miss) with this 360-degree 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 dash cam’s recording can make the difference between compelling evidence in a court of law and a worthless, smudgy video clip of a road accident.
This dash cam shoots razor-sharp video in 4K UHD (3840x2160p resolution at 30 FPS). The different video quality choices 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 155-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 this wireless dash cam connects to the device via 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi and is very user-friendly, making managing your video files a breeze. The maximum card capacity is 256 GB. Additionally, the product comes with a 30-month warranty that includes product registration.
VAVA lists the 4K-VD004 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. This Aukey 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.
Its LCD touchscreen display 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.
On this best budget dash cam, you can turn the 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 license plate. Because the video can be streamed directly onto the display, this HD mirror cam 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 standby 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.
This is why 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 car security 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 license 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 on the best dash cam 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 that has a maximum capacity of 128 GB.
This model does not have an internal battery or Wi-Fi connectivity. But if you’re looking for the best cheap dash cam, its low price of $79.99 is very appealing. If you opt for the GPS logger, you can add the extra $10.
If you’re looking for the best dash cams that work 24/7, then you’re going to like 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 onboard diagnostics (OBD) 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 enough power at all times.
Moving on, the Owlcam’s LTE data plan provides around-the-clock live feed straight from the camera. It also provides 911 support. This is the best dash camera for car crashes and theft. When it detects these accidents, the device contacts the owner. If there is no answer, the police are automatically dispatched.
The live connectivity means that you get instant notifications when your car is tampered with while it is 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 Owlcam dash cam installation process doesn’t require any drilling. Even the clumsiest person shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes to install it. 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 OBD 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. Owlcam lists their best dash cam 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 at 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, unlike the best dash cams on the market that don’t offer a free 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 a technical wizard by any stretch of the imagination to set this unit up.
To top it off, this device also comes with a GPS unit that enables you to track your trips.
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 dash camera for your car. 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!
The first thing you need to ask yourself is whether you want a system with a front and rear dash cam, or a single-camera system. If you’re an Uber driver, you might want to invest in a dash camera that has an interior camera to record the passenger booth.
Graininess and low-quality footage severely undermine the veracity of any recording as evidence in court. A rule of thumb is that if the license plates are legible, the quality is good enough. Most external cameras shoot in 1080p HD resolution, while some models go to 1440p or even 4K quality. The best dash camera with higher-resolution footage usually has lower frames per second (FPS) to preserve storage space.
This measurement refers to the number of individual images the camera captures in a second. When traveling at 80 mph, accidents are caused by split-second mistakes. The more images captured, the higher the chance the important details are captured. Your best bet for capturing compelling footage is to shoot 1080p video at 60 frames per second. If your aim is to have beautiful, scenic footage, you should sacrifice FPS for a higher resolution.
You need the best night vision dash cam to record footage that is as clear as possible in all light conditions. Several factors determine how well a camera performs at night.
The wider the angle, the better the coverage you get. The industry standard is about 160 degrees, while some cameras go up to 170 degrees, and others go as narrow as 120 degrees.
Dash cams usually store video material on class-10 SD cards. The higher the quality of the footage, the more space it will take up. One thing to watch out for in your quest for the best dash cam is the maximum capacity each model supports. While some can take up to 128 GB of storage, others have a maximum of only 32 GB. These storage issues are usually mediated by loop recording.
Almost all dash cams have a loop recording system. New footage is constantly being recorded over old to preserve storage space. Seeing as most footage is uninteresting, this system makes sense. The system uses G-sensors and motion sensors to automatically preserve and lock relevant video files. Of course, you can trigger this feature manually.
The best dash cams have these sensors to detect impacts, as well as sudden increases and decreases in speed. They instruct the loop recording system to preserve the current video file in the memory files. Most dash cameras also have an internal battery that keeps these sensors running and the camera on standby while the vehicle is parked. The cameras automatically start recording when your car is being tampered with.
Cameras are delicate pieces of equipment and extreme temperatures can stop them from functioning properly. Always check the specs for the temperature range if you plan on going somewhere where it’s extremely hot or cold.
Some car camera system manufacturers offer their customers an optional GPS logger embedded into the mount. GPS loggers can help you trace your route. By connecting to satellite clocks, a GPS logger also ensures that your video clips have precise time stamps.
Some dash cameras have a display that helps you set up the angle and access the settings or trigger the file locking system. Some have physical buttons, while others have a touchscreen. A display can be very helpful, but it can divert your attention from the road. We recommend you set it and forget it unless you have someone else in the passenger seat.
Managing files becomes much easier when you connect the device to an app. The best dash cam app should be fast and easy to use, granting you quick access to all basic functions and advanced settings.
Reserved for top-of-the-line products, this feature makes it possible to operate your dash cam while in motion, which is much safer. This is all thanks to built-in microphones and artificial intelligence.
You can get a decent dash cam for under $100, while some top-shelf models with features like voice control and 4K resolution cost up to $500. In general, dash cam prices vary depending on the features you’re after.
Most dash cameras are powered through the car’s cigarette lighter. Some use a voltage adapter to connect to the car’s electrical systems, though this usually requires professional help. The best powering option is through the onboard diagnostics (OBD) port in your vehicle.
Some models have an internal battery that keeps the device on standby while the ignition is parked. So, it can start recording if your vehicle is tampered with.
The installation process of a car camera recorder 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 are attached to the rear-view mirror.
When choosing your new dashcam, pay attention to the video quality. We’ve learned that during our dash cam reviews. If the quality is terrible, then what’s the point of having a camera? It needs to record a good quality video that can be admissible in court.
And if you are getting one to record the fantastic scenery you are passing by on your road trip, you would also want the video to be good enough to show to your friends. So, all in all, video quality is important. Don’t buy any cam just to follow trends but choose one that will satisfy your needs.
There are plenty of good options on the market. It’s one of the most competitive industries, and the companies are releasing new and improved models every day. Some of the best dash cams currently on the market are Nextbase 622GW, Nextbase 522GW, Vantrue N2 Pro, Garmin Dash Cam 66W, Viofo A129 Pro Duo, Garmin Dash Cam Tandem, and Kenwood DRV-830, among others.
Fortunately, the technology used for dashcams is becoming cheaper over time, and we can find excellent deals on good cameras. There are plenty of good buys on the market, and some of the most affordable dashcams are Rexing V1, Toguard Mini Dash Cam, Anker Roav Dashcam C1 and A1, and Vantrue N2 Pro dashcam, among others. They all provide good quality video, nice and useful features, and reasonable prices.
Dashcams aren’t very hard to use. In general, the pricier models with more features will be harder to use, but even that won’t be a problem once you get the hang of it. The cameras that stand out by being user-friendly are Vantrue X4, Garmin Dash Cam Mini, Viofo A129 Pro Duo, Blueskysea B2W, and Crosstour CR900. They are all entry-level and mid-range models, which means they have fewer options to mess around with.
When choosing a dashcam, think about your needs and budget. If you are a professional driver, you might want to get a camera that records inside the vehicle too. If you drive a lot at night, the camera should have IR lenses and increased light sensitivity. The most important thing is to go for the best video quality and the highest FPS rate possible.
Yes, dash cams are worth it. They are admissible in court in the US and have saved many innocent people from legal fines and sometimes even prison (car-assisted suicides). Always go for the best video quality because it won’t do you much good in court if it is so bad that you can’t make up the license plates and other details. So, when choosing a dashcam, make sure you get the best dash cam within your budget.