Unlike in the past when a dashboard camera was a luxury, today it’s fast becoming a basic requirement for your automobile. The best dash camera can help you present evidence to your insurance provider to facilitate claims. Further, law enforcers can use them to identify people who commit crimes and violate your rights and that of others.
Are dash cams legal?
The legality of dash cameras varies from one country to the other. For instance, dash cameras are legal in various US states. However, they should adhere to the laid down regulations concerning vision obstructions and electronic surveillance. If you live in the United Kingdom, then you already know that having a dashboard camera installed in your automobile is very legal. Some other countries in Europe allow the use of dash cameras even though they have laid down restrictions on the installation and use of these gadgets.
What’s the Dash Cam Legal Position in other Countries?
The use of dash cameras in Switzerland is illegal because the country has stringent surveillance laws concerning the use of electronic gadgets. In Australia on the other hand, you can use dash cameras in your vehicles seeing that the government has legalized the use of such electronic gadgets.
The use of dash cameras in different countries highly depends on the country’s perception of human rights to privacy as well as the already existing road safety laws. Decision-makers in different countries should consider the aforementioned factors before determining the legality of dashboard cameras.
How do I choose a good dashcam?
If you’re looking for the ideal dashboard camera for your car, there are various considerations you need to make as seen below.
What’s your budget? Dash camera prices range between $50 to over $500. The price depends on your preferred features. If you’re new in the world of dash cameras, you need to conduct enough research before you can finally settle on a camera that fits your budget and preferred specifications as well.
Many novice dash camera buyers are always in a rush to purchase low priced cameras only to realize later that they don’t have satisfactory features.
Eventually, they end up spending more money to upgrade their cameras which of course can be a costly affair. Avoid such inconvenience by researching and discussing your needs with an expert.
Buy a Dash Cam Early in Advance
If you can purchase the right dash camera for your automobile from the word go, you’ll end up making huge savings and getting value for your money. Remember, a dashboard camera can come in handy to enhance your safety and that of your car on the road.
Amid the growing dash camera industry, many unscrupulous dealers are likely to invade the market with poor quality products. Avoid being a victim of this by making your purchases from reliable and genuine suppliers. Do your due diligence before purchasing your gadget just to be sure that you’re dealing with the right suppliers.
Check their online platforms and peruse their customer reviews section just to have a feel of what their existing and previous customers have to say about their products and services in general. Analyze the features of your preferred dash camera and compare them with other products before finally purchasing it. Pay extra attention to the camera features and ensure that the gadget you choose is capable of withstanding prolonged exposure to heat.
1 Channel vs 2 Channel Recording Capability
How do you plan to execute your recordings? Do you prefer 1 channel recording or the things ahead of your vehicle or will you be comfortable with 2 channel recording better known as recording inside the vehicle? Perhaps you prefer getting comprehensive footage from behind, inside and ahead of your automobile.
Dash camera recording needs vary from one driver to the other but one thing that’s common among nearly all drivers in the fact that they use dash cameras to enhance their safety on the road. If safety is your main purpose, then you’ll purchase a 1 channel dashboard camera. This is often mounted on the windshield in a forward-facing position. This enables it to record only the events happening ahead on the car.
More Details about 1 Channel Dash Cameras
1 channel dash cameras are often less expensive compared to 2 channel setup cameras. But if you’re looking for comprehensive safety both ahead and behind, the 2 channel camera is ideal albeit costly. The good thing about comprehensive coverage is that you’ll have access to every incident in the unfortunate event of one.
Taxi drivers, for instance, may want to record the happenings inside their vehicles. In this case, they would need to have advanced cameras complete with infrared capabilities. It’s worth noting that different drivers have different preferences. If you are struggling to decide the best dashboard camera for your vehicle, you can always contact a professional for recommendations.
Video Coverage and Quality
One of the most popular features that every dash camera buyer is likely to look out for first is the resolution and quality of the videos. You want to purchase a powerful camera complete with a clear resolution to display the required details in the event of an incidence. You can purchase a high-resolution camera which can capture every critical component of accidents when they occur. Remember, a high-quality camera will need more storage space in the gadget’s memory card. Let’s discuss memory card capacity below.
Memory Card Capacity
Apart from the dash camera, a memory card is arguably one of the most critical components of various electronic gadgets such as mobile phones, tablets, and even ordinary cameras. Did you know that a faulty or poor memory card can render the best dash camera in the world useless? If your camera is faulty, you’ll be disappointed to realize that your either hasn’t saved or is lost. Your memory card’s write speed is a critical consideration to make when you’re choosing a memory card.
It’s worth noting that the memory card class which is; 10, 6, 4, and 2 determine the memory card class. This means that a class 10 memory card comes with a minimum write speed of 10 MBs while a class 2 memory card comes with a write speed of 2 MBs. Choose a class 6 or even higher memory card for your dash camera as recommended by the manufacturers. Choosing an incompatible memory card can result in incomplete files and uneven video playback among other challenges.
Do you prefer a visible or non-visible dashboard camera? If you’re like many drivers and vehicle owners, chances are you want your camera to be invisible and discreet. It’s worth noting that dash cameras come in a wide range of sizes and shapes and you can easily find one that meets your needs appropriately. One way of keeping your dash camera from sight is by mounting it on your vehicle only when you’re using it and unmounting it when not in use. Further, you want to purchase a compact dash camera which is easy to use for your convenience.
Which is the Best Dash Cam in the Market Today?
Here are some of the best dash cameras in the market to ease your search
Garmin Dash Cam 66W
The Garmin Dash Cam 66W was released as an upgrade for the Garmin 55 model. Just like its predecessor, this camera comes in a compact size which promotes user-friendliness. This camera offers a 180-degree field of view as opposed to the Garmin 55 model which has a 122-degree field of view.
Users will get a wide view right in front and ahead of their vehicles with this dash camera. The Garmin dash cam 66W also features a high dynamic range (HDR) video recording which comes in handy to ensure that you capture every detail even when you’re shooting in high contrast lighting.
Smartphone Connection Capability
With the Garmin Dash Cam 66W, you’ll be able to leverage on the gadget’s WiFi capability to link your smartphone with the Garmin Drive app which is free. This allows you to connect as much as 4 cameras subsequently. You can also adjust the video from the cameras to display a 360-degree view across your vehicle.
The battery life of this dash camera is only 30 minutes when not directly connected to the vehicle’s lighter socket. If you’re looking for a permanent mounting of your camera, consider seeking help from professional service providers. Remember, your dashcam will continue recording even when the vehicle is parked. This is ideal as you can be able to rewind the video in case anything happens in your absence.
The Nextbase 612GW is said to be the inaugural 4k dash camera famed for generating excellent quality video footage. The control of this gadget is executed from a massive 3-inch touchscreen. It’s worth mentioning that the HDR video on this gadget is shot with a Sony Exmor R CMOS sensor. It also comes with GPS logging which allows you to check recordings of your journeys and any incidents on Google maps. This dash camera will record every detected movement near your car when it’s parked.
Should you Choose this Dash Cam?
One good thing about this dash camera is that it features a powerful inbuilt battery which means you don’t have to plug it in the lighter socket throughout your journey. If you’re specifically looking for a huge dashboard camera, then this is the best choice. The only drawback with this gadget’s size is; it’s too conspicuous and may end up attracting thieves, and it can distract you while you’re on the road.
The Thinkware TW-F770 dash camera comes complete with a robust Sony Exmor CMOS 2.19 MP sensor and comprehensive HD recording. This gadget is famed for its cracking video footage. This dash camera is specially made to be mounted below the back view mirror and comes with minimal buttons.
Further, it doesn’t feature an external screen seeing that it can be connected to a smartphone through its WiFi capability. The advantage of this is the clips can be easily generated and transferred to a smart gadget especially in the event of an incident. You’ll, however, need to make a few changes on the gadget menu and settings to enjoy these features.
The Thinkware TW-F770 comes with an excellent night vision feature which enhances low light settings to generate better quality images at night. Further, this gadget has a time-lapse feature which functions as a CCTV camera when your vehicle is parked. For this mode to function accordingly, you’ll need to ensure that the gadget is connected to your car’s power supply.
The Z-Edge Z3 comes with a brilliant Ultra 2K HD image quality and provides a wide 145-degree field of view complete with a user-friendly interface. This gadget features an advanced image processor and the CMOS sensor to produce razor-sharp footage. You’ll be able to capture incidences with excellent clarity. The 3-inch touchscreen display allows you to set the camera with ease. For this gadget to function appropriately, you’ll need to keep it plugged in the lighter socket as soon as you start recording.
If you’re looking for the ideal dash camera for your automobile, the above guide should come in handy to help you make an informed decision.