Choosing a Dash Camera

In June 2017, I was involved in a minor road accident. Back then I did not have a dash camera. A week later, I had one installed.

Dash cameras are important investment and may be useful in case of accidents. I have prepared a guide on how to choose a dash camera, and identified the essential and optional features present in most dash cameras.

  1. Any dash camera should serve you well. If you have a dark or mirror-like tint, you may need a dash camera with enhanced capability, such as night vision feature found in higher-end models. In the camera that I am using, it automatically toggles to night vision mode (you will hear it mechanically change internal fiters) to accept infrared light, thus, yeilding enhanced sensitivity in low-light conditions. At daytime, it records color video, at night, it switches to infrared recording (black and white video, like a CCTV camera).

  2. A dash camera must have a decent screen, and dedicated playback buttons. You should be able to play and scan the saved video using the dash camera (no laptop required), which will come handy when settling a dispute on the road.

  3. Look for a dash camera with a dedicated microphone on/off button (for privacy reasons) and a dedicated save video button (quick-access button to save current video). Some cameras even have touch-screen functions, which is an optional feature.

  4. Some dash cameras feature GPS mapping to log  information about the vehicle’s location and speed. Wireless connectivity (like Wifi) is an optional feature, which allows live viewing of the dash camera (and playback access) through your phone.

  5. Check if the dash camera has an accident auto-save function (locks the current video when it detects vibrations). To those worried that their vehicle might get damaged while parked, some dash cameras have a parking-accident auto-record feature (just make sure to buy a dedicated power pack to avoid draining your battery, since the dash cam in park mode must be powered continuosly even when parked).

  6. A dash camera must have a built-in battery, so it could save the video the moment power is disconnected. Please note however that dash cameras with built-in batteries may suffer from premature battery degradation due to exposure to heat. Newer dash cameras are equipped with capacitors instead, which can work well without degradation, even at high temperatures.

Having a dash camera, even the cheap ones, will always be better than having no dash camera at all.

To watch the video on how I installed a dash camera in my EcoSport, head directly to Installing a Dash Camera.

Related link: Dash Camera with Night Vision Mode

To view all EcoSport tutorial videos, click here.
To subscribe and receive posts about our beloved EcoSport, click here.

ECOSPORT DIY SERIES
Isa na namang kaalaman sa ating minamahal na EcoSport
© Anthony Urbano (Manila, Philippines)

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5 thoughts on “Choosing a Dash Camera

  1. Thank you for sharing this and promoting the importance of having a dash cam.

    With no offend and permission, we would like to give you some comments.
    1. Night Vision wording had been used by Chinese Dash Cam maker for more than a year now. If truly night vision, then there will be all green or gray color. Imagine the night vision goggles use by the military.
    To have better night view (brighter) is all depends on the lens used but we have to sacrifice the white noise for a brighter scene. Currently Starvis Lens is consider a good lens for minimal light.
    2. This is correct. No sweat if user not prefer cam with screen. Most dash cam have wifi pairing, so you can watch it on your phone too.
    4. GPS feature is not only for location stamp but it is also proving you a speed stamp. Therefore it is essential.
    5. Both are essential. Parking mode is considerably more important than driving. When driving the driver is there and with dash cam, the evidence is stronger. When parking, nobody there and with Parking Mode feature, you as the owner feel more relief that you know you have a dash cam keep an eye on your car. And if I park my car front of your car with dash cam, well I feel the same. This proven Parking Mode does help others too. To avoid you battery been drained, get a constant power kit. It simultaneously provide power to your xam and protecting your car battery been drained.
    6. Related to above item 5. Currently prefer not to have a cam with built in battery due to one major issue, heat. If you have hardwired kit, then you do not need a built in battery. Now, most all maufacturer looking for Super Capacitor, in fact since 2014.

    Thank you and please promote Parking Mode feature. It does help to curb crime too.

    Like

  2. Hi sir Anthony, Thank you for this advice sir.  planning to put mine also but still looking for a good quality. May i know sir what is the specific model you are using? Thank you

    Sent from Yahoo Mail for iPhone

    Like

    • Hi Gerald,
      Few brands you may consider to look into it.
      For with screen you may consider Transcend, Vicovation Opia2, VIOFO A119S and A129 Duo, Thinkware F550.

      Without screen well, Blackvue, Thinkware, DDPAI, Iroad, DOD to name few.

      All depends in your requirement and budget.

      Liked by 1 person

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