Dash cameras are fast becoming a must-have in today’s driving environment. Aggressive and careless driving, as well as increasingly common incidents of road rage, make investing in a really good car DVR a wise decision.
Another consideration is that insurance companies are now telling their clients never to admit fault, so it becomes their word against the other party’s and if they have someone else with them and you don’t, you will lose a lot of money. Similarly, if you are not an experienced driver or one of your children is involved in an accident, you will need strong evidence to support your version of what happened.
In other words, buying a dash cam can save you a lot of money and stress.
Unfortunately, choosing the best dash cam is not that easy because often cameras that have the same body can have very different working parts.
Generally, when buying dash cams, you get what you pay for, so start by ignoring the really cheap cameras. I’ve seen dash cams advertised for $ 16! and that is simply impossible. Buy one of these and your money will probably be gone. Personally, I wouldn’t even consider a camera under $ 100.
So how do you choose a dash cam that provides good quality images that can be used as evidence if you are unlucky enough to be involved in a traffic incident?
Here are some tips for searching:
* Look for a model with dual wide-angle cameras that give you front and rear coverage.
* Check if the camera has a high-end chipset and sensor combination. These are expensive items, so most vendors won’t tell you what their cameras’ specs are. All the cameras in my family have Mstar / OV2710 chipset / sensor combinations, but there are one or two better combinations (neither of which are cheap). Lesser combinations will not give you images of the same quality, especially at night.
* Preferably the drive is MOV video format, not older AVI.
* The camera must have a parking mode that triggers the camera in the event of a hit while not in your car.
* Motion detection.
* Loop recording.
* ADAS – Driver assistance will warn you if your car is getting too close to another or if you are drifting out of your lane.
* G-Sensor: freezes the frame and stores it in the event of an accident.
* Warranty: at least 12 months.
* Look for evidence that the provider has a website with contact details.
* Choose a well supported vendor, if the description has poor English examples, it is usually a third world vendor (often not even a manufacturer, but a reseller) and experience has shown that if that is the case it may be very difficult to get support.
It used to be the case that if a dash cam had good reviews on one of the major sales platforms, you could be confident that it would be a decent buy. These days you need to be very careful about this because we have seen more and more examples of new listings hitting the market with 20, 30 or even 40, 5 star reviews right from the start. The use of the review system has become endemic; in fact, you can see ads on social media and internet service sites where people offer to provide completely bogus reviews for very little money.
Buying a dash cam is a very wise decision, but do your homework and buy a high-spec one from a vendor you can identify.