Higher or lower resolution, wider or narrower field of view -- there are so many Dash Cam options to choose from.
I had a close call when driving home the other day. I am, of course, internationally recognized as being a superb driver (my mom lives in England -- which is international -- and she thinks I'm great) and I was completely blameless, but you always have to be prepared to deal with a "he said... she said..." type situation where everyone has different recollections as to exactly what happened.
Every now and then, I've been sucked into watching some of the Dash Cam-related videos, like this compilation, that are to be found on YouTube.
Actually, there are an amazing number of such videos on YouTube. Furthermore, I was surprised to see how many Dash Cam shots there are, like the ones seen in this video, of large meteors hitting the Earth's atmosphere.
The thing is that, for some time now, I've been thinking that having a Dash Cam in my truck would be a good idea.
Generally speaking, I would prefer to have higher resolution rather than lower, and a wider field of view rather than narrower. It would also be nice to have one that was "always on" and remembering say the past 20 seconds, even when the vehicle was parked, so that if someone hit the truck when it was on its own, the Dash Cam would automatically archive the preceding 20 seconds and also automatically record the following 30 minutes or so. On the other hand, you have to pay for bells-and whistles and money is a tad tight at the moment, so I could live without any advanced features.
In reality, all I really need is something that's continuously recording while the engine is on, that stores some number of hours of video, that automatically starts overwriting old content when it's full, and that keeps on running for some amount of time in the event of a crash, even when the engine is turned off.
The problem is that there are so many options to choose from. I could spend weeks evaluating different solutions. Alternatively, I could ask people, whose opinions I trust, what they think. That "boing" sound you hear is the metaphorical ball landing on your side of the net. Do you have any suggestions to offer?
Max...we get a 1-hour TV program of these. You could watch them forever. Most of them are from Russia where it is almost obligatory to have one apparently. I think you're right going for high def... also get one with a front and a rear facing camera, and sound recording (so you can catch your wife screaming "OMG" when the guy in front of you comes a cropper)".
@David: ...so you can catch your wife screaming "OMG" when the guy in front of you comes a cropper...
Actually, she pretty much does that whatever I do, leaving my ears ringing. The last time she screamed OMG I had to say to her "Quite down, I haven't even started the car yet" (it turned out she was just practicing LOL)
@ Max....You jest!! The Australian road death toll has been creeping up in recent years due not just to the drunks but also the druggos and the phoners and texters. Routinely now the random breath tests look for drugs as well, and finally the police are coming down hard on mobile phone users. So dash cams are probably not a bad idea.
I definitely agree: having wires hanging down from your windshield to your cigarette outlet is not only an eyesore, it could obstruct your view and may even draw unwanted attention from onlookers into you car. All not good things.
I've been looking at dash cams as well. Most that I've seen, do pretty much everything you're asking for. I'd get one that also has a read facing camera, largely because my interest came as a result of being rear-ended a few months ago.
I just recently purchased a new Subaru that has a factory add-on they call "EyeSight." It's got a sterio pair of color cameras facing front. The car also has a backup camera and some rear-facing radars.
I haven't found that the system will record and act like a dash cam, but it certainly looks like all of the hardware is in palce to do so.
What I find most amazing with this is that my car isn't a high-end, loaded, luxury car. It's only a few steps up from the base model, yet has lane holding, auto braking, radar, stereo cameras, and such.
Katie here with The Dashcam Store. Guess what? I've researched this into the ground and I have three dashboard camera suggestions for you! The bottom line is: our most trusted and most-popular brand is BlackVue from South Korea.
Option 1: Most affordable one-channel (one camera lens that's forward-facing) is the BlackVue DR450-1CH.
Based on your requirements (higher res than lower, wider field of view rather than narrow, and always on, continuously recording) this camera meets 3 out of 4 of your criteria. The BlackVue DR450-1CH records in Full HD 1920x1080p and 30 FPS and has a 129 degree viewing angle. It has loop recording (a standard feature in all dashcams, really), but it is NOT "always on". If you're looking for a low price tag for a one-channel dashcam and you're willing to give up the "always on" feature, this would be my recommendation for you.
Option 2: If a new criteria for you is having a two-channel (one camera lens that's forward-facing and one camera lens that's rear-facing out of your back windshield) to provide you with all-around recording, then you can opt for the BlackVue DR470-2CH. It's the same front camera as Option 1 and so it has the same specs as above, but with the addition of a rear-facing camera. I do want to mention that the rear-facing camera is 720p, is that a make or break factor for you?
Option 3: If you're willing to spend more on a camera that has 4 out of 4 of the requirements that you're looking for, then the DR650S-1CH or DR650S-2CH is the best option for you! This dashcam has all of the specs that Options 1 and 2 have, but this camera includes fancier specs (and hence why it's more expensive) like cloud capabilities, GPS data and speed logging, and parking mode. Parking mode is the "always on" feature that you're looking for: it will allow the camera lens(es) to "watch" 24/7, and will only begin recording and save video to the memory card if it detects any type of impact through its G-sensors or motion detection. This will save you hours of your free time reviewing dashcam footage if something happens to you car while it's parked!
If anyone out there wants help finding the right dashcam for their needs, we've created this helpful Dashcam Buyer's Guide.
We think it's pretty cool too, Max! I'm happy to help. I'd be curious to know what you think about my suggestions when you have a minute to check them out!
We believe that more dashcams on the road leads to more accountability and safer driving, so we're happy to serve as an educational resource. If you ever want to collaborate with a dashcam expert in the future, I hope you keep us in mind.
Katie.G Feature I would really like to have on a dashcam is recording of vehicle data from the CAN network. Things like turn signal activation, braking etc. My wife got pulled over to be checked for drunk driving (she hadn't been drinking) and the police officer said she didn't use her turn signal. She knows that she did because she always does but it would have been nice to had proof.
Max... next time you go over to England, I think you should take your Mom a dashcam as a present. Then you can entertain us all with video of the pedestrians scrambling out of the way and climbing up the trees, as you have so graphically regaled us in the past??!!
@David: ...Max... next time you go over to England, I think you should take your Mom a dashcam as a present. Then you can entertain us all with video of the pedestrians scrambling out of the way and climbing up the trees...
It's like the old joke that goes: "When my time comes, I want to pass away peacefully in my sleep, not screaming in abject terror like the passengers in my mother's car" LOL
Well, I got there around lunchtime and got 2 of them. They were actually A$ 29 = US$ 22 each. They say they're HD but they also say 640x480, that should be good enough for most purposes though. You have to provide your own micro-SD card. I'll give them a try over the weekend and get your off to you next week,