What you need to know before buying a dash cam

by Josh Biggs in Tech on 20th December 2022

So you’ve finally decided to add that little extra safety to your travels and set yourself up with a dash cam? Excellent choice, but before going to your favorite tech shop (or website), make sure to read up on this article and learn a few important pointers to consider. The gist of it is that not all dash cams are made equal, but perhaps even more importantly – not all drivers are made equal.

Some people work with their vehicles (think taxi drivers, Uber drivers, truckers, etc.), while others enjoy long travels with their four-wheeled companion. Different people have different needs, and understanding key things about dash cams can help you pick the best device for you. So, without further ado, here is what you need to know before buying a dash cam:

Dash cams have different tech specs

We all know that cameras come with different resolutions and that higher resolutions usually mean higher image quality. While that may be true, that’s not the only technical specification that can make a difference with your dash cam. Besides resolutions, it’s vital to see how the camera performs in low-light and nighttime environments, as well as what its angle of viewing is. Ideally, you’d go for a camera with at least a 130-degree viewing angle. What’s more, a camera capable of recording audio is usually a better choice, as audio can provide the extra context needed to piece together the full picture of an event.

Dash cams come in different numbers

The most basic option, as you might expect, is to get a single camera and mount it on your dashboard or windshield. That way, you’ll be able to record everything that happens in front of you. But a vehicle has more than one side, and rear-sided incidents are as frequent as front-sided ones. Not to mention that on intersections, cars usually get hit from either side. Furthermore, professionals such as taxi drivers and Uber drivers should have a device recording the interior of the vehicle, to protect it from malicious or disorderly passengers.

Storage and file transfer matters

If you go for multiple cameras, and of higher resolution at that, you will need plenty of storage to make sure all that data has enough space to be saved. While most dash cams can be hooked up to a large storage unit, it can be quite a nasty sight to have all the cables and wiring going through the vehicle. That’s why most dash cam owners go for microSD cards. However, it is vital to choose a storage unit from a reputable manufacturer, as microSD cards have a history of being unreliable and burning out when they’re most needed. Also, make sure to choose a card with plenty of storage space (think 256GB or 512GB), especially if you’re recording the video in 4K resolution. That way, you’ll be able to record for long enough to get the full context of an incident. 

Categories: Tech