Dash Cam Buyers Guide
Posted on 11 October 2016
Dashboard cameras (dash cams) are the next step in on-the-road security. Also known as a Dash Cam , Auto Black Box, or Car Camera, a dashboard camera is a surveillance-oriented HD video recorder that is mounted behind your rear view mirror, facing outwards. It records the events going on around your car onto an SD card and stores the video evidence for when incidents occur. Premium dashcams can even continue surveillance while you are parked and away from your vehicle to catch vandals, hit-and-runs, and potential misuse or abuse of your property, this is done via hardwiring your Dash Cam into your cars accessories.
A dash cam provides irrefutable video evidence that can protect you against road rage, drunk drivers and insurance fraud to mention a few. Today, dashcams are used by a vast majority of drivers in America, South Korea, Russia, Southeast Asia, and is rapidly growing in popularity in Australia, with Western Australia being the leaders. Dash Cams Australia is the leader in the supply of Dash Cams in Australia. Dash Cams are being used more and more by Australian drivers and for good reasons.
Benefit of Installing a Dashcam:
1. Provides irrefutable video evidence in the event of a road accident
2. Provides protection from hit and run and theft
3. Provides GPS tracking with vehicle speed
4. Reduce the time to settle a claim by the court or by the insurance company
5. Has been proven to change driver’s driving behaviour
6. Employers can ensure employees are following company rules when driving fleet vehicles
7. Easy to install and easy to use
Features vary on each dash cam. Common features include:
When the storage space is full, it can automatically cover the earliest segment ( Note: The DashCams record at 1, 2, 5 or 8 minute intervals, so it recycles one interval at a time and doesn’t just delete everything then start recording again.)
When an impact or emergency brake occurs or if the car is tilted, it will protect the previous, present and next video files automatically. Through this function the important files won’t be removed by loop recording.
Motion Detection/Parking mode:
The Dashcam will start recording automatically if there is motion in the recording angle or if the dashcam senses a jolt/movement, without pressing any button.
Time and date Stamp:
The time and date is permanently embedded into the video. The time and date is changeable.
Can take still pictures:
With most cameras having high megapixel lenses, they have a mode to capture a still image.
Records sounds, conversations and voice notes of what is happening.
The DashCam will automatically turn on and off with the ignition. Simply plug and play, Set and forget for maximum efficiency and effectiveness.
With either Infrared or Advanced technology, the DashCam will automatically adjust to brighten a low light or dull picture
Easy Mount and dismount:
Most DashCams have a quick-release design, making it easy to disassemble and reassemble. The joints can be tilted or rotated, allowing the DashCams viewing position to be easily positioned to suit ones needs.
SOS File locking button (some DashCams):
In an emergency, it allows users to protect the present file by pressing on the “SOS button”, to keep the file from being deleted/over ridden by the loop recording.
High Definition Recording:
High-definition video recording & 1, 1.3, 2, 5, or 12 Mega pixels CMOS
For sleek, class and style- the look of the camera can suit a car.
Some of the Lenses can rotate to adjust the picture and viewing angle to suit your needs
Wide Viewing Angles:
With a wide 120-180 degree viewing angle; it can record the whole length of the front and sides of the car and both sides of the road. There is no distortion of image.
GPS: Record vehicle speed and position. Can be viewed on the included software via a google maps screen.
With advanced H.264 video compression technology. It’s not only got the edge over other formats, but also equipped with high-definition video recording, compression efficiency allows more data to be saved on the memory card.
While some of the higher end DashCams also including features such as:
Six element Sharp Lenses:
Six-Element Sharp Lens, made up of 6 layers of glass, provides stunning clear and non-deformed images.
WDR (Wide Dynamic Range):
WDR technology causes well-balanced exposure at night. It makes night shots brighter, and reduces strong light exposure to achieve the clearest picture.
Super Night Vision:
Super night clarity
Super clear pictures
Driver Fatigue Warning:
Fatigue driving will increase the risk of accident, so some DashCams provide a useful anti-drowsy alarm function. When the driver of vehicle starts to veer off track, the alarm will issue a beep to remind driver to take a break.
GPS Over Speed Warning:
With a custom speed setting, once the driver is driving over the speed limit, the useful alarm will remind you “Slow down, your drive too fast.”
HUD Speed Display
The speed you are currently driving on will be displayed on the screen, including km/h and mph. All recorded data is stored on a micro SD card or a traditional SD card that usually ranges from 8g to 32g with some models working to a higher storage capacity. They all also come with a very long power cord so you can fix and hide the wire around the windscreen/dashboard
To view your dash cam recordings, simply insert your card into any computer (some users require a USB adapter). If you DashCam has GPS or any other speciality feature, there is software for this viewing that is very simple to install.
Dashcam video has been used successfully in traffic cases overseas to prove just what occurred in the incident; for example, to show that the other car ran a red light. In a case where it would be your word against the other driver’s, a video recording might be a very useful backup (or not, if it proves you were the one at fault). Police cars are commonly equipped with these cameras. It’s said that dashcams have saved some Australian drivers from fines, or helped their insurance claims, but we aren’t aware of any Australian court cases where a consumer’s dashcam video has been used in evidence.
Using a dashcam is legal, provided you don’t manually operate it while driving and it’s mounted properly. As with a GPS or any other dashboard/windshield mounted device, the camera should be in a fixed mounting and must not obscure your view of the road ahead, behind and to either side of the vehicle. Recording video while driving on public roads is OK as privacy concerns don’t generally apply in public spaces, but think carefully about how you use the resulting videos. There should be no problem showing them to the police or insurers, but it might not always be OK to post them online.
There is a huge potential for insurance companies to cooperate with the public and deduct insurance premiums, as dash cams / blackboxes will help to identify the right party to take the responsibility of car accidents. If an accident occurs, having one of our products installed will ensure that every detail, such as speed of involving vehicles, the angle they crash, and surrounding conditions will be available. With this information, insurance companies will be able to investigate the cause and fault of the accident more efficiently. This could both lower the cost of adjustments and the time it takes to settle accidents.
Dash cams / Blackboxes help safe drivers protect themselves in car accidents. We understand that no matter how careful you drive, if other drivers are not paying attention, you can easily end up in an accident. You may be put at fault by the insurance company depending on the situation. With the Dash cams we offer, safe drivers can film the entire accident scene and ensure the right party takes the responsibility.
Stop Vandalism and Monitor Your Vehicle When it’s Parked
Our dash cams / blackbox products can protect customers’ cars from being vandalized when it’s parked along with a Hardwiring Kit / Power Kit. If the Dash Cam has a motion detect or parking mode feature, and movement or motion that is detected by the camera will trigger automatic recording for added safety and evidence. Consumers will be absolutely protected with everything that happens around their cars at any time and place.
What to look for
Built-in display screen so you can check the alignment of the Dash Cam when setting it up, and quickly review video without a computer. GPS automatically records your location and speed and matches these to the video recording. All models with a GPS feature also comes with dedicated software to view the recorded data. Note that with Dash Cams, a GPS feature does not mean they can navigate you to a destination as can a regular GPS unit. Continuous loop recording means the Dash Cam records until the memory is full and then just records over the oldest video again, so that you always have a recording of the last hours. Mounting method A bracket with a suction cup is easier to remove for security or to transfer to another car. But for permanent mounting an adhesive fastening may be better and more discreet (the Dash Cam itself can still be detached).
Automatic recording when the vehicle starts means the Dash Cam turns on when you start the car, and usually also stops after a set time when the car is turned off. Impact detection activates the Dash Cam when it detects that the car has been bumped or moved – mainly useful if the offending car comes from the front and therefore appears in the video, but even if it doesn’t, the time and date stamp on the video may be useful information. Some models automatically save this video in a separate file that won’t be overwritten, or record data about the force and direction of the impact.
Removable memory card should be easily accessible when the Dash Cam is mounted, so you can remove it without having to detach the Dash Cam. More memory means more hours of video storage, and the number of hours of video depends on the selected resolution and frame rate. 16GB will usually provide several hours of recording at high resolution. Some models have a card included , while for others you’ll need to supply your own. Video formats Most models record their videos in AVI format, but some save the files as MOV or MP4. Media player software can usually handle all these formats, but there are many variations of video formatting.
What kind of quality comes with the device? VGA, HD, or Full HD?
Nowadays, HD or Full HD quality is seen on many dash cams. However, you should look at sample videos to make sure that the camera actually offers advertised HD or Full HD quality. Many cheaper dash cams advertise and list their specs in good words. When you actually test it yourself, you will be surprised to find out the quality differs from the specification.
Do I need a dash cam? And is it worth paying $200+ for a dash cam?
Dash cameras will provide irrefutable video evidence in the event of an accident. The driver don’t even have to argue or look for a witness. The video evidence will clearly identify whose at fault and what exactly happened. Cheap dash cams have missing segments between video recordings.
Cheap dashcams will not survive the heat or cold environment. As mentioned above, the cheap dash cameras may have great spec, but the true video quality is no where near advertised HD or Full-HD quality. Cheaper dashcam companies do not provide warranty service. There are many $200-$300 range dash cameras from Asia; however, do your research and buy products that have been tested and buy products that offer good warranty service. If there is anything you would like us to add into this section please do not hesitate to contact us.
When you are ready to buy check out the Blackvue range of Dash Cams for unsurpassed quality and features. Linelink Online, Australia's only specialist Blackvue dealer offers the best prices guaranteed with fast free delivery.