What is a DashCam?
I'm sure as most of you know a DashCam will sit on your windscreen out of you way and record as you drive. You hope to never need it, but it will be your second set of eyes always watching in case someone does bump your car and take off. You will have a chance to capture their plate on video and have visual record of the events.
DashCams are a set it and forget it device. You set the settings to your liking. You hide it behind your mirror. You plug it in. It will power on and start recording to a full sized or micro SD card depending on model. You never have to touch it again unless you want to review footage. The camera will record and loop over old footage automatically once the card is full. Most cameras have a button that you can tap to manually lock a video you want to save from being looped over. They also feature a G-Sensor the case of an accident the video is automatically locked from the force of impact.
GoPro cameras usually do not make good DashCams because I believe only one of the latest models have added the looping. Also the price and how flashy they look can be a drawback. If you really like the look of a Go Pro but want to get something just about as good and for a better price check out the SJcam models
. The Ambarella A7LS75 1080P 60FPS WiFi version is a really good camera and is way cheaper then a GoPro
What should I look for?
When searching for a camera there are a few things to keep an eye on. First lets get the bad things out of the way. As I have mentioned you have to keep an eye out for low quality knock offs that looks like some of the decent cameras, but have low end components inside and shoot poor video. The most common knock offs are clones of cameras called the G1W, DVR-027. And Mini-0801. A real G1W is a great camera for someone not wanting to spend a lot of money, but have a good camera. It is what most consider to be the cheapest camera any driver should look at at around 45-50 dollars.
There are a few things to consider when looking for a DashCam.
GPS or not
Screen or not
Some cameras like the G1W are cheap and shoot decent video, but are not built the best, the mounts are not the best, and firmware only gets updated when a big issue is found and needed to be fixed.
A step up would be something like the just released Mini 0806. This is my current favorite camera. It is small. It has a screen. It has built in GPS. It fits very nicely behind the Sixth Gen mirror and is not in the way of the driver. The pervious generation Mini the 0803 has a lot of custom firmware support from the DashCam community and I expect the Mini 0806 to fallow this as well once it has been out a little while longer.
A high end camera would be something like the Vicovation Marcus 4, or anything from the Street Guardian or Panorama line up. These cameras cost a little more, but are really well built, shoot amazing video, and feature a lot of nice extra features.
There are even some specialty cameras like the Innovv C3 that allow you to put the recording part of the camera in side the car and run a remote water proof lens outside if you wish. I have mounted a C3 to the bumper of a car before and driven around to catch some cool bumper footage.