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04:57:08 am

Best Dash Cam Reviews 2014

Resolution is measured in pixels: the more pixels on a screen, the sharper the picture. Dash cams with video graphics array have the lowest resolution, usually 640x480 pixels. This offers you just enough image quality to tell which car was where or to record the color of a traffic light when you crossed it. 720p cameras, which have a resolution of 1280x720 pixels (or HD, for asian webcams high definition) offer a significant improvement and deliver pretty decent pictures at an affordable price. If you want top-quality recording, and especially if you plan on recording scenic routes or people in the car, go for 1080p cameras, which have a resolution of 1920x1080 pixels, and are also referred to as full HD.

So as not to lure thieves, a dash cam shouldn't be too visible from outside the vehicle. Therefore, smaller cameras are better, and the preferred color is black. The best location to mount your dash cam is right behind the rearview mirror, where it is hardly discernible to the untrained eye.

An absolute must for a dashboard camera is that it turns off and on either when you power the ignition or, using motion sensors, when a body enters the car. You don't want to get into a situation in which you need the video footage only to find out that you forgot to turn the camera on.

Motion Detection/Parking Mode

In the event that someone damages your car while it's parked, a motion detector will pick up the action automatically.

Another must for car cameras. Loop recording overwrites older footage when the storage is full, so recording never stops due to limited disk space. You can usually mark the footage that you want to keep so it doesn't get accidentally overwritten.

A nice treat, but not absolutely necessary as you will normally be having your headlights on when you drive at night. Consider night vision if you're concerned about your car being damaged or stolen at night or if you spend a lot of time driving in unlit areas.

Very helpful if you ever need to present your video footage as evidence in court. Don't forget to set the date and time when you install the camera!

Not completely necessary. You would have to operate it manually while driving, which is dangerous and possibly illegal, depending on where you live.

LED lights should be kept low-key for a car camera, especially if they're on the lens side. An LED that's too bright can create a reflection from the windshield, which would degrade video quality.

Your dash cam's power adapter should be at least 11 feet (3.5m) long so you can install the power cord around the perimeter of the windshield instead of letting it dangle down.

While a screen helps to instantly view what you recorded, not all dash cams have one, and ones without screens are smaller. Cameras without a screen connect to your smartphone for viewing.

GPS is also optional. It allows you to record your exact position and calculate your speed, which can then be shown on the video along with the date and time stamp. A drawback is that the additional hardware obviously makes the camera bigger, which is the main reason why not all dash cams come with GPS.

Dashboard cameras with two or more lenses are known as dual lens or multi-channel dash cams. Usually one lens faces forward out through the windshield and the other one faces back into the passenger room of the car. Unfortunately, multi-channel dash cams are still quite expensive, and most don't have very good video quality. This article focuses mostly on single-channel dash cams, but if you are looking for a dual-channel car camera I definitely recommend the BlackVue DR550GW-2CH.

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