A dashboard camera is a video camera that is used to record driving incidents while on the road. You might mostly know them from the famous “We Love Russia” videos on YouTube – if not you must check em out!
Dash cams are mostly mounted on the dashboard of a vehicle. As we said, they are used to record everything that happens while driving. All dash cams come with two features, they automatically start and stop whenever you start or turn off your car.
The main use of these cameras is to have video evidence if any accidents occur. Since determining who the bad guy is in a car accident is a rather challenging ask, dash cams are required by law in some countries.
So because of that, we are going to discuss what you need to know before buying a dash cam. This article will be short but it will serve as a buying guide for the future.
1. Single Channel VS Dual Channel Dash Cam
Most dash cams are placed to record the front of the car, these are called single channel dash cams. There is another type of dash cams that can record both the front and back side of the vehicle. These types of dash cams are called dual channel and they come with another camera to record the back side of the vehicle. The backside camera can also be placed to record the passenger’s cabin. Taxi and Uber drivers mostly use the second camera in this manner. Dual channel dash cams can cost more than single-channel dash cams. However, if you’re interested in a place where you can get acquired with the prices of dash cams, you can read more about it here.
2. Battery Powered? Or Capacitor Based?
We mentioned how dash cams turn on an off in co-ordinance with your vehicle. Well, dash cams can eighter use a battery or a capacitor as a backup to save files whenever we turn off the car. For places where temperatures are in the constant rise, capacitor based dash cams are a recommended pick. Capacitor based dash cams are more heat resistant than battery ones. They are also more reliable and last more than battery powered dash cams. But as with anything in this world, the negative side to capacitor based dash cams is that they are more expensive and they hold less power.
Battery powered dash cams on the other side are prone to leaks, overheating, and they could even explode. However, they take about 5 to 10 times more charge than capacitor based dash cams.
Do remember that the battery and capacitor are not used to power the dash cam, they are used to keep the device on for a few seconds so a backup and save can be done with the information.
3. Quality of Recording
Quality of recording is another factor that you must take into consideration. While that makes no difference during the day, it can be rather challenging to capture license plates during night time. The quality of your dash cam recording can depend on the dynamic range, higher ISO, and other optimization factors such as buffered recording, nighttime camera, and more.
Glass lenses and plastic lenses are the two types of lenses that dash cams are made with. Glass lenses are better for a higher quality of the recording. Another type of lens, field of view lens, decides the field of view of your camera. Make sure to not have it on too narrow otherwise you might have trouble capturing wider objects.