Best dash cams of 2018 – reviews of hd dashboard cameras electricity usage calculator south africa


Despite being introduced in police cruisers during the 1980s, dash cams are relatively new to the consumer market. As they’ve gotten smaller and more affordable, however, they’ve emerged as a popular tool for protecting drivers. As such, our approach has been to cover the most popular dash cams at all price ranges rather than compare the ten best dash cams. As the industry grows, we expect to provide more extensive reviews with comparable testing combined with more thorough evaluations.

For this review, we looked primarily at the specifications that separate the high-end dash cams from the cheap ones. We considered the resolution, screen size, storage and recording features. We also looked at advanced features such as GPS and Wi-Fi. On a positive note, all of the dash cams we reviewed record in HD. However, where the image quality may distinguish itself is in the night vision or low-light conditions.

In addition to evaluating the specifications to determine our picks, we also looked at user reviews to find the most popular and highly rated products on the market. While user reviews are not always the most reliable source (people are more likely to share a bad experience, and many high-praise reviews are planted by marketing firms), we can find useful patterns in user reviews that can help determine quality in comparable products.

Most dash cams record in HD at 1080p – or, at the very least, in 720p. However, the higher the resolution, the more detail the image captures. This can be the difference between being able to read the license plate of a car or not. But since most dash cams, even the cheapest ones, record in HD, it should not be your main determining factor.

The field of view is the horizontal scope of the camera. The bigger the field of view, the better protected you are. With this in mind, most cams are rated at 120 degrees, but some high-end cams reach as wide as 140 degrees. The Falcon Zero F360 features two 120-degree cameras that can be adjusted to cover 240 degrees.

Collisions can happen any time of the day, which is why dash cams need to see well at night or in low-light conditions. This can come in the form of a night-vision feature, but most have a low-light feature, which maximizes exposure via a dynamic aperture.

Video files take up a lot storage space. Even a dash cam that can support 128GB will fill up with HD video files in just a few days if it records continuously while you’re driving. So, similar to closed-circuit security cameras, dash cams record in a loop: They record for a predetermined amount of time and if nothing has happened, they record over the existing footage. Film clips are are only permanently stored if you adjust the settings or the camera detects a collision.

If you want to record scenic drives, then you don’t want to loop-record or set the dash cam for impact detection. As such, it’s important to make sure the dash cam has an automatic/manual recording setting that sets it to record everything and save to the storage.

Any feature that makes you into a safer, more aware driver is worth looking at. You already share the road with enough unsafe drivers. Improving your awareness is the best protection. With this in mind, manufacturers have made driver awareness features common in dash cams. That said, these features can vary; some only include front collision warnings and driver fatigue warnings, while others include warnings for speed and lane drifting. If the cam has GPS, it may also be able to alert you to red-light cameras and speed cameras.

With this feature, the dash cam turns on and records footage when it detects motion. Usually, this just means that it picks up what’s in front of your vehicle. But if you get a dual-camera device, you can protect the perimeter of your vehicle from break-ins, which is why it’s a great feature for truck drivers and delivery drivers. However, sometimes this requires additional installation to add an external power source or wire the power into the battery system.

Typically only found in dash cams over $150, GPS provides a lot more than an eyewitness. GPS records the time, date, location, speed and direction. All of this is valuable information when determining fault in a collision. Without GPS, a dash cam might record the time and date, but that may or may not be enough to prevail in court.

Wi-Fi is a feature you’ll only find in high-end dash cams. With Wi-Fi, the cam integrates with your smartphone to transfer video in real time. This makes for easier recording and easier access to recorded video. It also means that the cam likely doesn’t have a display, which means it takes up less space on your windshield or dashboard.