The Best dash cam For 2020 - dash cams buy Guide and Reviews
The Best dash cams For 2020
Vantrue N4 Dash Cam Review
It’s here! A dash cam that has 3 cameras in one main dash cam setup like many rideshare and taxi drivers have been asking for. This uber dash cam has a front, interior and rear facing dash cam that record all at the same time.
The new N4 Dash Cam from Vanture is a tri-channel, two-unit set that monitors the front, rear, and interior of your vehicle while simultaneously recording audio—making it the perfect choice for anyone looking to protect themselves from potential liability issues as well as accidents.
There are some dash cams out there that record the interior and front simultaneously, which also give you the option of purchasing and linking an additional camera for the rear. The Vanture N4, on the other hand, comes with a linkable rear cam included in the box.
The box also includes a 20 foot extension cable for the rare camera unit, a 1.4 foot type C USB cable car charger, a 3 foot Type C USB data cable, 1 adhesive sticker for mounting the rear camera in place, a user manual, and a quick start guide. The front mounting camera comes with an easy install suction mount that holds up very nicely to even extreme vibration.
Video storage capacity
Vanture does not include an SD card with this model, but the N4 can support one up to 256GB in size. The company also recommends that you purchase their branded SD cards and not install one from either Sandisk or Transend.
Wide angle lens
The N4’s front-facing camera has a 155-degree view, the rear-facing camera has a 160-degree view, and the interior camera has a 165-degree view. Vanture has somehow managed to avoid the fish-eye effect normally seen at these degrees while still providing some great coverage.
Vanture went with Sony’s Starvis CMOS sensors for this dashcam. These 6-glass lenses offer superior night vision compared to earlier models. The one in front has an F1.4 aperture. This means that the camera is able to capture video in extreme low-light situations. The rear camera has an F1.8 lens, which is just slightly less impressive but is still capable of capturing all the evidence you will need if there should be an accident, including a clear shot of front license plates.
The interior camera has 4 infra-red LED lights that accurately capture all activity inside the cabin, even in complete darkness. Unlike with earlier models of IR dash cams, the Vanture N4 IR does not cause a halo effect while filming in the dark, nor does the picture come out grainy. The audio recording is superior when compared to many other dashcam models, and will capture all but the quietest conversations.
3 Channel Dash Cam
When utilizing all three cameras at once, the video recording setting max out at 1440p+1080p+1080p at 30fps. Settings can be manually changed through the on-screen menu, so it is possible to go with a lower resolution if recording space is a bigger issue for you than video quality. This dashcam simultaneously records front, rear, and interior shots—with audio—and can display all three on the 2.45 inch IPS LCD, giving the driver a full view of the road around them as well as all activity taking place inside the vehicle, including the passengers.
Like many other dash cams, the N4 does include 24-hour parking monitoring. When the car is shut off, the camera will go into rest mode. Upon detecting movement, the camera will automatically turn on and start recording. Collision detection will automatically turn the camera on, as well, and all recordings during that period will be locked in place. Both of these features are great, but it should be noted that because the Vanture N4 uses a supercapacitor instead of batteries, you will need to hardwire the camera into your car in order to use either of these features. This is actually a small sacrifice to make—one that most dashcam owners will be familiar with anyway—as those same supercapacitors also make this camera a superior choice in extreme weather situations.
Good for high heat areas
Heat is the enemy of all technology, but the N4 is super capacitor powered instead of using lithium batteries, so it is surprisingly heat and cold resistant. It can easily take heat as high as 158-degrees, although you may still want to avoid leaving it in direct sunlight in places like Arizona and Texas. It can take temperatures as low as 14-degrees, so it is also perfect for most cold weather conditions, but care should be taken to bring it inside overnight if you live in Alaska.
The N4 auto-records all-new video over the oldest video recordings, so you do not need to manually empty old footage off the camera. The G-Sensor automatically locks video files taken during and immediately before an accident, but you can manually lock any video you chose with the touch of a button.
This entire system can be set up, right out of the box, in fifteen minutes or less. Video footage is unloaded from the camera using the included 3 foot USB data cable, instead of relying on Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. This also means the N4 is a great choice for those who do not want to worry about downloading yet another new app to their smartphone, or who prefer to hook their camera up and update it from the comfort of their living room.
Pros and Cons of the Vantrue N4 Dash Cam
- 3 camera setup
- Full HD video on all cameras
- Motion detection with interior recording
- Sony STARVIS image sensors
- Good night vision
- No WiFi for remote connectivity
- GPS requires an extra module
- Front cam uses suction cup mount
- Priced higher than low end cams
Warranty and Customer Service
The Vanture N4 dash cam has an 18-month warranty and Vanture ’s world-class customer service. So, if anything at all should go wrong with the camera, or if you should have issues with your setup, there is always someone there to help you through it.
Vanture’s N4 dash cam is a nearly perfect system that is super easy to set up and use, easy to maintain, and still small enough to sit virtually unnoticed under your rearview mirror. The only thing we do not like about this dash cam is that you will have to buy an optional GPS sensor (view GPS module on Amazon) if you want to have that as part of your records to track your speed, exact location, and rout. This information can really come in handy when there is an accident, or if a customer later complains about the route you drove.
ROVE R2-4K most advanced and powerful 4K Video Car Dash Camera
ROVE R2-4K is today’s most advanced and powerful 4K Video Car Dash Camera featuring ‒
Novatek NT96660 Processor ∭ OV4689 Ultra-Low Light Capture 4MP CMOS Sensor ∭ F1.8 Large Aperture ∭ 6-Glass Wide Angle Lens
⇨ The Hardware is meticulously designed to provide crystal clear 4K video not only during the day but also during the night time with its ultra low light capture sensor with super night vision technology
⇨ The Advanced Software is the heart of this dash camera. We have spent countless hours making its custom software for user-friendliness and personalized experience that we desire in today’s world
- Class 10, U3 Speed Micro-SD Card for 4K Video is required. We Recommend SAMSUNG Class 10, U3 Speed Micro-SD Card. Max Support: 128GB (NOT Included in the packaging – Search on Amazon for ASIN: B06XWZWYVP)
- ✘ Please DON’T USE any “SanDisk Ultra” or “Generic Class 10 for HD Video” Cards form third party sellers. They are NOT made for 4K high-end dash cam like this one.
- Rove R2-4K Dash Camera
- Rove Dual USB Car Charger
- USB Power Cable (12 FT)
- USB Data Cable (2.5 FT)
- 360° Suction Mount
- 360° 3M Spare Sticky Mount
- Car Wiring Tool
- 5x Cable Hiding Clips
- User Manual & Registration Card
- 12 MP Photo Resolution
- Multi Language Support
- Loop Recording ― Time Lapse Video
- Voice Guidance ― Live Speed ― Screen Saver
- Slow-Mo Video
Next Level Of Video Experience!
Crystal Clear Day & Night Recording.
The ROVE R2-4K Dash Camera can record videos up to a resolution of 2160p (Ultra-HD).150° Ultra Wide A+ lens Viewing Angle allows a wider viewing angle to capture those important details side. The WDR function optimizes video quality with wider light range and image details. So you will find our camera captures clear & vivid license plates and road signs during the day as well as at night.
- Built‒In Wi-Fi & GPS ║ Free ROVE App
- Emergency Recording（Built-in 3-Axis Impact G‒Sensor）
- Parking Mode ― Motion Detection
- F1.8 Large Aperture ― Captures More Light
- 360° Rotating Suction Mount
- Screen Saver with Live Speed, Compass & Time
- Ability to turn OFF Custom Video Stamps
Features with State Of The Art Technology
Revolutionary Built-In WiFi Feature: You can easily access your video on your iPhone or Android Phone while on the road with FREE ROVE APP.
With the ROVE APP, you can:
– View Live Video streaming within 10-ft of the camera
– View your previously recorded videos.
– Download any recorded videos.
– Play the video and watch the video as the tracker on google maps simultaneously.
– Share any of those videos with friends and family.
– You can even change settings easily from the ROVE App.
(Please NOTE: This is NOT an IP/4G Dash Cam – It does NOT allow you to view your recording remotely)
The Built-In G-Sensor gets activated by sudden collision and locks the current video file as an important evidence for further investigation.
G-Sensor also records the 3-Axis impact data on a X-Y-Z Axis graph, so you can see and prove when and where you hit that pot hole on the road or where exactly the impact occurred on the google maps.
Unlike other dash cameras ROVE R2-4K’s G-Sensor settings allows you to set your sensitivity to 10% increments value (9-different settings) where others only gives you 33% increment (3-settings only). This allows you to set precise G-sensor sensitivity depending upon your car make and model.
With the Revolutionary Super Night Vision Technology, the car dash cam can capture clearer videos and photos even in low-light night conditions. F/1.8 Largest Aperture Available + 6-Glass Wide Angle Lens with Proprietary Focal Length of the lens gives you more clear smaller details
N/B: Ultra Low Light Capture brings clear image even in the fully dark environment!
ATOTO A6 Double Din Android Car Navigation Stereo with Dual Bluetooth –
Developed from widely used and stable Android Marshmallow OS,deeply customized/optimized to let it perform better in vehicles. Lots of vehicle-based features – FM/AM Radio,AUX/Backup camera input, Bluetooth,Steering wheel key control(no DVD/CD Player).Factory Steering Wheel key Control (shorted for SWC,based on resistive signal input only) can still be retained. WiFi receiption and builtin microphone have been significantly improved. Drivers do not have to yell to talk with the other oneDual Bluetooth not only work as BT call /A2DP playback, but also connect to phone’s BT tethering internet, and connect to BT gamepad/mouse/OBD. Google Maps is pre-installed,and users can download offline map data for navigation without internet.Unlimited Micro USB Drive/ Micro SD storage supported (256GB micro SD and 1TB SSD drive have been confirmed OK). In additin, ATOTO A6 has Quick Booting feature – Start the car and access system within 2 secondsContinuous firmware update for ATOTO A6 is available (latest firmware version ATOTO AICE OS 9.6). Get continued firmware update when available to ensure less bugs and new features added.Reversing camera input;AUX Audio/Video input;4-CH RCA Audio Out (2v) for connecting to factory/aftermarket amplifier;Separate Sub-woof Out (0.8v) (Manual /Automatic mode available);One Micro SD slot – to store media files,dash DVR recordsThe double din size of ATOTO A6 series provide 5 types of front panel size as option: 173mm*97mm, 205mm*104mm(Select Toyota specific),7in select VW specific, and Ultra 10.1inch, and their model name start as A6Y27xxxx,A6YTY7xxx, A6YVW7xxx and A6Y1021xxx.Most dashboard mounting frame suppliers from North America may provide double din mounting frame with 174mm*98mm opening (Metra dash kit, PAC dash kit,etc). ATOTO is the first one to bring Android 7in car stereo with minimum 174mm*97mm front panel dimension! An extra plastic frame is also included in the package to extend its size to 178mm*101.5mm;Please do not try to root ATOTO A6 even if you are an Android developer, as it has been deeply customized and your experience with rooting/making changes to an android tablet/smartphone is totally not applicable here, and will damage the A6 system! Moreover, it is not covered by manufacturerand#039;s waranty;More than 300 apps from Google Play Store have been tested installable on ATOTO A6 Series, especially media/entertainment apps and apps in category of and#034;Auto andamp; Vehiclesand#034;. However, very few apps that are specified only working on phone or registered tablet will not be installable (such as Android Auto, netflix).Thanks to Ultra external Wi-Fi antenna (Silver plated copper wire) included in the package, WiFi reception has been significantly improved so now Google voice can work smoothly and the reception of ATOTO WiFi can be comparable to some smartphones!Most users need to run online map or stream music online on Android car stereo and these requirements do not need high bandwidth(less than100kb/s), Bluetooth tethering connection is enough . Actually the records we tested with iPhone 7 Plus via Bluetooth connection are up to 180kb/s!WiFi hot spot option from smartphone has much higher power consumption than Bluetooth tethering option. Phone battery will last much longer via Bluetooth tethering connection;The Bluetooth 1 works as Bluetooth hands-free (call/answer) with A2DP streaming audio feature. Contacts/recent records will be synchronized once smartphone is connected. All the contacts can be searched by manually typing or A-Z filtering and users can add certain contacts to and#034;Favorand#034; list for quick dialing!Media ID3 info(song name, singer and album) will also be synchronized when using Bluetooth A2DP audio streaming, and dynamic sound spectrum displays when music is playing. In addition, phone signal strength/battery power can be displayed on A6and#039;s notification bar!The Bluetooth 2 (BT2) not only works as BT tethering internet, but also allow
BOSS Audio BVCP9685A Apple Carplay Android Auto Car Multimedia Player - Double Din Car Stereo, 6.75 Inch LCD
Plug and CarPlay
Get access to select Apple and third party iOS apps as well as Android Auto and hit the road running with the Apple CarPlay built right into the BVCP9685A double din car multimedia receiver. With a big 6.75 inch capacitive touchscreen monitor you will be able to easily select CarPlay related icons as well as all other system settings and configurations.
With Siri voice controls you can get directions, look for points of interest, check your messages and reply to them, play music and more.
Hook an external DVD player or your camera to the AV input, tune into your favorite AM/FM radio station, or plug into the USB port for more music choices. You can charge USB devices with the USB port. Bluetooth technology lets you play and control music apps and make calls hands-free. Make changes to your music choices and settings with ease using the existing steering wheel controls or the touchscreen
Apple CarPlay: access icons on your iPhone by activating Siri voice controls the touchscreen. Available Features include phone, music, maps, text messages, radio, podcasts, audiobooks. Make your drive more interesting.
Messages: with Siri on your side, you can ask her to read you your messages, reply as well as send them. Siri lets you concentrate on what matters most. Driving.
Back up safely: The BVCP9685A takes safety to another level by lowering the volume every time you put your car in reverse to see the rear surroundings on your screen.
Maps: need gas? Hungry? Search along your route by asking Siri, and car Play will direct you every step of the way and tell you the speed limit too. Third-party navigation apps like Google maps, wake and baidu are also available.
Bluetooth: make calls hands-free with the help of Siri. Play music apps like Spotify or Pandora as well as iTunes and Apple Music subscription. Siri will be your DJ.
Android Auto: just say “OK Google” and Google assistant will help throughout your day. Get real-time alerts on Google maps and Waze. Make calls, check your messages, reply back, Use music apps, all while keeping your hands on the steering wheel.
Apps: rearrange how you want your apps to appear in car Play through the settings on your iPhone. Supported apps include WhatsApp, radio Disney, , iHeartRadio, podcasts, Google play music, CBS radio and more.
Inputs: USB/ AV input. Connect a rearview camera (sold separately) and backup safely. The steering wheel interface allows you to use the existing functions on your steering wheel (interface module sold separately. We recommend the Metra ASWC-1.
Outputs: use the front, rear & Subwoofer pre-amp outputs to hook up your speakers (front left/ front right and rear Left/ rear Right) and subwoofer.
Warranty: BOSS Audio provides a powerful 3-year platinum online dealer warranty so long as the purchase is made through .Com. We strongly encourage professional Installation of this product to ensure proper and safe functionality.
more detail on the most important things you should consider before buying a Dash Cam:
1. Single Channel (1-CH) or Dual Channel (2-CH) Dash Cams
Basically, do you want to record footage from both ends of the car or just out the front?
Front recording (or single channel) Dash Cams record out the front windscreen only. Front and rear recording (also called dual channel or 2CH) Dash Cams record out of both windscreens. Dual Dash Cams can record stupid and dangerous tailgaters and give you extra evidence should you be hit from behind. Front recording models are still the most popular choice, however 2-channel Dash Cams are rapidly becoming popular, especially for parking mode recording.
In dual channel Dash Cam systems, the front and rear cameras are attached to the windscreens and connected via cable that can be hidden around the interior trim/roof liner or door frame weatherstripping. Single channel Dash Cams are easier to DIY whereas dual Dash Cams require some more effort due to the additional front to rear connection cord. Both dual and single channel systems are powered through the vehicle’s accessory socket (cigarette lighter socket) via the included power cord. The Dash Cams in both systems automatically power up and start recording when the car turns on and automatically power down and stop recording when the car turns off (unless you want to use Parking Surveillance Mode which requires hardwiring to the car battery, we’ll discuss this later). All video footage is recorded and saved onto a Micro SD card.
2. Video Quality – Recording Resolution & other Contributing Features
Insist on a minimum 1080P FULL HD Dash Cam. Anything lower and you are compromising on clarity and lowering ability to recognise details easily. Higher resolution becomes especially important when trying to make out finer details. Poor quality, cheap Dash Cams can show very pixelated or blurry images (even at 1080P). However, 1080P FULL HD resolution is slowly becoming superseded by 1296P Extreme HD and 1440P 2K Ultra HD which record much sharper/clearer images. The Lukas QVIA QR790 and Lukas K900 Dash Cams offers these higher resolutions. The BlackVue DR900S range can now record at 4K Ultra HD resolution.
Note however, high quality footage and video clarity are not just solely dependant on the recording resolution. Important features that contribute to better video include:
1. Large lens apertures – larger lens apertures allow in more light to enhance video quality
2. High ISO values – the higher the ISO value, the more sensitive the Dash Cam is to picking up light
3. Bit Rate – higher bit rate = sharper, clearer, more detailed footage with less distortion
4. Image sensor brand/type – cheap Dash Cams use cheaper sensors
5. HDR/WDR Technology – high/wide dynamic range to optimise and balance bright and low light conditions
6. Frame rate – faster frame rates like 60FPS can improve video quality by smoothing out some motion blur. When pausing videos, there can be less distortion and motion blur. 60FPS is the current trend in new Dash Cam releases. It can be a useful feature however some 30FPS Dash Cam video quality still outperform new 60FPS ones.
All of the above features complement the recording resolution. Both Lukas, BlackVue and DOD Dash Cams incorporate a mix of these premium features to enhance the recording resolution, giving you the best video evidence available.
In some 2-channel Dash Cam systems on the Australian market, the rear cameras still only record at 720P HD resolution which is too low and can make license plate recognition and details more difficult to make out, especially under low light conditions. Always opt for a 2-channel system that has a rear camera with minimum 1080P Full HD resolution.
All our 2-channel Dash Cams record at a minimum 1080P FULL HD in both the front and rear cameras. They also incorporate high quality sensors like the Sony STARVIS and Sony EXMOR sensors to provide Australian drivers with the best video evidence on the road – both day and night.
For the next level up in 2-channel recording, the Lukas QVIA QR790 and Lukas K900 Dash Cams record at 1440P QUAD HD and the BlackVue DR900S Dash Cams record at the highest 4K
3. Screen or No Screen? and Wi-Fi Connectivity
This comes down to personal preference. Some buyers like the mental reassurance that a Dash Cam with a screen offers. Visually seeing the live footage on the camera screen in real time can be assuring to some users, knowing that the Dash Cam is on and recording correctly. Integrated screens can also make it easier and quicker to change settings and review footage. Dash Cams without screens are mainly controlled via Wi-Fi through the manufacturer’s App which is downloaded onto a compatible smartphone or tablet. The Wi-Fi feature requires slightly more tech savvy skills but is not difficult to operate. It can take alittle longer to operate as footage and settings need to be viewed, changed and downloaded from the smartphone app. A live feed in real time from within your car can be viewed on your smartphone via the Dash Cam App. Dash Cams without a screen generally have good flashing LED indicators and/or voice notifications to let you know it is operating and recording or if there are any errors.
If you are not the most tech savvy kind or purchasing a Dash Cam for a non-tech savvy friend/relative, we recommend considering purchasing a Dash Cam with a screen for easier operation. The DOD and Lukas K900 Dash Cam range offer excellent LCD display models.
Whether you choose a Dash Cam with a screen or not, video files can always be viewed on any computer monitor by inserting the Micro SD card via a SD card reader. To playback video files, the Dash Cam manufacturer software player can be used or the default media player on your computer. When viewing video files on your computer, ensure you are running the computer screen at the highest resolution. No point watching a 1080P FULL HD video file on a screen set at 480P or 720P.
4. Size, Shape and Colour
The smaller the Dash Cam, the less distracting it will be on the windscreen and less noticeable from outside the vehicle. Most well designed Dash Cams are about the size of a credit card if not smaller. You want the Dash Cam to fit behind your rear view mirror as much as possible. Installation as close to top and center is best. If this is not possible, the unit should be installed to the left of the rear view mirror on the passenger side. A matt black finish is the best choice as it blends in with the car interior and looks more discreet from the outside. Opt for Dash Cams without shiny accents as these can reflect light off the windscreen and cause distraction to the driver or obstruction in the video footage. Generally, suction mounts protrude more and are more bulky than lower profile adhesive mounts.
The cylindrical shape of the BlackVue and Lukas Dash Cams we find are the most stealthy, classy and neat.
The Lukas AR790 and V790 Dash Cams are our slimmest and most compact Dash Cams.
5. Night time/Low Light Recording Quality
This is an important feature to consider as low light conditions can hide number plate detail and the surrounding road environment. Night time and country drivers should especially consider this features as country roads are not lit up as well as city roads. DOD Dash Cams offer excellent night time video quality. These cameras utilise HDR/WDR (high/wide dynamic range) technology among other features.
With HDR technology, strong glare from streetlights and car headlights is reduced while low light areas are lit up. This technology enhances details normally washed out by strong light or hidden in low light.
Another feature to be mindful of in relation to night time quality is the Dash Cam’s ISO sensitivity. Dash Cams with higher ISO values are excellent for low light conditions as they capture and enhance low light at night. Most DOD Dash Cams have ISO values as high as 12800 which is unmatched on the Australian Dash Cam market.
The Dash Cam’s lens aperture size is also important to consider. The larger the lens aperture (smaller f/ value), the more light is able to reach the sensor, therefore enhancing the clarity of the footage. Most DOD Dash Cams have some of the largest lens apertures on the Dash Cam market at f/1.6.
Most new models coming out have the latest Sony STARVIS sensor which is designed for low light enhancement, however the STARVIS sensor alone does not mean you get excellent night time video quality. Our BlackVue DR750S, Lukas QVIA QR790, Lukas K900 and the LS/RC Series DOD Dash Cams all have the Sony Starvis sensor.
IR (infra-red lights) are generally marketing gimmicks and do not usually enhance night time recording details. IR lights usually cause glare and reflection off the windscreen and back into the lens, hampering the footage. IR lights do come in handy however on in-cabin recording Dash Cams like the BlackVue DR750S-2CH IR or the Transcend DrivePro 550. These Dash Cams are designed for the passenger transport (Taxi and Uber) and fleet industry that allow additional in-cabin recording of passengers and drivers. The integrated IR lights on the in-cabin facing camera assists in brightening up dim cabin conditions.
6. Angle of View
The wider the recording angle of view means more road lanes and more of your surroundings will be captured and recorded in the footage. This helps to capture driver behaviour earlier in the incident and will show more of the lead up to the incident (for example a driver cutting in front of your car will come into view earlier on the footage). The BlackVue DR900S boasts a 162° angle of view which is impressive but there is a slight “fishbowl” effect around the edges of the videos. At the wider angles, footage from adjacent road lanes or the footpath is covered in much more depth. The narrower the angle of view, the less coverage you have on the road.
7. Temperature Resistance
This feature is not considered as much as others and is commonly disregarded by buyers. We feel it is important especially in our Australian climate. All Dash Cams should specify an OPERATIONAL temperature range. Generally all mid to high range Dash Cams will have an inbuilt temperature prevention cut off to protect itself in a hot car. The higher the temperature resistance generally means higher quality components are used and a longer lasting Dash Cam. Dash Cams are generally left in a car permanently, especially if you choose to utilize the parking mode/motion detection feature. A Dash Cam that has a high temperature resistance will operate for longer in parking mode as the car internal temperature warms up. They will also power up faster when a hot, parked car is switched on. Dash Cams with a low temperature resistance will cut off earlier in parking mode and will take longer to startup. You have to wait longer until the camera cools down enough before it starts up. Lower temperature resistant Dash Cams can also be prone to freezing up, restarting or malfunctioning in warmer weather. They also degrade much faster over time.
Lukas, BlackSys and BlackVue Dash Cams are top performers in this area all having high temperature resistant build qualities. We like Dash Cams to have a minimum 65°C-70°C OPERATIONAL temperature resistance. The Lukas QVIA QR790, Lukas K900 and Lukas V790-2CH Dash Cams have an 80°C operational temperature rating which is the highest we have seen so far. The storage temp is rated to 90°C! This is a testament to the quality of the components used by Lukas.
**When comparing temperature resistance, be careful as some manufacturers and sellers specify the storage temperature resistance which is always higher than the operational temperature. You want to know the operational temperature resistance as this is what is important in a hot car. The higher the operational temperature resistance, the longer it will stay recording in a hot car and the longer your Dash Cam will last.
Our Lukas Dash Cams are a popular Dash Cam choice for use in fleet vehicles. Most fleets we supply choose Lukas Dash Cams because of their performance, largest storage capacities and reliability. Fleet vehicles throw some of the harshest and most demanding conditions at a Dash Cam. Lukas Dash Cams are meeting those conditions.
8. Supercapacitor vs Battery
Dash Cams are not designed to run off internal batteries like a smartphone does. Dash Cams need to run for hours on end while driving so require constant power through a cig lighter socket to operate. It would be silly if a Dash Cam ran off a battery that died mid way through your journey. Dash Cam batteries are only designed to last a short period of time to safely save the last file when power to the camera cuts off. You will notice when you turn your engine off, the Dash Cam will stay on for around 5-10 seconds. This is the internal battery working to save the last file to the Micro SD card. Cheap Dash Cams use cheap batteries that are prone to swell and leak in hot cars, thereby damaging the camera. Also, over time, the amount of power they hold decreases and eventually die, causing power failures, freezing up, not saving settings or the correct date and time.
Cheap Dash Cams, use cheap batteries which give high quality Dash Cam batteries a bad wrap.
High quality supercapacitors are used in most higher end Dash Cams like Lukas and BlackVue. They can withstand more heat and have basically an unlimited lifetime. We highly recommend Dash Cams that run off supercapacitors over batteries. Having said this, if we supply a Dash Cam with an internal lithium ion battery, we strenuously heat test it ourselves for Australian conditions.
9. Loop Recording
This feature is pretty much standard across all Dash Cams. Dash Cams record footage in short video files which can be customised on most cameras (generally 1, 3 & 5 minute video files). Once the Micro SD card memory fills up with files, rather than automatically deleting everything to free up space or asking you to free up space, the Dash Cam writes over the oldest files one at a time. Therefore you always have the most recent footage on the SD card. This is a great feature because it gives the driver time to backup any files before being looped over. If you are not involved in an incident on any particular day, then just keep the Dash Cam looping over – set & forget. If you are involved in an incident, then you should either download the files off the SD card, or lock that particular file in the menu which makes it un-loopable (model dependant).
Most of the Lukas Dash Cam models can take up to a 512GB Micro SD card which is the largest currently available.
10. Hazard/Emergency Record Button
This is a great feature which generally allows you to separately earmark or lock an important file from being overwritten by loop recording. This means the important video file can easily be located on the SD card at a later time. We like the Hazard/Emergency button to be tactile and easily accessible on the Dash Cam. If you are involved in an incident or see something occur on the road but will continue driving for some time before being able to download the file, this feature comes in handy. DOD and Lukas QVIA Dash Cams all have tactile, easy access, one-touch Emergency Record buttons. The BlackVue Dash Cams use a proximity sensor to lock a video file.
11. Maximum Storage Capacity
Dash Cam brands and models support different Micro SD card capacities. A higher storage capacity SD card will record for longer before looping the footage over. The capacity of the SD card you require depends on the recording time you require. For general driving (say 2-4 hours per day) a 32 GB Micro SD card should be sufficient. Should you be in an incident at the start of the day, you will have time to download the file when you get home in the evening (it would be better to lock the incident file after it occurs as a fail safe).
Please note that the higher resolution you are recording at, the less recording time you get out of an SD card (larger video files). Therefore we recommend larger SD cards for higher resolution Dash Cams and those drivers who spend a lot of time on the road. Always check the maximum Micro SD card capacity of the Dash Cam before you purchase to ensure it is suitable for your needs.
Most Lukas Dash Cams have the largest 512GB Micro SD card compatibility for longer recording times which is 3 times the storage capabilities of most 128GB capacity Dash Cams on the market.
12. Audio Recording
This is a handy feature that records audio in sync with the video. It comes in handy if you have an altercation with another driver. Angry drivers generally back off if they know their words are being recorded.
An easy to access mute button is handy should you want to turn audio off and not record your shower singing voice!
13. Startup time
You want a Dash Cam that has a quick startup time when you turn your car on. Some Dash Cams can take up to 40 seconds to start up which doesn’t help when you have already driven for 30 seconds. When using larger SD cards, the startup time can be longer as the Dash Cam checks the card for an errors before recording. Larger SD cards have more cells to check.
14. Audible Notifications/Warnings
This is usually a feature on Dash Cams that do not have a screen. If something is not functioning, like the camera is not recording, you want to be alerted promptly via audio alerts as there are no visual warnings. Dash Cams with screens will generally show visual warnings while higher quality cameras will have both audible and visual notifications.
BlackVue and Lukas Dash Cams have great audible notifications to keep you informed about the health of the system.
15. Parking Mode with Motion Detection and Impact Detection
This is a useful feature and is rapidly becoming more important and sort after. It does require some additional equipment & installation to operate correctly. Most higher end Dash Cams have a Parking Surveillance Mode feature. Essentially when your car is turned off, the Dash Cam stays awake. When motion is detected from either a moving car or pedestrian, the Dash Cam starts recording that motion for a set amount of time. The same happens if an impact is detected through the inbuilt G-sensor. We all know what car parks are like!
This feature provides evidence of any hit and run activity or vandalism while you are away from your car. The footage can be used to prove to your insurance company that any damage caused while parked was not your fault. If a number plate is captured, the driver can be tracked down. Any deliberate or malicious damage to your car while parked can be reported to the police and the footage used to assist them in the investigation. Hit and run drivers, if caught via their number plate, can be charged with leaving the scene of an incident if they haven’t left authentic contact details.
Generally files recorded in parking mode will be locked (model dependant) or marked differently so you can easily find them on the SD card. Larger SD card sizes are preferable if you are parking for long periods of time to give you the maximum file storage.
We prefer Dash cams that have “Pre-Buffered” Parking Mode recording. This feature records a short time prior to the motion/impact trigger and also records after the trigger. This means if someone quickly drives/walks past your car and damages it, you will capture the lead-up to the incident. You won’t miss it. Some Dash Cams only record after a trigger. This means that by the time the culprit has moved on, the Dash Cam just starts recording. You can lose the very important lead up circumstances before an incident.
Our best pre-buffered parking mode Dash Cams are the Lukas Dash Cams. They record an important 10 second pre-recording prior to the trigger and they have advanced parking mode features and customisable settings to give you confidence while you are away from your vehicle. The BlackVue range also offers a shorter 5 second pre-buffered motion and impact parking mode recording. The Lukas QVIA/K900 and BlackVue range range offers 2 x Parking Mode recording options: Pre-buffered motion and impact detection or a time-lapse feature for continuous recording at a low frame rate.