As modern technology improves, more products enter the market that make our everyday lives easier, and one such product that aids us on the road is the dash cam. These ingenious products have put an end to many disputes over culpability in car crashes, as well as solving hit and run cases and even aiding in apprehending car thieves.
There is no doubt that dash cams are quickly becoming an accessory that every driver should have by their side, but choosing which dash cam to buy can be an overwhelming process as they often have extensive lists of features and technical specifications that can be confusing to the average consumer.
We’ve compiled a list of some of the prominent dash cams on the Australian market to aid you in deciding which model best suits your needs.
A major determinant in the potential features a dash cam may have is the price. You’ll find that the more expensive dash cams out there have a host of features compared to the more reasonably priced models. However, it’s important to note that just because a model is more expensive, this doesn’t always indicate a better product. You should establish your budget before going shopping for a dash cam as this will help you narrow down your options and choose the best solution for you.
When initially looking at your options, there are several features that some standard in most dash cams and if you’re looking at any models that don’t include these features, you’d be better off choosing something else. These include:
- Loop Recording – This is the most important feature of your dash cam. It means that when your dash cam is recording, it’s saving the footage in blocks of time. This is useful as when the storage reaches its limit, the dash cam will only overwrite the first block of the oldest footage, ensuring that you’re never overwriting recent footage that you may wish to review.
- Microphone – A dash cam should always have a microphone. It’s important for recording any conversation you may have with the other driver in the event of an accident, especially if they verbally claim responsibility. You can also use the microphone as a way of recording your version of a crash as it happens, so you have the most accurate recollection of the event possible.
- Time and Date Stamping – This feature records the time and date for all the footage you record, so that if you have an accident, you know exactly when it happened. This may be useful for consulting any traffic cameras that may have recorded the incident, as well as helping you make any insurance claims as accurate as possible.
- G Sensor – The G Sensor is another vital dash cam feature that you shouldn’t go without. It will sense any collision with your car and automatically flag the footage for future review. Plus, if your car and dash cam are off and the G Sensor senses a collision, it will immediately begin to film. This is important for hit and run cases where your car is damaged when you aren’t present.
Once you’ve established that your options have these standard features, you then need to weigh up the additional features and how important they are compared to your needs. The below table provides a detailed breakdown of these additional features, which range from incredibly beneficial to have, to unnecessary extras.
Dash Cams Under $250
Dash Cams Over $250
As depicted by the table, some of these features are more prevalent than others and when deciding which dash cam is for you, it will come down to which of these features you need and which features you can live without.
- Motion Detection – This feature comes into play when your car is parked and the dash cam isn’t recording. It will detect any motion in the path of the camera and immediately begin recording. This can be helpful if someone were to break into your car, so you have footage to help with any police investigations.
- Still Image Capability – If you were to have an accident, you may want to use the still image capability to take photos of any damage to your car or the other party’s car. This is convenient as you have all of your visual evidence in one device.
- SOS File Locking – This is one of the more useful features a dash cam can have. When the G-sensor identifies a collision, the SOS File Locking feature immediately saves the footage so that it can’t be overwritten or corrupted. Most dash cams have this feature and if a model doesn’t, you may want to look elsewhere.
- WDR Technology – Dash cams with this feature film using high-dynamic-range imaging, which works to reproduce a greater dynamic range of luminosity so that you can see footage shot at night significantly more clearly. This may aid in identifying street signs or number plates of other cars when reviewing footage for insurance claims or for any court cases. If you tend to drive at night more often, this may be an important feature for you.
- GPS – A Dash Cam that has GPS capability gives you much more information when reviewing the footage of a crash. You’ll get the latitude and longitude to pinpoint exactly where the incident occurred, plus your speed and direction of travel. This can be vital when proving which driver is culpable for both insurance reasons or if a case was to go to court.
- Parking Mode – This feature takes effect when you’re parked and continues to capture footage, when other cams would stop recording. It functions much like CCTV and can be extremely helpful in hit and run cases.
- HDMI Connectivity – If the dash cam has this feature, you’ll be able to connect the cam directly to a TV to review your footage. This can be helpful for those who want to have a bigger screen to review the footage or for those who don’t have a computer.
- Route Tracking – This is usually combined with GPS capabilities and provides a record of the route you were taking before an accident. This can be useful when determining culpability as the other driver may have run a stop sign or failed to give way, and as you have a record of the route you took, you have the evidence to prove you case.
- Lane Departure Warning – If a dash cam has this included, it will give a signal if you are drifting out of your lane. This is more of a safety feature if the driver has fallen asleep or is distracted and can be the difference between a major accident and a safe journey.
- App Integration – Some dash cams feature app integration which allows you to review footage from your phone. If you don’t have a computer or a way to download the footage from your dash cam, this may be a great option for you. (App features vary for each developer)
Dash Cams also include many more features than listed above, however, these aren’t always integral to a dash cam’s functionality and act as little bonuses in the more expensive models. They can include:
- Speed Warning System
- Forward Collision Warning System
- CPL Filter Compatibility
- Time Lapse
- Wi Fi
- Digital Zoom
- Password Protection
- Compass on Heads-Up-Display
- Voice Menu Control
- Duel Channel Filming
Keep yourself protected with a dash cam
Adding a dash cam to your car is an easy way to streamline any insurance claims or court cases you might have in the event of an accident. When choosing which dash cam is for you, remember that if you weigh your budget against the features that you need and the ones you don’t, you’re sure to be happy with your final purchase.
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