Dashcam Buying Guide What You Need And What Is Useless

There are dozens of reasons to purchase and install a dashcam in your car, but we’ll go ahead and assume you know them already. What you want to know is what to look for in a dashcam so that you get the best value for your buck. Luckily, there aren’t too many factors that go into determining the best dashcam on the market, but each of the factors is extremely important.

As long as you know what to look for, you really can’t go wrong when buying a dashcam.

Dash Cam Buying Guide

To help you get a better handle and understanding of what you need in a dash cam, we’ve put together this dash cam buying guide. Use this when looking through dash cam reviews to select the right one for your automobile.

Video Quality 

This is the most important feature in a dashcam as a grainy video is no help to anyone if no one knows what is going on. The sharper the image, the more likely you will capture exact license plates, numbers, makes, models, cars, and even faces. The bare minimum for a good dash cam is 720p to 1080p.

If it is marked lower than this, don’t even consider it. That means staying far away from VGA resolution (640×480). We recommend going with 1280×720 pixels, also known as HD—this is a 1080p dash cam. Keep in mind you can go all the way up to 2304×1296 pixels, at a 30fps frame rate. This is the top of the line dash cam resolution right now.

Night Video

Closely related to video resolution is night video quality. Since there is no given when your accident will happen or when you need your dash cam, you want it to be able to record in high quality at the night. This separates the good dash cams from the great dash cams.

Don’t think that your headlights will always be on—parking lot accidents require a fairly legit night vision function to be recordable.

Size Of The Dash Cam

While most modern dashcams are pretty tiny, you certainly want to check the size so it doesn’t obstruct your view in any way. While this might not seem like an important feature at first, considering the fact that obstructions and distractions can cause deadly accidents on the road, we think it’s pretty darn important.

If you are concerned with others being able to see the dashcam, go with one that is very small.

Memory

Most every dash cam will come with a built-in SD card slot. Go for a dash cam that holds at least 64 GB of data so that it won’t start recording over previously recorded footage when you run out. If you plan on checking and dumping the data more frequently, you can go lower, but try not to dip down into single digits. Remember, once the data is gone, it’s gone for good.

GPS

GPS is critical in court cases because it can be used to check fraudulent claims and dispute speeding tickets. Generally speaking, there is no point in avoiding a GPS feature on your dash cam and every reason to get one, especially if you can disable it should you want to fly “under the radar.”

Loop Recording 

As mentioned above in the Memory feature, loop recording will start recording over your older data once the memory is full. This means indefinite recording, but also that you’ll need to dump your data if you want to preserve it. That’s why higher memory cards are better since they give you more time, but loop memory is essential since, without it, your dash cam runs the risk of not recording when your memory is full.

G-Sensor

A great feature to have is the motion detector feature called the G-sensor. This sensor detects any impact and automatically “saves” the footage, even if you have a loop recording. This means your accidents won’t be accidentally erased, even if you forget to dump the data.

Automatic On And Off

This is an amazing feature that is great for those who are forgetful. This simply turns the dash cam on when you start the car and turn it off when you turn the car off.

Parking Mode

Parking mode is great because it automatically turns your dash cam on when an accident occurs in your absence. If someone hits you in the parking lot, the dash cam will jump to life and record the aftermath of the incident, even if you have the auto-off feature enabled.

Time Stamp

It’s essential to the court evidence that your footage is stamped with the correct date and time on your dash cam. This feature allows you to do just that.

Optional Features

There are a number of optional features that can come in handy on your dash cam. Things like a screen will help you see what your camera recorded. A multi-channel dash cam records both in front and in back of you.

Avoid LED Lights and Gaps

LED lights do not help night recording and will even cause a glare, despite what vendors tell you. You also don’t want to see any gaps between your video files since that is wasted space. To find some of these features on the best dash cam brands and models currently on the market, click Dash cam right now.

Lukas LK-7900 ARA Dashboard Camera Gps Ready Review

The LUKAS LK-7900 dash cam has a very good rating. This is definitely a dash cam to look into if you’re serious about investing in your safety and future financial protection.

One customer said that it was a nice cam, and he had gone back and purchased a second one because the first one worked so well. He said that he had been using the Lukas LK-7900 in his front window for a couple of months and that it had been holding up well in the searing Phoenix, AZ summer heat.

Lukas LK-7900 ARA 1080p Full HD Car Dashboard Camera and Video Recorder with GPS, 16GB
  • Full HD 1080p video with Sony CMOS image sensor
  • Powerful Auto Exposure function enables vivid recordings in low-light environments
  • OBD II compatible to save driver information in separate Excel files (requires LK-750, sold separately)
  • Four recording modes: Continuous Recording, Motion Detection Recording, Event Recording, and Manual (Emergency) Recording
  • Durable through a wide range of temperatures (-4° F - 176° F)

Last update on 2020-11-25 / This is Amazon Affiliate link / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

He went on to say that he had almost been rear-ended twice, so he purchased another one for the rear dashboard. Another customer said that this cam was excellent. He said that the size of the camera disappears behind the rearview mirror in his sedan. He also said that the cam worked really well on days of over 100 degrees in California.

He said that he didn’t know exactly how hot the car was, but that it might have been around 140 degrees. He also said that just one incident has to happen for this camera to be worth the investment. He said that the peace of mind you get from having the camera attached is worth the price, even if an incident doesn’t occur. Another customer said that it was “the best dashcam on the market”.

He said that the video quality was really good and that he could make out license plates from 50 meters away. He also said that the operation was nearly automated.

Pros

LUKAS LK-7900 Dash Cam Video DVR GPS Recorder Black Box is a step-up from cheaper dash cameras thanks to its electronics package. This camera can detect and register collisions, storing information about them like where they occurred, at what speed, and from exactly which direction.

If you’re considering a dash camera for insurance reasons, having all of this information logged and available can usually qualify you for better, or cheaper, coverage. Lukas has done all of the basics you’d hope to see in a dashboard camera as well. This model uses the latest SD cards, supporting up to 128GB of video storage space.

Depending on the settings, you can expect the LUKAS LK-7900 Dash Cam Video DVR GPS Recorder Black Box to keep track of over 3 days of video, all in short clips that feature the time and GPS information stamped on the screen. This DVR is set by default to record over the oldest clips if you do run out of space, but the options can be changed using the included software.

Once it’s set up, the LUKAS LK-7900 Dash Cam Video DVR GPS Recorder Black Box is completely hands-off. It starts when the car does, runs off of the vehicle battery, and works continuously according to all of the settings. The camera doesn’t need to be removed to view the recordings, so it has a very secure mount in contrast to cheaper dashboard systems.

This camera system records in full-color 1080p, with a resolution that can be lowered for anyone who needs ultra-long recording times. It has a button that turns on the in-car microphone, as well as an emergency button that stores 20 seconds of video with sound in a separate file.

The emergency mode works in a helpful way, saving the 10 seconds before you push the button as well as the next 10 seconds. In practice, this means that you’ll be able to present evidence in case of an accident very easily.

Cons

The only real problem that the LUKAS LK-7900 Dash Cam Video DVR GPS Recorder Black Box has is the fact that it lacks an LCD screen. You’ll need to use the included software and hook this camera up to your computer in order to get it set. It lacks an LCD screen, but it’s able to be configured entirely through software with settings that aren’t easily changed, making it an excellent choice for fleet use.

Skipping the screen also slims down the lines and makes the LUKAS LK-7900 Dash Cam Video DVR GPS Recorder Black Box a lot more sleek and simple to conceal.

Our Verdict

Lukas has made a great mid-priced dashboard camera system. If you want a dashboard system that can be set up and allowed to run reliably, the LUKAS LK-7900 is the best choice. It records high-quality footage to an SD card that’s easy to remove from the camera, wires into your car’s electrical system, and turns on and off automatically.

It’s a clear step up from cheaper models, with a ton of helpful features that will be there if you ever need them. Pick one up on Amazon today, and you’ll lower your insurance rates and get peace of mind in case of an accident.

What Accessories Are Included In The Package?

  • LK-7900 camera
  • 8 GB memory card
  • Power cord
  • Instruction manual
  • Tape
  • Clips (fixing)
  • UV filter

Features At A Glance

1080P Full HD:
Spot a car’s license plate from a far distance. You get the satisfaction of great HD images wherever you go. The image sensor offers you great, crisp HD image quality.

Exmor sensor:
You will be able to rely on better recording at night. 

16:9 wide-angle viewing:
The wide viewing angle is adequate to prevent distortion in the video, and it works well with the black box.

Integrated emergency battery:
If you deal with a surprising power failure when you’re in driving mode, the camera can use the built-in battery to keep filming the final scene and then shut the system off as it normally would when the image capture is over with.

Excellent durability, despite the temperature:
The camera has an operating temperature of between 20 degrees and 180 degrees Fahrenheit. The built-in sensor for the temperature supports a high-temperature safety mode.

Built-in GPS:
The exact checking of the location with the built-in high-sensitivity GPS gives you accurate and fast driving route information, as well as location and time checking wherever you are. It even works seamlessly with Maps from Google.

Intelligent automatic switch over in parking mode:
This feature will help you save more recording data than when you’re in driving mode, and then you can go back to driving when the engine starts.

What Others Are Saying

This dashcam has an array of features that put it in a class above the rest. And, you’re not going to spend $300 or more – like you would think you would for a camera with these features. Plus, there are more than 60 customer reviews, and almost all of them are positive.

Read about dashcam buying guide here

Timetec Road Hawk HD Dasboard Camera With GPS And Google Maps

This is one of the best dash cam recorders on the market – by a long shot. The Timetec Road Hawk HD is a huge breakthrough in-vehicle camera black box motion-capture technology. It is the first dash cam on the market equipped with full electronic image stabilization. You get the smoothest video, even on the roughest road.
Timetec Astak 1080P FHD Car Dash Cam, Dashboard Video Camera Recorder with Night-Vision, GPS,...
  • 1920x1080 FHD resolution with Advanced Low Light Performance.
  • QUALITY CAPACITOR: Instead of a battery, a capacitor allows for greater long term reliability, and operation in high...
  • STURDY AND COMPACT DESIGN: Small, professional, and durable, the Roadhawk is easily hidden behind your rearview mirror, out...
  • VIDEO PLAYER SOFTWARE: Provides adjustable camera settings and Comprehensive Driving Data to protect you in court. Includes...
  • LOOP RECORDING: When the SD card is full, new recordings overwrite the oldest recordings. Files created by G-Force collision...

Last update on 2020-11-25 / This is Amazon Affiliate link / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

That feature is essential when you need it most – if there is a major car crash, accident, or driving-related incident. You not only get incredibly colorful and sharp daytime images, but you also get features and a product experience that exceeds any other camera on the market. It easily outperforms any other dash cam on the market in low light conditions, too.

Timetec Road Hawk HD Pros

The Timetec Road Hawk HD is the first dash camera on the market to offer electronic image stabilization. If you’re going over hills and bumps, the image will stay steady, making this the perfect camera system for anyone who wants to record their driving.
This opens up a few options beyond the traditional dash camera setup, like recording scenic drives or getting a video during an off-road trip. In that vein, Timetec included a microphone jack so you can narrate clearly over the footage. This camera really does some of its best work in low light conditions.
It has an electronic IR sensor that dims the video to preserve color and contrast in bright light. The sensor also helps when transitioning from dark to light, and works just as well at dawn as it does in the dusk. In fact, the Timetec Road Hawk HD has some of the best low-light performance available, making it a must for nighttime and twilight drivers.
The installation is relatively easy, with a self-adhesive mount and cigarette lighter DC adapter, although it can be wired to your car’s electrical system. However you install it, the video turns on and off automatically with your car, so there’s never any pointless footage if you forget to flip a switch at night.
The Timetec Road Hawk HD doesn’t need any input after it’s been installed and configured using the included software. It’s a good pick for anyone who doesn’t want to have to make adjustments to their dash camera system every time they get in the car.
In case of an emergency, the Timetec Hawk HD has a single button that keeps a record of the video and audio around the time of the crash. It saves the file separately on the SD card, preventing it from getting erased by accident. If you’re interested in a dash camera for insurance reasons or protection in case of an accident, this camera has you covered.

Timetec Road Hawk HD Cons

Timetec does a great job of covering all of the basics with this package, so there really aren’t any shortcomings in the camera system itself. However, this is a premium dash cam and you’ll have to pay a premium price for it. Fortunately, a dashboard camera system like this one will almost always lower your car insurance rate, so it may pay for itself.
The only reason that the Timetec Road Hawk HD might not be your first choice is if you’d like to spend a little less.

Our Verdict

Timetec has done an excellent job of including some of the latest camera technology into this dashboard system. The automatic image stabilization and IR sensor keep your videos sharp in any lighting conditions. This premium dashboard camera also includes software to let you look at your routes using Google Maps, giving you information about every detail of your trip.
In case of a collision, all of the information is automatically logged. If you’re looking for the best in-car camera system on the market, the Timetec Car Black Box Road Hawk HD is it. It’s easy to install, high-quality, and available on Amazon.

What Others Are Saying

This is one of the most expensive dash cams on the market, and it’s worth every penny. The camera has excellent video quality, and the GPS works extremely well, and the 64 GB card is more than enough space. There were several dozen customer reviews – most of which were overwhelmingly positive. Many of the reviews were also incredibly thorough, something not often seen on the Amazon product pages of lower-priced dash cams.
Don’t think twice about buying this dash cam if you have the money. You’re not going to find a better dash cam – at least without spending a fortune. This is the best dash cam in the under-$200 price range. If you have to buy dash cams for your company (e.g., trucking company, taxi cab company, security night watch company, etc.), then this is the dash cam that will guarantee peace of mind.
The ordinary driver will also feel better knowing that they’ve purchased the best dash cam.

Read Full review on kdlinks DX2

Review on Blueskysea HD 1080p Dashboard Camera Recorder

This Product Has Been Discontinued

This gorgeous dash cam (it will look great in your vehicle) is just around $30.00 (with free shipping on Amazon), and it has a solid 3.9-star rating. About half a dozen customers have reviewed it, which is far less than should have reviewed it already. This camera at this right price is a real steal.

At just under $40, this fully featured and capable dash cam from Blueskysea is affordable, capable, and underappreciated. If the price is still too high for you, you can check out Amazon’s Seller Marketplace and maybe pick up a used one for under $30.00

What Do The Customers Say?

One customer said that it was a nice dashcam, and he gave it a five-star rating. Another customer said he loved it, and that it was a great video camera for the price. The only criticism he had was that the directions were really bad. Another customer said it was “almost perfect”, and he just gave it a four-star rating.

He said that it was an “almost perfect product”, that it was much better than what he had purchased before, but that that the battery doesn’t last very long. Another customer gave it a four-star rating, too. He said that he chose this model because it was not very expensive. He said that it captured excellent daytime video, but poor nighttime video, and that for just under $40 it was a steal.

Another customer gave it a five-star review, and he said that it was just “AWESOME”.He said that the video capture was excellent and that everyone should have one – even individuals who don’t drive – because the price is excellent. You really can’t beat the price on this dash cam. Even though there are a few poor reviews, the majority of them are overwhelmingly positive.

Pros

The Blueskysea HD 1080p Car DVR dash Cam G-Sensor HDMI GS8000L is hands-down the most advanced entry-level dashboard camera. It has all of the electronics you’d expect to find in a system that costs twice as much, and other features like HDMI output that make this model especially easy to use. It’s a great choice for anyone who wants to be able to record their time in the car affordably.

Finally, the Blueskysea HD 1080p Car DVR dash Cam G-Sensor HDMI GS8000L includes hardware that detects and records G-Forces. In the event of a collision, you’ll have valuable evidence. Sometimes these dash cameras can help you negotiate lower car insurance rates, and this model has everything you need in one box.

Cons

One downside of the Blueskysea HD 1080p Car DVR dash Cam G-Sensor HDMI GS8000L is the fact that it only ships with a suction-cup window mount. If you want to install the camera permanently in one car, you’ll have better luck using a slightly more expensive system. Every camera that costs more than this one includes an adhesive-backed mount.

Our Verdict

There’s no doubt that the Blueskysea HD 1080p Car DVR dash Cam G-Sensor HDMI GS8000L is the best value in dashboard cameras. It records high-quality HD footage with sound, has a great LCD screen with an easy to use menu, and installs in minutes. For the money, there just isn’t another car dashboard camera system that can touch it.

If you’re looking for a way to protect your car, and lower your car insurance, the Blueskysea HD 1080p Car DVR dash Cam G-Sensor HDMI GS8000L is a perfect choice. It’s available for the lowest price on Amazon.

What Others Are Saying

This is a cheap, cheap, cheap dash cam. You’re not going to spend nearly as much as you thought you would. This is one of the best dash cams on the market for the price. What’s even better is that you can get one for under $40 in the Amazon Seller’s Marketplace. You can get an even cheaper one if you go on eBay. If you need a dash cam for your peace of mind, but you just don’t have money, this is the one for you.

What Accessories Are Included In The Package?

  • Car DVR
  • Suction mount
  • Adhesive mount
  • Car charger
  • USB cable
  • Instruction manual

Everything you need is included right in the package. You have a suction mount that makes it easy to attach the camera to your dashboard, an adhesive mount for an alternative mounting option, a car charger so you can charge the dash cam when you’re driving, a USB cable so you don’t have to go buy one at Radio Shack, and an instruction manual to make set-up easy.

You shouldn’t even need to use the instruction manual, though. It’s easy enough to set it up. Anyone could understand the set-up process – it’s intuitive, simple, and easy to work with. This is a very simple dash cam. There aren’t complicated instructions or a lot of parts and pieces. There are just a handful of things in the package, and the set up is really speedy.

This is under $40 dash cam, and it’s really easy to set up and operate. What more could you ask for? If you haven’t found the dash cam you’re looking for yet, get this one. It doesn’t cost hardlyanything.

Product Features

  • Wide Degree High-definition Wide Angle Lens
  • 5M CMOS Sensor
  • 1080P, 24fps, 720p, 30fps HD High Resolution
  • MJPG Format not H.264 Format
  • 2.7 Inch LCD Display
  • Built-in G-sensor
  • HDMI/AV-OUT
  • 4xDigital zoom
  • 4xDigital zoom, 4pcs Led Night Vision
  • Small Size, 35*87mm

Specification:

  1. Sensor: 5M CMOS Sensor, 1/2.5 inch light-sensing surface area
  2. Lens: wide degree lens
  3. Zoom: 4 x digital zoom
  4. LCD display: 2.7 inch 16: 9 TFT LCD
  5. Video output: AV(SVBS): composite TV signal output NTSC/PAL High definition TV terminal interface: HDMI signal output
  6. Picture: JPG file format Maximum output pixel: 12Mega Pixels
  7. Video resolution: MJPG compressed format 1920×1080, 24fps /1440 x 1080 /1280×720, 30fps / 848 x 480 / 640*480 / 320*240
  8. Language: English/French/Spanish/German/Italian/Simplified Chinese/ Traditional Chinese/Japanese/Russian
  9. Audio: Built-in Microphone/Speaker(AAC)
  10. Shutter: Electronic shutter
  11. Flashlight: Automatic electronic video supplement lamp (LED)
  12. G-Sensor: Support
  13. Motion Detection: Support
  14. Circle recording: Support

When you need to review the footage, you have your choice between connecting it to your television or removing the SD card and watching it on the computer. The Blueskysea HD 1080p Car DVR dash Cam G-Sensor HDMI GS8000L does a great job of making everything easy to use and compatible with as many different computers and video players as possible.

The camera records in MJPG format, which makes it easy to view and share footage on every computer, TV, and smartphone. Another thing that really helps the Blueskysea HD 1080p Car DVR dash Cam G-Sensor HDMI GS8000L stand out is the LCD screen. This dash cam uses a menu system on the back of the unit itself, unlike other cameras that need to be set up at your computer.

Recorded footage can also be played on the LCD screen, so if you’d like to quickly review a trip you don’t even need to take the SD card out of the camera. The Blueskysea HD 1080p Car DVR dash Cam G-Sensor HDMI GS8000L is just as easy to use as it is to set up and install. The camera comes with a long-life lithium polymer battery, so you can leave it running all day.

It turns on and off with the car, and this package comes with a cigarette lighter DC adapter to recharge the battery when it runs low.